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  • Selima Smith-Dell

Princess in a Castle: Dressing Like Royalty Doesn't Have to Break the Bank


I pushed the back door open and stepped out onto the clean white snow breathing in the cold Massachusetts air. My lungs filling with the purest air that one only experiences after a nightfall of fresh snow. I looked around to see where Olivia was parked. Both of my arms were full of organza, mesh, tulle shiny princess gowns. I spotted Olivia only 300 ft. away and rushed to meet her. We embraced for a short while. It had been 2+ years since we had seen one another in person. I jumped into the car, discarded all of the dresses we could possibly capture together on camera on the back seat. We both smiled at one another, like friends who haven't seen each other for a long while and began to head to the location.

We caught up as we drove to the location for our shoot, a beautiful outdoor castle. When we arrived we picked out our first two looks that you will see in this post. The first being a beautiful pink gown with a tulle skirt and a satin bodice with elegant tulle sleeves and pretty delicate buttons on the sleeve. The dress just speaks for itself. The corset top really hugs your boobs in and gives them a very very alluring look. It's the perfect dress to wear if you're looking to frolic around and show off your beautiful boobs in the process. No need to wear a bra, just let the girls be free. I am a no bra kind of girl. I am all for freeing the nipple and letting your boobs be free so this dress literally spoke to me.



The long tulle skirt is light and gives you so much to play with. It is loose so if you find yourself twirling or dancing, as I often do, when wearing this dress it'll find a freedom in the air and dance along with you and the wind. I paired this dress with a classy shoe that reminds me of the timeless Chanel booties. The holes in the shoes really allow your feet to breathe. Although I do have to admit on this frigid Massachusetts morning these shoes did not keep my feet warm in the slightest. My toes were frozen. You can always pair them with socks like I do, on occasion. I highly suggest that if it's winter and your trudging around in the snow.


This look was a delight to shoot with my favorite photographer, Olivia Edvalson. In fact, Olivia has the most brilliant talent for capturing elaborate settings and fashion pieces and creating a fairytale, cinematic photographic experience for the viewer. It was fun to play with the tulle skirt. Olivia has given me a love for fabric and all of the whimsical fun you can have with it while shooting. If it's hoisting it high in the air or covering the camera lens with it. The possibilities are endless.



As you can see there were so many wonderful places to shoot in the castle and the way the snow adorned the rocks and bricks made it look even more magical. The dress and shoes are both from Shein. You can look like a princess without breaking the bank. Both pieces are very affordable. Here's a video of how the dress moves.



After we got all the content we wanted from this blush and fuschia pink dream we walked to the car for a costume change. We ventured down the winding long path that was snowy and had invisible black ice with caution. Slipping and sliding at times but in the most graceful way, of course. I changed into this lavender tulle, mesh gown and we ventured back up the hill to our location.


My favorite color is purple and until this year I owned 1-2 purple pieces. For some odd reason purple pieces didn't come across my path but this year alone I have purchased over 5 purple pieces, many of which are lavender and I am so happy to finally have my favorite color represented well in my wardrobe. This is one of the pieces I acquired this year. This is such a special dress with its ruffled layers. I feel like a princess and a 5 layered ice cream cake wearing this dress.


We found this moody willowy tree to serve as our backdrop. I love nature and the gifts it gives us and this tree and all its graceful drama was the perfect backdrop. This dress is stretchy and has a lovely elastic waist. I paired this lavender dream with my metallic cowboy boots bringing this classic princess look a sense of modern charm. Once again the magical wind played with the dress on this cold Massachusetts morning.

Both of these pieces are also from Shein. I have been thrifting and a fashion lover, shopaholic for so many years now. I finally have a collection that is pretty much a bunch of billowy shiny princess dresses. People stop me often in the streets to compliment me and admire my clothing. Especially when I wear pieces like this in the grocery store. People are always asking me if it's my birthday or what's the occasion and my reply is always "Life is a party". Many people have exclaimed the pieces I wear must be so expensive but style can't be bought. You can look like a million bucks and not spend a million bucks. One thing I learned is if you've got style, you have it whether you are rich or poor.



Hope you enjoyed these two looks and collaboration with the magical Olivia Edvalson. I'll be back for Part II with the other two looks we shot this day. Sending you on your merry princess way with magical fairy dust and the charm of a willow tree.


Photography by Olivia Rose Edvalson.

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