Polka Dotted Maxi Dress at Buffalo Exchange

Each week Gem features one standout piece from a local shop. Whether it's a jacket, necklace, or handbag, it's on our have-to-have list.

What: An Alyn Paige a-line black dress with white polka dots that hits at the ankle in a minimalist cut. Spots are decidedly in this fall, thanks to Stella McCartney and Diane Von Furstenberg embracing dots in their fall and winter collections for 2011.

Where: Buffalo Exchange in Tempe

Price: $12

Style It: Go for a beachy and glamorous, Old Hollywood look (think Gwen Stefani here) with a bold red lip and simple, classic accessories. Or wear it as an homage to '90s grunge -- better yet Elaine Benes -- by pairing it with heavy brown leather boots or loafers and a loose neutral-tone cardigan. Fashionable beware: the latter has the potential to skew Urban Outfitters catalog in a bad way. Keep the irony in check (and any desire to have blue hair), and all will be well.

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski