1 Dress 3 Ways: Ideas to Re-Think Your Favourite Dress

1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with tights and pumps

You know that dress you love so much? You know the one. Maybe it’s one you’ve had for a few years and can’t get enough of or maybe it’s a recent addition to your closet, one you had your eye on and couldn’t stop thinking about. Either way, the more mileage you can get out of the items in your closet, the better and I’m sharing 3 simple ways to style your favourite party dress to transform its look. 

Whether your favourite is a little wild or a LBD, below are some ideas to help get the most wear out of your clothes and extend the life of items you already have. If you splurged on a dress for the holidays, now is a great time to think of ways to wear it throughout the year (hint: what are you wearing for Valentine’s Day?) I started with a pretty black number and added on to it with neutrals and colour to try and show the range of options with these ideas. Sometimes shopping your closet can lead to finding some new favourites, but if a little shopping is required, that’s ok too. 😉 Even if your style changes over time, you can update pieces you might otherwise not wear anymore by re-thinking them.

The dress I’m wearing in these photos is a simple black halter from Tobi with a scalloped detail and one I thought was a great jumping- off point. What I like about this dress: It’s black (goes with everything). It’s comfortable (’nuff said!). And it’s basic without being boring (that scalloped halter top). I also love how it fits: fitted without being too tight/ unforgiving. So, now that I’ve explained everything, let’s get to it!

Here are 3 ideas to re-style your favourite party dress!

1. Classic Accessories

You can’t go wrong with tights and a good pair of shoes, a pretty purse or clutch, etc. They can completely change the look of an outfit: from fun and casual to dressed up for a night out. The simplest way to give a fresh take to a dress (or any outfit) is to switch up the accessories. If you’re on a budget or like to get as much mileage out of your closet as possible, pick accessories that are interchangeable and will go with other pieces (neutrals are always a good choice for this).

For this outfit I paired black tights with nude pumps for contrast. I love how all- black looks (plus it’s a simple/ classic style trick when you’re stuck for ideas) and it leaves your outfit wide open to add accessories like jewelry and bags in a myriad of patterns and colours. Maybe a cute outfit for Valentine’s Day? 😉

1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with tights and pumps 1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with tights and pumps     1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with tights and pumps

1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with tights and pumps      1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with tights and pumps

2. Add a skirt

Not all dresses will work with this idea, but with the right skirt (think: something with a bit of body/ not too fitted, like a tutu or something flowy) you can completely change the look of your dress. As a jumping off point for this idea: if your dress has a simple design pair it with a skirt in a bold colour or print and/ or unique shape; if it has an elaborate top half, try something a little understated. This is a quick way to transform your favourite party dress and open up a variety of possible outfit options.

For this outfit I opted for one of my favourite skirts in a bright purple. To me it instantly makes an outfit more fun because of it’s bold colour and playful style. I love the colour and because of its style, it’s perfect to layer on top of this dress. A skirt that comes in at the waist like this one helps create a flattering silhouette and can be paired with dresses even if they aren’t totally fitted/ form fitting. In the spirit of a capsule wardrobe, I paired with the same black tights and nude pumps and added a colourful clutch I picked up at one of my favourite thrift stores.

1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with bright skirt tights and pumps

1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with bright skirt tights and pumps

1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with bright skirt tights and pumps

1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with bright skirt tights and pumps

1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with bright skirt tights and pumps

1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with bright skirt tights and pumps

1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with bright skirt tights and pumps

3. Add something on top

The same ideas as above apply but in reverse: for a dress with a simple bottom, add a top layer that stands out; if it’s a more elaborate design, an understated top may be the better choice. Depending on how fitted your dress is, add a top underneath or on top like I did. For example, add extra drama to a strapless dress with a long- sleeved fitted top layered underneath. Or pair something sheer or see-through on top for a pretty peek-a-boo look. Play with combinations until you find one you’re happy with and that suits your body type and style of dress (ie I have broad shoulders, so I like that this halter dress and top don’t add bulk where I don’t need it).

While I love the scalloped detail at the top of this dress, it’s still a simple enough design that I can layer something with an intricate design on top. This white lace crop top stands out against the black of this dress and I love the contrast between the two. Since I wanted the top to be the star, I paired this outfit with understated neutral accessories: a large nude clutch and black leather heels. 

1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with lace crop top clutch and pumps   1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with lace crop top clutch and pumps  1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with lace crop top clutch and pumps 1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with lace crop top clutch and pumps

1 dress 3 ways, little black dress with lace crop top clutch and pumps

Now I want to know: What do you think of these ideas? Would you try them with items in your closet??

1 dress 3 ways, little black dress

Dress: Tobi

Photography: Akane Kondo Photography

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