Okay, I will get right into the dress styling ideas, right after I give you a few guidelines for giving an old dress a new look:
1. Find a tailor! Some of my potentially amazing items (a red wrap, a Missoni skirt) needed a simple hem to take them from humdrum to hot. Getting items tailored is an easy, relatively inexpensive fix, and it can completely transform a piece!
2. Add a belt. For the most part, I shunned self-belts, the flimsy fabric belts that come with a dress, and replaced them with better belts. This simple switch completely transforms a dress. Also try belting a dress that you’ve never belted before to give it a fresh new look, or tying a dress in the back instead of the front.
3. Add a pop of color. Whether in the form of jewelry, a great belt, or, one of the most inexpensive and dramatic fixes – colored tights – a great color can take your LBD from blah to beautiful. This season I will be buying tights in cranberry, teal, mustard, even argyle, to update some of my old but tired favorites!
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming for more styling ideas (again, please excuse the rushed, awful photography!):
Look #2: I bought this Cynthia Rowley dress at a sample sale years ago, but rarely wear it because the ribbons are so fussy and messy-looking. Yvonne hated it, until I suggested losing the ribbons.
Here’s the dress again, this time covered with a J. Crew cardigan. A belt and dark tights would complete the look and take this from too-fluffy to a classic sweaterdress.
Look #3: I bought this Missoni skirt in Paris years ago, with a matching tank. It was one of a kind and worn at a fashion show! Needless to say, that means it’s way too long. Y suggested shortening it and wearing it with a snug, solid colored cardigan for a whole new look. The tank will look adorable, belted, with my skinny jeans.
Look #4: This BCBG Collection dress jumped out at me from a rack in Beverly Hills but it never flattered me. Losing the ties at the neck is a simple fix that will take it from frumpy to fab, as will a much-needed hem!
Look #5: I love this Miu Miu silk sheath – it’s classic, and the colors and print are gorgeous. Y suggested losing the yellow silk belt altogether to show off the great pattern.
Look #6: This Dior dress was an impulse buy at Heathrow airport! A cardigan and textured tights will update it and make it more age-appropriate.
Look #7: This Marc Jacobs dress was a Valentine’s Day purchase a few years ago. A cream skinny belt and cardigan will make it look a bit more mature. (How I hate that word!)
This Cacharel dress, and the one below it, were both bought in Paris years ago, but I love them for their great prints and colors and the easy jersey fabrics. Y hated the striped, banded waists, and the simple addition of my trusty Zara belt (which will be getting a lot of use!) updates them and makes them much more flattering. (Notice Lola peering out from behind the bottom dress!)
Look #8: This slinky BCBG dress is a recent purchase. I loved the print, the color and how it makes my legs look longer. Y suggests tying it in the back to make it even more flattering.
Look #9: This Jagger dress was a favorite of Yvonne’s. She suggested jazzing it up with some cranberry-colored tights!
Look #10: This floaty Chelsea & Violet sundress can be worn into winter with the addition of my trusty J. Crew sequined cardigan and that same Zara belt again, this time tied at the side.