26 Ways To Accessorize A Classic Dress

March 22, 2011

26 Ways To Accessorize A Classic Dress

The genius of a classic dress is its ability to act as a blank canvas for our missions, our creativity, and even, our moods.

A broad range of beautiful styling options resulted from my choice to focus on only three key accessories: one piece of jewelry, a belt, and a pair of shoes. (Note: other accessories can be included in each outfit. Simply make sure they are understated.)

Even though I stopped at 26 outfits, I could have continued with this mission indefinitely. The sheer volume of the results should reinforce the value of owning a classic dress. You will see that a simple change of accessories takes our dress from work to play, day or night.

Each sample outfit can be adjusted according to your taste, lifestyle, and on-the-job dress requirements. We can simply switch a sandal for a closed-toe shoe or a high heel for a kitten heel shoe, or even replace a chunky necklace in the same color palette for a simpler design.

The outfits are cohesive. We will be wearing the outfit rather than the outfit wearing us.

Clockwise, from top left: Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Amrita Singh Adreena Bangle Set $100, available at PinkMasacara; Lauren Ralph Lauren Zabrina Pump $98, available at Zappos.


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Clockwise, from top left: Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Style&co. Pull Back Stretch Belt $19.98, available at Macys; ABS Silver Wrapped Black Diamond Hoop Earrings $85, available at Max&Chloe; Jimmy Choo Kitten-Heel d’Orsay $495, available at Bergdorf Goodman.

Clockwise, from top left: Unearthed Necklace $38, available at Anthropologie; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Jimmy Choo Patent Peep-Toe Platform Pump $665, available at Bergdorf Goodman.

Clockwise, from top left: Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Celestial Bangle $38, available at Anthropologie; Belgo Lux Woven Center Leather Belt $42, available at Nordstrom; Kate Spade Copa Python-Print Wedge Pump $325, available at Bergdorf Goodman.

Clockwise, from top left: Hatshepsut Bangle $38, available at Anthropologie; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Elie Tahari Hazel Snake Ankle-Wrap Flat $278, available at Bergdorf Goodman; Media Via Belt $38, available at Anthropologie.

Clockwise, from top left: Hatshepsut Marble-Carved Peep-Toes $178, available at Anthropologie; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Lisa Stewart Brushed Leaf Earrings $53, available at Max&Chloe; Stitched & Studded Belt $228, available at Anthropologie.

Clockwise, from top left: Wendy Mink Lapis Hoop Earrings $65, available at Max&Chloe; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Emerald Isle Wedges $178, available at Anthropologie; Balmy Belt $48, available at Anthropologie.

Clockwise, from top left: Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Coleoptera Bangle $198, available at Anthropologie; Betsey Johnson Wide Faux Leather Belt $38 $24.90, available at Nordstrom; Jimmy Choo Crisscross Snake-Print Wedge $595, available at Bergdorf Goodman.

Clockwise, from top left: K. Armato Triple-Strand Charm Necklace $68, available at Max&Chloe; Crossroads Belt $34, available at Anthropologie; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Mimidae Wedges $148, available at Anthropologie.

Clockwise, from top left: Nest Horn & Coral Necklace $295, available at Neiman Marcus; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Frye Corrina Stitched Wedge Sandals $198, available at Shopbop; Carabiner Belt $98, available at Anthropologie.

Clockwise, from top left: Vanessa Mooney Vintage African Glass Necklace $174, available at Shopbop; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Dearie Me Wedges $150, available at Anthropologie; Stretch Tulip Belt $54, available at Anthropologie.

Clockwise, from top left: Paul Smith Jabu Wedge Sandals $325, available at Zappos; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Jose & Maria Barrera Twisted Coral Bead Necklace $590, available at Bergdorf Goodman; Curves & Lines Belt $54, available at Anthropologie.

Clockwise, from top left: Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Cultured Freshwater Pearl Necklace, $200 $84.15, available at Macys; Lauren by Ralph Lauren Woven Belt $52, available at Macys; Belle by Sigerson Morrison Leather T-Strap Sandal $240, available at Bergdorf Goodman.

Clockwise, from top left: Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Calico Juno Turquoise Studded Hoop Earrings $60, available at Max&Chloe; Motif 56 Tribal Belt $166 $89.99, available at Bluefly; Bandelier Sandals $70, available at Anthropologie.

Clockwise, from top left: Ettika Wishbone Medley Charms Necklace $75, available at Max&Chloe; Sumerian Belt $58, available at Anthropologie; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Shaded Portico Wedges $128, available at Anthropologie.

Clockwise, from top left: Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Royal Ransom Earrings $240, available at Sundance Catalog; Striped Raffia Belt $11.80, available at Heritage1981; Jimmy Choo Pierced Weekend Ballerina Flat $350, available at Bergdorf Goodman.

Clockwise, from top left: Jessica Elliot Pyramid Studded Hoop Earrings $135, available at Max&Chloe; Woodgrain Belt $98, available at Anthropologie; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Dolce Vita Quarterstrap Platform Wedge $168, available at UrbanOutfitters.

Clockwise, from top left: Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; ASOS Basket Weave Belt $26.90, available at ASOS; Kenneth Jay Lane Stone Nugget Necklace $143, available at Shopbop; Steven by Steve Madden Rianna Pump $169, available at Bloomingdales.

Clockwise, from top left: Martin Clay Platform Pumps $188, available at Yoox; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Palenque Necklace $198, available at Anthropologie; Style&co. Pull Back Stretch Belt $19.98, available at Macys.

Clockwise, from top left: Material Girl Double Keeper Stretch Belt $15, available at Macys; Mixing Elements Bangle $358, available at Anthropologie; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Jimmy Choo Witty Flat $395, available at Nordstrom.

Clockwise, from top left: Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Wendy Mink Black Onyx Elephant Necklace $80, available at Max&Chloe; MICHAEL Michael Kors Python-Print Belt $58, available at Macys; Steve Madden Egoismo Platform $99.95, available at Steve Madden.

Clockwise, from top left: Kenneth Jay Lane Link Necklace $80, available at Shopbop; Temperly London Woven Belt $195, available at Yoox; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Botkier Alma Flat $225, available at Zappos.

Clockwise, from top left: Lucky Brand Campus Hoops $29, available at Zappos; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Franco Sarto Pandora Sandal $109, available at Zappos; ASOS Pieces Train Elastic Waist Belt $16.14, available at ASOS.

Clockwise, from top left: Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; CC Skye Ghetto Hoop Earrings $109, available at Max&Chloe; Lauren by Ralph Lauren Croc Embossed Belt $64, available at Macys; Chloé Croc Sandals $290, available at Yoox.

Clockwise, from top left: Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; See by Chloé Leather Belt $149, available at Yoox; Yochi Turquoise & Gold Circle Necklace $75, available at Max&Chloe; Prada Cork Wedge Sandal $475, available at Neiman Marcus.

Clockwise, from top left: Tumbled & Forged Belt $58, available at Anthropologie; Yochi Multi Coin Necklace $98, available at Max&Chloe; Flores & Flores Half-Sleeve Belted Shirtdress $230, available at Neiman Marcus; Jimmy Choo Leopard Print d’Orsay Pump $695, available at Bergdorf Goodman.

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  • Karen

    I just found your site and love it!  Your color guides, how to’s and tips are very interesting and easy.

    Thanks!

    Karen Berman
    http://www.momentoffocus.com

  • Corporate Fashionista

    Thanks, Karen! And welcome!