How to Create Five Holiday Looks From One Dress

Five Holiday Looks From One Dress If you have a few holiday parties to attend this season and are worried about what you’re going to wear to each one or if you know you don’t have the budget to buy something new for each event, here is my advice about how to create five holiday looks from one dress.

For today’s post in this series I chose a Tadashi Shoji dress because I’m always impressed by how Tadashi creates elegant, ageless and wearable dresses for a variety of body shapes.  In addition, I found this dress to be holiday festive without being too specific.  Nobody says you have to wear a red or green dress during the holidays and if you’re going to invest it’s smart to purchase a style that will last beyond the holidays.  This inky blue shade is perfect year round and is a color that can act like black without being black.  If you’re sick of wearing black for formal occasions consider a color like this.

Create More from Less

Because special events are so few and far between for many people, the goal is to always get the most mileage out of one dress that you buy.  The best way to do this is to change up the look of one dress through your accessories.  However, it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t want to just take the budget you would spend on multiple dresses and use it on all your accessories.  What you want to do is:

  1. Purchase accessories that can be used beyond the one dress you plan on wearing multiple times.  For example, let’s say you have a black dress that you’ve been wearing with black shoes and you want to change it up by adding a bolder shoe color.  When choosing a new bold shoe, look at your existing wardrobe as a way to help you figure out what color bold shoe would also work beyond the black dress you want to wear with this new purchase.  Doing this will ensure that the shoes will get more use past the one occasion while also justifying the purchase.
  2. Look for ways to mix and match a few accessories to get more than one combination. Instead of seeing a pair of shoes, a bag and jewelry as the one and only combination, have fun and look to ways that you can mix things up.  The more you combinations you can make the better.  You will see this in action via the outfits below.
  3. You don’t have to buy all your accessories at once.  For example, let’s say you have a dress that is a good old standby in your closet for special events.  If you’ve been wearing this one dress one singular way and have grown tired of it, instead of going out and purchasing a new dress, strip away how you have been accessorizing it and create a whole new look with some new shoes, jewelry and a handbag.   By utilizing tip #1 above, using new accessories beyond one use, along with this tip, you will save even more money.

Below are five holiday looks from one dress to give you some inspiration about how you can maximize a new holiday dress purchase or refresh what may already be in your closet to show you how you, with just a few changes you can get more with less.

Five Holiday Looks From One Dress

Look #1

One Item, Five Fashionable Ways. Look 1

The first thing I want you to think about when putting an evening look together is that versatility does not have to mean basic.  The knee-jerk of many women when wanting to get more from less is to play it safe and to choose black shoes and a black handbag.  While this is certainly fine, to get more options from a dress like this, try more interesting accessories.

When looking for handbags, I fell in love with this grey bag from Sasha that has subtle bits of beading in shades of blue.  Next, I found these spectator pumps by RSVP and, together, they just worked.  Can you see how the dress still stands out even when the accessories aren’t boring?  Lastly, to tie in all the color, I added a pair of teal and blue earrings by Blu Bijoux along with a gold and silver rhinestone bracelet.  I chose this bracelet because it can work with whatever metal color you are wearing.   All of these items could easily be worn beyond this one dress and that is the goal you want to keep in mind when purchasing accessories.

Look #2

One Item, Five Fashionable Ways. Look 2

 

Next, I thought about how beautiful it would be to pair this ink blue dress with burgundy.  Burgundy brings in the holiday spirit in a more subtle manner, plus burgundy is one of those universal colors that accents any neutral shade may be wearing.  Beyond this dress, you could wear these burgundy shoes by RSVP and burgundy clutch by A.B.S. with a variety of colors.  Lastly, for this outfit, I added one of my favorite and best selling Stella & Dot bracelets and burgundy drop earrings by Tang and Song.

Look #3

One Item, Five Fashionable Ways. Look 3

 

Remember, it is important to maximize everything you buy, not just your dress.  Here I took the same clutch from look #1 and paired it with a grey peep toe pump, also by RSVP.  For a soft punch, I added a pair of light pink drop earrings by Blu Bijoux and that same bracelet from the first look.

Look #4

One Item, Five Fashionable Ways. Look 4

 

For a softer, more feminine look, I took the same shoes from the first look and the earrings from the third look and, this time, added a soft pink and navy purse by A.B.S..  The pink in the earrings not only works with the peachy-pink found in the clutch, but these two pieces working in harmony bring an overall softness to the overall look.

Look #5

One Item, Five Fashionable Ways. Look 5

 

If the types of events you will be attending vary in formality, the last tip I want to suggest is that you use your accessories to dress up or dress down an outfit.  For a more downtown and trendy look, I decided to style this dress with a pair opaque tights and booties.  Doing this downgrades the outfit a bit while still keeping it stylish.  For a bold pop, I added the burgundy clutch from look #2 and the teal and blue earrings from look #1.  To play up the black an agate bracelet by Andara was added as a funky finishing touch.

Accessories like this not only make this dress look different but could easily dress up something as simply as a pair of jeans and a sweater.

The next time someone compliments you on your new dress, by adding some fresh accessories, you can say, “Oh this old thing?” and mean it.


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  • I think it depends on who you’re with as to whether they’ll notice you’re wearing the same dress each time. I’m pretty sure I’d notice, but I certainly wouldn’t judge someone negatively for it – I’d be more likely to congratulate their accessorisation skills! If you really want to make a dress look different, I think you need a plainer dress and things like wraps, shawls, shrugs etc. that pull focus away from the dress. But that is mighty pretty dress you feature so I’d just say, keep wearing it!

  • tgchi13

    I love what you’ve done with the accessories! I’m not that fond of the dress, but you’ve made it look red-carpet ready. A dress this ornate would look unfinished with boring accessories. Well done!