You can’t be a woman without knowing how important it is to have at least one good, basic dress in your wardrobe that acts like a workhorse. You know the type of dress I am talking about. It’s easy, goes with everything, can be dressed up and dressed down with little effort and fits perfectly.
A recent correspondence with a blog reader inspired this post when she asked me about the versatility of a non-black basic dress and if a brown dress could be as wearable. Well, considering I don’t wear black and have never felt at a loss for a good basic dress, she asked the right person. In today’s post in this series, I am not only going to show you five ways to style a basic dress but also show you that it really doesn’t matter what color it is. As long as it is a neutral shade you can do just about anything with it, as I will prove below.
Yes, basic black dresses can be very versatile, but don’t discount the other colors that can do the same exact thing. If you want more variety in your wardrobe remember this simple tip: Any color you can wear with black you can wear with any other neutral color.
Using these five dresses, a black dress by T. Tahari, a brown dress by MICHAEL Michael Kors, a camel dress from TOPSHOP, a grey dress from Boden and a navy dress from Reiss. Now, the actual dresses aren’t as important as what I am about to do with them. I like these dresses but am using them as examples of basic neutral colors that are versatile. If you have a dress in this color or buy one in one of these five shades you can still follow my tips below.
Five Ways to Style a Basic Dress
The beauty of having a pair of nude shoes, like these from Fitzwell in your wardrobe is that they will work with everything, from solid neutrals to colorful prints to bright, fruity, solids. Personally, I think a pair of nude shoes is far more versatile than a pair of black shoes any day. Next, a mid-brown bag, like this one from Aldo. The beauty of this shade is that it works with any shade of neutral, including black. Lastly, when your entire outfit is comprised of all neutral colors you are free to pop the outfit with accessories in any color you wish. Here I chose a slate blue from Flying Lizard and chose a pair of simple gold earrings from Anne Klein.
Now check out how all these accessories work with whatever neutral color your dress is.
But wait, there’s more…
I am now going to take these three accessory pieces and style them with the exact same dresses. A tip: you can never go wrong with a metallic handbag, like this one from Furla, or having a novelty gold necklace, like this one from Stella & Dot, on standby. When it doubt they will work. I also love the way a pair of burgundy pumps, like these by Michael Antonio, add richness to any neutral shade.
Now look how these three simple accessories work with any neutral dress color.
Don’t be concerned that to get the most variety out of your neutral dresses you will have to stick to accessories that aren’t colorful. In fact the very opposite is true. A neutral base, no matter what color it is, allows you to have the most fun with color. As you can see here, I chose a pair of coral shoes by Nine West, a Hobo clutch and a green pair of earrings by Seraphina.
Bam!! These accessories work with every dress color.
Next, I want to talk about yellow. You know, that color that everyone hates but is so versatile? Yellow is a color that works with any color that you are wearing and the beauty about wearing yellow in your accessories, particularly in shoes like this from Nine West, is that they are nowhere near your face, a huge reason why most women don’t wear yellow. Next, a colorful tote, like this one from Kate Spade. I chose it because of the fact that it is so colorful and allows multiple colors to be worn with it. If you don’t like yellow, you can try a pink pair of shoes, blue shoes or pink shoes. You have multiple options. Lastly, another versatile color, green. Green, like yellow, is incredibly easy to work with because it is considered a colored neutral, it goes with everything, like this Stella & Dot necklace will. When in doubt, go green.
Here are the same five dresses accessorized with these items.
Lastly, lets talk about metallic shoes, like these by Seychelles. Metallic shoes, of any shade, will get you just as much mileage as a metallic handbag will because they go with everything while still adding some interest and novelty to an outfit. Metallic shoes also allow you to add any color to a look when wearing a neutral colored dress. In this case, I chose this Lodis turquoise bag because I fell in love with the color. For earrings, I chose these tonal blue earrings from Stella & Dot.
Here is the fifth way these dresses are styled.
Remember, you little black dress doesn’t have to be black, it can be any neutral shade. Perhaps we should change LBD to not mean little black dress but little basic dress, instead? What do you think?
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