How-to Give One Dress Five Looks

25 Feb

We all have a little black dress, but can yours be worn everyday of the week? Absolutely, and here’s how!

Photos by Christopher Doherty

{How-to Give One Dress Five Looks}
As an answer to one faithful subscriber’s request, this post is about how to take one garment and create multiple looks. What better place to start than with a black dress — every woman has one while equally having the need for various styles.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Sassy Chic
Start with a certain attitude in mind.

This will guide you in the accessories you’ll use to create this look, such as sassy.  What I had available was a hot pink hair flower and a pair of brand new matching pink heels ($5.99, Salvation Army).

From those two elements, I continued to build on the pink theme with a pair of multi-colored crocheted stockings worn with black tights underneath, and a necklace with a pink floral detail.

Business Chic
Strong and sexy are two invaluable traits.

… Whether in personality or style, both will serve a businesswoman well. To achieve this, consider the androgynous blazer and tie.

With a belt, cinch the blazer to create a feminine waist while maintaining the masculine lines of strong shoulders.

With a fun color, print or pattern, the tie is a perfect replacement for jewelry.

To be extra bold, wear it like a necklace without tucking it under and around a collar.



Country Club Chic
To look like a million bucks, start by creating luxury.

Luxury is as much about the quality of a brand as it is about the attitude of the person wearing it and how it is worn.

A richly colored and boldly patterned scarf will send the message of confidence and elegance, while the actual layering of a scarf creates an image of luxury by its mere drape. This latter factor doubles if the scarf is silk or an acetate blend.

Pulling out one of the scarf’s primary colors, the belt and bracelets are the necessary coordinated details to polish off the look. Little Secret: the “bracelet” on my right wrist is actually a necklace doubled over.


Shiny objects attract raccoons, but frills and baubles
are “girl candy.”

Giving a nod to what makes us drool and coo is a fun way to create a girlie look. With this 1950s three-strand necklace, accessories can’t get too much more baublicious!

Then to lighten up the conservative black dress, I went with a pair of pale pink crocheted tights over top of bold purple tights, sending the combined message of girlie, youthful energy.

TIP: To me, the crocheted tights are an alternative to building a similar result as a frill or lace detail, which is trending big-time now!


Boho Chic
From water cooler to drum circle …

Well, a full-out flower child look may not work well as corporate attire (Hear: “Signs” by Five Man Electrical Band), but adding some free-spirited layers will give you another “in” look.

Knits, camel leather, hats and fringe scarves: these are all key boho-elements.

Albeit a mild interpretation of boho, this look does highlight another important tip: For multiplying possible options in your wardrobe, break the rules. Mix browns and blacks, reds and pinks, browns and grays.

What’s the Take-Away?

With one dress and 20 accessories, you can have an outfit for everyday of the workweek. (4 stockings, 3 shoes, 4 belts, 2 scarves, 1 tie, 2 necklaces, 2 sets bracelets, 1 hat, 1 sweater)

While this is especially handy in being resourceful with your everyday style, it also is a great example for how little you will need to pack for you upcoming summer vacation!

Just keep in mind the “building” principles and get your accessories organized so you can go shopping to fill in any gaps, ie. buying tights to match the belt which match the scarf.

How do you create new looks out of one garment? What is your favorite accessory for giving an outfit a make-over?

Post photos of your versatile look on the Thrifty Vintage Chic Facebook fan page.

All images on Thrifty Vintage Chic are shot in the context of real life. All images on Thrifty Vintage Chic are free from post-production “airbrushing” or touch-ups. All images and written copy on Thrifty Vintage Chic are copyright protected and may not be used without first gaining written permission.




3 Responses to “How-to Give One Dress Five Looks”

  1. Dawn February 26, 2011 at 9:13 AM #

    Robin, I am so totally in LOVE with all these looks and more importantly, the CREATIVITY shown in putting them all together. I guess my personal “special favorite” is the “Country Club” look. That belt is super! Also, your advice on black and brown together is totally RICHRICHRICH and subtly elegant. Back in my day, we wore black and navy to convey the same look. Brava, girl! Well-done! I change my “look” (vintage made-in-USA Army Khaki fatigue pants and a GAP tee worn backwards, so the front is demure but the BACK is lower and sexy…so different from today’s cut-to our belly-button tops) with the same ingredients…change the belt, change the scarf, change the shoes, change the jewels, change the bag…the pants are secondhand, of course, lol,and many times, so are most of the accessories. Once one learns how to live on a budget and accessorizeaccessorizeaccesorize! it stays with one for a lifetime. Congrats on your life-long art!


    • Thrifty Vintage Chic March 1, 2011 at 12:09 AM #

      Yes, Dawn … it is a life-long art! The skills are invaluable and never expire! So glad you loved the looks and that it sparked some new inspiration for your mixing and matching it all up! Black and navy is another rule-bending favorite of mine that I should out together soon for the site! Thanks for the awesome feedback, as always!! You’re the best No. 1 fan!!


  2. snazzypants72 February 15, 2012 at 12:46 PM #

    You rock in a multitude of ways….and colors……and styles……and-and-and…….


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