We’re all about getting more mileage out of our closets, but some pieces are certainly trickier than others, especially when you throw warm weather into the equation. Romantic summer dresses (think floral, floaty and lightweight) are no doubt a staple when the mercury starts to rise, and you probably have one or two taking up residence in your wardrobe right now. We know it’s easy to get stuck in a styling rut when a piece has such a distinct identity, meaning it likely gets less wear. So what’s a girl to do? Think outside the box. Unexpected pairings and fashion-forward accessories are the perfect way to infuse a little edge and new life into tried-and-true pieces. From an on-trend office ensemble to a casually cool getup, here are three more ways to make the most out of that flowy summer frock.
Haven’t tested out the whole dress-over-pants look just yet? Now’s the time to give it a try. This slightly sheer frock requires a little layering action to make it office appropriate, and a pair of cigarette pants (or even tailored Bermudas) will do just that. Since we’re looking to introduce a bit of edge to this romantic number, faux leather is particularly on point, with badass vibes built right in. Graphic chunky heels in a mule silhouette and sleek, no-frills accessories will add to the trousers’ cool, modern aesthetic. As a finishing touch, unbutton the skirt of the dress from just below the waist down to show off those gams and create movement as you strut your stuff.
Zara Embroidered Dress ($80) + Selected Femme Mixed Leather Trousers ($240), Thakoon Addition Lizzy Chunky Heel Sandals ($425), Mango Metal Choker ($30), ASOS Leather Bag With Metal Handles ($144), Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Colour in Orchid ($27), Opening Ceremony Intel MICA Bracelet ($495)
Go bold with look-at-me red accents to counteract your dress’s ultra-feminine vibe. Gilded accoutrements and a touch of bling elevate the otherwise-casual getup to evening-out status, while eye-catching exotic stilettos and a bold clutch are sure to turn a few heads. Complete the look with a quick swipe of coral lipstick and an ultra-glam cat eye.
Zara Embroidered Dress ($80) + Reiss Hammered-Metal Belt ($130), ASOS Hale Heeled Sandals ($81), Barneys New York Mina Clutch ($295), Mercantia Luxe Earcuff + Stud ($133), Lorac Alter Ego Lipstick in Flower Child ($16), Madewell Open Point Ring ($28)
Hitting the boardwalk or your fave lunch spot after a few dreamy hours of surf and side requires a little more than a barely-there coverup. Toss that flirty, feminine frock on over your swimsuit before heading out the door, and you’ll be ready for whatever the day brings. For something unexpected and fun, skip the boho add-ons and rock a few sports-chic pieces instead, like metallic cross-over sandals and a colorful, structured bikini. Ditch the traditional beach bag for something with contemporary flair — a denim backpack will do the outfit’s subtle, athletic aesthetic justice. Stay classic when it comes to choosing a topper: Floppy hats are always on point.
Zara Embroidered Dress ($80) + Lydali Neon and Wood Bangles ($18), Rafe Denim Backpack ($198), John Masters Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen ($42), Butter London Nail Lacquer in Blagger ($15), Juicy Couture Metallic Stripe Floppy Hat ($108), Triangl Swimwear Poppy Flamingo Fling Bikini ($89), Loeffler Randall Petra Cross-Strap Sandal ($225), Pared Sonny + Cher Sunglasses ($280)
What pieces in your closet deserve more attention, but stump your style game? Tell us about your trickiest wear-again garments in the comments below and we might feature them in our next Style Resolutions post!