What do you do when you have an item in your closet and no occasions to wear it? Tweak the styling and use it for the occasions you already have! Although it is hard to tell from these photos (as always, I apologize for my sub par photography skills), the fabric of this dress has a sheen to it that lends itself better to dinner than day. However, Jane loves the dress and wants to be able to wear it more often.
First, I looked at styling options for evening. The dress is a grey and white pattern so it opens up a lot of options for color pops. Although not pictured here, I added a multi-strand red necklace and red patent pumps to create a glam look, perfect for the heat of summer when you don't want to wear many layers. For the cooler temperatures of spring, I paired the dress with a grey ruffle front cardigan and a silver necklace.
When you are wearing a cardigan with a dress for evening, choose one that has an interesting detail or is made out of a fabric with a bit of sheen to it. The ruffles in this cardi create a soft front and add visual interest. When you are looking to dress down a piece, a simpler, cotton cardigan will help set the more casual tone of the outfit.
For the look on the far left, I added a metallic belt at the waist to add a dash of understated sparkle. This is perfect for an event where the dress code is "casual-cute," such as a baby shower or brunch.
The middle outfit has no accessories except for a leather cross-body bag. I love a bag like this for casual wear because it feels effortless. You literally throw it across your shoulder and forget about it which makes it perfect for a day out and about. Although many of us stick with the same bag for all of our day occasions, regardless of whether it is the grocery store or a lunch date, swapping out the style can make an instant change in your look. Pair this look with a pair of colorful ballet flats or a flat sandal for a day when you are on the run, but still want to look polished.
Of course, these ideas can be flipped if you have a casual sundress that you want to get more use out of by dressing up. Add a skinny belt at the waist to add structure and a colorful necklace to add pizzazz. If you want to wear a cardigan with a cotton sundress, look for viscose blends that are vibrant and have a bit of shine in the fabric.