Silk Blouse: Vintage, similar here | Crochet Dress: Target (from before my blogging days…about 5 years old), here is a similar dress but shorter | Slides: Vintage, I couldn’t find anything close, but I do love these | Bag: Danse Lente | Belt: Vintage, similar here
I go through my closet quite often (and believe me, I’ve learned some great closet organization tips along the way!) – and sometimes, I’m just not quite ready to part with certain pieces. In the case of this dress I purchased ~5 years ago on quick Target run, despite not wearing it for a couple of summers, I couldn’t let it go. It fits well, looks more expensive than it is, and just made me feel good. That seemed like enough reasons to keep it in my book.
Last weekend, doing what I do, I set aside a couple hours to get inspired with my own closet. What does this process entail? Pulling out pieces I haven’t worn in a while because I’m uninspired/don’t know what to pair them with, and mixing and matching them with various items in my closet until I hit the jackpot. Usually, going through this process, I come up with 4-5 outfits that I’m really excited to wear. The BEST part is, I don’t have to spend a dime throughout the process.
This dress just so happened to be one of the items on my “forgotten” and/or “avoided” list. When I first bought it, I was totally cool with wearing it as is with a pair of leather gladiator sandals. My style evolved over time, and I stopped wearing it because the only way I knew how to wear it wasn’t me anymore. Luckily, after trial and error, I came up with a few new ways to wear this dress that jived with my current style. I brought it back to life! Below were the questions I asked myself as I went through this process, ones that you can take and apply to your own “forgotten” pieces!
how can I make this piece more interesting?
Ahhhhh yes. This sounds like a vague question, but hear me out! I start by thinking about all of the accessories I own that could elevate the piece in question. In the case of this dress, I thought “well, maybe it could use a belt”…I then remembered I had this vintage leather belt that could work, and the fact that it was structured and a tad dressy could create a nice juxtaposition with a casual summer dress. After putting the belt on, I still felt like there was something missing. Which brought me to my second question…
can I wear this item in a non-traditional way?
This is where I try to think outside of the box on the various ways an item can be worn. For example, a wrap skirt could technically be worn over pants, a sweater could be worn over a dress, and a blazer could be belted. You don’t HAVE to wear a piece as intended, and that’s what makes fashion fun! Don’t be afraid to take a risk, you have nothing to lose…especially as you’re trying things on in front of your mirror! With this dress, I thought, “well, this could work as a skirt!”. I then went for my go-to layering piece…my oversized silk blouse. After trying it a couple different ways, I decided I liked the blouse best when it was wrapped and tucked into the belt.
how can I play off of the colors I have here?
Now, depending on the piece I’m working with, this question may come earlier on. Usually when it comes to neutrals, this question comes later as I add color in my accessories. If I’m trying to revamp a colorful item, this question pops up first as I think about the pieces in my closet that complement those colors (or if I want to go monochrome, I think about what I have that’s the same color). Even if I don’t initially think an item will pair well, I pull it out and give it a whirl. You’d be surprised at what can happen! Given this dress was a neutral cream color, this question came to mind after I added the green belt. “How can I play off of this green?” directed me to these new vintage slides I picked up a couple of weeks ago! It was then I knew my outfit was complete.