Why you need 7 ways to wear a tiered dress

7 Ways to Wear a Tiered Dress-News You Can Use

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One of my friends always jokes about “news you can use” in her comments from time to time (thanks MK), so I decided to steal her words when discussing this idea of 7 ways to wear a tiered dress.

If you are reading this from MSN’s page, then click here to see all of the photos.

Quote of the day: “Formal education is not nearly as important as an unquenchable thirst to learn.” James Clear

7 ways to wear a tiered dress
1-What is a tiered dress?
2-Thin belt
3-Wide belt
7-Make it a skirt
8-Transform it into a top

I think the reason I love this quote and the idea of 7 ways to wear any dress, is the fact that we are using our noggin this way. Just because you learned that this piece of clothing is a dress, doesn’t always mean there is only one way to wear it.

What really brought on this experiment is when the three of us first received the Chico’s tiered dresses, Lesley first said that you can’t wear a belt with them.
Of course, being the rebel that I am, I decided that one would never know unless you try.

So let’s get into the meat of the 7 ways to wear a tiered dress. These should also work with most of the dresses in your closet!
What I hope this shows is that you can get creative with your clothes. Sometimes certain details may make you think something won’t work, but remember–you never know until you try! (it’s a recurring theme for this post).

Insider tip: Even if you don’t like all of these ideas that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try them. Your tiered dress and your other pieces could fit/work differently. You too may have 7 ways to wear your tiered dress in your closet. And who doesn’t love variety?

This is exactly why you should sign up for the emails below. You receive my eBook on accessories that will give you more ideas about versatility. My email family also gets personal tidbits of what’s going on in my life along with other happenings, sales, information, giveaways, extra photos, and interesting articles.

What Is a Tiered Dress?

7 ways to wear a tiered dress with style
Dress: Chicos c/o~~Sandals: Chicos~~ Necklace: Chicos~~ Earrings: Chicos

A tiered dress is one that is made up of overlapping layers. If you are over age 50, these might remind you of the prairie skirts that we used to wear.
As we all know, styles recirculate, and one of the things that happen is they change the name of the items.

In fact, the tiers are being seen in both skirts and dresses, yet the proportions and size of the tiers can make a difference in whether they fit your body.

You saw this same dress styled on all three of us when we discussed resort wear. It certainly has a summer vacation vibe, but I don’t think you have to be limited to just that occasion.

Related post: Ways to wear a tiered skirt

Insider tip: Don’t automatically assume that they won’t be good for you without trying on many different styles and brands. For example, in the tiered skirt post that I linked above, the top portion of the skirt is flat which may be to your liking.

The advantage of the tiers is the floatiness which works wonderfully for the hot weather. They don’t stick to your legs and they give you coverage.

Personally, I find these longer skirt lengths nice in the hot weather especially when you get in the car and the seats are hot. When I wear short skirts or shorts, the car seats can be uncomfortable.

Insider tip: Just think how the tiers will be fabulous for wearing these dresses and skirts in the winter with tights. Since they are so floaty, they may not stick to your tights as much.

1 & 2-Thin or Wide Belt

Dress: Chicos c/o~~ Thin Chain Belt: ages-old ~~ Wide Belt: Self-belt from eShakti dress~~ Shoes: White Mountain~~ Earrings: Audra Style~~Hat: Just Be Youtiful Boutique

The reason I came up with 7 ways to wear this tiered dress is that it’s very loose. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing when it’s 100 degrees outside, but as many of the reviews state, it’s not “flattering” since it’s not fitted.
Personally, I think flattering shouldn’t always be our goal. So in the interest of making our dress look different, I wanted to play with options of how to wear the dress.

I started with the obvious way to make it more fitted with my belt collection.

Even though the tiers don’t line up with my waist, I happened to like how they looked.
The thin chain belt pulls in the material without being so obvious.

On the other hand, the wide belt creates a focal point. This wide belt is actually a self-belt from a different dress. I always recommend hanging any self-belts with your other belts so you can wear them with other things.
BTW, I connected the two ends of the orange belt together with one of the magnets that I talk about below in #4.

Insider tip: A belt also acts to shorten your dress without any sewing!

Remember, your tiered dress may be made differently and could have a tier that lines up with your waist. That might make it even easier to try out this option.

Insider tip: Belts can be expensive which is why I always check the second-hand stores for them when I’m shopping. Also, don’t forget that scarves can be made into a belt.


Layer a vest over a dress
Dress: Chicos c/o~~ Vest: Forever 21-thrifted~~ Shoes: MPS~~ Purse: Goodwill

This is an option I showcased for our resort-style post. I was inspired to put this look together after seeing a mannequin wearing something like this in a Banana Republic store window.

First, the idea of layering a vest is ideal because you get an interesting layer without a lot of extra heat or material.
And then adding the belt over the vest is nice especially if the dress tiers don’t line up with your waist but you want to pull in the fabric and shorten it.

Related post: 5 different green vest outfit ideas

I wish I had taken a photo of the outfit without the belt. You could easily just throw on a vest and wear it without the belt too.


Add magnets-7 ways to wear a tiered dress
Dress: Chicos c/o~~ Shoes: White Mountain ~~ Magnets: Maggie’s Snaps (on Amazon)~~ Bracelet: Maison de Camille~~ Earrings: Audra Style~~ Hat: Just Be Youtiful Boutique

When I first tried on the dress, I was thinking I would have my mom alter it to make it more fitted. But that’s not always easy with these tiers plus the dress has pockets.
That’s when I grabbed my Maggie’s Snaps magnets and thought to use them as a way to pull in the material.

FYI, I tried to do this in the back at first when the dress was off of my body, but I couldn’t make it work. So instead, I put on the dress, grabbed some of the extra material on one side, and centered it under one boob. Then did the same with the other side.

It’s not like it makes it a tight dress, but it takes in some of the extra material and gives it some interest too.


Don a jacket as one of 7 ways to wear a dress
Dress: Top it Off Accessories~~Jacket: Just Be Youtiful~~ Shoes: Vivaia JODIE for 15% off~~ Necklace: Sally Hoffman Designs~~ Bracelet: Audra Style ~~ Earrings: Chicos

Now, this blue tiered dress in these next examples for 7 ways to wear a tiered dress is somewhat different than the green one.
It’s sleeveless, a bit shorter and the first tier starts right under my bust.

With this dress, I decided to start by wearing a “jacket” over it. Any jacket, kimono, or cardigan would work this way. The reason I put the jacket in quotation marks is that this is really a button-up blouse.

Insider tip: Any button-up blouse or dress can be worn open as a jacket or duster.

You may think that a tiered dress is too voluminous to wear something over it, but again, you won’t know for sure until you try it.
AND, who says voluminous is bad?

6-Make it a Skirt

Add a tee as one of 7 ways to wear a dress
Dress: Top it Off Accessories~~ Top: Just Be Youtiful~~ Shoes: Impo

Wearing a top over your dress is just one of the ways you can make your dresses more versatile. It may not be something as obvious with a tiered dress, but I thought this worked out swimmingly.

Your choices are endless with this idea. ANY top could be a candidate and you just have to decide what length the top should be for the best look.
Heck, you could even wear one of your tunics over a dress this way. Especially if your tunic is too short to wear as a dress, the dress acts as your dress extender.

Another way to think about this option is if you are looking for a blue skirt to wear with this shirt. But you don’t have a blue skirt. Yet, you do have this blue dress! Voila, the dress is now a skirt.

Insider tip: If your top seems too long, the trick I used here is to create a knot with my clear elastic, and then I tucked it up under the shirt.

Related post: Wearing your dress as a skirt

7-Transform a Dress Into a Top

Layer a skirt over a dress
Dress: Top It Off Accessories~~Skirt: no label from Just Be Youtiful (similar here)~~ Shoes: Impo:

Wearing a skirt over a dress is always the option that many women just can’t wrap their heads around. Does it work as part of the 7 ways to wear a tiered skirt? I say yes, but I’m easy that way, haha.

Sure, my skirt doesn’t come up to exactly where the first tier starts. I think it’s easier to notice in a still photo when you are examining it. But in real life?? I’m not sure most people would notice.

For myself, I’ve let go of the idea of perfection. And let me tell you how freeing it has been. My goal is still to look nice and have fun with my clothes, but I don’t obsess about the fact, that this detail or that detail isn’t perfect.
Then again, who is to say that the skirt should start where one of the tiers start?

All of that is a lot of words for here is my silk skirt layered over the tiered dress. Basically, I transformed the dress into a top.

I wrote an entire blog post below showcasing all different kinds of skirts layered over a knee-length, ribbed dress. You may think it would NEVER work for you, but I would disagree. Be Nike, and just try it.

Related post: Layering skirts over a dress

7 ways to wear a tiered dress

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

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