Versatile Styling: How to Dress Up a Casual Dress
How to dress up a casual dress can be a great idea of how to get more from your t-shirt dresses. The idea came from a reader who asked if we had styled an idea like this. I was shocked we hadn’t, so we decided to see what we could come up with.
Quote of the day: “If I had to embrace a definition of success, it would be that success is making the best choices we can…and accepting them.” Sheryl Sandberg
Don’t get me wrong. We have worn t-shirt dresses many times on the blog. In fact, my mother made matching ones for Nancy, herself and me in the past. But since Lesley didn’t have one of these beauties, we all found others to showcase.
Other T-Shirt Dress Ideas
How to Wear Casual Summer Dresses Especially When Mom Made It
T-Shirt Dress (With a Vest)
Let’s imagine you are invited to a fancier event, but don’t feel like you have the right outfit for the occasion. Then the idea of how to dress up a casual dress could work in your favor.
One of the secrets to make this work is to look beyond your perspective. Sure, you realize it’s a t-shirt dress. And you know that it’s made from what is considered a casual material. But that doesn’t mean everyone else sees it that way.
How to Dress Up a Casual Dress
Dress: Amazon ~~Shoes: Franco Sarto~~Necklace: Maison de Camille c/o~~ Bracelet: I knit it~~ Earrings: Modern Sage Designs ~~ Purse: thrifted ~~Hat: Tenth Street Hats c/o
My thoughts on this idea is all about adding in the right touches. Footwear and accessories are high on that list.
Even though it is summer, the right third piece or topper can help too. I found a sequin bolero type topper that I’d never worn.
Are you shocked that I’ve never worn this little bolero piece? I am. I found it secondhand and fell in love with the sequins and lace combination. Yet it’s certainly not functional in that it doesn’t add warmth or cover much. So in the closet it sat.
I think I’ve tried wearing it a couple of times and it just didn’t seem to work. This time?? I like how it adds just a little extra to the t-shirt dress.
A pearl necklace is one of those pieces that we always associate with dressing up, especially for weddings and fancy occasions. I was recently gifted this pearl necklace from a woman who started this online shop during the pandemic. There are many versions of pearl necklaces and I think the link chain makes this seem very modern.
BTW, I knitted the bracelet for my Aunt Nancy many years ago. In fact, soon after she passed away, my cousin gave us some of her jewelry and we styled it in a blog post. This bracelet was another piece I brought home from her collection to remember her by.
Carrying a clutch purse also seems to be a great way of how to dress up a casual dress. I find the best clutches at the thrift stores and since I don’t carry them all that much, they certainly don’t wear out fast. I added in a totally different color with my yellow clutch, to break up the mostly blue color scheme.
This specific t-shirt dress I found on Amazon here for under $30. It comes in over 30 different colors and a couple of prints. I really wanted a print since they are better at camouflaging stains and I was worried this dress would be see through. However they didn’t have colors with the prints that would work for my complexion. So I went with the light lake blue color.
While you can always read all the descriptions, it’s hard to know how you’ll like a piece until you get it home and try it on. And I was super impressed with this dress because it’s lined with an extra layer.
One of the reasons I ordered this one is the interesting hemline and the ruching. Many of the t-shirt dresses are boxy and not very form fitting which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your perspective.
Insider tip: Don’t always go by the description. This t-shirt dress is labeled as a mini dress but you can see that it’s almost to my knees (I’m 5’2″ tall). Especially if you’re short, go by the sizing and measurements, not the description.
BTW, the length is shown farther down the page but not in the sizing guide. It’s always helpful to scroll through all the way down and read the reviews if there are any.
As we say over and over, the shoe choice can make or break an outfit. When I’m thinking about how to dress up a casual dress, I will usually choose heels. Granted not everyone is comfortable in heels. So I searched for some dressier flats if you happen to be looking.
This pair of turquoise peep toe pumps is also sentimental. They were my best friend’s shoes and I acquired them after she passed away from melanoma in her early 30’s. I added in my Sheec Sockshions to these shoes to give some cushion to the ball of my foot.
Insider tip: Sheec sockshions don’t work in all of my shoes if the strap of the shoe is tight across my foot. But if I can wear them, they work wonderfully. While they are meant to be worn around the big toe and little toe, I have switched it to the second to last toe at times so it’s not as evident, depending where the shoe strap lies.
Thank you for visiting my space on the internet. I like to showcase how it’s never too late to look great for women of any age, size or working with any budget.
I feel I’m here to help move beyond the fashion rules of yesterday and evolve. Style and clothes are made to give you joy. Not cause us stress because we are worried about what other’s think.
My hope is that you get ideas and inspirations from Charlotte, Lesley and myself. It’s not about copying what we wear, but about using what you already have and updating items along the way.
Most of all it’s getting us to think differently and dare I say, have fun?
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