4 Different Ways to Wear a Dress when Traveling

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Many Ways to wear a dress on vacation

4 Different Ways to Wear a Dress when Traveling

Quote of the day: “I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.” Oscar Wilde

Talk about a perfect quote for me. This kind of clever that sometimes makes me giggle.  And how does this relate to different ways to wear a dress? Because a couple of these ideas are clever in my opinion. Which makes the dresses in your closet quite the versatile pieces. Of course not every dress is created the same, but I bet you could do these same tricks with a couple of your dresses.

These photos are coming to you from our Alaska cruise ship. My best friend, Maureen, joined us on the cruise to celebrate her retirement, so she joined us in our shenanigans.

Before blogging, I thought a dress could only be worn two ways. So once I was exposed to the other two ways, I figured a dress is really so adaptable for traveling. Of course, you should try these at home too. And notice it works with both solid colored and print dresses.

And then join us for the rest of the cruise dinners to see how we mixed and matched our other outfits.

A Dress as a Top

This is one of my favorite ways to transform a dress. Just add another skirt over it to make it look like a top only. Originally I was going to wear my black, fringe skirt over the dress.

Ways to wear a dress with a skirt over it

However, while I was trying it on before hand, the zipper broke. So I grabbed option two which is my faux leather skirt. My mom made this skirt for me, and both Nancy and mom have one also. We’ve worn them many times on the blog. Just like I talked about in my fall trends post, leather is good for any woman whether in the form of a jacket, pants or a skirt.

This day on the cruise was a little chilly, so I also wore sheer hosiery from Berkshire Legs.  They gifted me this pair, and for those of you who dislike the feel of hosiery at your waist, these are fabulous. They have a lace panel at the waist, so you don’t even realize there’s something there.

Now I didn’t have everyone else prepare for this option to style their dress. It was bad enough I gave them homework when they were packing their suitcase to come up with the other options. So you only get to see one of these examples from the cruise. But we’ve done this before on the blog, if you want some other ideas of how it would look.

A Dress as a Skirt

This is the other option that I’d never really considered is to wear a top or sweater over the dress to cover the top portion. You’ll see that Nancy, my mom and Maureen, all wore longer sweaters, so you don’t see the skirt of the dress much. My sweater is shorter, and so you can cover it as much or little as you want. It could be a great way to get some use out of a top or sweater that might be too short otherwise.

The three of us have shown this on the blog 3 years ago if you want some other ideas.

Ways to wear a dress for ladies over 70

Nancy’s dress has some ruching on the sides which you will see when she wears it alone below. Therefore, she had to experiment with a couple of different sweaters to make this look good. This poncho is long enough to cover the ruching and it’s asymmetrical design makes it interesting.

What I love is she also added in a third color with the necklace and her accessories. You’ll see this necklace in a post by itself in the future!! It’s not easy to see in these photos, but it’s turquoise colored.

Ways to wear a dress for women over 80

My mom wore her pink, fuzzy sweater that she received from Soft Surroundings. She has gotten a ton of use out of this sweater because it’s so warm and comfy.

This is also a great way to add a better color near your face, if your dress isn’t your best color. It’s also the perfect way to camouflage any extra belly that might be there at the end of a cruise. You know, because of that always open ice cream place….

Ways to wear a dress with a long sweater

Maureen also chose a longer sweater to wear over her burgundy, tank dress. These open weave sweaters are always so great for the transitional weather. Yet if you want to wear them throughout winter, it’s easy to layer them over heavier items.

Ways to wear a dress with sweater over it

I chose a shorter sweater for this look. You can certainly see more of the bottom part of the dress this way, yet it works for any length of top.

Usually I like a collared shirt under a crew neck sweater, but for this night I wore a long necklace instead. Since it was one of our chef’s special dinner, I even added in the Lilla Rose pearl hair band.  In my world there are very few times you can wear too much bling.

If I were at home with my plethora of  footwear, I might have chosen a different pair of shoes. Maybe a nude or black pair would be your choice?

A Dress with a Topper

I’m sure everyone has worn a dress with either a jacket, blazer or cardigan over it. To me, this is the second most obvious way to wear your dress. Especially with the dresses that are sleeveless. Yet I think this can really change the look of a dress, even though you see the dress under the topper.

Ways to wear a dress with a blazer

For this option, my mom matched the blue panel of the hemline of the dress with a blue blazer. My mom has worn this blazer on the blog before when she was inspired by Joy Behar, from the tv show, The View.

Ways to wear a dress for women over 40

When Maureen bought this outfit it came together as a set. But it’s a great example of how each piece can be mixed and matched so easily. Maureen wore the kimono many other times on the cruise for casual days. And in this post, you can see how the dress is super versatile.

Ways to wear a dress with a cardigan and tights

Since my dress is a print, I wanted to play up the pinks that are in it. Since I only brought one pair of heels which were blue, I thought I’d experiment with my Walking Cradles sneakers for this look. I added in fleece lined tights because the cardigan isn’t super warm.

Ways to wear a dress with a long cardigan

A long cardigan lends itself to be a topper over a dress so well. In fact, it’s almost like cape or coat. These longer cardigans are very much in style right now, and we wore some last month.

A Dress by Itself or with Accessories

Of course this is probably why we buy a dress in the first place. As something that is easy to wear because it’s one and done. This doesn’t mean you can’t add accessories and scarves to it, but you don’t have to try to match your top with your skirt.

Ways to wear a dress with a black kimono

Maureen added a black wrap with the sleeveless dress. She’s not always as cold as I am, so this was enough coverage for her this evening.

Different Ways to wear a dress for traveling

Seeing Nancy in her dress by itself, is a great showcase of how it’s not just a shift dress. It has all of that ruching up the sides, along with the panel in the front. Yet it proved to be just as versatile as many other dresses.

I think it’s a good example of how you may not think this type of dress could have so many options. But once you start playing around with the other items in your closet, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Ways to wear a dress with a scarf

Since this light grey of mom’s dress could wash out her complexion, she added a blue scarf. This is one of the reasons that scarves are fabulous for us. Not only can they keep us warm, but they can add the right colors to our outfits.

Ways to wear a dress on an Alaskan cruise

Tips & Tricks

This really doesn’t cover the gamut of ways you can wear a dress in it’s entirety. Just think about the time we wore our white blouse under a dress. This may not change the look of a long sleeve dress much, but it could add some difference near your face.

I know for many of us traveling, there aren’t a lot of chances to wear a dress. Yet I do think it’s nice to have one for just in case. Cruises, of course, lend themselves to getting dressed up more since most people take advantage of the dining room for dinner. Yet even when you are vacationing elsewhere, you might stop for a fancy night, and then you’ll be prepared. And heck, it’s fashionable to even wear sneakers with your dresses now, so you could wear your dress touring around town.

If you have a sleeveless dress, but hate to cover it up with a topper, there’s another way to add a little warmth. Both mom and Nancy tried out My New Arms earlier this year, and I think this would be perfect for such occasions.

By the way, one of my tricks of wearing a dress many times is to wear a t-shirt under it. Then I just wash the t-shirt and the dress is still clean. You can hear me talk about that in the video below.

Ways to wear a dress for women over 50

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