Style and Styling

1 Dress Plays 3 Ways

Dress, Skirt and Top

Happy day, reader dearest!

Some posts come out of nowhere.

I was getting dressed this morning (The day I am writing this post, obvs, not the day it goes live. I’m not that together.) and wanted to wear my flashy wrap dress.

But I wasn’t feeling quite that flashy.

So what’s a girl to do?

That’s where this post began. With a style dilemma.

Let’s address the elephant in the room.

In this case the elephant is a dress.

I regulary hear women complain about dresses.

That they’re “fancy.” Well, that depends on the dress AND on how you style it!

That they’re not versatile. Maybe not as versatile as separates, but that one-and-done quality is a dream on busy days!

If it’s too cold for a dress, think layers!

Maybe it’s time to think out of the box. Yes, you can wear a cardigan or jacket over a dress. That’s easy, but why not try stretching your style muscles a little further? (Here’s some more out of the box dress-ing.)

So here’s how my brain sorted out that style dilemma…

One–The Dress

I own this dress in two colorways… If they made others that suited me, I’d buy more. That’s how much I love this style. (And I’m not a duplicate buyer…) You can see the other version here.

I thought, I’m loving the top of this dress today, but wish the bottom was flowier. Or flowy-er. (Because my brain skips around a LOT.) Hm. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a wrap top with a drapey flowy bottom. Oh, I do! My pink dress.

But it doesn’t have a wrap top. And I’m not feeling pink. I’m feeling blue today. (No, not sad blue, just color blue.)


But I DO have a blue skirt that’s flowy! What would that look like over my dress?

Okay. Dress masquerading as a top. If the weather permits, I could do this! It’s not feeling right for today, though… Note to self: Remember to wear this skirt with my embroidered wrap top.

And because I will embarrass myself for you, dear reader, I did a strip tease on the front porch. (The neighbor’s dog found it bark-worthy.)


If it were colder today, I’d wear my navy sweater over it and pretend the dress is a skirt. That’s right! I did that with my striped sweater a few weeks ago for March’s Copycat Style.


I know I’ve worn this dress with a jean jacket. I’m thinking I need to try an open denim shirt for a more relaxed feel and lighter weight.

Final Answer

I said Yes! to just the dress alone today. It may have felt like too much when I first put it on, but after seeing the photos, I realized that too much is just right for today! Besides, everything else is low key. White (-ish) flats, air dry hair, no-makeup makeup, just a little silver sparkle.

How About You?

Is this kind of versatility something you want from your wardrobe? Or is making a dress work this hard weird? If it feels contrived, that’s a personality thing. You do you! Are you a dress wearer? Any season in particular? What’s your favorite style of dress? Do tell… I love to hear from you and I’ve heard there’s still room on the interwebs for comments!

Stylishly yours,


  • Bettye L Rainwater

    A) Who doesn’t love a good front porch strip-tease?? (do I hear a new blog series coming??)

    B) I’m a dress lover. In summer. When I don’t have to work AT ALL (I was going to say “work too hard,” but I realized that is inaccurate, I don’t want to have to work AT ALL) to cover my legs. Tights are a fate worse than death for me. They are almost LITERAL death, with the body contortions and near asphyxiation to bend over and get both my feet in. Leggings? I’ve done it. I’m not really a fan for me, though I’ve seen it look very cute on others. Jeans? Sigh. See above: NRAFFM but have seen it LCOO. Depending on the dress I can SOMETIMES do an underlayer…tee shirt or turtleneck, but even that…there’s a Very Small Window of season/temperature when I want something underneath/overneath my dress on top, but it’s still mild enough that I can leave the building with bare legs. Oh, and tall boots? I have done it. It’s never felt ideal to me (for me). Boots are hard for me with The Largest Calves in the World. Even ankle boots are challenging cuz anything I like is still tight at the top around my shins (like, making dents/cutting off circulation tight).

    It’s easier for me to just live by the guideline of NO DRESSES IN WINTER.

    I’m a low fuss gal. I don’t want to drape a SCARF around my neck. And I love layers…but a dress is mostly just too much for me.

    No, I just look forward to warm weather when my legs can go bare and I can wear my simple dresses. I get a little break from them over the winter and am happy to see them again in the summer.

    PS – I did love your blue striped “sailor” stop over the dress – I thought that looked fun and effortless 🙂


    • Liz K

      I’m with you, Bettye, about taking a break and falling back in love again when the season comes around! I’d just like to say that I doubt you have “The Largest Calves in the World”, I certainly have clients who can’t find knee high or ankle boots for love or money… Looking forward to seeing some of your simple summer dresses again soon!

  • Sally in St Paul

    I like the skirt layered over dress concept, but anything with a “tucked in” quality looks ridiculous on my shape (to me, at least…and that means I’d never feel comfortable and “myself” wearing it, even if a thousand other people said “Oh but it looks good!”). I love layering over and under dresses, though! I wear dresses *more* in cold weather than warm for that reason…except for that one oversized T-shirt dress that’s technically a nightgown that I wear regularly at home in warm weather as a one-and-down loungewear option. I definitely go through periods where I’m more into dresses and others when I’m not. I’m in a “not” phase right now.

    • Liz K

      I get the “not” phase for sure! I’m glad you are comfortable enough in your skin and style to say NO to things that don’t work for you, Sally. That’s a blessing for the mind, body AND budget!

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