Have a simple one-color gown that fits well but could use a bit of a… lift? Whether it’s adding some sparkle, creating a dramatic hair and makeup look or even altering the hem, it’s actually pretty easy to dress up a plain dress. Check out these tips and pick a few to boost your gown’s potential. Just… don’t try them all at once!
1. Add costume jewelry.
It’s amazing what a piece of jewelry can do. Add a statement necklace
to your dress, whether it’s a 16-inch necklace featuring wide stones and resin pieces or long strands of gold and silver. Or, slip on a wrist full of bangle charm bracelets
and a huge cocktail ring, and watch your outfit suddenly shine.
2. Get creative with a brooch.An artfully placed jeweled brooch can add a bit of sparkle to your dress in an instant. Pin it at the waist of your dress, on the bust or on a wide one-shoulder strap to add detail where there was none before!
3. Carry a bright bag.
Let a stand-out bag be the focal point of your ensemble. Carry an oversized sparkle-encrusted clutch
, a bejeweled purse with a chain strap or a brightly-colored purse
to give your plain dress a boost.
4. Make your shoes the outfit centerpiece.
If your dress is basic, your shoes have permission to be absolutely outrageous. Pick a pair of loud neon heels
, jewel-encrusted pumps with a clear five-inch heel, or one-of-a-kind vintage wedges, and your outfit will suddenly rock.
5. Create a dramatic makeup look.
Now is the time to experiment with a fun multi-colored eye shadow look, an excess of overly dark kohl eyeliner, or super bold lips in red, rich maroon or even purple.
6. Indulge in nail art.
Imagine your dress as a blank palette and your nails as a canvas. Get creative by gluing on tiny jewels, stickers, and drawing on your own nail designs
. Get nail inspiration here
7. Go all out with your hair.
8. Add a headpiece or a hat.
A vintage hat with netting that coyly covers your eyes, a jeweled headpiece
wrapped around your updo, or even a 60s-inspired flower crown over flowing locks can make your outfit more stylish.
9. Experiment with a belt.
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
If your dress has a defined waist, whether it’s empire or at your natural waist, add a belt! Try wide or skinny belts, elastic or tying a silk scarf into a cute bow.
10. Add your own embellishments.Get creative! Maybe you’re extra handy with a needle and have some extra sequins lying around… sew them into a pattern! Or maybe you have an artsy flower that you can place on your sleeve or hip, or an old silk scarf that could be crafted into a bow. A plain dress is the perfect opportunity to play designer.
11. Have it hemmed.A tailor can really do wonders for a worn-out frock. Have your gown shortened to a mini dress, and you won’t even recognize it! Or, have a short-sleeved or one shoulder dress made into a strapless gown, or have a tea-length gown turned into a high-low hem.
12. Add funky tights.
Lacy patterned tights
, wild colored tights or even knee-highs can really do a lot to an outfit. When the dress is plain, the accessories should be bold!