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How to style one sheath multiple ways

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A well tailored dress is instant style

In the 90s, I lived and worked in East Germany. My colleagues and I always went to lunch together a 10 minutes walk. One day on our way to lunch, a male colleague said on our walk to lunch with a lot of regret and disappointment in his voice “It’s a pity that so few woman wear dresses these days.” It was about five years after the German unification in East Germany. One of my female colleagues who always wore solid casual wear – read chinos and a button down shirt said “It’s because you can clean separates easier than dresses. They have to go to the dry clean when you spill something or they get dirty. Nobody has time for such high maintenance these days. On top of it, it’s so expencive these days.” Another female colleague – wearing jeans and a Swarovski crystals and fake pearls embellished sweater like the were It in the 80s responded “Separates offer so much more options for different outfits.” Even tough I disagreed with both statements, I kept my mouth shut as his statement was aiming at me since I was wearing a LBD. Back then, most of my clothes were black. The 90s, uniform. In my opinion, you can easily wear a dress many ways.

A well tailored dress is instant style. #agelesstyle Click To Tweet Dresses are as versatile as separates. Click To Tweet

Furthermore, not all dresses need dry cleaning. And at-home dry cleaning is easy and DIY dry cleaning is not expensive at all.

In today’s post, I show you five examples how to wear the same dress in different ways.

#agelessstyle #fashionover50 banner for post on versatility of sheaths

One sheath dress – five ways

Styling with neutrals for work

In the look presented in the photo below, I went for a work outfit with two neutrals – burgundy and gray. To keep the look from being boring – read invisible office style – accessorizing is key. The patterned tights add interest and the bold belt makes a fashion statement. The slouchy booties dress the business casual office look down a bit. Perfect for Casual Friday.

A sheath can be dresses up or down. #quote from a stylist Click To Tweet
#fashionover50 lady in burgundy gray work attire
Calvin Klein sheath styled with Brooks Brothers turtleneck sweater, GNW tight, Vince Camuto suede slouchy boots, and Hermes collier de chien bangle (all own). At this time of the year, snow in the Interior is already wet. Thus, the boots are wet at the toes. In deep winter, you can just brush the dry snowflakes off and your boots stay dry when going inside.
#advancedstyle woman in fitted dress with turtleneck sweater and boots
Calvin Klein fitted dress, panther statement belt, GNW diamond pattern tight, Vince Camuto suede boots, Brooks Brothers turtleneck cashmere sweater, dangling earrings and Hermes collier de chien bangle (all own)

Try to go for an unexpected color combination with your neutrals. In the photo below, it’s brown and burgundy. This combination was inspired by the color combination of the loafers. When going for unusual combination it’s all trying out every color with every color and looks what looks great.

#fashionover50 mature woman in brown and burgundy with loafers and sunglasses
GNW Luxe sweater, Calvin Klein tailored dress, Gucci belt, Nine West loafers, statement earrings, Winkwood mirrored sunglasses (all own), and wood sports watch c/o Jord
#advancedstyle woman in brown burgundy office attire
Front view of office attire with GNW Luxe sweater, Calvin Klein tailored dress, Gucci belt, Nine West loafers, statement earrings, and Winkwood mirrored sunglasses (all own)

Color blocking

The work outfit below is an example of layering with color blocking. The corn blue is one of my favorite fashion colors. To not look like trying too hard, navy blue boots are perfect in the supporting role. They make the corn blue and burgundy the color blocking statement. Here the buckle is paired with another belt to match the colors of the outfit.

Stylist tip: Snap belts are a great investment to always have the perfect combination of belt and buckle to your outfit.

#maturestyle woman in sheath with blue sweater and boots
Calvin Klein sheath with GNW Luxe blue sweater, panther statement belt, L.K. Bennett tall blue suede leather boots, cat pendant necklace, and cameo earrings (all own)

Monochromatic look with a pop of color

Creating a monochromatic look is tricky. The art is to keep it from being boring. You can find 21 tips how to create interesting monochromatic outfits at the link. Here I went with the trick of the late Princess Gracia Patricia aka as Grace Kelly – using a pop of color.

Purple is having a moment these days. #fashiontrends Click To Tweet
#fashionover40 lady in monochromatic outfit with purple pop of color
Calvin Klein robe styled with a long sleeve layering top underneath, purple statement belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, GNW tight, Vince Camuto burgundy suede bots with chain details and dangling earrings (all own)
#accessories cool belt buckle with purple belt
Zoom-in on the belt buckle to show details
#shoelove tall suede boots with double chain trim
Zoom-in on Vince Camuto suede tall boots with chain detail

Styling a sheath with outerwear

When you are running errands at the mall, you may want to open your coat for comfort. Typically, malls are heated and it is too warm to run around with your closed winter coat. Too still look effortlessly stylish when you wear your coat open, not only style your outerwear, but also make sure your outerwear and your layers below make a great outfit too. In the example presented in the photo below, I show how to add a coat in a stylish way. In this look, the colors of the embroidery tie the outfit together.

The colors of a print, pattern or embroidery are a great basic to tie an outfit together. #styleadvice Click To Tweet
#fashionover50 #midlife woman in embroidered coat over dress
Calvin Klein dress styled with floral embroidered white coat, statement belt, 3.1 Philip Lim tote, L.K. Bennett tall suede boots, scarf, and green beret (all own)

You can find further styling inspirations with the sheath at the links. For instance, how I styled the dress with pink in winter, or how I wore this robe at work with a cardigan.

P.S. Like the outfits? You might also like to see another example of wearing a robe multiple ways or how I wore a tweed dress two ways.

Keeping in touch

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When you liked the outfit recipes of this post, and want recipes for all kind of dressing situation in midlife, buy my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife.

Photos: G. Kramm

© 2013-2018 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

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