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Missoni dress worn as skirt with August Silk v-neck top, statement necklace, GNW tights, Hermes collier de chien bangle, bag, Daily Shoes booties (all own)

My late Mom always preferred separates over a dress. She argued that when you spill only one piece goes into the laundry or to the dry cleaners. Another reason was that you can wear a dress only one way. Well, indeed, in the 1960s and 1970s, you could only vary the look of a dress slightly with accessories. However, today, a dress provides many more options. Of course, the exact number depends on the cut, your style, weather, etc.. Different ways to wear your dresses is the modern way to slow fashion down and make fashion more sustainable. Read on to get inspired and shop your closet for new looks with the dresses you already own.



  1. A Dress Can Be More Than a Dress
  2. A Fit-and-Flare Knit Jumper Dress Is Like “Buy One, Get Three Pieces” … Sort of
    • Jumper as Skirt with (Faux) Twinset
    • As a Jumper with Sweater
    • As Skirt with Cardigan as Top
  3. An Abstract Print Empire-waist Summer Dress
    • Layering with a Tank Top
    • Casual Athleisure Outfit for Meeting with Friends
    • Summer Work Outfit with Cardigan
  4. Mini Dress over Skirt
  5. Never Underestimate the Power of Color and Accessories
  6. Wrapping Up Different Ways to Wear Your Dresses


Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.


A Dress Can Be More Than a Dress

Except for my beloved Lederhosen I always was a skirt and dress kind of gal. The movement of a skirts – no matter whether it’s a real one or that of a dress – is so feminine. Even a pencil skirt or sheath are all about being a woman. They show off the curves (even if there are none). According to my late Mom dresses are boring as one can wear them only one way. For an evening gown, cocktail dress, wedding dress, the statement may be true. But I never agreed with this statement for everyday dresses. However, as a kid or teenager I wasn’t allowed to

Wear a dress another way than as a dress. #closetshopping #slowfashion Click To Tweet

First, there is nothing wrong wearing the same dress with different pairs of shoes, and bags. Second, one can wear a dress as a shirt, and one can wear a dress as a skirt. What you can do with a dress all depends on your personal style, the dress and what’s in your closet.


fashion blogger donning a work outfit with a dress under a fuchsia skirt, printed and black cardigan
Summer dress worn as T-shirt in fall



fall outerwear over office look of dress as top
GAP leather trench coat, Isaac Mizrahi cardigan, Knit dress, barrette used as closure, Banana Republic leather midi skirt, Gloria vander Belt pumps, Constance bag and necklace c/o Messages in Metal



A Fit-and-flare Knit Jumper Dress Is Like “Buy One, Get Three Pieces” … Sort of

This pink striped dress was a great shopping find on eBay and love on first sight. The price was affordable, so I got it. See how you can create three different looks with the same dress for two seasons. O.k., you could also wear the dress with just a slip underneath in summer. But that’s a nobrainer.


Jumper as Skirt with Faux Twinset

This outfit is a creation around colors that occur in the skirt. A short sleeve sweater from summer and a cardigan worn over the dress make a great summer-to-fall transition outfit. Fold a part of the sweater inside and pin it with a safety pin to the dress. Doing so creates the illusion of a tuck-in.

Stylist tip: For a variation, use a real twinset or try a crew-, mock- or turtleneck sweater.


fashion blogger showing how to fake a half tuck when wearing a dress as skirt

style blogger in leather trench coat, dress as skirt with cardigan as top
Outfit details: Missoni dress worn as skirt with August Silk v-neck top, Isaac Mizrahi cardigan, DIY studs, statement necklace, GNW tights, Science Jewellery DNA bangle, Hermes collier de chien bangle, 3.1 Philipe Lim bag, Daily Shoes booties and Gap leather trench coat (all own) and tights c/o Hipstik® Legwear


As a Jumper with a Sweater

This outfit is an example for what to wear under a dress.  You may have seen this type of concept already in the Alaska October lookbook. Here the link, in case you missed it).


fashion blogger in striped dress styled as a jumper with layering top, tights and pink pumps

mature woman twirling in pink striped fit-and-flare dress

Nicole of High Latitude Style in Missoni dress
Outfit details: Missoni dress, statement dagwood flower beaded necklace, DIY cuff, Hermes collier de chien bangle, GAP leather coat (all own), tight c/o Hipstik® Legwear, layering top c/o Cami Confidential, and Ivanka Trump pink suede pumps c/o Wikibuy


As outerwear add a trench coat and work bag that pick up a color of the stripes are great options. The different footwear gives even the outerwear a different vibe when wearing the coat open. On the contrary, when closing the coat, the look turns into a gray and black desaturated look with a pop of pink. Learn more about styling desaturated looks.


stylist in patterned dress, pink pumps, black tights and leather coat with shark gray bag
Missoni dress, Dagwood flower beaded necklace, GAP leather trench coat (similar here), headband, shark gray Modalu Pippa bag, tight c/o Hipstik® Legwear, and Ivanka Trump  pumps


Don’t let your outfit be a random thing. Learn How to Dress for Success in Midlife with my style recipe book. Buy my book now.



As Skirt with a Cardigan as Top

The following photos are a winter outfit inspiration. Herein shopping the own closet goes to the next level. A cardigan is styled as a top with a belt over the Missoni. To stay stylish, but warm in cold weather outfits, a shearling in burgundy adds the right amount of insulation.

Stylist tip: As a variation use a light wash jean jacket.


Alaskan blogger with striped dress, burgundy cardigan, tights, gloves and shearling and pink shoes
Missoni dress styled as separates with GNW cardigan as top, statement belt, Cole Haan shearling, GNW burgundy tights, unbranded structured bag, LeatherCoatsEtc leather gloves (all own) and cloche c/o Fashionable Hats


Read more on how to wear knit dresses in this guide.



An Abstract Print Empire-waist Summer Dress

The easiest way to look instantly stylish is throwing on the dress, add a pair of pumps, earrings, a bangle and necklace, makeup, and finish with a bag. Done. You are ready to go.

Stylist tip: Style your dress up or down.


Layering with a Tank Top

Up the style factor by layering a tank top or lacy camisole underneath.


mature style bright water color print

fashion blogger in print dress

mature style blogger in abstract print babydoll dress
Karina dress, BP ankle strap espadrilles, statement necklace and bracelet, Ray Ban mirrored aviator sunglasses, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Jockey camisole, and Coach bag



Casual Athleisure Outfit for Meeting with Friends

When you jumped the bandwagon of the athleisure trend, add an athleisure jacket.

Stylist tip: For further looks wear this dress with a white denim jacket or a jean jacket.


mature woman in print dress and Adidas jacket
Karina dress, Adidas jacket, DIY necklace, Coach bag, and DIY necklace (all own), and Musse&Cloud wood sandals c/o Coolway



Summer Work Outfit with Cardigan

Depending on your collection of cardigans this sleeveless print dress can make various business casual style summer work outfits. Simply pair the dress with cardigans in the different colors of the print. When you need evidence that the color of the cardigan can change the vibe of an outfit, see these inspirations how to wear a fav sheath differently.

You can style a dress down with an athleisure jacket! Click To Tweet
midlife blogger in dress with cardigan
Karina dress, GNW cardigan, Liz Clairborne pumps, Coach bag, and Winkwood sunglasses



Mini Dress Over a Skirt

The next inspiration show how to wear a mini dress when it is too cold for its hem length. The belt serves to create a 1/3 2/3 balance also in the other direction and picked up the red of the lower third of the outfit.

zoom-in on belt to add shape to the dress
Zoom-in on the MOSHINO belt used to tie the look together


Alaskan blogger in dress worn as top under a skirt to get more outfits
Side view of dress over skirt look


stylist over 50 in work outfit with dress over skirt
Outfit details: Barbour cable-knit dress worn over G-III suede skirt belted with vintage MOSCHINO belt for shape and proportions, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Seiko watch, GNW red tights and red Manolo Blahnik booties to elongate the legs



Never Underestimate the Power of Color and Accessories

Colors and accessories can change the vibe of a dress as the two inspirational photos below demonstrate. The first photo features a business casual winter work attire with the red turtleneck sweater as pop of color. On the contrary, the second photo presents and eclectic style desaturated look.

Stylist tip: You can mix all patterns when they are gray and of different size.


Work outfit with shift dress
Banana Republic asymmetric shift dress with zipper details, Anne Klein cable knit turtleneck sweater and black pearls


style blogger Nicole creating a long-sleeve dress look with a striped sweater and sheath
Office outfit details: Banana Republic striped sheath, Brooks Brothers striped sweater, unbranded leopard print scarf, GNW tight and Vince Camuto boots folded over to look like booties


Wrapping Up Different Ways to Wear Your Dresses

As part of my series on tips to get more wear from your wardrobe, this post illustrated different ways to wear your dresses other than just as a dress. Not all options work for all cuts. However, being creative when styling your dresses for everyday can increase your wardrobe options by a manifold. Furthermore,  it helps to slow fashion down and saves money without scarifying style.


Photos of me: G. Kramm

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