One dress – four different ways

I couldn’t decide what to bring you today – I have too many ideas buzzing around. So I thought that I would keep it simple and show you how to style one dress in four different ways.

This dress formed one of the “figure fixes” pieces which I showed at the event that I ran on Thursday night.  It is such a flattering shape, particularly for the curvier figure as it skims without clinging.  It also has a v neck and draping in all of the right places!  It is from Coast, costs £85 and is called the Minda Jersey Dress D in Purple.  Whilst it doesn’t have sleeves, Coast do similar styles all year round and I am fairly certain that they will do a similar style for A/W ’12 which will have sleeves.

I should say before we start that my model, Grace, had a slight accident and she isn’t quite vertical.  However, Grace was named after my lovely Grandma who was partial to a G&T which meant that she too, on occasion, wasn’t always entirely vertical – so it’s quite fitting really.

I also used the flash on this occasion which with hindsight was an error, so please forgive me!

The dress!

Outfit 1

The first look is a smart/casual look –  Fine for some at work, for going out for lunch or for a day shopping. I have put the dress with a trench coat (ideally the dress shouldn’t show under the trench but for today’s purposes I used my own trench, so it did), a cream slouchy bag from Warehouse and cream stacked heel shoes from M&S;

Here is a closer look at the Stella & Dot necklace which I also put with the dress.  This necklace was used in Vogue recently in a feature about the Great Gatsby look which is so big this season.

This necklace wouldn’t necessarily be right for anyone with a very curvy bust but otherwise it is a flattering length, with the contrasting cream against the purple background giving greater definition to the V – shaped neckline and elongating it. The detail on the end of the necklace also draws the eye in to the centre of the body.

Outfit 2

This is more of a work outfit. I have styled it with a silk scarf from Monsoon which reflects the traditional Paul Smith print but in a different colourway, a bolero from Hobbs and LK Bennett court shoes (Sledge). 

Note how the bolero nips in at the waist, emphasising the shape of the dress, rather than hiding it which is so often the case with longer more square cut cardigans. The sleeves are also a flattering length, finishing just below the elbow which allow a pretty cuff or bracelet to be shown off  (I think that the scarf has undone itself between me tying it and taking the shot but you get the gist.)

Outift 3

Here the dress is styled as if going for an evening out, with a sequinned scarf from Oasis which I have probably had for ten years now.  Zara has some sparkly ones, which you can find here – they come in three different colours and at £9.99 are really good value.

Here’s a closer look at the sparkly scarf – these are full on sparkles, which I love!

And these are some grey patent wedge shoes from Reiss with a hint of snake print on them..

Outfit 4

A slightly more modern look. I have styled the dress with a cream leather jacket, Zara scarf with greys and purples in it and the Hobbs Georgia slingback.

Here’s a closer shot of the jacket and scarf…

and the shoes…..

My fifth outfit was going to be with a white shirt underneath and a black blazer with it but I ran out of time.  Equally the white shirt could be swapped for a printed silk blouse and the black blazer for a grey or navy one, depending on the colour palette.

I suppose the point is, irrespective of whether you like the above outfits or not, the aim when buying an item is to imagine how versatile it is.  Think about what you can layer under an item (a coloured cami, a shirt, a printed blouse, a breton top), or over an item (a knit, a jacket, a trench, a blazer etc) and how you can accessorise it – so think about which shoes will work with it and which pieces of jewellery – can it carry a necklace or is the neckline too fussy? If so, what about a cuff instead, or a cocktail ring, or some statement ear-rings. Thinking through these items when buying will help you build a versatile wardrobe and when you have done that, that’s the time to chuck in something which doesn’t really go with anything but which you love anyway!



  1. ZoeB
    April 22, 2012 / 5:45 pm

    Sorry. A day behind! Enjoyed this post . Really good to see different Stylings of the same dress. I do this ALOT!

  2. StyleGuile
    April 24, 2012 / 7:43 pm

    Hi Zoe, really pleased that you enjoyed the post. Versatility – it's the key! Beth

  3. Anonymous
    August 5, 2012 / 7:37 pm

    I just bought this dress in teal in the sales and am delighted with all the suggestions. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.