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One of the most useful services that I provide to my clients is the art of a look book. You may have seen big brands like J.Crew throw around the term “look book” when they release an all-new season of pieces. It’s exactly what it sounds like: it’s a book of looks. The best look books, in my opinion, are made of only a handful of pieces but put together so differently and creatively that you can hardly tell that the same pieces are being used over and over and over again. This is a truly European art. Less is more.
A patterned summer dress is a perfect piece upon which to build an outfit. If your dress has a flattering structure for your body type, you should be able to do a whole lot with it. I’ve worn one particular flowy, flowery dress with flats and ivory bone (they’re an heirloom, I don’t hate elephants) statement earrings, cowboy boots and gold bangles, and drop-fringe gold earrings and stilettos.
This office attire is geared toward someone with a creative career. I built around this dress by choosing comfortable shoes for the office, a little “half-trench” to throw on for your work commute or in a cold conference room, and then, of course, added some jewels. I chose those specific pieces because they didn’t take away too much from the dress, but accentuated it. I love the juxtaposition of soft, light and airy with something a little edgy,
hence the addition of the “Rihanna Lion Head” pendant necklace.
The next flowy and flowery-based outfit is all pulled together for a bridal luncheon. We all have these to go to and it seems like there’s never enough time to find an outfit for the wedding day and all the events surrounding it. So, take that office dress, remove the chunky jewelry and jacket, and add a soft, neutral scarf, a comfortable heel, and a sweet but sassy statement piece. You’ve got all the color you need within the dress; the pearls add texture and the scarf is just convenient for covering up in a cold room.
Your plain, black office shift dress is not the number one choice for date night. Or at least, it shouldn’t be. You can easily pack a bag of heels, a clutch, and earrings for your date night. Slipping into a different “outfit of accessories” is so much easier than packing a different outfit all together.
My dresses (and really anything I buy) have to be versatile. Have to be! I have to live like this for several reasons: my budget demands it — no running out to buy a new dress for each celebration or occasion, and because life happens and you have to be ready to change your shoes! Honest to goodness, I carry around a “bag of tricks” every day to accommodate and accessorize as various circumstances arise.
If you have a favorite versatile dress and want to share your secret, head on over to Plum Deluxe’s Facebook page and tell us about it!
All photos courtesy of the author via Polyvore, lead photo by manos_simonides.