If you have to wear business-casual or business-professional clothing at work, you may be well aware of the struggles of trying to look different every day while also not spending a significant amount of money on a new wardrobe. Did you know that the average woman spends up to $125,000 in her lifetime on her wardrobe?
If you want to make your clothes last while still looking stylish, you’ll need to be creative and think of ways to repurpose your apparel so it looks entirely different from one day to the next. One good-quality piece of clothing can be worn over and over again while still looking different, as long as you know what to wear it with and how to style it to make it look brand new.
Here are some recommendations on creative ways you can style your business casual dresses into five different outfits, and your colleagues will never realize that it is the same dress.
Not only can a sweater make an outfit look different, especially if it is of a different color than your dress, but it can also cover a good portion of it. For example, a regular crewneck sweater can cover the entire top of the dress so that the only visible part of the dress now looks like a skirt. Also, a longer women’s cashmere cardigan can really transform a professional dress, whether it fits snuggly buttoned down the front, or if it is a looser fit that drapes the body. In addition, a longer cardigan can completely transform a work outfit if it is worn over a dress and belted in the middle.
If the dress is on the shorter side but you don’t want to wear nylons, leggings worn under a dress can make the dress look more like a tunic. In addition, a dress paired with leggings can be worn with flats or boots for a more casual look than what the dress would be on its own with nylons and heels. Plus, your legs will appreciate the extra layer of warmth during those cold winter months.
Wearing a blazer over a dress is a brilliant way to repurpose it into an entirely different outfit. For example, a sleeveless dress that would normally only be worn in the summertime can easily be worn in winter if you wear a blazer over it, covering your shoulders and arms. Even in the summertime, you might want to cover up in the office with a lightweight blazer. Wear it either loose or buttoned in the middle for a more tailored look.
If leggings aren’t your thing and you want to embrace the wide-legged pants trend, think about wearing a dress over the pants and wrapping a belt around the middle where the pants hit your waistline. This won’t work for longer dresses, but dresses higher than knee-length can look like a tunic if they’re worn over pants — just like you would with leggings but for an entirely different look. Just don’t skip the belt, as it can make the outfit look more sophisticated than it would if you had the dress just hanging loosely over similarly loose-looking wide-legged pants.
Take a dress from corporate to casual by wearing a flannel shirt with it. It doesn’t have to be the traditional plaid flannel either. A solid light blue or similar color works just as well, and sometimes even better. There are a couple of options here. Either wear it buttoned up but with the bottom front corners tied together, or simply tie it around your waist for a super casual look if your office allows.
Overall, it is also important to invest in clothes that are of good quality if you want to ensure that you can keep wearing them and repurposing the pieces into different outfits. Think about it — the little black dress is popular for good reason. It is highly versatile, matches most accessories, and is a color that flatters most people. No one really notices if you’re wearing the same black dress if you wear it differently or with different accessories. Adding a scarf around the neck or wearing a bold necklace that draws attention away from the dress are tricks that stylish women around the globe swear by.