People often tell me I have a lot of clothes, and I do, but one thing I also do is buy staple dresses that I can wear multiple times in a variety of ways. I have become good at selecting pieces that are multi-functional and prevent quick trips to the store when events like baby showers, weddings, graduations, brunches, and even birthdays come up. My whole life I have shied away from the classic black dress so I have created ways to get the most out of colorful printed dresses and here are the reasons I think you should too:
- Fashion is one of the most wasteful industries in the world, so everyone should try and make a habit of recycling old looks to do their (little) bit to help the environment.
- It saves you money: It is a myth that every new event requires a new dress. I am someone that loves a great statement piece, but most of my closet is made up of staple dress that I can remix and re-wear.
- It allows you to be creative. Buying something new is easy, going into your closet and finding a way to wear one of your favorite dresses again encourages creativity and resourcefulness.
Below I will discuss four of my favorite closet staples, some of which that I have had for over five years. I will share the reasons why they made great staple dresses, and what to look for when trying to find a piece you can wear over multiple seasons.
When re-wearing dresses there are three things I like to switch up:
First up: Little White Dress.
This dress is the best thing I have bought in a long time. It’s a white shift dress from Zara that pairs well with everything. I can dress it up and down. Shift dresses are fabulous because it’s a shape that’s classic and timeless making it wearable over multiple seasons.
One – Sightseeing in NYC
For this look, I dressed down the dress by pairing with my pink and green New Balances, a favorite pair from J.Crew. I added this clutch that I bought at a small African Boutique in Harlem.
Two – Family Vacation in Newport Beach, California
My family goes on Vacation in Newport every other year, my Grandmother has a timeshare there with Marriott, and every year we end the trip with a nice dinner at our favorite seafood restaurant. I added some heeled sandals to give the piece are more dressed up look.
Three – Trip to the African-American Historical and Cultural Museum in Washington, DC
First, this place is fantastic. I went here with my family in November of 2017, and this dress was so comfortable it was perfect for a day filled with walking. I again paired it with a pair of sneakers and added a printed head wrap to give the outfit some color.
Four – Date night to see Dave Chappelle
The most recent time I wore the dress was for Date Night. We thought we were going to see Dave Chappelle, so I threw on my floral embroidered white mules and a red lip for our night out. This ended up being a short date night as our tickets were not real.
Next, Striped Midi Dress.
People often assume a wardrobe staple should be in a solid color, but I love prints! This striped dress is from Forever 21 and has served me well for three years now. It’s comfortable, fits great, and is easily worn at a variety of places. I have probably worn this dress over 20 times honestly; it’s the most natural thing to grab and throw on.
One: Traveling In Nice.
I wore this dress on the plane from Greece to Nice (that rhymes lol), and it was so comfortable I kept it on to sightsee for the day. I paired this look with a straw hat and some tie up sandals I had just bought in Greece.
Two: Hanging with my Niece (she is so big now).
For this extraordinary occasion, I layered the dress with an army green jacket and my favorite open back Jeffrey Campbell Booties (I wore these so much I had to retire them last year).
Three: Day party
Like any New Yorker I love a good day party. For this one, I brought out old faithful (this dress), some orange sock boots, and a statement clutch.
Floral Tent Dress:
Another closet Staple of mine is this floral tent dress, it comes with me on every trip and I re-wear it for a variety of different occasions. I purchased it from a small boutique in Baltimore. Tent shape dresses are hard to date making it an excellent piece to wear over multiple seasons. The floral pattern is also unique which also contributes to it being wearable during any season.
One: My Niece’s Baby Shower.
One of the first times I wore this dress was for my nieces baby shower. It was fall so I wore it with a knit scarf, over the knee socks, and slouchy over the knee suede boots. Like most of my statement dresses, this tent dress and super light and comfortable. I was able to easily move through the party in complete comfort.
Two: Sightseeing in Nice (I went to Nice both in 2015 and 2016).
Every comfortable dress comes with me traveling. Dresses are an instant outfit that is cute, comfortable and requires little effort. This time I paired them with my tie up leather sandals I got while traveling in Mykonos, Greece.
Three: My Niece’s first birthday!
For pure nostalgia, I re-wore this dress for my same nieces first birthday. My Niece’s birthday is in February, so it was a little cold. To re-wear this dress in the winter, I paired it with some thick tights and over-the-knee boots.
I never considered a leopard dress to be a closet staple. When I purchased this dress, I thought it was going to be a statement piece, but I have now worn it on four different occasions proving that staples can be in fun prints!
One: My 26th Birthday
I originally bought this dress (as I mentioned) solely to wear on my birthday. I thought it was going to be a statement piece. After one wear I knew I wanted to wear it again. Leopard is a print that quite literally, never goes away, so I found myself looking for reasons to wear it again. For my birthday I wore the dress with Pink heeled sandals to bring out the colorful undertones in the dress. I added a dusty rose blazer to finish off the look.
Two: My Friend’s Wedding
The next opportunity to wear this dress came by way of my friend’s wedding. This time I wore the dress with a hot pink belt, some nude strappy sandals, and a sequins gold clutch. It was a beautiful outside wedding, and this dress was perfect for the occasion.
Three: Dental School Graduation Gala
My amazing, beautiful, and highly intelligent friend Lauren graduated from dental school and invited me to the gala (that she also planned), and I knew I had the perfect dress for this event. I immediately packed this dress knowing it would be just right for the gala. This time I again belted the dress but with a thin gold sequins belt.
Clothes are meant to be worn more than once. When you spend time and effort putting thought into what you buy, you look forward to opportunities to wear those items more than once. Accessories also can be purchased at a variety of price points, so adding different earrings, shoes, belts, and bags are fun ways to give your clothes new look.
Looking to add some staples to your closet? Here’s a quick recap of what kind of dresses to look for when adding staple dresses to your wardrobe:
- A solid color dress
- A striped dress
- A floral print dress
- A leopard print dress
What dress do you keep on repeat in your wardrobe?!