It took me years to figure this out, but just in the last year or so, I’ve realized that my closet needs be made up of good “pieces” —  items of clothing that are versatile and can be worn in many ways with many other pieces. If you have good pieces, the outfits possibilities are endless. Now, not everything in my closet is completely versatile, but much of it now is and I’m well on my way to having a closet that I’m really, really happy with. Getting dressed everyday is now like a game, figuring out how to wear things differently than I ever have, or pairing unexpected pieces together.

Today I want to show you one of the most versatile items in my closet, a piece that all of you probably have too — the Little Black Dress.

I have several LBD’s, some fancy, some more casual. This one is kind of in the middle, but I can change the entire look of the dress, either very casual or very dressy, and all very not-boring, with just a few key pieces. Check it out.

Here’s the dress by itself (cute, but snoooooze):

dress: downeast basics

Now let’s change it up with five very different looks:

1. Casual striped t-shirt: h&m, knee high socks: target, boots: target

2. Sophisticated blue button up: target, blazer: f21, nude heels: kohl’s, glasses: old & embarrassing (remind me to never wear my glasses in a photo again…)

3. Funky cardigan: cozy, leopard scarf: made by me, tights: kohl’s, mary jane wedges: target

4. Feminine lace skirt: made by me, polka dot tie blouse: jcpenney, heels: forever young shoes, red lips: sephora

5. Dressy velvet blazer: anthropologie, fishnet tights: target, heels: forever young shoes, earrings: gift from Philip

All of the added clothing items are pretty standard kinds of pieces that most of you probably have sitting in your closet right now. Wearing them by themselves can be pretty boring — learning how to put them together and creating different interesting looks is how you express your personality through your clothing and have fun with your clothes; and that’s the name of the game. Now go start playing!

Oh, p.s.  Kohls.com has generously provided my readers with several discount codes for next week, so if you’re now in need of a few fantastic new pieces, head on over to their site and check out their awesome post-Christmas deals (and seriously, they have great stuff).

Extra 20% Off Kohls.com
Promo code: MISTLETOE
Valid 12/25

Extra 15% Off Kohls.com
Promo Code: SLED15
Valid: 12/26-1/2

Extra 20% Off Kohls.com with a $100 purchase
Promo Code: SLED20
Valid: 12/26-1/2

  • so cute! can you post a tutorial for the lace skirt and leopard scarf?

  • I totally have a dress like this! Who knew it could look so cute! Thanks for all the really great ideas. I am going to try some of them… P.S. I am a relative of a relative (Ashley R.) please don't be be creeped out by my blog-stalking. Eeks!

  • Will you come get me dressed in the mornings?… (I'm only a little bit kidding).

  • I TOTALLY LOVE THIS! I just scored an LBD at a recent swap party, and it's perfectly inbetween casual and dressy, so I was playing with different ideas for it. I would and could do every single look you created here!

  • Ha. I love that Alli posted. She is my sis in law and I LOVE her. You would love her too πŸ™‚ Anyways…one question. Well first- LOVE the different outfits. And…did you try on all those outfits in the same day…undress, redress- lipstick, tights…undress. redress πŸ˜‰

  • Nav

    love how you showed us this versatile piece! LBD is def a must!

    xo Nav

  • Um, this? Is an amazing post. Bravo, missy.

  • Adorable! I love all the looks. πŸ™‚ I'm a new reader and I have to say, I can't wait to read through your other posts. πŸ™‚

  • Absolutely amazing. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas.

  • I really love the Funky and Feminine looks! I love how the colors work so well in the Funky look. And as for the feminine look, the lace peeking out is super adorable.

    I feel the same way about my wardrobe. It has evolved so much and I've grown to learn what are good 'pieces' to add to my wardrobe. A lot of people from my job point out that I don't ever wear the same outfit twice. It's only because I have some great pieces that I can remix over and over into a million combinations.

  • I totally agree! I need to start shopping with the idea of versatility on my mind. Love all the looks you put together.

  • Ooohh LOVE that striped shirt under the LBD…so cute! Great post πŸ™‚

    The Other Side of Gray

  • these are all such great looks! Kudos to you for working your closet in such a fabulous way. Newest follower, here…obviously! =)
    Kristina J.

  • Just found you blog on Putting me Together- so cute! mmm loving those wine colored hose!

  • Bre

    Hi there, I just found you via "Putting me together."
    This is such a great post. Somedays it's easy to find and mix match stuff in my closet but I am still working on perfecting my technique and pieces in my closet.

    Happy Holidays,

  • oh my i love these. such a great idea to take one piece and channel so many different looks with it! πŸ™‚

  • Thanks for posting this. I have this same dress and didnt know how to style it! I love your blog!! New follower!
    Feel free to stop by my blog and say hi!

  • Jo

    Awesome, I am thinking of doing a money saving version of the 8 pieces16 outfits on my blog http://memosinstilettos.blogspot.ca/

    Lets see how thrify I can do it!

  • This is so great! I love the look layered with the lace skirt and blouse just peeking over the top! So feminine and fun! And yeah, I would never think to pick up a dress like that b/c it would be too "boring" for me….but the way you have switched it up is great! And inspiring. B/c I always look for things like this and I love seeing other peoples take on a simple outfit! Great work!

  • I had kept an eye out for a dress like this since you posted this. I live in India and dresses are nit as easily available as we wear salwars on a daily basis. Anyway imagine my luck when I found ine exactly like this at an affordable cost of 10$ yesterday. I had to tell you my heart just stopped beating … now I cant wait to style my dress like you πŸ™‚ I am your copy cat stylist in India. Thanks again for the inspiration as always.