One of the greatest challenges I have when looking at my wardrobe is what I call outfit tunnel vision. I get stuck in thinking that a certain pant, shirt or skirt can only go with another certain pant, skirt or shirt-kind of like an adult Garanaimals. This results in having very few outfit combinations for my entire wardrobe. In reality there are unlimited ways to wear almost any item of clothing (swimsuits and undergarments excluded) and adapt it to any season. Keep reading for four styling options for the same dress (and where you can find 365 more).

Learning how to get the most out of your clothing opens up endless styling possibilities while saving you money and promotes sustainability in fashion (an upcoming column topic). The Uniform Project took this creative concept to a new level, styling one dress every day for a year. While some of the outfits created by the Uniform Project aren’t wearable for everyone, its creativity is inspiring and illustrates how versatile one canvas can be.

Being able to style one piece into a variety of separate and unique outfits is a great way to get the most out of your clothing and stay off noting-to-wear shopping sprees. Here are four ideas for styling a simple black dress office appropriate ways, one for every season.

1)Fall: As the weather gets cooler add a rich blazer and waist defining thin belt over the blazer. Pair it with a slightly chunky yet subdued heel, tights optional.

BCBG MAX AZRIA, House Of Harlow, Commando


2) Winter: Wear a sweater or peplum top over the dress, transforming it into a skirt. Keep the accessories simple, adding polish through chic ankle boots and thick black on black tights.

Elie Tahari, Heather Hawkins, Derek Lam, Via Spiga
Black Dresses


3) Spring: Wear a collared shirt under your dress, look for something that has an embellished or unique collar to avoid the “school girl” look. Add a waist slimming wide belt and a colorful pair of wedges to bring it together.

Nine West, Lanvin, Elie Tahari
Black Dresses


4) Summer: Highlight the simple, timeless beauty of a classic dress by adding a statement necklace and leg-lengthening nude pumps.

Vince Camuto, Christian Louboutin, Anthropologie
Black Dresses


One Comment

  1. Rebecca says:

    Three of the four outfits are not appropriate for court. Also, I am thinking “peplum” tops are not fashion sustainable.

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