My New Favorite Outfit: Building A Wardrobe: Dresses and Belts

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Building A Wardrobe: Dresses and Belts

I'm excited to be continuing my Building A Wardrobe Series again today. One the first day of the series I shared Essential Blazers and Jackets, one day two I shared Essential Cardigans, on day three I shared Essential Skirts, on day four I shared Essential Jeans and Dress Pants, on day five I shared Essential Shoes and Accessories, and on day six I shared Essential Shirts. Today I'm going to continue my Building A Wardrobe series by sharing essential dresses with you.  I love dresses and I definitely think it's important to invest in some great versatile pieces.  Here are my thoughts on essential dresses to include in your wardrobe:

  • I recommend purchasing a great black and navy sheath dress.  These classic pieces will be well worth the investment and because of their classic nature can be worn for years to come.
  • I also recommend getting a sold dress with great texture, such as the coral lace dress below. Texture will make this dress special, but due to the solid color, it will still be a versatile piece in your closet.
  • Lastly I recommend getting a striped dress.  I'm showing a cute fit and flare option, but get a shape that fits your style, such as a sheath, jersey, or a-line.  A great black and white stripe dress will be very versatile and mixable in your wardrobe.
  • I also picked some additional options for you, such as a plaid t-shirt dress, leopard, great print, and bold stipes.  I love all these options and they definitely will add value to your closet, however, I wouldn't start hear, as these pieces could be great outfit "show stoppers" but they probably won't be nearly as versatile.  I'd shop the sale rack for these types of pieces after you have a few more essential in your closet.
Building A Wardrobe: Dresses

 bold stripes /

I'm also going to discuss essential belts today.  A reader asked for my thoughts and I realized I hadn't planned to share any, whoops!  I think the number of belts you can have is endless but here are my thoughts on essential belts:

  • I think skinny belts are most popular right now, but I recommend have a wider black and brown one, as these still look great when you want to belt a dress
  • I also recommend having a metallic one, I have a brown metallic and I wear it all the time!
  • Look at the bright colors you wear most, consider buying a bright belt in that color or in a complementary color.
  • I also recommend getting a leopard belt, well, because it's leopard : )
  • Lastly, I recommend having a skinny black and brown belt, these are the ones you'll probably wear most often.
  • Shop the clearance racks, especially at Kohl's.  I've gotten most of my belts there for between $1-$2 bucks.  
  • Belts can be key to defining a waist and I highly recommend wearing them with most outfits, you'd be surprised how much they can add to your final look!
Here's a visual for my thoughts on essential belts:

Building A Wardrobe-belts

Today I'm wearing a great floral print dress and I've belted it to help define my shape. I can dress it up with a cardigan or blazer with heels or dress it down like I did today with a denim jacket and booties.

I'm working to start the spring transition in my closet. That means no more tights, if I have anything to say about it. I bought this dress last fall from Target for like $6 and it's one of my favorite pieces to wear. Today I thought it would be fun to style it casually with my denim jacket from thredUP  (use this thredUP link to get $10 off your first order) and my black booties. I'm thinking I'll be wearing booties for a few more weeks, then sayonara until next fall.   I'm also wearing this adorable  neckalce from Chelsea Row. I got it at a fashion swap brand new! I love a good statement necklace, but am really loving more delicate pieces like this lately.

Jacket: Gap similar via thredUP  (use this thredUP link to get $10 off your first order)
Dress: Target similar
Necklace: Cheslea Row same
Bracelets: chloe + isabel c/o samesame 
Booties: Jessica Simpson similar

Linking up with:


  1. I love all your dress options...and you look gorgeous in that striped one!

  2. All of your dress picks are definitely winners! Kohl's is my go to place for inexpensive belts too, as well as the thrift store.

  3. I completely underestimated belts for so long. I normally buy my cute and little ones at Forever 21 since they are always under $5.

  4. Thanks for the tip to check out the Kohl's clearance rack for can never have too many!

    The Tiny Heart

  5. I'm missing the navy dress out of the essentials collections. I've got to work on that!


  6. I love all the dresses you picked! I've been slowly building my dress collection. Thanks for the tip about Kohls for belts, too. I will have to check that out next time I am there!

  7. Super picks! Practical and versatile. I love this series so much and couldn't agree more with all of your choices.

  8. Can I have one of each of those dresses. I need more classics in my closet!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  9. I think I owned maybe one or two dresses prior to blogging and rarely wore them. I probably have 10 now, with two of them purchased in the last month! I still do not own the LBD. Love the series! Thank you.

  10. What a fun post- I remember when I was building my wardrobe a few years back and didn't really know what my essentails should be. I'd have to say an amen to the striped dress suggestion- those are my most favorite outfits :)

    PS- I'm popping by from the Tres-Chic Fashion linkup!

    xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  11. Your essential dresses are spot on in my opinion. :-)

  12. I use to hate dresses. Hate.
    Now, I cannot get enough of them, they are the simplest way to be dressed in a second.
    Great options.

  13. I've always loved this dress on you! I was doing great with all these essentials until today. I'll admit that dresses are where my closet has some major holes. I just get so frustrated with the fit since I feel like my top and bottom are totally different sizes.

  14. I LOVE wearing skinny belts with pretty much everything. There is just something so feminine and cute about them, especially when they come in bright colours

    xo Mel
    turquoise blonde

  15. I bought that dress during a Loft flash sale after seeing it on your blog. You really should be getting some kind of commission from them! I love it and have gotten so many compliments on it.

  16. i can see why that's your fave dress!! you look great in it! and i really liked your tips in this post. i can never get enough of LBDs! they're so versatile! :D

    Animated Confessions

  17. I own a lot of dresses, but I think I'm lacking the basics--I don't have a navy or black sheath! They would be so versatile!
    Great tip on the belts--definitely checking out the clearance rack at Kohl's next time I visit.

  18. I'm a big fan of printed dresses, I tend to wear them more than my solids, and your striped one is great. I hope you also add at least one more of the dresses you picked out to your closet, they are all so cute.
    Chic on the Cheap

  19. I love dresses so much and am finally figuring out my favorite shapes and types of dresses to wear. I'm in love with fit-and-flare dresses (they work with my body shape so well!), sweater dresses (perfect and cozy, especially with a pair of leggings and boots!), and lace dresses (I wear mine all year round!).

    PS. That wide brown belt you showed? SO CUTE. Love the buckle/clasp.

  20. I totally have this dress and was planning on wearing it with a black blazer, tights, and wedges to work! It looks great on you!