How to wear one dress four different ways

Travel light: How to wear one dress four ways

July 18th, 2013


By Brittany Anas

One thing that makes us groan is paying extra baggage fees when we’re jet-setting. That money would be much better spent on renting a surfboard, snagging Vegas show tickets or enjoying some mimosas at a jazz brunch.

We thought it’d be fun to test whether you could pack one dress and wear it four different ways while on vacation. The answer, we found, is that it’s super-easy. With a little outfit planning, you could easily have a different look every day while skipping extra baggage fees and saving room in your suitcase for, you know, souvenirs to bring home.

Another great way to save on your vacation is with travel coupons from Get 2.5 percent Cash Back at Wyndham Hotel Group and up to 6 percent cash back at Priceline.

For this experiment, we used a $15.80 blue lace dress from Forever 21 as the blank canvass. Here’s the same pleated sleeveless dress, but in white – also under $16.

Before you get started, here’s a few tips to help you remix your wardrobe.

  • Choose a solid color dress or one with classic prints — like stripes or polka dots. A basic dress will up its “remix-ability,” meaning you can wear it so many different ways.
  • Stick with a color palette. We went with blues and punchy corals and red. That way, you can limit how many accessories and shoes you pack, too.
  • Rely on lighter weight accessories (scarves, earrings, clutches and bracelets) to change up your outfit. The best — and most affordable — way to refresh your wardrobe and get an updated look is by incorporating accessories.
  • Don’t just think about remixing your wardrobe while you’re on vacation. Re-wearing your clothes in different ways is something that will help you save money and, it gives you the best return on your clothing investments. The savvy trick is something that is getting props — even Kate Middleton has been applauded for re-wearing her favorite pieces different ways.

Okay, let’s get packing!

Look one: Toss a light, flowy blouse over a dress to give the illusion that you’re wearing a skirt or a patterned dress. Knot it in the front or on the side for an instantly chic outfit. This Antonio Melani tie-front, scarf-print blouse in neutral colors from Dillard’s is especially versatile. We also like this fun Kimichi Blue tropical print tied shirt from Urban Outfitters.

Look two: Pattern play! For a bohemian-artsy look, mix up your patterns. We used a tribal-patterned scarf and a leopard printed clutch and tossed a denim vest on top to channel a more youthful look. A pop of leopard — in the form of a clutch or a skinny belt from Target — is a good way to give your outfits more edge.

Look three: Go glam. Let your accessories steal the show for a “night-out” look. We used a beaded rose necklace and some bright red shoes with a glitter chevron purse to dress up the dress. Anthropologie and J.Crew are good hunting ground for statement necklaces, and you can get 2 and 3 percent Cash Back respectively on your purchases at those stores.

Look four: Tourist preppy. For cool nights or crisp mornings, toss a patterned cardigan or lightweight sweater over your shoulders. Didn’t have time to style your hair? Pop on a hat and throw your hair back in a ponytail or a side bun. Floppy, summery straw hats — like this one from Eddie Bauer — will also shield your face from the sun.

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Brittany Anas is a newspaper reporter, which she says is basically like going on a professional scavenger hunt every day. She became hooked on fashion in the early 1990s when her mom sewed her a pair of MC Hammer pants and matching headband. Brittany lives in Denver, Colorado and loves spending time with her southern gentleman of a boyfriend and their pot-belly pig-gremlin mix that the rescue organization described as a “Boston Terrier.” She fancies polka dots, Detroit Pistons basketball and brunch. Brittany blogs at and Twitters from @BrittanyAnas. Find her on Pinterest or ping her on Google+.

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