How to Style a Black Shirt Dress Three Ways

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Since I’ve recently become a blogger I’m making a consistent effort to look at clothing basics in a more strategic way. A basic is an item, frequently solid in color that is usually necessary to an outfit but by itself might seem boring. The key to a great and flexible wardrobe is having basics that stand up to the tests of time, ease of wear, high quality fabric, and straight-forward care. Basics can be worn multiple ways, with various accessories and look quite different.

As I’ve learned more about fashion these last months, several bloggers and multiple ads have mentioned a newish company called Everlane. If you go to their online site you might notice that every thing is basically a basic! The models just show the items, devoid of accessories and “looks”. And this can be frustrating to the purchaser. But I decided to put my toe into Everlane’s water with my virgin purchase of this black cotton shirt dress.

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The website is easy to navigate and the order arrived promptly. On the hanger the dress looked stiff and frumpy. I had ordered it one size larger than I usually do in a dress because I wanted to be able to belt it. So when I first saw it I thought it looked like a sleeping bag! But I carried on and gave it a whirl. I buttoned it up, popped the collar, added a wide woven Ann Taylor belt and a JCrew tortoise shell necklace, little gold hoop earrings, a gold watch and a tortoise shell glass link bracelet. My shoes were Stuart Weitzman nude laser cut block heeled sandals as the evening was warm. Honey colored booties would have worked as well.

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Then to point out other fun ways to style this dress I put together two other looks.

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Here I put a JCrew tissue tee in black and white stripe under the dress and then belted it with a JCrew zebra print belt. I added black opaques, black Aquatalia suede booties and a black Kate Spade “doctor’s bag purse”.

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Next, I put a hot pink Beloved tank under the dress, an old pink, leopard brown and black scarf at the neck, tortoise shell earrings by JCrew outlet, a JCrew bronze bracelet, and a tortoise shell bangle from Ann Taylor. Again I used black opaques, brown Via Spiga booties, and a black Coach cross body bag.

I think all three ways to style this dress are cute and distinct. Do you agree? Let me know what you think. Hopefully you agree that this basic has been successfully styled three different ways!