5 basic tips to restyle a cocktail dress

5 Basic Tips to Restyle a Cocktail Dress

5 Basic Tips to Restyle a Cocktail Dress

Today, I am sharing 5 basic tips to restyle a cocktail dress. I used to buy a new cocktail dress for every special occasion and then forget about it after wearing it only once or twice. This is totally not sustainable, and now I have way too many cocktail dresses in the closet. Wanting to wear my existing clothes more often, I started looking for restyling ideas for cocktail dresses. After many trials and errors, I found myself keeping going back to these 5 guiding principles when creating new looks. If you are also looking for new ways to restyle a cocktail dress, I hope you find today’s post helpful!

1. Wear a cocktail dress as a top

You can wear any cocktail dress as a top by pairing a skirt over it.  While this restyling tip may seem basic, you can definitely take it to the next level by mixing and matching different textures and colors. Here, I wore a high slit skirt over my cocktail dress. I love this look because you can see the red lace underneath the slit. It looked like a peek-a-boo cutout dress, but really, I was just trying to shop less and lower the cost-per-wear of my cocktail dress.

Related: Scarlet Floral Lace Dress with Nude Bodysuit
Denim Shirt || American Apparel High-Waisted Brown Belt

5 basic tips to restyle a cocktail dress: Wear a cocktail dress as a top

2. Wear a cocktail dress as a skirt

If you can wear a cocktail dress as a top, you can also wear it as a skirt. How? I love dressing down a fancy dress with a sweater. For summer, you can also pair a cocktail dress with a simple T-shirt or a button-down shirt too!

Here I wore my blue lace dress as a skirt and paired it with a navy cashmere sweater.

Related: Sustainable Fashion Review: Should You Buy Everlane Cashmere Sweaters?

5 basic tips to restyle a cocktail dress: Wear a cocktail dress as a skirt

In the recent fashion for relief charity show in Cannes, they paired a causal tee over a fancy dress during the closing walk. It’s pretty chic, right?

Restyle a cocktail dress as a skirt with a Tshirt

Restyle a cocktail dress as a skirt with a Tshirt

3. Wear a cocktail dress all year around with different jackets

Personally, I think jackets are the easiest way to restyle a dress. I also think that everyone should own at least one of these classic jackets: a black leather jacket, a beige trench coat, and a denim jacket. One way to become more sustainable with fashion is to stick with classic styles because they never go out of style, so you shop less in a long run. Here are some of my favorite jackets from sustainable fashion brands:

5 basic tips to restyle a cocktail dress: Wear a cocktail dress all year around with different jackets

4. Pair a cocktail dress with clothes of different colors

When mixing and matching different pieces together, I always think about colors first. I usually follow these basic color theories:

  1. Complimentary colors. Colors opposite to each other on the color wheel are considered complimentary colors, and I usually apply this theory on accessories. For example, pairing an orange clutch with a blue dress.
  2. Neutal colors. Neutral colors are black, white, beige, grey, silver, gold and brown. They pretty much work well with any colors.
  3. Same color of different shades. I love pairing red with pink, navy with powder blue, and purple with lavender, etc. You get the idea. And you can introduce any neutral colors to this mix as an accent color too!

I personally love clothes of solid colors and I don’t usually mix prints together. But in case you want to mix and match prints and florals, these color theories still hold. Match prints with base colors that complement each other. To learn more color theories, here is a pretty good introduction to color theory!

Lately, I started buying only blue color clothes when I go shopping. I found it easier to mix and match when all the clothes are of the same color spectrum.

5. Restyle a cocktail dress with different accessories

You can make a cocktail dress look completely different by just switching up your accessories. A subtle change such as pairing with earrings vs. a hat can make a huge difference.

Cocktail dress Challenge How to restyle a cocktail dress

Hope you enjoy this post! Do you have more to add to this list? Please leave me a comment below!

Smile and style on!


Classic and Sustainable Cocktail Dresses:

Black Cocktail Dress

Navy Cocktail Dress

Red Cocktail Dress

  1. Red dress with red flowers in the background! 👌
    This is a pretty comprehensive styling list! And then, you can always double layer. Top + blazer makes for a pretty good b-casual look.
    Speaking of same color diff shades, I’d be curious how this dress looks with your pink pleated skirt! Too Valentines?

    1. Oh I like your double layer idea! Never even thought that far. I will add it to this post if you don’t mind.

      Lastly, I also thought about the pink pleated skirt too, but I think it’s a bit too girly! Haha.

  2. Such lovely pictures, dear. You look stunning, as always:)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.