4 Ways to Dress Up Basics for Special Occasions

I used to be someone who would buy a new outfit for every event – birthdays, holiday parties, weddings, etc. These events were at least few and far between, but it still slowly racked up a closet full of ‘one-time’ pieces that were very trendy and created a lot of clutter. I’ve since removed a lot of that clutter from my closet, and have replaced a lot of it with more timeless, classic pieces that I get more wear out of.

But there are still days or nights where I want to feel special and not so basic. Here are four ways to dress up basics – my tips for how you can take the basic items in your closet to the next level, for the upcoming holiday season or special occasions throughout the year.

1. Add a piece of statement jewelry

My favourite and I think the easiest way to add something extra to a ‘basic’ outfit is with jewelry. I don’t have a lot of statement pieces, as day-to-day I tend to wear more subtle and dainty jewelry. However, having one pair of statement earrings or a necklace can really increase the versatility of your wardrobe. Here I’ve paired a simple black dress with these beautiful handmade earrings by Michaela Foky. They add that little touch that makes this outfit feel more special to match the occasion.

4 Ways to Dress Up Basics for Special Occasions
4 Ways to Dress Up Basics for Special Occasions

Other accessories like purses and shoes can have the same effect, however I’ve found that they take up a lot more space in my closet and lead to the same clutter problems I had before. Jewelry is a good solution for me because it doesn’t take up a lot of space while it’s tucked away waiting for its time to shine.

2. Wear a bold lip

4 Ways to Dress Up Basics for Special Occasions

Or a bold eye. Or a sparkly highlight. You get the picture! Switching up your makeup seems really obvious, but I still wanted to include it because it’s a very simple way to take an outfit from day to night, or from basic to special.

I’ve always loved playing with makeup since I was young, and although I’ve culled my collection by a lot recently, I will always make sure to have a bold, red lipstick that I can put on when I want to feel a little more glam. One of my favourites (and the one I’m wearing here) is the RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in the shade Beloved.

4 Ways to Dress Up Basics for Special Occasions

3. Create a chic updo

Similarly, changing up your hairstyle can overhaul your entire look. This is the one I struggle with the most, since my hair tends to have a mind of its own and refuses to stay in place no matter how much I pin it. But something like this elegant chignon is pretty simple and easy to do (albeit a little messy). It completely elevates the simple black jumpsuit I’m wearing while also drawing attention to the subtle bow detail on the back.

4 Ways to Dress Up Basics for Special Occasions
4 Ways to Dress Up Basics for Special Occasions

4. Include a pop of colour

4 Ways to Dress Up Basics for Special Occasions

The one trap I always find myself caught in when buying basic items is that I tend to go for mainly neutral colours – blacks, greys, and whites – because they pair well with more and will last longer style-wise. That said, having a few colourful items can really help take your wardrobe up a notch and keep it from being too boring (unless you find dressing all black exciting, which is totally possible and fair!)

For this outfit I’ve paired a jewel-tone sweater with my regular black pieces to brighten it up and make it feel a little more festive. The one I’m wearing is from Frank & Oak and is no longer available, but I’ve included some similar options for you below.

4 Ways to Dress Up Basics for Special Occasions

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it gave you some good ideas for any holiday parties you have coming up. What’s your favourite way to dress up a more basic piece? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Emily

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4 Ways to Dress Up Basics for Special Occasions

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