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.
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
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.
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. Include a pop of colour
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.
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,
Great tips, Emily!
Thank you! 🙂
So obsessed with these looks! I have a holiday work dinner tomorrow and already have my black long sleeve swing dress and a scarf picked out. With some leggings and tall black boots I think I’ll be good to go!
I think black is always a classic (and my favorite) color to wear, but especially this time of year it just looks so pretty with special jewelry or simple accessories.
You look great! I really loved the simple style!!!