8 Foolproof Ways To Make One Dress Work All Wedding Season

Weddings are expensive—I know firsthand. (And I'm speaking from the guest perspective, because I'm decidedly not married.) The needlessly price-y gifts (I just bought someone $60 museum-quality salad tongs, WTF), the plane/train/cabs/rental car, the hotel (often, too often): by the the time you factor those things into your budget, there's usually no room to get the ridiculously amazing new party dress you envisioned the second you opened that fancy calligraphied save-the-date. It kind of sucks.

It's also reason #1 to have some tricks up your sleeve so you can stretch one dress into outfits that look remarkably different, or at least stand out in people's minds (and Instagram pictures) that way. If you start with a basic dress like these three, not a Kenzo-y crazy pattern or funky peplum silhouette, it's pretty easy—provided you know the simple styling tricks and accessory swaps below. Consider it my gift to you. Sorry it's not artisanal salad tongs.

Trick #1: Add an eye-catching belt to make a dress you've worn a zillion times look like a new one. This navy dress would go from an understated staple to a "hey, is that your Mom's old Chanel?" when you clasp a pearl-y chain belt around the hips.

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