That basic hanging in your closet is more versatile than you think.

By Rebecca Daly
Updated June 04, 2018
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement

A basic shift dress is the perfect one-step outfit, but when you add glitzy accessories or a waist-defining belt, you can wear this wardrobe staple anywhere. Here are three easy ways to upgrade a standard shift dress, making it perfect for date night, a weekend hang, or an important day at work.

Brian Henn

Heels and a clutch elevate this casual staple to a date-night go-to, while a cinched waist gives the boxy silhouette a more structured, flattering shape.

To buy: Babaton Patricio dress, $135; aritzia.com. Suzanna Dai Turks earrings, $220; suzannadai.com. Forever 21 Faux Leather Braided-Trim belt, $7; forever21.com. Urban Expressions Bahamas clutch, $60; urbanexpressions.net. Etienne Aigner Martini heels, $148; etienneaigner.com.

Brian Henn

Laid-back, summery pieces—a denim jacket, a gauzy scarf—create a versatile warm-weather outfit just right for wandering the farmers market or boardwalk.

To buy: Babaton Patricio dress, $135; aritzia.com. Loft Banded Collar Denim jacket, $90; loft.com. Dear Drew by Drew Barrymore Central Park Square scarf, $68; amazon.com. Hat Attack Classic Raffia fedora, $98; hatattack.com. Adia Kibur earrings, $52; adiakibur.com. SO Dory sandals, $40; kohls.com.

Brian Henn

A strategically placed brooch transforms a T-shirt-style frock into a draped tunic you can wear to work.

To buy: Babaton Patricio dress, $135; aritzia.com. Ann Taylor Chelsea Skinny pants, $79; anntaylor.com. Nicole Romano Miramar necklace, $275; modaoperandi.com. Pono by Joan Goodman Angle bracelets, $50 each; ponobyjoangoodman.com. Alexis Bittar Crystal Encrusted safety pin, $125; alexisbittar.com. Zac Zac Posen Earthette Accordian Shoulder bag, $450; revolve.com. CC Corso Como Jackey Slingback flats, $119; lordandtaylor.com.