We’ve all bought something beautiful, brought it all the way home in a flurry of excitement only to realize we have nothing to coordinate it with. So it languishes in the closet waiting for you to buy something to go with it. There’s an easy way to reduce that experience by padding out your wardrobe with items that coordinate multiple ways and work with a variety of items. Here’s a quick overview on getting the most out of statement pieces like jumperskirts and dresses, as well as ideas on how to customize them to your personal style. These are not strict rules, this article is meant more to inspire you to fill out your wardrobe to make getting dressed creatively every day more easy and fun, and to get more use out of your pieces! 🙂
Cardigans and Blazers- A jumperskirt or dress can be changed up easily with the addition of a cardigan or blazer. Cardigans are button-up sweaters, they work beautifully as you can find them in lighter fabrics (cottons usually) for warmer days and wools and even lined for colder ones.
Grab a few in basic colors like black, brown, pale pink, white- as these will coordinate with lots of items and prints. They can easily be found at thrift shops or mall stores affordably. When buying ones to coordinate with lolita silhouette items length is worth paying attention to, longer (mid-bum ending) cardigans work nicely in casual outfits or with babydoll cut dresses, while shorter ones that end at your natural waist or at your hip bones work beautifully with bell skirts and fit-n-flare cut dresses. Cardigans are also a good alternative to blouses as they aren’t as bulky feeling and give the outfit a little retro charm. These can be customized with embroidery or replacing the buttons super easily to make them your own!
Blazers are nice when you want to look more tidy and elegant, and they create a beautiful shape to your shoulders and a well tailored blazer can sit beautifully atop fit-n-flare dresses. Aim for neutral color ones in quality fabrics, blacks and greys are great for classic and gothic looks. Brushed cotton is lovely for summer and soft wools for cooler days are nice also. These are tricky to find at thrift stores as vintage cuts don’t always work well with dolly outfits. Remember you can replace the buttons or hand-sew small lace trim to the collar to add some personal cuteness to these!
Layering Blouses– It’s handy to have 2-3 flimsy blouses you can layer under jumperskirts and dresses. They can even be see through as really only the arms and neckline will show when worn under something. Look for charming details like peter-pan collars, lace trims, puffed sleeves, and intricate buttons. Lace fabric blouses are great for adding some extra texture worn under a cotton jumperskirt, touches like that give outfits real magic. Aim for colors that will coordinate with many other shades- neutrals like blacks, greys, and navy look great in gothic outfits. While creams, pinks, and whites work nicely for sweeter or retro styles. If you find a great cotton blouse in a faded black or a white that matches nothing you own remember fabric dye is cheap and pretty easy to use! You can also tea/coffee-stain whites and light colors to get an antique fabric feel (I’ll write a post on my obsession with aging/dyeing fabrics soon and how to do it, I promise).
Tights and Socks- A great way to get more mileage out of your dresses and jumperskirts is to coordinate them with a variety of socks and tights. Dare to stray away from print-matched print-socks! Lace tights add texture and luxe to a simple cotton jumperskirt outfit, look for interesting woven cottons or soft lace with lovely patterns. Layer otk socks or knee highs over solid color tights for a bit of extra detail. You can find socks in so many patterns and colors now! We have used lots of tights from We Love Colors in our photoshoots, they do stripey tights in over 40 colors in both plus and regular sizes in multiple fabric options. And we adore Sock Dreams socks in our shoots (and my daily outfits- love those international free shipping sales they do).
By mixing your statement pieces with cheap and classic separates you can get a lot more wear out of your items!