The little black dress is a classic item, and it’s a perfect foundation for discussing some creative and low-cost accessorizing. Finley House Couture has a wide variety of price ranges, and great deals can be found here and at our sister store, The Boutique Collection. All the items in this post can be found at either store, but these ideas can be applied for nearly any budget, and with lots of flexibility in application. So this time, we’ll focus more on concepts than specific designers or pieces. To recreate these looks, similar items can probably be found in your closet already. Thrift stores, estate and rummage sales, and borrowing from friends are always good resources, too!
This dress, by the way, is available at the Boutique Collection for under $40. Mark notes the versatility of the dress, and says that you can wear either flats or heels, pair the dress with shrugs, blazers or jackets, and mix up materials like suede and metallics. See all the ways Mark jazzes up this piece below.
While the cut of this dress is fairly basic, the fabric gives an added level of interest. It’s difficult to tell in photos, but this dress has great texture. The geometric surface makes it appear as though silver threads are woven in. This makes it fun to experiment with metallics and other textures. When building an ensemble around a base item, take note of things like weave, sheen, direction of pattern and more. It’s the little details that really bring things together.
Because of the metallic overtone of the dress, Mark has selected silver accessories here. He has also opted for round shapes in the accessories. Note how the hoop earrings, bangle bracelets, and medallions on the shoes and necklace all echo each other. You can mix and match lots of types of accessories by keeping a theme in mind. These bangles are acrylic, which can be very affordable. You can also try some simple silver bangles. The shoes are a simple sandal with an ankle strap. Mark has chosen a flat shoe here because the dress is being worn without jacket. Flats look great with the dress as is, or with a blazer or shrug, which have a shorter hemline that skims the waist. With this look, a basic clutch would coordinate well, or you could even get creative and freshen up a clutch with old jewelry- single earrings, beads from broken necklaces, craft supplies, thrift store finds, etc. Have fun with it! Check out these tutorials for inspiration: DIY Jimmy Choo-inspired clutch and Recycled Pearl and Rhinestone clutch.
Here, Mark has added a long jacket and some bold jewelry. Remember the suggestion about flats with waist-skimming hemlines? For the longer jacket, Mark suggests a heel to lengthen the leg with the longer look. It’s a good rule of thumb. You can keep the shoe simple here, but don’t be afraid to go with a metallic or wedge.
Mark plays with the texture of the dress again, this time with the jacket. Both the interior texture of the jacket and the exterior pattern mimic the geometric look of the dress weave. The structure of the jacket lends itself to a more big-city look, so glass and silver bracelets work great here- more shine and flash. The statement necklace is bold, and fills the space created by the dress neckline and the high collar. Go big when the space is this defined! You don’t need earrings with the high, tailored collar and large necklace doing so much here. If you must do earrings, go with a simple silver stud. Keeping the color palette limited keeps the look sleek- also another good rule of thumb.
This look features some sass and elegance by using a simple trick. Grab a coordinating sash or thin scarf, and tie a bow, leaving a loop to slide over your head. Add it to a dress or top to dress up the front and back at the same time. You can do this with almost any material; raid your closet to repurpose something or make a sash from some pretty fabric. Add a brooch or single earring to the center to mimic a necklace and add some shine. Mark brings back acrylic bracelets for one wrist, and adds something flashy for the other wrist. You can go high-end or budget on accessories like these- rhinestones or crystals look great! Keep the flash going with jewel tones or rhinestones on the shoe. Because this look is a little more formal with the bow and shine, pair with heels.
We want to see your ideas! What can you do with under $100? Post your looks to our Facebook page!