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One Item, Four Ways: Sundress


Girl wearing a sundress
Photo Credit

Every summer, the sundress is a popular style among college girls everywhere. Whether you like ‘em striped, brightly colored, or with a fun floral pattern, sundresses are easy to throw on and work for a variety of occasions, from a day of shopping to a day of classes. Sundresses are also great for college girls because we spend a lot of time walking around campus, and no matter how cute those skinny jeans are on the mannequin, chances are they’re going to be constricting and h-o-t when you’re trekking across campus.

However, like their cousin, the maxi dress, sundresses can sometimes be so simple that it’s hard to wear them in different ways. It can be tempting to just add sandals and a set of bangles and be done with it. But with a little effort, you can create a whole slew of creative outfits centered around your sundress, and with the right accessories even transition it into fall and winter.

Outfit 1: Knotted Up

Outfit idea: Summer sundress with a v-neck tee and flats
Dress, Tee, Earrings, Bag, Flats

I’m a big fan of turning a dress into a skirt by tying a loose-fitting tee over it. It can make dressier sundresses look more casual so that they’re appropriate for a wider variety of events. It’s also a fun way to play around with color combinations and get more wear out of your dresses and tees.

Outfit 2: Boy Meets Girl

Outfit idea: Summer sundress with a military jacket and red flats

Safari- and utilitarian-inspired jackets are perfect for adding a touch of masculinity to your look. Here, I paired the sundress-and-jacket combo with a glammed-up necklace and a sweet ballet flat. This look would be great for fall as well; when it gets chilly, add a pair of tights and switch out the necklace for a scarf.

Outfit 3: Invest in a Vest

Outfit idea: Summer sundress with a drapey vest and sandals
Vest, Watch, Belt, Sandals

I recently picked up a knit vest from the sale rack at Target, and ever since, I’ve been surprised again and again by its versatility! Besides working with tanks and tees, it also looks great on top of all of my sundresses. Wearing a vest with your sundresses adds another layer to the look, and as a bonus, allows you to wear a normal bra instead of having to battle a strapless one.

Outfit 4: Under Wraps

Outfit idea: Summer sundress with a red blazer and boots
Blazer, Bag, Tights (similar style), Boots

Playing around with blazers and cardigans is another easy way to create more looks using the same sundress and transition your look from summer to fall. I know it’s only August, but I couldn’t resist including boots and tights in this outfit set. In the meantime, while the temperatures are still warm, wear this look with sandals or flats, and use the blazer as a cover-up in chilly lecture halls.

What Do You Think?

What’s your favorite type of sundress? Do you have any tips on how to remix your dresses? Which look is your favorite? What kinds of items do you want to see featured next in “One Item, Four Ways?” I’d love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment!

Posted on on August 26, 2011 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , ,

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9 Responses to “One Item, Four Ways: Sundress”

  1. 1
    August 26th, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I like the outfit with the vest the most.

  2. 2
    August 26th, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    i like the” boy meets girl” outfit and the “under wraps” one..though it is a little too formal for going to classes. anyways, i’ve been wanting a pair of those classic brown boots forever!

  3. 3
    August 26th, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Yay Rice – these are all cite outfits :) and from a fellow owl – how exciting!

  4. 4
    August 26th, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    I think this is such a great post! Remixing definitely helps expand a small closet!

    The only thing, is that, the dress from Forever 21 has an inseam of 27 inches, which honestly, would indecently short on anyone and they would probably have to wear it as a tunic. At 5’10”, it is extremely tough to find dresses that are a decent length. I know CF is accepting of all body shapes, but I don’t really see tall girls represented here. It’s so frustrating when you have the same proportions as a model, but can’t seem to find anything long enough.

    With that being said, I want you to know that I read CF daily! It’s inspiring!

  5. 5
    August 26th, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    @ valerie – the posts r 4 inspiration u can use the looks 2 created a look of ur own w clothes that look gr8 on ur body.

    As 4 post I love the idea of showin how 2 wear an item different ways but I’m kinda disappointed about this post seein as in every outfit it’s jus about clothing up the dress. Perhaps 1 of jus the dress, 1 w a jacket maybe 1 tried w pants (remember that was a fashion challenge), n 1 as a skirt. Jus a thought 4 future posts :)

  6. 6
    August 26th, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Outfits 2 and 4 are definitely my favorites! I’m a sucker for boots and jackets.

    Valerie: I definitely agree that the dresses featured in articles are consistently on the shorter side. Although I am not as tall as you, at 5′ 7.5″ I’m above average in height and I definitely don’t want to be wearing a super short dress.

    I wish CF would use less items from F21, because they’re dresses are usually quite short and their clothes in general are quite immodest. I prefer to dress a little classier.

  7. 7
    August 27th, 2011 at 12:16 am

    i like the bag in outfit 4

  8. 8
    August 29th, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Love these outfits! They are too cute and a great way to transition a sun dress into fall.

  9. 9
    September 7th, 2011 at 11:03 am

    So beautiful, i like these so much! I will buy.

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