The most stylish accessories for dresses incorporate a range of accent pieces that can turn a simple dress into a showstopper. We're playing a little fast and loose with the definition of “accessories” here, in that we're including footwear because we can't help ourselves. You have to admit, though, that your shoes play an essential role in the appearance of your ensemble. They can definitely change the vibe of a dress. Of course, the same can be said for all the accessories we've gathered together for your consideration. Are you ready to learn how to style a dress to match your aesthetic? Here we go!
Knee-High Boots for Sky-High Style
Since we're breaking the rules anyway, let's start out with footwear-related accessories for dresses. A pair of knee-high or thigh-high boots can give almost any dress an upmarket edge. Try wearing a short dress with knee-high boots in a soft color, such as buff or tan.
Black knee-highs have their place, too. With a polished, tailored dress, you can wear them to work and stomp your way through the boardroom. They're also perfect as part of a glam date night look.
Stick with ankle boots for everyday edginess. That's a timeless style that will never steer you wrong. Anytime you feel the urge to strut a little bit, however, pull on the thigh-highs. A slouchy design can capture low-key vibe, so you can even work the statement shoes on the day-to-day.
A Bag That Channels Your Aesthetic
Knowing how to style a dress often comes down to understanding how to pair up your accessories. The wrong choice can turn your fabulous dress into a fashion fail. That's not the impression you want to leave. Set aside a little extra time to consider every accessory, including the handbag you want to use with your dress.
A roomy, brightly colored tote bag is ideal with a long maxi skirt, but that's not something you want to carry when you're wearing a little black dress. Likewise, your metallic clutch isn't exactly office-appropriate, nor would you want to take it to class with you.
If you're headed to the lecture hall in a babydoll dress and chunky shoes, then you need a chic, simple backpack to hang over your shoulder. Out on a date or heading to the office in a smart, fitted dress, a structured shoulder bag is a can't-miss pick. Know when to showcase vivid colors and when to go with an understated neutral, as well. We're fans of many of the new neutrals, such as blush pink and mint green.
A Belt for an Eye-Popping Touch
Fashion belts are fantastic accessories for dresses. They're not exactly practical, but they pull attention to your dress, its color and design, and its structure. Play around with wide or small belts, as well as belts with simple finishes or dazzling accents.
You can't wear a belt with every dress, but you can experiment in front of your mirror or your phone camera. Typically, belts look best with slim, fitted dresses with definitive waistlines. They can add too much around the midsection if you wear them with fuller skirts.
Jewelry to Take It Up a Notch
Your jewelry is your chance to add bling or elegance to your outfit. Link chain necklaces and bracelets are lovely but subtle, which is the perfect combo for the office or everyday wear. Hoop earrings are on-trend at the moment, and they're available in a range of large to small. Then again, a simple pair of studs is always a stylish choice.
Feel free to express yourself and highlight your dress with your jewelry. Limit yourself to one or two statement-pieces, however. One is better, but stacks of bracelets are amazing accessories for dresses, and you can get away with two eye-catching bracelets. Otherwise, stick to a cocktail ring, a statement necklace, or an over-the-top pair of earrings.
Hats Off to You
Why not step out in a hat? We're going to show you how to style a dress with a hat. There aren't a lot of rules, meaning that you have the freedom to figure out which hat styles suit you best and what works with the dresses in your closet.
Floppy sun hats are phenomenal with maxi dresses and simple little cocktail dresses, which also pair beautifully with wide-brimmed woolen hats. If your style runs more toward Boho chic, then a woven straw hat is still on-point, but so are Panama hats in a range of designs. Newsboy hats have an edgy, hipster charm, or you can go the French route with a cute cloche. In a pinch, a ball cap is the bomb dot comb when worn with a casual dress.
One Fierce Layer
At Saved by the Dress, we love layering with dresses. Maybe that's why we're stretching the definition of the best accessories for dresses again. A blazer, cardigan, kimono, or fuzzy open sweater, worn over a dress, creates a new, next-level aesthetic.
You can layer almost anything over a dress. As always, of course, that's dependent on the dress itself. A fuzzy, wide-collar sweater layered over a short dress, combined with knee-high boots, is an iconic, upscale look. On the flip side, a lacy kimono cardi floating over a long dress is the height of Boho fashion.
If your sense of style skews toward quirky, then you can get even more experimental with your layering. Try a vest over a tee shirt dress and see what you think. You can layer button-downs and pretty blouses beneath jumper dresses, as well.We have a stellar selection of sensational accessories for dresses waiting for you to peruse. Treat yourself to a new necklace or a must-have pair of boots. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter. You’ll get a $15 gift card for orders of $75 or more after shipping and taxes!