How to Dress Up with a Capsule Wardrobe

styling a black dressThe holiday season is on its way, and with it the beginning of party season. Now is the time for all things festive and glamorous! I love it when I get an opportunity to dress up, but since I started wearing a capsule wardrobe, dressy occasions are a bit different. I keep a few dresses in my capsule wardrobe that can be dressed up or down depending on the event, and over the past year I’ve learned a few tricks to elevate any outfit and make it look more dressed up.  I went to the symphony over the weekend, and thought I’d share how I implemented these tricks for that evening.

Here are my tips for dressing up with a capsule wardrobe.

How to style a little black dressHow to dress up your capsule wardrobeSpecial occasion capsule wardrobe outfit

1. The little black dress

If you don’t have a little black dress in your closet, I highly recommend you consider investing in one. They are so versatile, and can look so elegant for a variety of occasions! Mine actually came from a local thrift shop, and I’ve worn it countless times over the years. I love a little black dress for evening wear because it’s understated, but can really be played up with accessories.

J Crew envelope clutch
2. Classic accessories

Never underestimate the power of some classic accessories. I love my black heels, simple suede clutch, and swing trench for the evening. They are elegant staples that make the look feel balanced.

Anthropologie jeweled hair pin thrifted LOFT little black dress

3. A touch of sparkle

One of my favorite additions to a dressy look is a jeweled hair pin. I got a set of them at Anthropologie years ago, and they’ve been my best friends for musical performances, evening events, and so much more. For this look I chose one with berry tones that coordinate with my makeup and the ring I wear everyday to keep things cohesive.

Black dress outfit simple evening outfit fall makeup look


4. Glam it up with hair and makeup

When I’m going out, I love to keep my outfit fairly minimal, and put more effort into my hair and makeup routine. I’m in love with classic 1940s style waves because they just feel like me. I use my flat iron to create the waves, and try and keep things loose and natural. For my makeup, I love a bold lip and a flick of eyeliner. Here I’ve mixed two shades of lipstick to create a pretty berry color that matches my nail polish.

evening capsule wardrobe outfit

5. Vintage elements

I like to think of my style as classic with a touch of vintage, and that really comes into play with my more dressy looks. My hair, makeup, jacket, and shoes are all vintage inspired elements that give the look a little bit of personality. I love that these black heels have a t-strap because it’s a subtle, almost undetectable detail that adds a retro flair.

Styling a swing jacketOutfit details:

Dress: Thrifted

Jacket: Banana Republic, old

Shoes: DSW

Bag: J. Crew via eBay

Tights: Target

Hair pin: Anthropologie

Lipstick: BITE’s Glacé and Red Velvet mixed together

Nails: Ciaté’s Napa Valley

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How do you like to dress up for the evening? Do you have some fun party looks planned this season? I’d love to hear!



14 thoughts on “How to Dress Up with a Capsule Wardrobe

  1. Ok, I definitely LOVE everything about this Lauren! I agree 100% with all of your tips and definitely utilize them a Lot, even though I don’t have a capsule wardrobe. Also, I totally love this look with all of the classic black….defintiely Chic!

    1. Thank you so much Madison!! Yes!! These tips are pretty universal I think, regardless of whether or not you have a capsule wardrobe. 😀 I may or may not have just purchased another black dress for my wardrobe so– more looks like this coming soon! 😉
      Thanks for always being an encouragement!

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