This time of year is especially fun with my clients because its the season to twirl around in party dresses. We’re either shopping for more occasion outfits, or refreshing the look of existing party frocks by changing up the rest of the outfit.

I absolutely love making last year’s party dress feel like new and here’s how I go about it. In some instances I’ll apply a few of the changes at once, and at other times go with one single update:

  1. Swap out the jewelry: Wear statement earrings with a cuff or bracelet instead of a necklace. Or vice versa.
  2. Add satin, lace or velvet opera gloves: Very retro. Add a cocktail ring.
  3. Throw in a new pair of shoes: Went metallic or black last year? Try a colour or animal print this year.
  4. Change the clutch: Opt for something crisp and modern if vintage was your look last season. Or opt for a retro style instead of a classic one. Change the colour and size of the evening bag. Go sparkly instead of plain. Go matte instead of patent. Sport a dainty chain handle handbag. Sport a wristlet
  5. Change the hosiery: Try lacy patterns instead of micro fishnets. Add sparkly hose.
  6. Think past the classic woolly pashmina type cover-up: There are many more fun and updated ways to cover-up a party dress. Think cropped or long tuxedo jackets, short faux fur coats, soft sequin jackets, satin boleros, capelets and strong shouldered velvet blazers.
  7. Add a cropped leather jacket: Crazy idea, but I love the vibe. I’m aching to wear my cropped black biker jacket over my retro 50’s style ball gown. I’ll pile on the pearls, step into red Kate Spade pumps, add fun hose and a vintage clutch.
  8. Change your hairstyle: If you wore it down, stick it up and vice versa. Add a pretty hair accessory.
  9. Change your make-up and nail colour: Combine smoky eyes with light coloured lipstick. Sport ruby lips and dark nail polish.
  10. Wear the dress backwards: Another crazy idea but it can work. A friend of mine wore one of her formal dresses backwards because the neckline was too low, and it looked fabulous.

If you’re not going to a formal party event this year, you can still use some of these tips to refresh a more casual party ensemble. Remixing is the name of the game.