+ Three Ways

Two Ways: Peplum Dress


Dress: sold out at Topshop, similar dress ($96)

From Left, Necklace: Gem Necklace ($43) Belt: Effortless Skinny Belt ($38) Bag: Warehouse Bowler ($63) Shoe: Ann Taylor Pump ($178) Sweater: Jackie Cardi ($62) Skirt: Double Serge Pencil ($90)

From Right, Sunglasses: Madewell Starlet Shades ($50) Belt: Plaque Belt ($30) Bag: Hibiscus Bag ($48) Shoe: J.Crew Patent Sandal ($228) Necklace: Clemence Necklace ($139) Skirt: Aztec Dip Dye Skirt ($64)

Bee from Atlantic-Pacific often layers dresses under tops and skirts over dresses.  It’s a smart way to extend the wearability of your clothes.  Since this dress is contour hugging, I thought it would be easy to layer skirts over the bottom portion of the dress. 

For the Office.  This out fit pairs the cream dress with a mint cardigan and jade skirt.  As you know, I like the tone-on-tone look, but if it’s not for you, try a navy or purple cardigan.

I added the purple and green statement necklace to pull the green pieces together and a pop of purple.  I like the mauve and green together.  I added a cool belt with a very interesting buckle.  I’d wear the belt over the waist mark on the dress and under the cardigan.  Add a simple bag and neutral pump, and you’re ready for work.

For the hair, I would wear it teased at the crown and twisted into a wavy half-up/half-down.  For the makeup, I would use a neutral eye palette of taupe for the lid and bone for the highlighter.  I’d also wear a bit of gloss in a berry shade. 

For a Lunch Date. I saw a young woman walking on the Mall last week wearing a peplum top over a fuller skirt.  I loved the way that the peplum cascaded down the sides of the skirt.  It was super cute, so I thought I’d try to create something similar here.

I adore this ikat print skirt for summer.  It’s not too dressy nor too casual, and would be great for the weekend or maybe, a casual Friday.  The necklace is a total Phillip Lim knock-off, but it’s super chic.  And I added my favorite belt from J.CREW (currently on sale) to complete the look.

The shoes are a comfortable sandal for summer, and the bag adds a shot of life to the outfit.  And those sunglasses?  Love them!  That’s a lot of style for $50.

For the hair, I would wear it down with some beachy waves.  I’d also wear a coral gloss with a pop of pink on my cheeks and some bronzer to brighten the complexion.  And I’d definitely paint my toes a fun coral color.



  1. e says:

    So you would wear a skirt and a cardigan over a dress in the Spring / Summer? I get layering on the top but layering on both seems like it would get awfully warm during the work commute.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  2. DB says:

    I know people do layer skirts over dresses, but I personally could never do it – pencil skirts are a tight fit for me to begin with (thanks, hips), and there's no extra room in there for ANOTHER skirt!

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  3. AM says:

    Are you kidding me? A pencil skirt — most likely with a split in the back — over a dress? Nevermind is has “stuff” around the hips and would add bulkiness to that area… Even the ruffled skirt seems too much of a stretch to just try to make it work somehow. I realize this was quite a challenge to take on, but the end result seems to treat this beautiful dress as a top only.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  4. LW says:

    Has anyone ever worn anything like this (skirt layered over a dress) successfully? I've never tried it, but it seems like it would be awfully uncomfortable, and much too warm in the summer.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  5. lulu says:

    I've done it! I have a dress where the top is very nice and processional, but it's both short and tight, so I where a pencil skirt on top. It's a way to make a garment more versatile. You just have to be careful with the layers when you sit down, and that the skirt doesn't turn.

    I love those combinations by the way, great ideas! I'm curious about how the second one would look, with the peplum on top of full skirt.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  6. Belle says:

    LW: I've worn dresses over dresses before and it looked nice. I haven't tried it with a skirt yet, just because I don't own any mini-dresses.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  7. ES says:

    I agree..This looks like it would be bulky and very uncomfortable – especially here in hellish summers of DC! I do love the look though.. Belle, can you please explain how exactly this is done?

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  8. nicci says:

    Love ya but this is cray-cray. I know the commenter wanted advice on getting more mileage out of a striking dress but maybe just switching out accessories or shoes is a more practical solution. I admire your creativity, though, Belle!

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  9. Belle says:

    ES: It looks best with a mini skirt under another skirt. And it looks best with a fuller skirt as the top skirt. That way it doesn't look too bulky.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  10. Joanne says:

    Belle, I'm one of your biggest fans, but I'm not getting this one. Do you have any inspiration pictures that might pull it together in my mind?

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  11. Belle says:

    Joanne-Try this one. https://atlantic-pacific.blogspot.com/2012/05/gingham-girl.html

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  12. Heatheresq says:

    I think the full skirt would work, like Blair in AP. The pencil seems tough.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  13. okgirl says:

    Are you kidding me? wearing one garment on top of another?? I don't get it, have never seen this, never heard of this and for sure would never try this. But everyone is allowed some crazy idea every once in a while!

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  14. A says:

    I am a big fan of wearing a skirt over a dress when the dress is made of a thin material and shorter than the skirt. It's another quick way to transition from day to night!

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  15. CynthiaW says:

    I've seen another blogger do this frequently – both with a dress over a dress and a skirt over a dress. However, she lives in San Francisco and has to layer year-round and she goes for a more bohemian look. I do love the look on her though!

    Just the thought of putting on another layer in Houston makes me sweat!

    June 6, 2012/Reply
  16. saramel says:

    I love it! For those who think it's too warm, why not hold onto the idea for a cool fall day or even next spring? And, Belle, please ignore those who can't think outside of the box. I think your suggestions are very creative.

    June 6, 2012/Reply
  17. AP says:

    In my wilder moments, I have considered wearing a skirt over a dress, but never had the cajones to pull that off. the link that you included–the Gingham girl–makes it look so obviously smart, Belle. I still don't think I could pull it off, though. I'd be terrified that everyone could tell!

    June 6, 2012/Reply
  18. A says:

    This is ridiculous.

    June 6, 2012/Reply
  19. AW says:

    I agree that these are creative ideas best left for more mild weather and for people who have the confidence to not be fidgeting with their outfits all day long. What I can't figure out is why the person who asked for ideas thinks this is a one wear dress. I certainly wouldn't wear it every week, but I don't see why it couldn't be worn at least monthly, especially if you alternate day and evening wears. Switch up the shoes and accessories and i don't see what the problem is.

    June 6, 2012/Reply
  20. Belle says:

    AW: I think it's a little short for day on it's own, but I agree it has a lot of potential with the right accessories.

    AP: Bee makes everything look so obvious. I have a case of the “Why the hell didn't I think of that?”s nearly every time she posts.

    And to the people who are opposed to the look, that's cool. It's certainly out there, esp. for the staid Potomac region, but it can be done well with some thought and the right attitude.

    June 6, 2012/Reply