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How to Look Your Best When You Have Nothing New to Wear to an Event

Simple tips for making old favorites feel fresh.
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How to Look Your Best When You Have Nothing to Wear to an Event 2

When I received an invitation to a Golden Globes Award party last year, my first reaction was pure excitement (I watch it from my couch every year, so the opportunity to actually go was a dream), followed shortly by the inevitable question, "But what will I wear?" It wasn't like I'd be walking the red carpet, but I still felt like I didn't have anything in my closet that struck the right balance of glam, yet understated (I wanted to play it at least a little cool). My evening dresses felt either too over-the-top, over-worn, or not quite special enough. In the end, I opted for a casual bright-yellow dress, that I dressed up with some nude pumps and statement earrings with bold makeup. While this was a special case, I've run into the same issue countless times at weddings and similar events. I've invested in a few dresses I feel great in, but even they have their limits and no longer feel special after a while. I've come up with a few strategies for making outfits feel fresh and new, so I can feel put together, even in a dress I've worn a lot. Here are three tips for looking your best when you have "nothing" to wear:

do the opposite

If you’re heading to an event and know the group has seen your outfit before (like the fourth wedding in your circle this year), look at photos from the last event you all attended and transform everything else about your look, accessory- and beauty-wise. If you went for a sleek bun last time, try beach waves, or opt for a vampy lip instead of your go-to coral shade. Even changing up your manicure will help give your look new life. Places like Dry Bar or Blushington can also be a lifeline if you aren’t amazing at styling your hair or makeup. I promise, no one will notice you’re wearing that same LBD. 

bold accessories

Accessories are your best friend when transforming an outfit. By adding jewelry, especially statement or unexpected pieces, you can create an entirely new look. A wedding can serve as the ideal time for treasured, beautiful jewels like a tennis bracelet or your grandmother’s ring, but also try a cluster vintage broaches on your jacket or wear a ribbon in your hair to make an edgy dress feminine. Think about accessorizing in unexpected ways to draw away from your reused item while still feeling your best. 

rethink outerwear 2

Even if it isn't freezing, throwing something over your dress or jumpsuit can invigorate your ensemble (and I'm not talking about your date's blazer). Instead of a pashmina, which can feel expected and a little out-dated, opt for a floor-length duster or well-fitted trench. If the event is somewhere cold, consider working backwards to plan your outfit. Choose your favorite outerwear first, then pick the pieces for underneath based on which complement it best. Something form-fitting or structured is usually a smart idea if your outerwear is flowy and vice versa. Anything like this lightweight trench can be draped over most event outfits to make any look on-trend and add to your overall confidence.

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