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My friends, we get it. Life is busy and sometimes, budgets are tight, leaving us with less time and less money to truly reach the sartorial highs that we’d love to obtain. Alas, fear not! We’ve put together a list of five ideas to help you stretch that one item a little bit further.


You know that saying less is more? Well that’s pretty much our life mantra (along with Spark Joy. Marie Kondo…anyone?) There’s nothing more classic and perennially chic than a well-tailored little black dress. While this isn’t necessarily little, it still has that effortlessness that you’d expect from a traditional LDB. Investing in timeless pieces like this dress allow for a multitude of styling options. With this look we simply paired it with some comfy black sandals and a pair of vintage gold hoops and a gold chain necklace wrapped as a bracelet from the markets in Bangkok (more on these later). Put those together and you have an easy look for work, movies, coffee dates, you name it!


If you’re really into investing in a wardrobe that works hard for you, then the best way to go about it is to find those pieces you love and do like Costco, bulk buy. If you feel good and look good, and it comes in different colours then go for it! At least you know you’re going to wear it. In terms of styling this super versatile dress, we paired the white version with some comfy classic white sneakers and a pair of those vintage gold hoops again. To elevate your look just a smidge, add a statement handbag that matches your other accessories. We can imagine you looking as comfortable at a beach side restaurant in Positano as at your regular brunch spot with the girls. Either way, mimosa please!


Now, some of you may be saying, “Ah, you will not catch me dead or alive showing that much arm outside of the shower”, and we hear you! But this is where the true beauty of a sleeveless midi dress comes in to play; you can layer. While there are some of us (namely your author) that may be reliving school uniform induced trauma thinking of a look with a button down shirt under a sleeveless midi dress but I can tell you (and myself) that this look is super chic and that your school may even have had an idea or two about fashion (who knew?!). To reduce the scholastic affiliations, pair it with your trusty black strappy sandals to give it a more casual look and leave those cuffs unbuttoned for a more “rebel with out a cause” rather than “teacher’s pet” vibe. The sky really is the limit with this guy, button the shirt all the way to the top for a polished ensemble or leave a few open to show a bit of that décolletage or even, since we’re getting French with it, a bit of cleavage for a more relaxed attitude.


The plain white tee, fashion’s answer to “What do I wear when I want to feel like I’m not wearing anything but also don’t want to be naked” and also a staple of any hard working wardrobe. Layer this bad boy underneath your black or white dress for a super relaxed but modest look. This look can really take you from day to night depending on how you style it. Pair it with sandals for those spring/summer days, statement bag and some subtle sculptural earrings that you can take you from casual Friday to a night at the museum.


We all know that heels are a tricky thing, they look cute but hurt like hell if you’re on your feet for more than 15 minutes, so please take our advice her with a grain of salt here. A few things that we will mention at the top are that this is an easy and time-honored way of raising the bar on almost any out fit. After much experimentation, we have found that one of the comfiest and sturdiest high heeled shoes for a plus size lady is a “mule”. We love these because there’s no ankle-strangling strap and they usually have a solid thick heel that allows for some added stability. Find them in a fun and semi neutral tone (we include metallic in this category) and keep them in your sartorial arsenal as a your secret glam weapon. This look could easily be used for sexy date night or for a more formal work function (where there’s plenty of sitting).
We hope that we’ve given you some ideas on how to elevate a single item in your wardrobe. It’s not easy, we get it, it takes some time and practice (and a bit of the KonMari method) to get it to that effortless stage but it’s well worth the effort in the long run.
So to get you off on the right foot, here are our:

top 5 tips for elevating a simple dress 

  1. Less is more – invest in a few really good pieces of clothing rather than a lot of one use wonders.
  2. Mix up your accessories – a combination of high and low end pieces like a pair of classic white sneakers and statement handbag can an outfit make.
  3. Layer up – layering isn’t only for winter, it’s fun way to mix existing pieces in your wardrobe to create a truly unique outfit.
  4. Get experimental – try out a few different combos, some may look a bit questionable but some might be amazing!
  5. One heel can go a long way – if it’s a mule. We women are often told that heels make us look more feminine, what ever. We wear heels sometimes because we like the way it accentuates our legs and lift our bums, even if you only see it for 15 minutes.
We hope that you found this useful and would love to see what you all come up with. Please tag us or use the hash tag #curlewiscrew for us to see your stunning looks.

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