cocktail dress, Trina Turk, twirl outfit, boho chic, lace fringe kimono, fashion, style tips

How to Dress Down a Cocktail Dress

Today at STYLEanthropy, I’m sharing with you how to dress down a cocktail dress. In the last post sharing the IT bag – Chloe mini Drew, I told you I’ll be sharing with you the complete outfit in the next post. Well, here it is. The first outfit was actually posted in my other blog, My Fashion Juice. So if you got a minute, please check that post first. Why? Because I want you to see the difference and how a few changes can dress down a cocktail dress.


As you can see above, while the dress is not too formal, it’s also not too casual for everyday. It’s got a very feminine and dressy shape/style to it. And if it were to be a solid dark color, say black or navy blue, then you’ve got a dress perfect for evening festivities. With the addition of palm leaves print, this dress is perfect for summer affairs like summer weddings, summer evening parties, and the like. Wear it with refined jewelry, a small feminine purse and some strappy stilettos and you’ve got yourself a cocktail party worthy outfit.

However, don’t you think that sometimes it’s such a waste to spend a hefty amount on a cocktail dress when you only get to wear it a few times a year (sometimes even once)? That’s why I’m showing you how you can dress down a cocktail dress so you can wear it more often! With a few changes and pairings, you can wear this to Church service, dates, birthdays, or just when you’re feeling extra special and want to wear something dressier than jeans or shorts.


How to Dress Down a Cocktail Dress

  • One of the ways easiest ways to change up the look of your outfit is through footwear! Wooden wedges like what I’m wearing is an easy way to show summer fun. You can also try espadrilles, white sneakers (yes you can, just layer a chambray or pullover to make it more casual), flat sandals (love this) or even flip flops (my ultimate favorite flip flops that doesn’t hurt like the others) if you’re going poolside.


  • Another way to change up and dress down a look is by stacking bracelets, bangles or necklaces and/or mixing in casual accessories or costume jewelry. I know I only have a few on here. But you get the idea! When you’re wearing a formal gown, you tend to stick to fine jewelry – like one diamond or gold bracelet, take for example the gorgeous LAGOS Prism Caviar bracelet I’m wearing here. But when you stack it with several bangles, it feels more casual and dressed down.



That’s it. Now it’s time to twirl!


I feel like I’m having a Marilyn Monroe moment here!


P.S. How beautiful is this place? I found it in the University of Pittsburgh campus. It’s the Cathedral of Learning and is a must-see when you visit Pittsburgh. The Nationality Rooms showcase the good things immigrants brought to America.


Au revoir!


If you love palm prints like I do, below are some similar palm print dresses I found for you. Unfortunately, the Trina Turk dress I’m wearing is no longer available since it’s from an old collection.


WEARING: Trina Turk palm leaf print dress; lace fringe kimono via T.J. Maxx; Chanel sunglasses; necklaces + Atlas bangle c/o Tiffany & Co.; Kate Spade stud earrings; LAGOS Prism Caviar bracelet c/o; Nine West rhinestone bracelet; Charriol watch; Chloe mini Drew crossbody bag; Coach sandals; Jade ring from my Mom; YSL Gloss Volupte lip in #49.

STYLEanthropists, I hope you enjoyed today’s style tips and hope you love the outfit. Until the next. P.S., do you like the new layout of my blog? Let me know! Xo, C.

Linked this look on Chic Street Style and Classy Yet Trendy.

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  • Reply Abby August 6, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Excellent tips! I’ve actually got quite a few cocktail or special occasion dresses that I’ve been waiting for another occasion to wear, but these tricks might work so I can wear them on other non-special occasions. 🙂

    Abby of Life in the Fash Lane

  • Reply Mary March 3, 2017 at 11:55 am

    I have a black and gold thread knee length dress. Nighttime , right? How can I wear this casually during the day?

    • Reply Cris Zaragoza March 3, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      That looks like a fun dress! You can dress it down with a denim jacket and some wedges. Although it would be better to see the actual dress so I can help you further. If you want to take a photo of the dress and email it to me at or post it on my facebook page at, I can help you with more details. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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