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5 Ways to Make Your Sundress Look More Expensive, Stylists Say

These smart but simple measures can go a long way in elevating your look.

Sundresses are a warm-weather staple for good reason: They're cute, comfortable, and keep you cool on a sweltering afternoon. Better yet, it's surprisingly easy to find options that are both stylish and affordable—and experts say there are so many ways to make your sundresses look more expensive. Hoping to elevate your look without blowing your budget? Keep reading for five stylist-approved tricks that will make your sundress look like a designer splurge.

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Hit the tailor for a customized fit.

Woman seamstress with sewing machine

A big part of what makes clothing look expensive is fit, says Ra'El Cohen, cofounder and chief creative officer of ThirdLove. That's why Joana Walker, a fashion expert and contributor to Margo Paige, advises taking your sundress to a local tailor to make sure it flatters your body.

For example, a tailor might take in the waist, shorten the hemline so it hits at the right spot on your calves, or even take up the straps so they don't fall off your shoulders. While these changes may seem small, they can make all the difference.

Lean into accessories.

A happy woman riding her bicycle wearing a floral dress and a straw hat
Wellnhofer Designs / Shutterstock

"Add some flair and sophistication to your sundress by accessorizing," says Melony Huber, a stylist/buyer and co-founder of La Peony. She suggests adding a luxurious leather belt to cinch and define the waist for a more polished appearance.

"Consider pairing your sundress with a wide-brimmed hat, a structured handbag, statement jewelry, or high-quality sandals or heels," adds Cohen. "Opt for accessories made from materials like leather, metal, or natural fibers that convey a sense of chic sophistication."

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Try layering with other pieces.

Stylish woman in the city wearing red dress and black hat
Alena Ozerova / Shutterstock

Layering is another super effective way to upgrade a simple sundress by adding depth and dimension, says Huber.

"Try layering a tailored blazer over it for an elegant business-ready ensemble—or add a structured jacket or cashmere cardigan for instant luxury appeal," she tells Best Life.

On a chillier spring or fall evening, you can layer on a luxe lightweight scarf, or even wear a chic button-down blouse or turtleneck underneath your dress. A leather jacket will give your sundress some edge.

Go monochromatic.

close-up details of woman dressed in a white dress and white Birkenstock sandals sitting in summer open air theatre on chair alone
Maria Markevich / Shutterstock

When you want to look put together, you can't go wrong with a monochromatic look—in other words, a head-to-toe ensemble in one shade.

More specifically, Walker suggests choosing a neutral monochromatic outfit, which is timeless, rather than opting for whatever colors are trendy at the moment. "A monochrome outfit is hard to mess up, and it typically looks more elegant than a multicolor one."

For example, you might pair a white sundress with white sandals, a beige sundress and pumps with a camel trench coat, or a light gray sundress with a darker gray duster cardigan and felt Panama hat.

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Swap out the buttons.

pile of buttons and sewing materials, astonishing facts

Details can really transform the perceived quality of a sundress. And who says you have to settle for cheap plastic buttons? It's well worth the extra effort to switch them out to upgrade your look, says Walker.

She recommends finding buttons that are made with higher quality materials—for example, mother of pearl, brass, pewter, ivory, or copper.

"You can buy them on eBay, Etsy, or stationery shops," she says. "If you keep old clothes in the closet, cut off these pretty buttons before throwing them away. Also, you don't have to be a skilled sewer to reuse the old buttons for your sundress. Many dry cleaners will perform this service for you affordably."

Rebecca Strong
Rebecca Strong is a Boston-based freelance health/wellness, lifestyle, and travel writer. Read more
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