We've basically become hardwired to reach for a dress whenever we want to feel flirty or feminine. Just think about the last time you had a wedding or date invite on your cal: Chances are you went straight for a slinky dress style. Between the skilled draping that shows off your curves in all the right places and the shimmying silhouettes that move in sync with your figure, dresses are one of those non-negotiable fixtures in your closets, every single season.
But just because you're rocking a ruffled gown or silk slip dress doesn't mean you can't look like a total badass — in fact, we're here to crush those super-girly connotations once and for all. We teamed with Nordstrom to deliver five fresh styling techniques that'll take your fancy silhouettes and give them a casual, cool-girl spin. Think pairing a boxy boyfriend blazer over a velvet slip dress or breaking up an asymmetrical floral number with tough leather. Armed with these outfit combos, you'll be a champion of dressing down your dresses no matter the occasion.
Add Masculine Silhouettes
The layering of a boxy, plaid blazer over this curve-hugging slip dress works to add structure to an otherwise romantic look. Wear it off your shoulders so it doesn't read too buttoned-up.
Pair It With Trousers
The classic wrap dress is widely synonymous with traditional notions of femininity. Counter that connotation by styling it as a tunic top with wide-legged pants that are either cropped or have cool slit detailing. Then, elongate your shape with the block heels of your choice.
Play With Texture
Alone, this ruffled olive number feels more fancy-night-out than everyday-ready. To tone down the silky frock, layer a ribbed shirt underneath for a touch of casual-cool. Pair with closed-toe loafers to finish off the look.
Incorporate Chill Accessories
A few well-played accessories work to keep this maxi-dress look daytime-friendly. To break up the peachy color palette, go for bold red booties and a black leather backpack for contrast.
Toughen Up Fem Prints
Ground flowery prints with hard outerwear, like this no-frills leather jacket. You can also work in neutrals and earth tones to counter any overtly girly colors like pink.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?