25 Ways to Make Your Fancy Summer Dress Look Cool and Casual

As each month of sheltering in place ticks by, it feels like we've been reinventing the wheel when it comes to summer outfits. At first, it was loungewear sets and button-down shirts, and we were obviously stoked to pull out our swimsuits for chilling outdoors. But what about those beautiful dresses we invested in to wear to this season's events that were sadly canceled? I, for one, don't want to wait a moment longer to wear (or rewear) the wedding guest dresses I've been excited about, or the silk midis that I collected to wear on vacation. And I still plan to wear them again down the line, when our world goes back to normal.

But right now, whether it's just to make yourself feel good and confident or because you're in the mood to play dress-up — an activity that never strikes me as silly, especially at this moment in time when we can use the uplifting — I invite you to dig out the fancy stuff. Ahead, you'll find 25 different ways to accessorize or style your dresses with the addition of sneakers, bowling shirts, and belts, so that you feel casual and cool, not over-the-top. Even if you stay at home without stepping outside, nothing is stopping you from taking a selfie — as the stylish women ahead all prove.

Wear a Printed Bowling Shirt Over Your Dress

Add Dark Sunglasses and an Edgy Purse

Cinch Your Waist With a Casual Waist Bag

Try Out Funky Retro Opticals

Opt For Flat Gladiator Sandals And Oversize Sunglasses

Go For a Tough Chainlink Necklace and Flip-Flops

Tie on a Sun Hat For Running Errands

Go Barefoot

Honestly, there's no better stay-home-and-chill look.

Wear Your Nikes

And make sure they're seen!

Think About Your Pose

Sitting cross-legged in a chair will instantly make you seem relaxed.

Wear Your Dress With Socks and Sneakers

Nix a Bag For a Cozy Knit Sweater and Wear Slides

Find Your Most Playful Pair of Cat-Eye Sunglasses in a Bold Color

Swap Your Clutch For a Plain-and-Simple Shoulder Bag

Take Your Dress on a Bike Ride

Activities? How sporty of you.

Wear a Bunch of Layered Necklaces and Large Hoops

It'll distract from the pouf sleeves and fancy dress details.

Bring Out Those Western Boots

Your slip will become part of a rugged, countryside outfit.

Throw It on as a Beach Cover-Up

Be careful: if you want to preserve your dress, don't take it too far towards the shoreline.

A Belt Breaks Up Free-Flowing Silk

And adds some structure.

Tote Your Natural Shopper Bag

Make Use of Pockets, If You Have Them

Your stance will appear more natural and laidback.

Wear a Chunky '90s Sandal