I've heard a lot about how handy it is to have a simple black dress that can be versatile and accessorized so many ways, so when I got some nice black rayon a while ago I decided to save it for just such a dress.
It had a small pin stripe in it, so I used a 1950s pattern for a relaxed, casual style that was specifically designed for striped fabric and used the stripes in different ways - horizontal on the skirt, and in Vs down the front and back. It was super simple, with a small collar and some dart tucks at the waist.
I wanted a cool summer dress I could wear without layering, so I chose a short sleeve version. The dolman sleeves are certainly cool and comfortable, but I don't really like how they look on me (despite how easy they are to make!) so I'm not sure I would make this pattern again.
However, this was a quick dress to make since it was so simple, and I can definitely attest to the versatility of the fabric choice. Besides these pictures, I have also paired it with raspberry pink and with teal. It does go with everything, and can be dressed up or down. Perfect for those hard to match hats or gloves that you love but never wear!
Like this one...I rarely wear this hat, but it's such a pretty one and matches the lilacs so well.
For this look, I kept the black with a floral belt and slingback heels, and added color with my gloves and hat. Classic pearls finish the outfit for a garden tea party sort of theme.
Then I switched it up with all one color of accessories, for a simple cream-and-black ensemble that would fit a lot of different occasions.
Finally, for a more dramatic, Spanish influenced outfit - touches of red and a big black hat are definitely in order!
I do really love this rayon fabric. It has a nice drape and the weight is perfect for a dress - plus it has a pleasant dry, crisp feel to it despite the limpness. I wish I could find it in more colors.
This is just a few of the different looks that can give a classic staple dress different personalities, depending on the accessories chosen. I'm sure I will experiment even more in the future with this dress - and love how adding staples to my wardrobe really helps with outfit choices.