Holiday Style: Sex Up a Day Dress

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

I told Mike (hubs) the title of this article.  His eyes lit up and he was all, "do something sexy, Babe!"  So I did this:


Sigh.  Why didn't I just do a pouty duckface? (bangs head on desk) This blog is humbling.  Like a beginning ballet class for adults.

Anyway…let's chat about sexing up a day dress!!  All you need (besides the dress) is a random assortment of the following:  

1.  Something glittery or shiny (necklaces, bracelets, etc.)

2.  Something furry

3.  Sexy tights

4.  High Heels

5.  A belt

6.  A little party clutch 

7.  Big-girl makeup (lipstick, smokey eyes, whatever)

Pick and choose two or three (or four) from the list above, and BAM.  It's party-time.  

This (admittedly haphazard) approach works shockingly well with a wide variety of day dresses.  Wanna see?  Here's how we're taking a few day dresses into our night-time rotation….



  J.Crew tunic – similar at Gap, J.Crew striped tissue turtleneck, leggings, Dolce Vita Java booties now on sale for $75!

Night 1:  

J.Crew tunic - similar at GapJ.Crew skinny belt, Plush fleece-lined tights (so warm!), Nina glitter pumps now on sale for $55, arm party of Stella and Dot 1 and 2, as well as this and this similar bracelets from LOFT, vintage bag – similar at Target!

Night 2:

J.Crew tunic - similar at Gap, Wolford tights – similar, Nine West Booties – similar, Etsy earrings, vintage bag – or check out this gorgeousness, Lindsay Bloom cocktail ring



Ready for another example?  Next up is that James Perse sweatshirt dress that we first talked about here.  Yes…a sweatshirt dress.   Totally my speed.

*A note about the bubble necklace below.  There are a ton of low-cost iterations (including ebay, where I purchased mine)…but these pieces are everywhere – it's now an over-saturated market.  Expect to walk into any holiday party and see several.  I'm now on the hunt for a new statement necklace.  Anyone else interested in my finds?



James Perse Sweatshirt dress, boyfriend cardigan c/o Goddis Knits, Plush fleece-lined tights, Gray Desert boots c/o Clarks, Gap men's scarf

Night 1:

 James Perse Sweatshirt dress, J.Crew glitter bag (similar) and bubble necklace (here's a cheaper version for $29), Plush fleece-lined tights, Nine West Booties - similar, Lindsay Bloom gold bangles, discontinued Stella and Dot earrings – here's similar

Night 2: 

James Perse Sweatshirt dress, Wolford tights - similar, vintage bag – or check out this gorgeousness, Nine West Booties - similar, Etsy earrings


Lastly, I asked Camille from Life in Modification to weigh in.  To see how she'd take a day dress into night.  Cam went a vintage-y / understated route, and the resulting look is quite pretty.  It's amazing to see how a faux-fur collar adds so much sophistication and romance – very Grace Kelly, no?  Love the midi length, also.



eShakti dress (fyi, it was customizable), AE cardi, Hush Puppies moto boots – similar, Target tights 


eShakti dress, Old Navy coat – similar, Target tights, Steve Madden pumps – similar


Thanks, Cam!  Ok Mamas – thoughts?  You like?



ps.  See the rest of our 2012 Holiday Style Guide for Lazy Mamas here.





About Author

Shana founded The Mom Edit in 2008. She lives with the love of her life (his name's Mike) and their two crazy boys in downtown Philadelphia. She loves a good styling challenge (her engineering side shows eventually), appreciates kindness, and usually picks scotch over wine, sneakers over stilettos, and denim-underwear, always.

Shop Shana's Closet


  1. So, this is a great post. Especially the first bit about adult ballet. Anyway, I had to share with my husband because any time I try to do something sexy, I end up giggling. He was like, yep. It is just too much fun to not laugh! 😉
    I love the sweatshirt dress, btw!

  2. How’s the fit on the sweatshirt dress? I’m seven months PP with number two and the pooch is still a bit poochy, sigh.

  3. I love the sweatshirt dress and the way you styled it, I’m looking for something similar (from a UK shop if possible).
    ps: I stole your hot chocolate*peppermint stick idea for our advent calendar, thank you! 🙂

  4. Not trying to be negative or anything– but I looked at the examples (except the green dress) and thought, those aren’t even long enough to be dresses! It would be nice to see something that isn’t going to depend on having gorgeous slim legs (like yours)… I love this topic for another post if you have it in you!
    And I’d love to see some statement necklaces under $30!

  5. I’m sorry, but the last pic of dressing up the J Crew tunic looks more like the morning after a party when you can’t find your LBD and toss on his shirt to go home. Love the version of the sweatshirt dress with the same styling though. Nice tips on transforming a day dress though…and timely. Husband’s holiday party for work is this weekend and I was trying to figure out what to wear. Thanks!

  6. I have to agree with a previous poster – these all look wonderful, as has everything else I’ve ever seen you in, except for the third iteration of the J-Crew tunic. It looks like you had such bad mommy brain that you forgot to put on the bottom half of your outfit!

  7. P.S. Camille’s contribution is pretty, and more modest than your ideas, so it’s much more the kind of thing I’d be likely to come up with myself. But part of what I like about your blog is that you challenge me to be more glamorous, more daring, and sexier than I think I can. Unapologetically showing off your incredible legs is part of that 😉 So don’t change a thing!!

  8. Saw the JP sweatshirt dress in one of your earlier posts and thought, “Meh, I can pass on it, I don’t “need” everything posted on ANMJ.” BUT now after seeing it on you, I totally “need” it!! Hopefully Santa has not finalized his list for me yet. 😉 (And hopefully it will look as great on me)

  9. Fabulous. You are killing me with the sweatshirt dress take two. I want it but….a)not really a great price range for moi and 2) not so great in the upper thigh department over here! You are DARLING. And the first snap is great, pouty face is overdone. NOW style me, thirty pounds overweight with great legs knees down. PLEEZE? You can see the not so great picture of what I think is a great graphic dress here .

  10. Shana…I don’t get why people make negative comments…if you don’t like an outfit…fine..why cut it down…Everyone has different tastes..
    I love yours and would wish you would post your outfits daily..

  11. Heather, I really love that dress. I’d wear it slightly mod, with dark opaque black tights, and perhaps these heels?
    Carry a black clutch, red lips and maybe some chunky bangles?
    Or you could do pin-dot black (sheer) tights with black heels. For warmth, maybe some faux-fur in black? Or a sharp black blazer?

  12. Funny….I only ordered it because I got so many comments about styling it after I first posted. So I thought, “ok – research!” thinking I’d just send it back. Instead…OMG love.

  13. LH – funny, that’s exactly why I love that look. You’re right though, it does channel the whole morning after. I typically wear it with my hair down (and a bit messy) to really channel it further. To each their own, right? LOL

  14. Georgette – The idea here is that the same styling tricks can be applied to any day dress, regardless of length. It just so happens that the two day dresses I’ve been wearing the most are short. (Although, I just published one on maxi dresses).
    But, hunh. Now that I think of it, I do have a few longer-ish dresses in the *back* of my closet….hmmmm….
    In any case, I’ll try to keep in mind that some of you guys want longer options in the future. Thanks for the feedback!

  15. Awesome! That was a last minute, “Raines! Can you go look in your room for this book?” (while I frantically draw something and stuff it into the advent calendar). Sheesh. We were going to have hot chocolate for breakfast anyway that day. 🙂
    In terms of a dress…Mango has a (cheap) v-neck sweater dress that’s pretty cute:

  16. Ginny, it’s not that pooch-forgiving. In order to really hide a pooch (I’m wearing spanx)….you’ll either need spanx and/or go up a size. The larger size was a bit longer, but not as tight.

  17. Love this! You are always inspiring. My favorite look is the morning after look!! So sexy. I plan on using that look soon in fact. Thanks!

Leave a Reply