The Tips and Tricks: Dressing Up and Dressing Down


From TCU, down to UMiami, and back to UMass Amherst, I reached out to college friends from various parts of the country to help provide me with their tips and tricks from buying to reusing and putting together outfits for any type of event.



Name: Brennah 


Store Purchased: A'GACI


Price: $30


Event: Halloween Mixer 


Reason for Purchase: “I was having trouble coming up with halloween costume ideas, and after weaving through multiple stores, I finally came across this camo dress and thought it would be a cute idea to be a camo girl.  Lately camo has been in style, so I bought this dress thinking I would reuse it again if I ever had another themed event or fun party to attend.”- Brennah


Potential Addons:  Additionally with this outfit, you could add a camo hat, bandana, eyeblack, etc., as statement accessories.  Adding small touches like these would complete this camo costume.

                                                                                                            Name: Allie


Store Purchased: Allie and Chica (Boutique in Miami, Fl)


Price: $60


Event: Family Brunch


Reason for Purchase: “While attending school in Florida, my family came to visit, which meant free food!  We decided it would be a fun idea to go out for a family brunch at one of my favorite restaurants. I knew I wanted a cute or casual outfit to wear, and I have never owned a two piece, so after finding this set in a nearby boutique I thought it would be perfect for the occasion.”-Allie


Potential Addons: The outfit is already very busy, it’s best to keep things simple by maybe adding a bracelet or a small necklace.



Online Purchases

                                                                                                      Name: Sofia (champagne romper)/ Olivia (red dress)


Online Store Purchased: Xenia/ Shein


Price: $30 /$12


Event: LIT Valentines Day Bash


Reason for Purchase (Sofia): “ With plenty of time to find a dress for this Valentine’s Day event, I purchased this one from the Australian website, XENIA.  I loved roaming this adorable online catalog which offered a variety of cocktail dresses to choose from. Although it took three weeks to arrive, the wait for this unique wrap romper was worth it.”-Sofia


Potential Addons:  The neckline of this romper tends to hang low, so simply adding a long statement necklace would keep this outfit cute and classy.


Reason for Purchase (Olivia): “Unlike Sof, I did not have much time to find a dress for this event.  My go to online shopping website is Shein. They have tons of dresses that come at good prices. I would definitely say that I am ‘ballin on a budget’” -Olivia


Potential Addons: This red dress offers a high neckline, so it would be best to add a pair of dangly earrings to keep the focus on the dress




                                                              Name: Alyssa


Store Purchased: Lulus


Price: $40


Event: Formal


Reason for Purchase: “I originally bought this dress for my high school dance banquet. I have recently worn it again for my sorority formal and other chapter events.  It can be used for a casual occasion or it can easily be dressed up for a formal event”-Alyssa


Potential Addons:  The dress alone is perfect for a casual lunch date.  However, to dress it up, it can be paired with elegant jewelry and heels to make for a more chic look.






Name: Alex (red dress) 


Store Purchased: Poshmark (Originally Lulus)


Price: $38


Event: “Crush” Formal


Reason for Purchase: “ I first bought this dress for a sorority date party.  A few months later, I was able to wear it again for another greek function. It was the perfect dress for the event, and the best part was I that didn’t have to spend money on a brand new dress”-Alex


Potential Addons: Due to the cut of the dress, adding anything major would take away from the dresses classy simplicity.  Adding a modest necklace or a cute pair of spunky earrings would glamorize this look




Images: 1.Courtesy of author, 2.Allie (UMiami student), 3. Sofia (UMass Amherst student), 4. Alyssa (TCU student), 5. Alex (Umass Amherst student)