Lesson in Layering, Meet Make an Old Dress New Again

It’s a two for one deal, folks!


I bought this dress from The Outnet over two years ago before a wedding in Mexico. It was the offspring of one of my favorite Stella McCartney shows to date so I was thrilled to have it, which was reflected in the frequency with which I wore it. But as is always the case with peanut butter syndrome, the novelty wore off, the flavor ran bland and it was shelved.

Until, that is, a few weeks ago when Thornton Bregazzi for Preen debuted his F/W 2014 collection in London and there were these skirts — tight until just below the butt and then flowing loosely until mid-shin — that I realized I could totally approximate that look without a) shopping, b) waiting until next fall.

I started with the dress and then layered a tight black mini skirt from All Saints over it, letting the pleats run free like coyotes in the wild. Then I placed a white short sleeve shirt by M. Patmos over the top of the blouse and looked kind of like a disheveled history teacher until I concealed the grubbiness with ye olde (and reliable) black cashmere Uniqlo sweater. I tucked the shirt into the skirt and then performed a half tuck with the sweater.

Next I added strappy sandals — these ones by Stuart Weitzman to give me height and salsa, which was followed by the inclusion of so many accessories, I smelled like the product of a metal factory. The bracelets are Dannijo and the choker is by one Paula Mendoza.

Finally, I cloaked by upper half in a green and white leather knee-length jacket from Club Monaco and a pair of round frames from the Peter Pilotto for Target collab-o-lab.

Then I was ready to run free, so, run free I did.

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  • I LOVE your lessons in layering. Sometimes I feel like my clothes have feelings and get jealous of each other, so the layering thing really helps spread the love around.

    P.S.- totally pulled a you last night and chopped off a foot of my hair. arrrribaaaaaaaaa

  • pinkschmink

    Leandra, you are a layering GENIUS and I doff my hat to you. Suddenly my old chiffon maxis are feeling fresh …

  • girlinmenswear

    Great post – feeling inspired to try it out at home!


  • Une petite Bruxelloise

    Actually, this actually is a super helpful lesson in layering, by actually meaning easy to wear while avoiding man repelling 🙂


  • Natali

    I’m loosing my mind over this outfit – it’s absolutely amazing!!! I can’t believe how much inspiration can be found in one outfit 🙂


  • I absofuckinlutely love this look! I’ll definitely do this to all my maxis now.. long live layering

  • Julie Meowmeows

    What is it about green leather that always makes me swoon?

  • the (un?)social butterfly

    What I loved about this look is that each step of the layering looks great!

  • Blake

    Your lessons in layering are my favorite! So happy you posted a new, genius as always!!!


  • The Provoker

    Fabulous layering of the tight skirt over the flowy dress. What a coincidence that I also did a segment of layering combined with making an old thing new again!!!! I swear, this is cray! lol. PS. Was so nice meeting you at Colette!

  • This is brilliant. Naturally, I could never pull it off.

  • Fantastic Leandra, I love it! I never thought you could transform a dress like that!

    Mafalda ❤

  • Brittany

    FABULOUS. just…fabulous.

  • looks great!

  • Yeah this immediately got bookmarked to Pinterest. Pure genius. Of course, most people outside of NYC wouldn’t get it, but that’s what makes fashion so much fun.


    • diane

      That’s an odd comment since the look was inspired by a collection by Preen, a London designer. I live in California and totally get the look; in fact, it has a very beach/hippie LA vibe (and I say that as someone who was born in Brooklyn).

  • Mind blown! Seriously, I would never have thought to layer over that dress, but again you’ve done it brilliantly.


  • Aubrey Green

    I really love this whole look.

  • sally

    you look fantastic! great idea!

  • kate

    this is literally inspiring wow bow down to u

  • Hayley

    I would have never thought to do this!

  • Hi Leandra!
    Loved your outfit! It’s not exactly the same, but the concept is there. The jacket looks fantastic over that combo. Really like it – it’s quite inspiring! Thanks for sharing!


  • Brilliant! Even more brilliant is that amazing jacket you threw on at the end. Such a nice look.

    xx Kayla

  • jaclyn

    a series of two words- Bow Down. Get it? Love it.

    check my blog: http://stylevolver.blogspot.com

  • Morgan


    Leandra’s outfit to all other girl’s outfits:

  • nicole

    none of the links you ever provide show the items you are wearing. where is the dress from?

    • Leandra Medine

      All of the links in today’s post should be directing you to the exact items. The dress is an old Stella McCartney dress from The Outnet (written in the copy) so it’s likely going to be a bit more difficult to find but there are other offerings to bask in!

  • me

    What struck me with this post: Why buy new clothes when all we really need to do is to FIND NEW & UNEXPECTED WAYS TO LAYER/COMBINE THE ONES WE ALREADY HAVE !


    I’m going to go through my closet & see what new “layer recipes” I can create 😀

  • B.

    Leandra it is so disgustingly ridiculous how much i live for lessons in layering. Its like Beyoncé dropping a surprise single or something. *insert 7 emoji praise hands*


  • Rose

    Really kicking myself for getting rid of a tight black mini I had a few years ago right about now—because I have a flow-y white skirt this would be genius with. Killing it as always, Leandra!

    Blonde in this City

  • Gabi

    You’re layering ideas are the stuff of dreams. Dreams, I say. I remember when I was a kid and just starting to get into fashion, and I would play around with all these fun layering ideas, but alas, the suburbanites would think I was crazy, so I resigned to live a simple, layer less-exsistence. Luckily, I moved to CA where no one gives strange outfits a second glance.

  • Malena

    Layering always creates a better dimension to an outfit, makes it look more interesting. Too hot in Australia right now for any layering though…


  • Looks really great! You seriously have THE BEST posts on layering!


  • sarah

    bloody genius LM. i just still don’t get how you do all the tucking without having a michelin proportion mid-section. are you hollow? and those sunglasses are ridonculous. in a good way.

  • jas

    YES! this is so good!! i thought the dress looked good with just the skirt over it, but it just gets better and better. now i have to try and find a dress in my closet that will allow me to do this…

    reckless abandon

  • Kathy

    So chic!


    i realllllllly need that hat. OMG DIE. That hat would keep me sooo warm I know its not really

    the winter anymore but AH that hat is everything I abso love itttt<3

    I wish I could pull off something like that!



  • Le Fanciulle di Steph + Trish

    Whilst this outfit is freaking AMAZING, there is literally not one day in Australia (bar perhaps in Tasmania) where you could wear this many layers without getting heat stroke hahaha. So sad. Time to move to NY/anywhere cold.

  • I can’t get enough of layering! It makes any outfit instantly cooler!


  • Hanna

    Omg this is great! Love these posts, you should do them more frequently! Such unique and something no other bloggere do, love it!

  • Baleeblu

    What a great article with such useful information. It´s not quite spring and layering is such a clever idea to get us there! <3 http://bit.ly/1kdUjbg

  • Ana Lu Garro

    I wanted to buy a white shirt like that from Zara last time I was there but I didn´t… Now I regret it so much! It looks incredible!

    Lu from Things&Crowns

  • takeitandwearit

    I love this article ! Great lesson ! 😉


  • anon

    so next level, ty

  • Lauren

    So good!!!

  • Kat

    This is actually very cool, nice styling Leandra! I wonder how would you style loose skirt over loose skirt. 🙂






  • I live in layers once it gets anywhere below 60. I think it makes simple pieces so versatile and unrecognizable based on how you style it. A black dress can be a dress with a structure blazer on top, a button down under it or even act as a skirt with a pullover on top. The possibilities are endless!


  • Vanessa

    Ugh I haaaate that you’re so good at layering. Get in my closet NOW. I need the Leandra version of Dave Chapelle’s portable stenographer.

  • silke smith

    Dear Leandra, ich LOVE this dress… can you please help me ant tell me what dress you are wearing? 🙂 lokking Forward to your answer… lot of greetings. yours Silke