Case in point: This basic dress from Gap. Interesting and exciting? Er, not really.
But what a great canvas for your own personality to shine, through the judicious use of fabulous accessories and creative styling.
And here's the best part: Those accessories? They don't have to bankrupt you. Here's proof: One of my all-time, hands-down favorite summertime pieces is a eight strand "coral" necklace from Urban Outfitters. It was all of $18, if that.
So what could you do with this dress? I would make it the basis for a weekend or even week-long trip, for starters, because you can dress it up — way up, if necessary — or down (way down, all the way to the beach).
With these bangles by Pade Vavre (more than one, if possible), you could wear silver or gold flip-flops or Birkenstock's Gizeh thong sandal, plus maybe a tidy canvas hat.
That's an effortless and easy for going to a casual brunch or to take the kids to the park.
So keep your eyes peeled for interesting and unusual accessories. Places to look: consignment stores, eBay, flea markets, your local Goodwill store, even your mom's jewelry box. And remember my golden rule next time you're out shopping: If you can't wear something you're considering at least three different ways, forget it.