Style Tips: how to style a side-tie dress

style tips

Happy Saturday, everyone!  Welcome to the day YOU are the fashion stylists and give everyone your best style tips for the two displays of the week.

My friend, Jennifer, and I bring you fashion displays we have discovered while out and about and they make us wonder…how would our readers style these looks.

We ask that if you would not wear what you see, to pretend that you are giving styling advice to a friend who might own the garment.

YOU are the fashion stylists and your style tips have been read and appreciated by many women.

It is always fun to read the style tips from so many of you living in different parts of the world.

So, let’s get this party started……


style tips

I saw this dress when I went by JJILL this week, and immediately saw it as a great challenge for style tips.

First off, in these pictures it looks more of a blue, but it is a slate gray called lava rock.


I believe the color and design are what make it a perfect challenge for you budding fashion stylists out there. 

If you plan to cover the arms, how does the side-tie affect it?  Think about it.

Most dresses are front-tie, this Boden dress was the only other side-tie I could locate for you to gain inspiration from.

So, look the JJILL dress over and think about how you would style it to make it look confident and strong either for you or another woman.

All style tips welcome.


style tips

This Chico’s NO IRON STRETCH SHIRT in the banana leaf color is now one of the highest selling items on this blog. Many took advantage of the sales prices as well.

The top, offered in 11 colors, makes a perfect canvas for many different style tips ideas and I have worn mine in many different ways.

It was also featured in one of the most popular posts here…How to build confidence over 60.   Thank you to all!

Other items which many purchased this week are these two items…and a special thank you to those who use my links for Father’s Day shopping!


style tips

I was honored to be included in a feature on local influencers done by our local NBC affiliate, WOAI.

She asked me if I am a fashion stylist…I said, “No, but I have studied it for 13 years!”

They have a short write up on their website: SAN ANTONIO WOMAN REINVENTS HERSELF AT AE 50, INSPIRES OTHERS ON HER BLOG

And the recorded version is set to run soon on two stations and on their social media.  Thanks for including me!!

OK, fashion stylist ladies, it is time for you to give us your best style tips on the side-tie dress!

Have fun with it…it is ok to think out of the box.

Then head over to A WELL STYLED LIFE and tell Jennifer what you think of her display….and, of course, throughout it all…….


By Pamela Lutrell

I appreciate your support of this blog by shopping with my SHOPPING LINKS, and if you don’t see the retailer you need for anything, just send me an email and I will see if I have a link or if there is a sale you are looking for!

Email is

Recent requests have been for SHEEC NO-SHOW FOOTWEAR and Bombas…and Tuckernuck …just click the name and you will be there.

I am here to assist you with any gift ideas as well, and hope you will consider shopping gifts with these links!  AND your home purchases!

I know many like to make Home Depot purchases online and then drive to the store to pick them up.  You can still use my HOME DEPOT link to do that.

A special thank you to everyone who does this to offer your support of the blog!!  It makes a difference and keeps me here.

style tips



  1. Cute dress. I would add a colorful necklace or a few bracelets, strappy sandals and a crossbody or straw tote. Happy Saturday.

  2. I would add something at the neck ( despite the summer heat) – I’m thinking a few necklaces layered attractively, or a light silk scarf ( pattern?) loosely knotted? I think dangling bracelets and heeled sandal shoe.

  3. As MP3 says, it is a cute dress. I think a long open, loose cardi could be worn over the dress as long as the side tie was tied a little loosely and pressed down lightly before adding the sweater.

  4. This may sound strange, but I’s buy a second dress and make 3/4 sleeves! I find it difficult to wear side tie or wrap dresses with a jacket or sweater. And they’re the only type of dress I own because of my very changeable waistline. And I love the one and done aspect of a dress. So just a bracelet on this dress, on my v – neck dresses, a summer weight necklace. And wedge sandals without ankle straps to keep the leg line as long as possible. I’d carry a magenta bag just for fun!

  5. Congratulations on your interview feature, Pam! You’ve certainly earned it! // For the wrap dress, hmm, maybe an armful of bracelets, a floppy straw hat and colorful sandals…?

  6. How refreshing to see a dress without tiers or ruffles. If it came in a color I could wear I would definitely want to buy it. This is a perfect dress for an outdoor event and I would keep the accessories simple: drop earrings, several thin bangle bracelets and metallic colors sandals to coordinate with the jewelry (silver or gold tone work equally well with dark gray). I recommend skipping a necklace for this style which features a high neckline combined with gathered fabric across the chest. I love the elegant line of this dress without any sort of topper but if someone needed to cover their arms I would suggest either a crochet or openwork bolero or a sheer shawl. Hopefully this dress will be so popular that J Jill will offer something similar next summer in other colors (coral would be fabulous).

  7. What a lovely compliment to be featured on a local channel! And that “ before” picture…you must have had to work hard to put that sad look on your face! Knowing your background, you have made such a refreshing reverse in your attitude toward your life. Now about the JJill dress, I noticed on the website that the knot is tied more to the front of the dress than the side as shown on the model which to me seems more comfortable and would not interfere with a light cardigan or jacket or wrap covering the arms which I would prefer. I would add a silver necklace or colorful scarf, and some colorful shoes would be a pretty contrast to the slate gray color.

  8. I have a sleeveless top designed exactly like this from JJill from a few years ago that I wear frequently all summer. I usually wear it with a chunky cuff or bangle, and skip the necklace because to me it’s distracting from the interesting line of the piece. I seldom wear it with a topper, but a shorter cardigan works fine, and I’ve even styled it with a short denim jacket, either worn in the traditional way or over my shoulders. I think dangly earrings are a good choice, but my top and this dress read a little sporty to me, and I would style it with sneakers.

  9. Congratulations on being recognized by your community.
    If the colour is truer in your picture this would be a perfect cruising dress. The online colour I find quite somber for a summer sleeveless dress. It could be dressed down with chunky jewelry, a large sun hat and comfortable sandals for touring or dressed up with silver, gold jewelry or a silk scarf, heels or wedges for dinners. There are ways to tie the wrap so it lays flat or simple pin it flat if one would like a second layer. I like the higher neckline as wrap dresses usually have a V neck which on my short torso means I have to wear a camisole or show more cleavage than I’m comfortable with.

  10. Thanks Paulette…despite the heat I do occasionally wear scarves, so I think that is still a good summer option.

  11. A good seamstress is so important…I am now using one for items I like. Making sleeves is definitely an option.

  12. You might go on their website and tell them that. I have been told that retailers do consider designs in other colors when requested. Thanks Kathie

  13. That before picture is sadly how I looked for most of my 40s. So glad to be out of it. Thanks Celia.

  14. In person, it is a slate gray and not blue. I kind of wish I had tried it on, but the sleeveless design turned me away. Thanks Linda.

  15. I might just try a long or three quarter sleeve round neck top or mock turtle or collared knit under the dress! I have turned sleeveless dresses into jumpers before and it has worked. Might work here. Just earrings and a silvery bag if I did that. If it was into fall, boots and tights.

  16. Congrats on the SA article, Pam! You make such a difference for small businesses here in our lovely city. I am a fan just because you give me so many great ideas about what to do in my own backyard and help me appreciate even more than I already do. Thank you!
    Regarding the dress. It does present a problem when wanting to cover up indoors because of the icy conditions we often experience in places during the summer. I think a simple pashmina is in order to ward off icicles. That along with some chunky bracelets and earrings would add some interest. I think I would do a straw woven clutch as well.

  17. I’d add a long necklace to narrow the look of my shoulders and draw the eye vertically from the crew neck.
    As much as I’ve stopped wearing sleeveless, this dress would demand it because of the side tie so I’d either suck it up and show my arms, or skip wearing the dress

  18. I like the comment on a large floppy straw hat and bag, nude sandals and a combination of silver bracelets and hoop earrings. No necklace. I sheer cardigan to cover arms in ac.

  19. I inherited several larger, colorful broaches from an Aunt. I’m always looking for ways to use them, and pinning things down is one of my favorite use cases. I would not tie the wrap at the waist, I would use one of my broaches to secure the ties. It would give me a flatter silhouette at the waist -a place I’m not looking for volume :), and add some sparkle/color to the otherwise solid dress.

    I always give asymetrical tops a close look over. Some years ago I had breast cancer and the resulting surgery left my with a reconstructed side that has a different shape than my real side. I go with a bra with foam cups and that helps, but I like things that drap across the surgery side like that as they provide a little extra volume.

  20. In regards to the sleeveless aspect, I would recommend “ Sleevey Wonders” or a similar product. It’s an attractive dress that should be flattering on many less than perfect figures. Earrings and a wedge sandal in a neutral or metallic would finish off the look for me.

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