Can’t find the right top to go with your skirt? You won’t have to settle for boring after reading this post.

A trick I’ve picked up over the years is to wear a skirt over a dress.

Not only does it look more like I’m wearing a dress (which I prefer), but it creates an interesting design and one that you can be sure no one else will be wearing.

Here are a few basic tips on how to do it, along with some outfit examples so you can see how it looks in practice.

Some Words of Warning…

Be careful if your dress is bulky or textured, as it may show through the skirt. You’ll need to check in varied lighting and mirrors to ensure you aren’t ‘showing through’.

And if you’re wearing a pencil skirt, the dress will also need to be a pencil cut.

No point trying to stuff your full skirted dress under a tight-fitted skirt or you’ll end up looking like an over-stuffed burrito. Not good.

Here are 4 examples I’ve put together for you…

Example 1 – Simple Dress Under Pencil Skirt

I love the fabric of this dress and the one shoulder feature sleeve, but it’s too short for Fashions on the Field. And a little plain.

Put a skirt over the top, however, and see how it changes the look completely? And allows me to easily incorporate another colour into my outfit.

simple dress under pencil skirt

If your skirt has a split in it, having the fabric of the dress underneath showing through creates an interesting feature you can use to tie in your top.

dress front split feature

Example 2a – Bulky Dress Under Full Skirt

This is one of my favourite dresses, which I have worn many times. To change things up, I could wear a skirt over it.

wear bulky race dress under full skirt

And add a belt to help define the waist and break up the two fabrics/prints.

use belt to break up two prints

Example 2b – Bulky Dress Under Pencil Skirt

I know I told you not to do this. But there is a way around it.

Let’s say I wanted to wear a pencil skirt over that same dress. As you might have noticed, this dress is slightly bulky with a textured pattern.

If I was to put the pencil skirt on directly, I’d have trouble fitting the tight skirt over the dress and it would be difficult to make the skirt appear smooth.

The solution? Wear a tight body con skirt over the dress and then wear the skirt. It makes it super easy to pull the tight skirt over the dress without it getting caught on the fabric or embellishments.

bulky races dress under tight pencil skirt

Here’s a video of me getting into the skirt.

Do you prefer it with or without the belt? Personally, I prefer it with the belt.

race dress with or without belt

Example 3 – Mesh Dress Under Pencil Skirt

You may recognise this outfit from Magic Millions. I spent days searching for a top to wear with my skirt and came up empty handed.

When I spotted this Alice McCall dress, I knew it would be perfect together and voila! An instant favourite of mine.

I like how the mesh of the dress covers the front split and hides the cheap looking lining of the skirt.

pink mesh dress under pencil skirt

Alice McCall is a popular brand at the moment, but with the changes I made I was confident that even if someone else had my dress on, we would look completely different.

Example 4 – A-Line Dress Worn under an A-Line Skirt

Here is an A-line dress worn under an A-line skirt.

The dress with the millinery is quite busy, but pair it with a plain skirt without a print, and the millinery works!

A-line skirt worn over A-line dress

To tie in my gold shoes, I would wear a gold belt like this one.

gold belt to tie in gold shoes

You can also use the same principle for long, full skirts and dresses.


And there you have it! You thought I was crazy when you read the title of this post right?

Next time you’re struggling to find the perfect top to match your skirt, consider wearing a dress. It’s amazing how many different combinations you can come up with.

Have you ever tried wearing a skirt over a dress? Do you prefer the look with or without a belt? Let us know how it went in the comments below, and share a photo if you have one!


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