How To Dress Up A Casual Summer Skirt and Tank

Good Monday morning! I hope you had a nice weekend. We have to pack up and leave the Hyatt Chesapeake this morning, so I’m enjoying my last morning with coffee and my laptop by this gorgeous view. It’s a little warmer today than it was the last two mornings, and I’m able to sit outside. It’s absolute perfection!!!

Someone just walked by and said, “Nice office!” I concur.

hyatt morning view

I prepped all of my posts ahead of time so I wouldn’t have to spend much time working while I’m here, but I always start the day putting the finishing touches on my post, following up on comments, sending out my daily email, and sharing my post on Facebook and Pinterest (and sometimes Instagram and Twitter as well.) It works out well because I like to get up early, and my family likes to sleep in, so I don’t miss any time with them.

Today’s post is a bit different. I was running low on outfits to share for our 22 Days of Summer Fashion, so rather than scramble to put together something new that I don’t love, I decided to recycle some old content.

I harvested two casual summer skirt outfits from last year, and I thought we could talk about the power of accessorizing.

Here's how I dress up a casual summer skirt and tank using the Rule of Four for accessorizing.

These are two similar outfits that started with a casual summer skirt and tank top — both pretty basic pieces. Anyone can throw on a tank top and a skirt and call it a day, but there are some tricks to making it look finished and put together.

The most important thing when putting any outfit together is to pay attention to fit and proportion. I’ve often said that fit and proportion are the key to good style, but I’ve been learning more about the hows and whys behind proper fit and proportion in my friend Kelly’s Adore Your Wardrobe course, and I’m telling you, it is life changing! I’m such an advocate that I signed up to be an affiliate. The course is closed for now, but I’ll let you know when she opens it up again.

Once you have the base of your outfit figured out and you’re looking balanced, it’s time to accessorize. One of my favorite movie quotes of all time is from Steel Magnolias: The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize. You have to say it with a Southern drawl or it looses it’s zing. LOL!!!

I tend to err on the side of under-accessorizing, so one of the best lessons I’ve learned from the Adore Your Wardrobe class is the Rule of Four. Kelly shared her Rule of Four lesson publicly when signups were open for the May course, so some of you may have seen it. The goal is to have at least four accessories or points of interest to every outfit. This has been a game changer for me because I tend to be a plain jane, and often I feel like my outfits lack a little something.

These two outfits I’m sharing today are perfect examples of the Rule of Four in action, even though I didn’t know about the Rule of Four back then.

My first outfit is a black tank and a denim skirt. I know, simple, right? (If you don’t feel comfortable in a tank top, a short-sleeved t-shirt would work as well.)

Here's how I dress up a casual summer skirt and tank using the Rule of Four for accessorizing.

exact tank // similar denim skirts here and here and here // similar striped tote here and here // vionic sandals // Stella & Dot Artisan Stretch BraceletAlly Double Wrap Bracelet, Arabeque Chandeliers and Maylee Ring // Kate Spade sunnies

Without accessories and/or layers, this outfit would be boring, but with the addition of the jewelry and the striped tote, it becomes and outfit. Let’s add up the points. I get a point for the statement earrings, a point for the layered bracelets, and a point for the sunglasses. That’s three.

How to make a basic black tank and denim skirt look put together and chic!

The striped tote is another point, for a total of four. The ring could probably be a fifth point, and I’m not sure about the Fitbit bracelet, but as you can see, I already met my goal of four points. The rest are just bonus.

Accessorizing a simple outfit: Layering on the arm candy with Stella & Dot Artisan Stretch Bracelets and Ally Double Wrap Bracelet!

The sandals are black, and black shoes usually don’t count, but they do have some bling, so I’m guessing they would add yet another point to this outfit.

You can see how I took a simple black tank and denim skirt and made it into a pulled-together outfit with just a few basic accessories. Another way to add points to a neutral outfit like this is to add color. Pink sandals or tassel earrings or a brightly colored bag would all count and help make this outfit visually more interesting. Also, a layer such as a colored cardigan or a white jean jacket would add a point.

Loving this casual summer skirt and tank outfit for women over 40!

The next outfit is an orange tank and an olive green cargo skirt that I wore absolutely to death over the past few summers.

Here's how I dress up a casual summer skirt and tank using the Rule of Four for accessorizing.

similar tank tops here and here // similar cargo skirt // Prada shield sunglasses // 3-disc necklace // similar hoop earrings // Stella & Dot Renegade Cluster Bracelet // similar striped tote here and here // vionic sandals // Fitbit bracelet

I love this tank top because it is the perfect length for me. All my other tanks are too long, so I have to let them bunch up (see the black one above.) I still have this orange one, but it’s so faded, I haven’t worn it yet this year. I should probably retire it, but I hate to let it go because most tops in the stores right now are so long. I probably need to pick a few favorites and have them tailored. Shortening a t-shirt or tank top doesn’t cost much, but it can make a big difference in the fit and proportion of an entire outfit.

orange tank with olive cargo skirt for summer

Anyway, let’s add up the points. The necklace is a point, the striped bag is a point, and the bracelet is a point.

orange and olive with black and white striped tote

The sunglasses, the oversized earrings, and the blingy sandals are three more points. That is a total of six points, which sounds like a lot, but all of my jewelry is pretty dainty so it doesn’t look like too much.

If I were to put this outfit together now, I’d definitely do a big stack of bracelets or perhaps layered necklaces with a shorter one in the neckline and a longer pendant to break up the front of the tank. But as it is, it works. I look put together with a simple tank top and a casual cargo skirt because I added jewelry, an oversized striped tote, and blingy sandals.

Loving this casual summer skirt and tank outfit for women over 40!

I hope this post shows you how easy it is to elevate a simple casual summer skirt and tank into an outfit that looks polished and put together!

What do you think? Is the Rule of Four helpful??? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I also want to address the sandals I was wearing in both of these outfits. Last summer I was still recovering from a foot injury so I practically lived in Vionic shoes. This style is sold out, but they have other cute styles. Vionic shoes are fantastic for finicky feet. I still wear mine from time to time even though I seem to have healed from the various foot injuries that plagued me for several years. They take some getting used to because they have some pretty significant arch support, but they are so comfortable and good for your feet. I highly recommend them. They are particularly good for those suffering with plantar fasciitis.

Now be sure to visit Cyndi and see the summer outfit she’s styling today, and come back tomorrow for a NEW summer outfit!

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21 Responses

  1. I’m an accessoryholic….I subscribe to that theory where they do make all the difference…especially when the rest of your outfit is just basics!
    So the question is with this system, can you have too many points? There are times I think maybe I have on too many accessories? Or at least too many big ones!
    Love that you address the fact of shortening the tank tops, too—-it really can make the outfit way more finessed!

    1. She says you can’t have too many points, but I do think one can over-accessorize. I think there’s a balance to be achieved, for sure, but there’s no hard and fast rule because, as you say, it sort of depends on how large they are and the colors, etc. 🙂

  2. I think it’s interesting that you think you’re weak on accessorizing; I think you’re fabulous at it. You always look so perfectly put together. I hope I can find a khaki or olive skirt like yours. I have a short denim skirt and love it.

  3. Thanks for the helpful information Jo-Lynne! Because I have some rolls in my mid-section I do not wear tight fitting tops. I just don’t like to show them to everyone. I totally concur about the shoes! I totally rely on them to look more fashionable and have the necessary arch support. Safe travels!

  4. Both outfits are perfect. I love the stripped handbag which really makes it all pop to me! I’ve never worn that brand of sandals and wonder if they are comfortable? I’m guess they are ?

  5. This was great! I love it when bloggers explain how to get the style. Good tips. I’m going to check out your friend’s blog–it sounds just up my alley. I totally agree with fit and proportion…that’s the key to great style. 🙂


    ps. Thanks for popping in on G&S this morning. 🙂

  6. These are two great summer outfits. Thanks so much for sharing “why” they work. That is definitely something that I don’t see other fashion bloggers explaining. And I applaud the shout-out to Kelly Snyder and Adore Your Wardrobe. These few weeks that I’ve been taking her wardrobe course have totally changed my outlook on clothes, colors and accessories. I highly recommend it to everyone.

    1. Hey Daniela, the best thing to do is to take the Adore Your Wardrobe course when it opens again in September. It’s way too involved to explain in a blog post, and it’s Kelly’s method that she developed and tested so I wouldn’t feel right divulging all that even if I could. 🙂

  7. Love your posts, but have a question about your Tory Burch fitbit bracelet. How do you see the prompts? Does the top flip open? By the way, I love Maryland and lived on the Chesapeake Bay for two years. It’s beautiful there!

  8. Love accessories. I agree with your comments. Two years ago I found out I had heal spurs and the vionic shoes are great! I thought I’d never be able to where sandals / flip flops again! Thx for the post 😉

  9. You could always “re-dye” your orange tank top to wear again. Whenever I have favorite pieces that have faded I simply dye them the original color, again. Even if the color doesn’t quite turn out like you expected, you still have something “new” (that’s a tried favorite) to recycle back into your wardrobe.

  10. It is so true that accessories can help you look more put together. I like the simplicity of the tank & skirt, and with the addition of the accessories, it takes it up a notch.

  11. Definitely interested in Adore Your Wardrobe! Do you have any other sources for tips on accessorizing outfits in the mean time? Really need help I this area.

    1. I can’t think of any resources specifically on accessorizing but I’m happy to try to answer any specific questions you have. 🙂 They might give me future blog post topic ideas!

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