Quick Modest Fashion Hack for Strapless Dresses + Rent the Runway Gown

Modest Formal Dress from Rent the Runway via Downtown Demure

Modest Formal Dress from Rent the Runway via Downtown Demure

Modest Formal Dress from Rent the Runway via Downtown Demure

Dress: Rent The Runway // Shirt: H&M // Jewelry: J. Crew (here and here)

Floral Arrangement: c/o Dandelion Ranch

Rings: Rocksbox (use code downtowndemurexoxo to get a month of free jewelry delivery)

Modest Strapless Dress from Rent the Runway styled by Downtown Demure

Downtown Demure x Dandelion Ranch

Modest Formal Dress from Rent the Runway via Downtown Demure

Sometimes a girl just wants to play dress up and put on a fancy dress. But playing dress up can be difficult when so many formal dresses are sleeveless, have cutouts, thigh-high slits, or some combination of all three. I typically pass on sleeveless dresses in particular, but I was determined to make this gorgeous dresses from Rent The Runway (RTR) work. This jewel-toned jacquard gown form Cynthia Rowley inspired me to get creative, so I used a styling trick from one of my personal style icons.

I took a page out of Olivia Palermo’s book, and threw a white button-down under my fancy gown. Sounds crazy. But I love it! The juxtaposition of casual and formal actually makes a more interesting look in my opinion. Thanks for the inspo, Olivia! 😉

30-second #modestfashion hack: Wear a crisp white button down under a strapless gown Click To Tweet

By the way, I highly recommend Rent The Runway if you need to find a formal dress for an event and don’t have thousands of dollars to blow on a single dress. If you’re unfamiliar with Rent The Runway, it’s a dress rental service that allows you rent designer dresses for a fraction of the retail price. They take care of the shipping and dry cleaning. You take care of looking fabulous, and putting the dress in a UPS box by the return deadline. It’s that simple.

You’ll have to dig a little to find modest formal dresses, but it’s worth the trouble. Most importantly, the customer service I’ve received so far has been phenomenal. Prime example: I used existing credit to get the dress for this shoot. However, the shoot was cancelled twice, which meant I had to reorder the dress THREE times. Each time, a RTR customer care rep credited the price of the dress, making it easy for me to reorder. They didn’t require an elaborate explanation for why I couldn’t use the dress 2x in a row; they simply processed the exchange multiple times. Now THAT’S what I call service.

I also have to take a minute to gush about this fabulous floral studio in Culver City called Dandelion Ranch — the fabulous floral studio that provided the beautiful bouquet for this shoot. The owner, Clover, and her assistant are even sweeter than the gorgeous arrangements they craft. Clover believes in honoring the integrity and natural movement of her flowers. That means you won’t find any corny, overly manipulated arrangements in her studio. You will find inspiring arrangements that looked like they were delicately picked out of the most beautiful California garden.

If you live in the LA area and need arrangements for upcoming holidays, special events, photo shoots, weddings, or even retail spaces, I *insist* you do yourself a favor and give Dandelion Ranch a ring. If my bouquet is any indication, you definitely won’t be disappointed.

Tell me: What do you think of this fashion hack? Would you try it?!

Linking up with: More Pieces of Me and Sincerely Jenna Marie // Style to Inspire // Manic Mondays //Mix It Mondays // Pink Sole // Still Being Molly // Turning Heads Tuesday // Style Elixir // Garay Treasures // Pleated Poppy //Because Shanna Said So //Stylish Housewife // The Wednesday Pants // Style Me Wednesday // Happiness at Mid Life // The Red Closet Diary // Mix Match Fashion // Thursday Fashion Files // High Latitude Style //Friday Favorites // Birdie Shoots // Pumps and Pushups // Because Shanna Said So // Favorite Fashion Friday

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

The Comments

  • Avatar
    Erin Rebar
    12/06

    I’ve tried wearing t-shirts under strapless dresses before. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Usually, I avoid strapless dresses altogether, but like you said, sometimes you run across one that’s pretty enough to spend the creativity to come up with a fix! A white button up is such a wonderful idea, and definitely an upgrade from my t-shirt idea.

    One thing I’ve tried, that has worked really well, is wearing a lace crop top underneath a strapless. I guess immodest plus immodest equals modest? lol. The lace give the effect of an illusion neckline–which I love–and the crop top means less bulky fabric to stuff down into your bodice!

    I love your idea of putting a button up underneath a strapless. What a creative hack! I’m definitely trying this.

    Side note: You’re right, that bouquet is absolutely lovely!

    PS: You may notice I’ve been commenting a lot, the past few days. I just discovered your blog. I’m kind of obsessed with it. Keep up the great work! 🙂
    Erin Rebar recently posted…Advent Series–Day 8My Profile

    • Avatar
      Elizabeth from Michigan
      > Erin Rebar
      12/07

      Hi Erin,
      I love your lace crop top underneath idea. I wear stretch t-shirts under spaghetti strap dresses. I wear shrugs over dresses sometimes, but I like your idea better. It doesn’t cover up the dress just you!
      God Bless.

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Erin Rebar
      12/07

      Hi Erin!

      I LOVE seeing multiple comments from you! Seriously, that’s the most encouraging thing to see as a blogger (I’m sure you’d agree)! Thank you so much for the love and feedback. Your lace top hack is GENIUS! You get all the points for creativity. It makes perfect sense too. If I try that out, I’ll let you know! Thank you so much for sharing!

      Liz

  • Avatar
    Rachel G
    12/07

    My favorite trick is to tie a button up on over a strapless or spaghetti strap dress (that’s exactly what I’m wearing in my blog post today!) I love this look on you, I also occasionally pull off the shirt-underneath strategy, too!
    Rachel G recently posted…Sparkly ShoesMy Profile

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Rachel G
      12/07

      I love that trick too, Rachel! I typically tie my chambray shirt over dresses, but you just reminded me to try a white button down next time! Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Kira Brennan
    12/07

    Wow, I think this combo looks like it was originally designed that way! Lovely!

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Kira Brennan
      12/07

      Thanks, Kira! That’s just about the best compliment I could get for this outfit!

  • Avatar
    Alecz
    12/07

    What an amazing idea to add that white blouse underneath! Flawless transition between the two pieces, and it adds sleeves!

    https://forsevenseasons.wordpress.com

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Alecz
      12/07

      Thanks so much, dear! I’m pretty excited about the sleeves!

  • Avatar
    Ada
    12/07

    WOW Liz, this hi-lo floral jacquard dress is stunning and looks marvelous on you. Impeccable styling.

    Have a great week! Ada. =)
    Ada recently posted…Red Rose Pumps and a White Vest.My Profile

  • Avatar
    IRENE
    12/08

    simply amazing outfit! stunning
    Irene
    http://www.thedailylace.com
    IRENE recently posted…Scuba MixMy Profile

  • Avatar
    Elise
    12/08

    Amazing!! Absolutely stunning!

    xx, Elise
    http://www.sparkleandslippers.blogspot.com
    Elise recently posted…Holiday Party and Link-Up!My Profile

  • Avatar
    Denise
    12/08

    That dress is so so stunning! You look absolutely gorgeous in that dress and so radiant! I love all of these photos!

    Feel free to stop by my blog and join my link-up! Have a lovely week!

    Denise | Fashion Love Letters

  • Avatar
    ~ carmen ~
    12/08

    I normally avoid strapless gowns because I have quite a large bust but this is a wonderful tip I can keep in mind just in case. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > ~ carmen ~
      12/10

      Thanks, Carmen! If you ever try it, please let me know!

  • Avatar
    Alice
    12/10

    Hi Liz!
    You look lovely and exquisite darling! I don’t have too many strapless dresses because I don’t like to have naked shoulders, but this is definitely a great idea. Love the dress:)

    Alice
    http://www.protectyourglow.com

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Alice
      12/15

      Thanks, Alice! I don’t like naked shoulders either, but I just HAD to find a way to wear this dress.

  • Avatar
    Jill
    12/11

    That dress is stunning! What a great idea to wear a crisp white shirt under it! I love this look!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink
    Jill recently posted…12 Days of Giveaways – Day 11!My Profile

  • Avatar
    Happiness at Mid Life
    12/13

    What a gorgeous way to wear a gown and make it comfortable for you! Gorgeous as always Liz.

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you soon!

    Alice
    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com
    Happiness at Mid Life recently posted…Throw Back Thursday Fashion Link Up: Gold HeelsMy Profile

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Happiness at Mid Life
      12/15

      Thank you, Alice! And see you this Thursday. 🙂