Mother of the Bride

How to Wear a Dress with Tiered Skirt and not look Frumpy

A reader wrote to me the other day saying she was going to a summer party and was thinking of wearing a dress with a tiered maxi skirt but was worried about looking frumpy. I understood right away what she was talking about right away. Dresses with tiered skirts and a ’70s boho vibe have been super popular the last couple of seasons, and while they look adorable on the younger gals, they can be tricky to pull off at 40, 50, or 60+. 

Yes, they’re pretty and look super comfy, but they are also long and loose, and I’ve seen enough to know they can look rather frumpy. Does that mean you should stay away? Of course not! Here are a few ways to wear a tiered dress and look modern and stylish at any age.


hot pink tiered sundress

Go for Bright Colors

Bright, bold, cheery colors bring youthful energy to this breezy, relaxed tiered summer dress. Florals can sometimes look a little old, lady, but color blocking is a great way to look updated. These juicy graduated pink shades feel so fresh, and they’re fun and festive. I like the halter neckline for summer and how it adds a youth vibe. Wear this cute color-blocked tiered dress with flat sandals on vacation and turn some heads! Hot, hot, hot!

Tiered Midi Dress red

Choose Short over Maxi

A lot of times, a tiered sundress looks frumpy because it’s just too long and loose.  So if you like this style but not the baggy fit, try a shorter-tiered dress with a belt.  This darling orange summer sundress looks a lot perkier since it lands just at the knee, and the affordable self-belt helps carve out a youthful-looking waist.  All you need to do is add a few natural-looking accessories like rope wedges and a textured bag and have a more chic-looking version of a tiered dress.

Tiered Midi Dress - Lilac

Add Modern Accessories

Accessories can completely change a look, so use them to avoid looking frumpy in a tiered dress. To create this classy monochromatic look, start with a white tiered dress. Add a sassy fedora, chic slides, and high-end leather and gold accessories to uplevel your look. 


Tiered Midi Dress - Black

Black is Always Chic

The easiest way to balance a relaxed boho style of dress like this is to wear it in black. Black always looks urban and chic no matter what dress you wear. Here, we’ve glammed up a simple, tiered sundress with a long statement necklace, a sporty sun hat, sophisticated woven slides, a black leather bag, and bold, oversized sunglasses. It’s casual, but it sure says sophisticated! 

Have you bought a tiered sundress, and how do you wear it?  I’d love you to post it in my Private Facebook group. Have you joined yet?    

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4 thoughts on “How to Wear a Dress with Tiered Skirt and not look Frumpy

  1. Great for women under 55 but I believe you should wear whatever makes you happy. Life’s too short!

  2. My reader (Christine) wrote me about this post: “These are fine for younger people. How about us senior citizens? Thanks.”

    Good question. The tiered style can work at any age. It’s all about whether it suits your body and personality. No style is perfect for everyone.

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