3 Simple Ways to Wear This Chic $89 Dress for Fall

Black Dress for Fall

We talk about the wardrobe basics all. the. time. These are the foundational pieces that create a functional, stylish wardrobe and allow you to get dressed each and every day almost effortlessly. Well, what if I told you that we found a piece that serves the function of TWO wardrobe basics in one?? Well, we did! And I’m sharing three ways you can easily wear it now and into fall. Quick note: The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale ends in ONE WEEK. Prices go up on 8/7 so make sure to grab your wardrobe basics or specialty pieces while they’re discounted. Find more info about NSale dates and all of our favorites here.

For more wardrobe basics (on sale), make sure you check out our NSale Capsule Wardrobe here.


Black dress for fall

Open Edit Cardigan Dress

Before I get into the three ways you can wear this stylish piece, I wanted to share a little more about it. This awesome Open Edit cardigan dress has a gorgeous, ribbed texture and the weight of the fabric is perfect for fall. It’s not too thin that it shows lumps and bumps, but it’s not so thick that you’ll get too warm. I love the collar and the buttons down the front. You can unbutton a few extra buttons and add a lacy bralette for some extra sexiness. Or keep it buttoned up a little higher if that makes you more comfortable. Oh…and the best part is… it’s only $89!

Keep scrolling to see how I’d style this for fall…


open edit Long Sleeve Rib Cardigan Dress

open edit Long Sleeve Rib Cardigan Dress

#1) As a Dress

The first outfit is the simplest way to style this piece…as a dress! A chic LBD is a must-have wardrobe basic and because this one can be worn and styled so many ways, it is a really wonderful, basic option. Throwing on a black dress and booties is such a classic, simple fall outfit idea and since this dress is so versatile, you can swap the shoes to make this appropriate for any occasion.

I’m wearing a pair of beautiful Schutz booties that I loved so much I bought them in black AND white. Schutz makes high-quality, comfortable, stylish shoes that are affordable ($120 during the sale and $178 after). If you already have your everyday black booties covered, these would be a great dressier option to add to your wardrobe. The stiletto heel and pointed toe make them very sleek and sophisticated. I’d wear this look to dinner, but a quick shoe swap could make this dress more casual (with sneakers) or even dressier (with pumps).

how to style a cardigan dress

cardigan dress outfitblack cardigan dress

Black dress for fall outfit idea

#2) As a Cardigan – Casual

You can also style this Open Edit dress as a cardigan. I completely unbuttoned the dress in this look and threw it on over a sweater and jeans. I love the look of a longline cardigan, especially for petite women because it really elongates the frame.

This is a look I’d wear to a casual lunch, running errands, or even to work if you have a more casual dress code. Under the cardigan, I’m wearing a very lightweight, white sleeveless sweater by Paige that has a fun flutter detail around the arms, which you can see pictured in this post. My jeans are the Mother Hustler ankle jeans in a really deep, dark blue wash that almost looks black. These jeans keep going in and out of stock, but this style is SO good I have them in a few other washes too, and linked more options below. The fit is wonderful, I love the frayed hem, and the length is perfect on me (I’m 5’4”).

On my feet, I’m wearing a pair of Dolce Vita loafers that are so cool. They’re super lightweight, unique, and VERY comfortable! If you need new work shoes or just want a stylish pair of flats, these are great. They run a little big so I would order a half size down from your normal size.

Versatile Black dress for fall

Black cardigan dress for fall

Styling a Black cardigan dress for fall

#3) As a Cardigan – Dressy

Lastly, I wanted to show you how to style the cardigan dress for something a little dressier like date night or dinner with friends. In this look, I’m wearing the same Mother jeans but I swapped the shoes for a sexier, dressy pair of pumps and the sweater for a silky cami. The cami I’m wearing a little older but I linked a few similar options that will give you the same look. You might already have a silky cami in your closet that will work too! The black Reiss slingbacks I’m wearing are from this year’s NSale and are so chic. It’s hard to tell in the photos but these heels have sexy mesh panels that make them a really cool basic-with-a-twist. They’re really comfortable, the heel is easy to walk in (~3”), and the pointed toe is very flattering and elongating.

Now can you see how versatile and flattering this dress can be? Which outfit was your favorite? #1, #2, or #3? Let us know in the comments below!

Huge thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to receive some incredible style resources. If you would like to receive early access, exclusive content, and more, make sure you sign up for SMS texts…we’ll send you texts to keep you in the know! And if you’re needing some extra help with your wardrobe basics and you’re not sure where to start, make sure you check out our Style Made Simple course where we break down all of the wardrobe basics you actually need in your closet. Thanks for stopping by!

Erin Busbee signature

Join the Conversation

9 thoughts on “3 Simple Ways to Wear This Chic $89 Dress for Fall

  1. #2 Cute idea to wear the dress as a long cardigan. I bought those chunky, black loafers during the Nordie sale, but had to return as they didn’t fit my feet. Any other recommendations for chunky soled black loafers?
    My clothing budget is much smaller than yours and I really appreciate when you post similar items at a lower price point.
    Love your posts!

    1. Thanks so much for your support, Patty! SO glad this post gives you some new ideas to try out!! Here’s a few other ideas for chunky soled loafers. Erin tried out this first pair last fall and loved it but said it does run big. Hope this helps on your search! ~Team Busbee
      Franco Sarto |
      Marc Fisher |
      Dolce Vita |
      Vionic |

  2. I love this dress too. I have two tips:

    1. Be sure to try it on … I normally wear an XS, but I needed to go up to a Large to avoid gaping buttons.

    2. It’s also very long … I’m 5’2″ with short legs, and before hemming, it goes to my ankles.

    1. Thanks for sharing some additional tips for this dress, Liz! Really appreciate that. I hope this gave you some new ideas for styling this beautiful piece!! ~Erin xo

  3. I think you really should have gone up one size in this dress!! I love your posts and ideas!! Love your skincare and make-up post very much!!

    1. I appreciate your feedback, Natalie. Thanks so much for reading and for your support! SO glad you’re enjoying our posts! ~Erin xo

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