An easy way to turn the simplest dress into an outfit is to colour match your accessories. Co-ordinating your shoes/handbag/belt/hat instantly pulls an outfit together. If you have a selection of 'sets' in few basic colours - e.g. black, brown, navy, red, teal - you just need to grab one and you're good to go in moments.
Hats & Scarves
I've certainly mentioned before how many more comments I get when I put on a hat. It's not that it's hard to put on a hat (if you're not used to wearing hats, try a beret), but they just add a certain je ne sais quoi. The same goes for scarves. Even if you're wearing jeans and a T-shirt, tying on a little spotted neckerchief - knot placed jauntily to one side - lends instant Parisian chic to the look. As if by magic.
Gloves also have a similar effect, but they do fairly scream VINTAGE, so may not be for the timid.
Brooches & Pins
Whether it's a statement piece, a novelty pin or a fine jewel, there's just something about a brooch that makes it look as though you've really thought about your outfit. Add even more zing by wearing your brooch in unexpected ways.
As you'll probably have observed, I'm rarely without a selection of bangles. I've built up a reasonable collection so I can usually pick out three or four to co-ordinate with an outfit. It's another thing that takes seconds, but really 'finishes off' an ensemble.
What are your favourite ways to take an outfit from simple to stylish?