The 4 Staples of the Perfectly Extra Birthday Ensemble

birthday outfit ideas


audrey hepburn from breakfast at tiffany's

The 4 Staples of the Perfectly Extra Birthday Ensemble

by Veronica Rush

So January is my birthday month. And that generally means a glittery weekend spent in New York City to celebrate, but not before a major panic attack (or several) in front of my suitcase asking the question that has baffled the greatest thinkers of our time for years: but what will I wear? Now, while I generally enjoy being a little outlandish with my style, for whatever reason, the fact that it’s my birthday turns me into a totally gaudy train wreck. I’m talking sequins, tulle, feathers, you name it. I want to look like a Gucci garbage can threw up on me.

Am I subconsciously making a statement? That I’m fearless and open to taking on whatever this next year throws at me? Maybe. But it’s more likely that I’m just an attention whore. 

I like to think of it as holiday attire of sorts. Like how on Halloween the real reason everyone started dressing up in costumes was to ward off evil spirits. Or how bridesmaids started wearing special dresses to redirect… well… evil spirits away from the bride. I didn’t think I was nearly as obsessed with evil spirits as our ancestors apparently were but maybe this is my 0wn way of sidestepping negativity through the art of style. Because honestly what bad juju could really come your way while you’re decked out in sequins? (editors note: APPARENTLY A LOT. But that’s a story for another day…) 

Anywho, I adore using my birthday as a chance to just play! And after years of seeking inspiration for gaudy, strange, ridiculous ensembles that are still somehow… chic?, I’ve discovered that there are 4 main staples to every great birthday outfit which I’ll be sharing with you today! Think of it as my birthday gift to you, you’re welcome. 


1. Tulle

Carrie Bradshaw tutu outfit Sec and The City
tutu outfit ideas
via @chessi on instagram

The only tulle that shouldn’t be seen on your birthday is your ex-boyfriend. Other than that, pile it on baby! And preferably in the form of a tutu ala Carrie Bradshaw. But tutus aren’t the only way to add some pizazz! Ruffly tulle sleeves, a thin piece tied around your neck like a birthday bow or even a big tulle scrunchie are all perfect ways to embrace this festive look! Also, whatever you’d call this, yes please!  

My current inspiration in terms of tulle is coming from Rodarte’s SS19 Ready to Wear Collection, namely this wildly fun dress. If I had all the money in the world I’d be rocking this so hard on my birthday. But alas, I will instead choose to eat and pay rent for the next 5 years instead of buying one amazing frock. However, I decided to create my own variation of the look by repurposing an old tutu I made for a Halloween costume one year, so don’t be afraid to get really creative!

2. A Tacky Tiara

Daphne Reynolds from What a Girl Wants
audrey hepburn from breakfast at tiffany's

Ever since seeing What a Girl wants, I’ve always wanted to recreate Daphne Reynolds’ birthday outfit. The style inspiration of this whole movie, this generation of movies really, is fantastic. However, this outfit especially has always stayed with me. Maybe we could chalk it up to nostalgia at this point, or maybe I’m trying to subconsciously become her, (who doesn’t want to live with her fabulous rocker mom in Chinatown and then run off to England to fall in love with some British hunk?), but either way it’s the perfect birthday inspiration. Her crown, her bright nail polish, her eyeshadow. It’s so childlike and whimsical! 

Years later, I saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s and watched Holly Golightly have a major meltdown decked out in hot pink from head to toe. The tiara, the sparkly clutch, all of it is so over the top and yet she wears it like it’s nothing. These are the vibes we should be channeling, my friend! And personally, I say the the tackier the better. So grab yourself the cheapest, cheesiest tiara you can find and wear it like you’re the Queen of England. 

3. Fur & Feathers

pink fur bra outfit
via @dyspnea on instagram
chessi parsell styles a pink robe
via @chessi on instagram

When it comes to the perfect birthday look, it’s all about layering up the textures! And there’s nothing like some fur or feathers to make the look extra fun! It can be as much or as little as you like! A fully feathery ensemble is just as cool as some furry pom pom earrings. 

My favorite way to incorporate a little fluff into my look, however, is to scour the lingerie section of thrift stores. There are often hidden gems waiting within the racks: lush furry robes, fuzzy camisoles, you name it! But if all else fails, it’s so simple to grab a boa and a hot glue gun and make anything a little more fun. I even made my own version of this Saint Laurent Ostrich dress with some second hand feathers and a $10 strapless dress! You can see my version in this haul, (I show it around the 12 minute mark).

4. A Little Sparkle

how to style a sparkly skirt
via on instagram
Brittany Drawstring Bag from Urban Outfitters
via Urban Outfitters

Be it in the form of glitter, sequins, both and more, your birthday is your chance to shine, literally! And if you ask me, the more sparkle there is, the better! You should look like sentient disco ball. Wear a knock out dress, rock a sparkling bag (I am dying over this one), throw on some glittery eye shadow and you’re good to go! By the way, if, like me, your birthday is in January, this is the perfect opportunity to scoop up all that left over New Years Eve goodness at half price. Even if your birthday is later in the year however, it doesn’t hurt to take advantage of the winter deals and save your tacky finds for your special day! I personally wear the same white sequined dress I picked up for an NYE celebration almost every year for my birthday now. 

So there you have it! Mix these 4 staples together and there’s no way your birthday could be anything other than magical! If you’re curious to see how I put all this together into my own birthday outfit, check out my instagram where I document all my crazy looks. Also, be sure to check out the lookbook I did on my YouTube channel packed with birthday style inspiration! Until next time, don’t forget, the world is your runway, and a very happy birthday to you! 


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