Despite what they’d have you believe, the fashion set (shocker) wasn’t born with some otherworldly ability to pull together a flawless ensemble at a moment’s notice (well, most of them anyway). And it’s not access to designer threads or a lofty budget either (although a few It-girl-approved bags and steppers never hurt): It’s the result of a lot of careful planning and consideration — something we all can certainly do. Sure, it’s a pretty unglamorous secret, but hey — if it means that perfectly put-together style is always within reach, we’ll take it. Below, we’re divulging nine incredibly easy-to-follow tips that will instantly elevate your style game to It-girl status. (You can thank us later).
1. Get organized. A little planning goes a long way in the style department. Designers spend months piecing together the perfect ensemble to send down the catwalk, after all. And those gorgeous getups you see all over your Insta feed? Yeah, those required some thought too. Case in point: A killer outfit isn’t the result of sorcery or science. Instead of haphazardly throwing together an outfit that’ll just pass, take a few extra minutes in the evening to plan your outfit for the next day. This gives you the opportunity to play around with the different pieces in your closet, as well as add in a few extra accessories that’ll give your outfit a one-of-kind edge. The best part? This approach will actually buy you a few minutes of extra time in the morning — so go ahead, hit that snooze button one more time.
2. Find the perfect fit. Even the most flawless pieces can look like questionable flea market finds when the fit isn’t quite right. Head to your closet and say sayonara to any too-small or too-large items (with the exception of intentionally oversized pieces — just make sure you’re not swimming in them). Even if you count them amongst your most-loved duds, they’ve simply got to go because they certainly aren’t doing your style any favors. If they’re still in good shape, try selling them for cash to put toward timeless pieces that fit like a glove.
3. Show your clothes some serious TLC. Wear and tear shows, especially if you haven’t been treating your threads right. Always pay close attention to the care instruction on your clothes (and actually follow them) and treat spots and stains STAT. Prevent wrinkles by hanging things up immediately rather than tossing them on the floor (we also highly recommend investing a steamer to keep your clothes looking #onfleek at all times), and have a fabric shaver or sweater comb handy to keep pesky pilling fabric in check.
4. Wear the right undergarments. Lumps, bumps and lines (not to mention accidental peep shows) caused by ill-fitting or inappropriate undergarments can make even the chicest of wardrobe essentials look sloppy. Before tossing on any ol’ pair of underwear or bra, take a second to consider the fabric and silhouette of the piece you plan on wearing. Slip dresses and bodycons call for a totally different set of underthings (hello, shapewear) than your go-to t-shirts and jeans.
5. Accessories are everything. You don’t need to drop bank on designer threads to put together a scene-stealing ensemble. It’s easy to make even the most blasé basics look like a million bucks if you have the right add-ons in tow. Instantly elevate a white button down and joggers with sleek drop earrings and luxe block heels, or team a glitzy box clutch with a classic LBD for just the right amount of wow factor. Take a less-is-more approach to your accessorizing routine; explore that fine line between not enough and too much by getting into the habit of removing one accessory before heading out the door and using the cut, shape and styling of your duds to inform your sartorial choices.
6. Take cues from your surroundings. You gotta do you, girl, but do so intelligently. Weather and setting are crucial considerations when it comes to matters of style. An easy way to render an Insta-worthy ensemble straight-up ridiculous is by rocking duds that stand out — and not in a good way. Sky high stilettos are a poor choice in the dead of winter when sidewalks are slick, and that chic suede jacket has no business making an appearance on a 90-degree day — no matter what season you’re technically in. Arm yourself with chic versions of weather-appropriate essentials (think: rain boots, cozy winter coats, etc.) that you can feel good about wearing when the forecast takes an unexpected turn, and find new ways to create the look you want with items that make sense given the context.
In a similar vein, dressing for the occasion is also important. While wearing white after Labor Day is no longer a faux pas, there are a handful of fashion rules you should still follow — like taking dress codes into consideration. No one wants to be that person who shows up in jeans (even if accidentally) to a swanky event or a dangerously high hemline to meet the parents (a fashion disaster just waiting to happen). There’s a time and a place for everything — just make sure you’re choosing the right one.
7. Have a handful of foolproof pieces that you can reach for in a snap. Whether it’s a piece of signature jewelry, a sleek leather jacket or a pair of timeless tailored trousers, there are a handful of wardrobe essentials every girl should have on hand that can be called upon anytime, anywhere to instantly elevate any outfit. Not sure where to start? Check out our list of must-haves here.
8. Always have a backup plan. Your style sensibilities might be sent from the gods, but you’re only human — and life (a.k.a. snags, stains, etc.) happen. Create a fashion emergency kit, complete with stain removal pens, fashion tape, Band-Aids, safety pins, Still Standing spray and a few small sewing staples, to keep wardrobe conundrums from ruining your day.
9. Do you. The most important thing to always keep in mind is that style is an outward expression of who you are, and staying true to you is the easiest way to ensure sartorial success. Strutting around in ensembles that just don’t feel authentic to you — and therefore uncomfortable — can do a number on your confidence, no matter how on-trend they might be. Stick with what you love, and watch as the compliments start rolling in.
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