You want to build an impressive outfit, one that shows off your fun personality while also letting you flex those sartorial muscles. To which some of you might say, “Pffft, easier said than done. I get it: When looking through Pinterest or Instagram and sighing over all the effortless, impossibly stylish street style stars, it might seem like their fashion genius is leaps and bounds ahead of yours. After all, the majority of them know how to mix and match deftly, making the most intense, out of the box fashion styles seem doable. But what’s a normal person to do when it comes to their turn to work wonders with their closet?
Sometimes you wake up and putting on a normal pair of jeans or a lazy romper just won’t cut it.
Keep this in mind: All it is is steps. Even the coolest stylist takes it one step at a time, gradually layering up to that genius of an outfit. You just need to have an open mind over what works, and you have a shot to look just as fearless and amazing. Below are 11 tips on how to create an impressive outfit.
1. Belt It
While some pieces might work best flowing and baggy, adding a quality belt into the mix helps add some major style. Fashion writer Joyann King from Harpers Bazaar offered, “Tuck in any shirttails or a baggy sweater hem and cinch your waist with a chic belt for maximum impact.” The key here, though, is quality. Skip the cheap belts and go for one that’s elegant with a grown-up looking buckle. It’s a small detail, but it’ll elevate your look by notches.
2. Look For Interesting Details
Even the most simple of outfits are impressive when they sport out-of-the-box details. When shopping for new pieces search for details that bring character to the table. For example, choose dresses with low backs, pants that are high waisted or have a culotte shape, tops that are of the shoulder, or sandals that are platformed. Style writer Nicole Akhtarzad from WhoWhatWear suggested, “Invest in an open-back jumpsuit, and style it with a skirt this season” in order to breathe new life into old skirts. Details like that change things!
3. Say Yes To Contrasts
Fashion becomes interesting when you throw the rule book out the window and play with juxtapositions. Style writer Charles Manning from Cosmopolitan advised, “A crop top with a ball skirt. An oversized top with cut-off shorts. Looking fashionable is all about playing with proportion and contrast. Not just big with small, but also hard with soft, tight with loose, and heavy with light” The ending results are almost always street style worthy.
4. Let Your Personality Shine Through
Are you a city kid through and through? Go ahead, wear that windbreaker with the expensive dress. Do you like crazy, happy prints? Pattern clash till you’re sick of it. Fashion isn’t just about looking street style amazing, but about expressing your personality through the cuts of your outfits. Laurel Pinson from StyleCaster recommended, “Don’t take your clothing too seriously! Invest in something that makes you smile.” Just think about all those times you saw someone bold and thought, “I wish I could pull that off.” They’re working it because it’s true to themselves — follow your sartorial instincts!
5. Start Building A Jacket Arsenal
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You know that layering not only helps stretch your closet, but it takes cute outfits into the realm of “amazing.” Because of that, start to slowly build a jacket arsenal. King explained, “A tailored jacket is an editor’s secret weapon. It elevates denim, polishes flow-y dresses, looks chic thrown over the shoulders and takes slim pants to the board room.” Whether you choose to include black blazers, cargo jackets, leather jackets, etc is up to you — choose pieces that work best with your style!
6. Make Your Accessories Work For You
Current obsession. White sunglasses.
If you take an old dress from your closet and pair it with a playful hat, unexpected jewelry, or contrasting shoes, that piece immediately gets new sartorial life. Akhtarzad pointed out, “You can stand out in even the simplest of dresses by adding eye-catching accessories such as a hat, statement jewelry, and embellished sandals.” So take out your accessories and play with the options until you have something different and bold.
7. Be Sloppy With Your Tucks
Rather than tucking in your sweater or oxford shirt all the way, pull a messy-chic J Crew inspired move and just tuck in the front. Manning explained, “Whether it’s a sweater, a tank or a collared silk shirt, just grab that middle front piece, tuck it down, and watch your style cred increase instantaneously by a factor of 10.” It looks more effortless and fashion-in-tuned.
Pair a strapless dress over a collared shirt, pop crop tops over maxis, match slips on top of white tees, wrap chambray shirts around your waist — as you can see, layering makes things incredibly more interesting. Akhtarzad suggested, “Get more mileage out of a going-out top by layering something underneath.” Not only are you able to wear more things in your closet with some clever mix and matching, but your resulting outfit looks like you put some time and fun into it. Cruise Pinterest and fashion blogs for inspo.
9. There Are No Such Things As “Off Limit” Pieces
You can wear a strappless party dress on a Tuesday, and a New Years sequined skirt in the middle of the summer. Nothing is off limits if you style it right. For example, Pinson explained how to make a suit casual, “Pair a suit top with a pair of crisp white jeans or a suit pant with a killer linen suit jacket.” By mixing evening and high end with casual and everyday, everything in your closet becomes a viable option.
10. Invest In Hats
Don’t be scared of a good hat — that simple accessory can breathe new life into a plethora of outfits. Manning explained, “Fashion is all about making a statement and creating a well-defined look and no other accessory does that quite like a good hat. Sure, they can be a little costumey, but that’s the point.” And if wide-brim isn’t your thing, you can always experiment with different shapes. There are baseball caps, beanies, visors, and a whole bunch of other looks that you can play with.
11. Choose Unexpected Shoes
Oh hey! #xoq ? @christinaemiliephoto
There’s a reason the fashion world went crazy over pairing gym shoes with dresses or ugly sandals with, well, everything. Unexpected shoes make for a seriously impressive outfit. Akhtarzad broke it down, “Whether this means styling sneakers with a dress or pairing heeled sandals with sweatpants, this season, the seemingly wrong choice is so right.” Do some experimenting in front of your mirror and see what unexpected choices you can pair together.
With these tips in your back pocket, you’ll never have a boring outfit day again.
Images: @rantiinreview/ Instagram