Style Tips: How to Look Put Together (without really trying)

Whether you’re a young professional needing to amp up your wardrobe or a busy mom on the go who struggles to get your kids dressed in the morning, much less yourself, putting together a polished look doesn’t have to be budget busting or time consuming.  Here’s how:

  1. Wear clothes that fit.  Foundations are key. If you wear clothes that are too big for you, good luck in trying to not look frumpy. And too small? Not good. Embrace who you are, and dress the body you have. No matter what size you are, the clothes that fit are the ones that are going to make you look the best. So, say goodbye to anything that sags or anything ready to burst at the seams, and say hello to pieces that fit and flatter.
  2. Choose your fabrics wisely.  Keeping with the concept that the “foundations are key”, it’s important to pay attention to what your clothes are made of. You want your outfit to look just as great when you punch the clock at five as when you put it on that morning. That means that what you wear needs to wear well throughout the day. Stay away from cotton pieces that wrinkle as soon as you sit in your car and black pants that act as lint rollers for whatever they touch. Do choose fabrics that hold their shape and appear expensive. I say “appear” expensive, because quality and durability do not always increase with the price. Synthetics have come a long way, and you can find pieces that look like you splurged without breaking the bank. You can also watch store websites for sales to snag more expensive fabrics—think cashmere, wool, silk, etc.—at a discount. Just make sure that you are familiar with the store’s sizing and fit as relates to your body. And once you have your quality pieces assembled, you can mix and match textures to create interest.
  3. Throw on a sleek blazer or dress jacket, aka “the completer piece”.  This is both the most mindless and most impactful step of the polishing process. As the name suggests, this piece completes the outfit. If you don’t have one, make sure to get one that will work with look after look. You really can’t go wrong with basic black, but here are some other versatile and interesting options:
  1. Choose a classic shoe.  You need to find the perfect balance between fun and functional. You don’t have to wear a heel, but you absolutely shouldn’t buy shoes on comfort alone. That’s such a disservice to your personal sense of style (and your feet). When it comes to shoes, I’m strongly in favor of quality over quantity, especially for everyday wear. (Your feet will thank you.) If you find a great pair at a price that’s a little beyond what you wanted to pay, think about their versatility and value in terms of how often you’ll wear them. If you want to save, I’d suggest catching the end of season clearance sales at Dillard’s, or watch for sales at online stores that offer free returns. Personally, I’m pretty comfortable (and experienced) with shopping online for shoes. My go-to is DSW. They offer shoes at a variety of price points, run great sales, and have a rewards program that’s worth participating in.  Here are some classy shoe finds from DSW:
  1. When accessorizing, remember that less is more.  Accessories are the cherry on top of your style sundae. They come in many forms, and I like to keep mine pretty minimal. A handbag is a given in any woman’s outfit, so we’re going to focus more on the other options…

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