Have you ever flipped through a fashion magazine hoping that some of the models’ style would magically rub off on you through the pages?
Having great style is a matter of opinion, but it’s something everyone can achieve.
Even if you don’t look like a fashion model (or if your friends teased you about dressing like a soccer mom before you even had kids), great style is achievable. And while wearing runway clothes to the grocery store may not be realistic, you can still look and feel great with a few practical tips.
Practical Tips to Have More Style
Know what makes you comfortable
One of the easiest ways to have style is by wearing what’s comfortable.
By comfortable, I don’t mean wearing yoga pants in public, but dressing in something that fits and makes you feel good without having to constantly adjust your clothes.
As you’re choosing comfortable clothes, think about the following:
- What gives you confidence?
- What can you wear well (what doesn’t pull, ride up, isn’t too baggy, etc.)?
- What colors, fits, and textures are you drawn to?
Pay attention to the size of the clothes, too. Sizes can change even within a brand depending on the cut or the material.
Don’t be afraid to size up or down, and don’t be afraid to call a tailor for a really great fit. That said, if you buy something that needs to be tailored, make sure that you actually take it to the tailor (speaking from experience on this one). 🙁
Fix your posture
Another really simple fix for your style (or lack thereof) is your posture. One of my biggest takeaways from Tim Gunn’s book, A Guide to Quality, Taste, and Style, was that I wasn’t standing correctly.
Apparently, good posture is more than “throwing your shoulders back,” as I had always assumed. Tipping your pelvis, almost like you’re pulling your navel to your spine as would when you’re exercising, can make a huge difference.
Your posture can change the way your clothes fit. It’s amazing how a shirt can go from frumpy to flattering with a simple tweak of your shoulders or pelvis. Try it!
I’ve never been a big experimenter when it comes to fashion. Instead, I’d prefer to wear a uniform of a solid colored tee-shirt with jeans. Once I find a style that looks good on me, I usually buy multiples.
However, my uniform policy often puts me in a rut. At some point, I usually find myself staring at a closet full of clothes with “nothing to wear.”
One solution is to create a capsule wardrobe and rotate your clothes seasonally.
Another trick is experimenting. Try pairing different patterns, fabrics, or colors together. If you’re terrified of making a mistake or don’t understand how colors pair together (raising my hand), check out this explanation of the color chart (and how to use it).
Try everything on
I can’t tell you how many clothes I have in my closet because I bought them without trying them on, got them home, and either couldn’t return them or never got around to it.
I’ve since learned my lesson and made sure to try things on immediately in the store or as soon as I receive items that I’ve purchased online.
While I still shop online, I’m careful to only buy from retailers that have a great return policy, like Kohl’s, which allows you to return online purchases indefinitely in the store (their customer service is amazing). I also love buying clothes on Amazon, which usually offers free return shipping for clothing.
Another great (stress-free) option is Stitch Fix. While you don’t get to choose your clothes, you can ask for certain things and a stylist will choose clothing that she thinks will be perfect for you. Once you receive your Fix, you have three days to try on the clothes and return anything you don’t want. To make it simple, Stitch Fix sends a prepaid shipping bag for your returns.
I also experiment with my favorite brands on RueLaLa, but I’m careful to only buy items that can be returned (some final sale items aren’t eligible for RueLaLa’s 30-day return policy). RueLaLa offers free return shipping on everything except final sale items, but you have to accept a store credit if you don’t want to pay for shipping.
Even though I loved the discounted prices, I stopped buying from Zulily because you have to pay for shipping when you purchase each item and they don’t accept returns.
Invest in staples, not fads
While a great pair of jeans is essential, one thing I’ve learned is to focus on finding a pair that flatters, not a pair that’s super trendy (the huge flare jeans of my college days that I swore I’d always wear… yep, I’m talking to you).
While jeggings may be trendy, I’ve hesitated to buy them. Instead, I’ve been wearing slimming jeans that still fit in my boots but flatter my figure without showing off every bump and cellulite dimple. 😉
If you’re focusing on buying higher quality clothes that last longer, make sure to buy clothes that look good long after fashion week ends.
Use accessories to amp up your wardrobe
Jewelry never seems to go out of style, and I love how it fits regardless of how many cookies I binge ate the night before.
If you want to try experimenting with new styles, using jewelry and accessories is an easy way to do it. Find a few statement pieces and add to them over time.
I’ve had really good luck finding reasonably priced accessories online at Cents of Style and at department stores like Kohl’s or JCPenny. Start in the clearance section and be bold!
Having more style might involve more than wishing the fashion fairy dust will fall on you, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
By making some simple tweaks, like knowing what you like, fixing your posture, experimenting, trying everything on, and investing in staples and accessories, you’ll be on your way to looking like the supermodel you always knew you could be. 😉
Friday 31st of March 2017
What a fun post! I just read the book "The Curated Closet"--you might enjoy it!
Friday 31st of March 2017
Thanks, Sarah! I'll have to read that!