Stress happens.  Even though we know it is an inevitable part of life, it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.  Recently, I asked the subscribers of my Facebook Page if they ever “stress dress” when times get rough.  Just like some you may eat poorly or a lot when you are stressed, it isn’t uncommon to let your style go when you feel the pressures of life.

I always tell my clients that my job as a stylist isn’t to turn them into fashionistas or to make fashion the biggest priority in their lives, but to make getting dressed easier so that they can focus on what is important to them.  Let’s face it, if someone has fashion as their #1 priority they probably have serious problems.  Fashion isn’t even my top priority in life, and it’s my job.

Yet, while fashion shouldn’t be the biggest thing anyone focuses on, there is evidence that proves when we feel better we do better, and often the best ways to deal with stressful time is to put some energy back on ourselves.  Even the smallest of things we can do, like deep breathing, taking a few minutes to gather ourselves or putting some effort towards looking good can make a huge difference.

In today’s accessorizing post I am giving you super simple tips that you can add to your outfits to make the less than inspired looks you wear, when the last thing you want to think about is your clothing, look better.  Often when we don’t feel great or feel pulled in a million directions we grab the easiest thing to wear just to get the job done.  I know that I have done it many times.  Yet, with just one simple tweak, that won’t add any more stress to your life, I am going show you how you can look more pulled together in an instant.

How to Look Stylish When You Are Stressed

Tip #1- Grab a scarf

stylishYou’re running late, not feeling well, have a kid who just spilled glue all over the floor, or, whatever the reason, you’re stressed and late for work.  My guess is you have some super basic outfits that you don’t love but get the job done and you out the door.  Take an outfit like this one that consists of a pair of basic black pants from Reiss, a sleeveless top from Nic+Zoe, a grey cardigan from J. Crew, black flats from Nordstrom, and your trusty basic black bag, like this one from Furla.  Have some scarves on hand that you can just throw around your neck that, like this one from Vince Camuto, to give your outfit some instant personality.

Tip #2- Throw on a necklace

stylishI love maxi dresses in the summer because they are so low maintenance.  What looks super elegant is usually just a cover for the fact that I didn’t have time to shave my legs or self tan them.  A maxi like this navy one from Modcloth is perfect for weekend plans and errands when you have a lot on your plate.  Does it get any simpler than slipping an easy knit dress over your head?  When you are stressed, to give an outfit like this just a touch more polish without adding more work, add a colorful necklace, like this bib from Max & Chloe.  Seriously, it will take all of a millisecond to put on and you’ll feel a whole lot better.  The outfit is easily finished with a pair of gold sandals from Born and a blue bag from Lucky Brand.

Tip #3- Add a colorful pair of shoes

stylish I can’t tell you how many times a colorful or metallic pair of flats have saved my outfits when I have been stressed.  With just a simple shoe change, my basic jeans and sweater go from boring to interesting.  If you’re stressed, just change your shoes to something a bit more exciting and watch your outfit look less drab and more thoughtful.

In this outfit, all I did was change these Nine West flats from the black pair to the bright purple.  The whole outfit, consisting of a pair of MICHAEL Michael Kors bootcut jeans, a striped top from Modcloth and that same Furla bag looks elevated.  Nobody will know how stressed you are on the inside.

Tip #4- Change up your earrings

stylish You have a lot going on at work, you need to wear a dress and decide to grab your old staple that always gets the job done.  It’s low maintenance and the only effort it requires from you is a zip up the back.  Instead of grabbing a boring pair of earrings, change them up to something more fun.  You’re putting earrings on anyway, it’s no harder to put on a more stylish pair.

In this look, the neckline of the dress from Boden doesn’t work with a necklace.  On the left, I used a simple pair of pearl drop earrings from Macy’s.  Fine but boring.  On the right, I added a pair of blue Stella & Dot earrings to add a bit more excitement.  The outfit is finished, again, with your black bag, because nobody is thinking about bag changes when they are stressed, and a pair of easy beige pumps that go with everything and require little thought.

Tip #5- Add a colorful braceletstylishThe outfit I am wearing today isn’t much different than this one.  It easily becomes my uniform when I am stressed.  Give me a tank or t-shirt, a cardigan and a pair of leggings or jeans and I am done.  Not surprisingly, this is also my busiest time of year with clients, and between client work and blogging it is like I have two full-time jobs.  In order to make time for everything I basically work seven days a week (I am writing this post on a Sunday because I have clients scheduled most of this week).

If was heading out the door and not sitting here on the couch typing away on my laptop, I’d know that some simple accessories, like adding a colorful bracelet to this basic look would go a long way in looking good without effort.  In the outfit above, the white jeans from Boden, blue t-shirt from J. Crew and long cardigan from the Gap gets a pop of color with the yellow bracelet from Banana Republic.  That’s all it takes.  Even the most stressed out there can handle that.  The outfit is finished with a pair of blue Modcloth flats and a navy crossbody bag from Tory Burch.

Stress outfits are not necessarily going to be the most stylish or thoughtful outfits you wear, but with some accessorizing tweaks you may find that they instantly make you feel a bit better.  No, accessories won’t take your problems away but they certainly will make a difference.