I hope all you American readers out there had a very happy Thanksgiving. My husband and I switch families each Thanksgiving and this year we headed to my mother-in-law’s. On the way to her home, Frank, my husband, snapped a photo of me while waiting for the subway. I posted the photo to my Instagram and Facebook Page and received a lot of lovely compliments about my outfit.
While I was flattered, I couldn’t help but chuckle a bit. The outfit really isn’t all that exciting and it is certainly easy to duplicate. It consists of of my navy Ivanka Trump blazer and ivory top I wrote about in my fall purchases post, a pair of skinny jeans, and my very favorite Sam Edelman boots. Yet, what made the outfit look finished was the scarf, a very old Etro silk scarf that is stunning. I literally threw it on to make my outfit look a little more complete and it made all the difference.
This got me thinking about how easy it can be to make an outfit stand out, look less flat and more styled. Really, it’s not that hard at all, which you can see from my outfit. With this in mind, I have taken five looks below from flat to fabulous with simple tweaks. Take a look at how easy it can be.
This first outfit is a great business casual look consisting of a wrap sweater from Ann Taylor and navy pants from Theory. On the left, it is styled simply with a pair of navy pumps. This outfit is fine. Yet, it’s also sort of flat.
On the right, some small tweaks gives the outfit some personality. Instead of navy pumps, I used a blush pair, I added a statement necklace from Stella & Dot and studs from Julie Vos. for a handbag, this style from Kenneth Cole was the perfect find. However, even without the bag, the outfit still looks more interesting with the shoe change and jewelry.
After getting dressed, look at your outfit and ask yourself if there is just one more thing you can add to the look to give it a more finished appearance.
Does it get more basic and easy than a pair of skinny jeans and a comfortable sweater, like this one from Banana Republic, on the weekends? Throw on a pair of booties, like this Franco Sarto pair and you can be out the door in minutes. However, with just the smallest of tweaks, and hardly and extra time, you can be out the door in minutes stylishly.
The outfit on the right is exactly the same, only I added and changed up accessories to make a bigger impact. Instead of the booties in black, I used burgundy. I have no problem with black booties, but if all your shoes are black you are missing out on some fun ways to spruce up your looks. Next, I added an easy-to-wear layered necklace, and this colorful blanket scarf. Using the colors found in the scarf, I went with a yellow bag.
When wearing a neutral base, don’t forget about adding color through your accessories, even your shoes.
Next up, a classic work sheath, like this one from Hugo Boss. For arm coverage, most women will grab a cardigan, like this classic style from J. Crew. Most women will stock up on black thinking they will get the most use. While this may be the case, going overboard can hurt more than help in terms of variety. The same goes for shoes. In the outfit on the left, I used these black pumps, making the outfit just fine, and that’s about it.
Yet, with just some fine tuning, like using the same cardigan style but in purple, swapping out the black pumps for a pair in tan, adding some purple earrings and a green bag from Lodis Accessories for contrast, it’s the same outfit, only better.
Consider nude pumps if you want to get a lot of use out of one pair of heels but are looking to wear something other than black. Not only will nude pumps work with everything but you’ll look a lot more elegant.
You love the look of a crisp white shirt, and you know I love Boss’ Bashina style. Paired with a navy skirt, like this one from Reiss, it can look very classic. You love the fact that the rules of wearing navy and black have loosened and you wear your black boots with your navy tights and you’re done. Or are you? Sure, this is a fine look, but after wearing it this way too many times it can get really boring and start to look really flat.
The good news is that you have created a fine base that you can change up and wear a variety of different ways. In the outfit on the right, I made some small tweaks that are easy to do yourself. First, I just added a printed scarf. You can just place it under the collar of the shirt and let it hang, sort of like I did with my outfit, or you can try tying it. With such a neutral base of an outfit, you can also change up the scarves depending on your mood that day. Instead of black boots, I used the same Michael Kors boots, only I chose the cognac shade instead, which still looks great with the navy tights. Dark brown would also work well too. For a finish, I added some bangle bracelets, the same Julie Vos stud earrings and finished the look with a burgundy handbag from Banana Republic.
Accessorizing is a really affordable way to take a daytime dress and make it look more evening appropriate. The outfit on the left is super classic while also being super been-there-done-that. The Peserico dress is styled with a pair of black pumps and diamond stud earrings. A fine look, for sure, but, trust me, you’re not breaking any new ground with this outfit.
On the right, all it took were a few tweaks to make this staple not only look more evening but more interesting. I added two different Ann Taylor necklaces, a long station style and a shorter statement necklace, swapped out the same shoes for the elegant silver metallic color, added a blingy bracelet and a blush clutch. The chances that you’ll run into a twin outfit at your event is far less likely when you make these sorts of changes.
Instead of buying a whole new cocktail dress for your next event, look to your accessories to make what you already own more evening appropriate.
If you are a regular reader of this blog then you know that I am a huge advocate for what accessories can do to make an outfit more exciting. However, it doesn’t hurt to review. Plus, as many of you will be trimming your trees this season for Christmas, it’s fun to see how trimming your outfits can make your style go from flat to fabulous.