This is your ultimate guide to becoming your most stylish self! I’ve compiled a HUGE list of all of my style secrets, tips, tricks, and tweaks! Everything from building the perfect wardrobe, to planning outfits, to actual style tricks like perfecting the half-tuck! It’s all here in one place! Bookmark this post to reference later and please feel free to let us know if you have any questions!
Style Tricks For Your Wardrobe
The following tips are meant to help you create and shop your perfect wardrobe. Keep scrolling if you’re looking for actual style tweaks you can make to your look…but these first few tips will definitely make your life (and styling your wardrobe) easier!
#1 | Plan Your Outfits
First I want to start with a few tips that will completely change the way you look at your closet. First up…plan your outfits! You definitely don’t have to plan your outfits every single day. But for events, date nights, travel, etc., make sure you plan what you’ll wear, including everything from the accessories to the shoes, to the outerwear, etc. Being prepared will make your life easier, I promise!
#2 | Create A Lookbook
Along the same lines, when you’re planning our outfits, make sure you take pictures! You can create folders on your phone to add outfit photos to. If you’re feeling uninspired, scan through your folders and find an outfit you like! You can also use Pinterest to create boards and save your favorite outfit inspo!
#3 | The 80/20 Rule
One common 80/20 rule …you wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. But, let’s take it one step further. I suggest you spend 80% of your budget on high-quality basics and 20% on trends. This will make shopping your closet a lot easier! Guaranteed.
#4 | Basics Are Everything
This leads to my next tip…basics are everything! The basics are the foundation of your wardrobe. Without them, your wardrobe doesn’t function. I give out two wardrobe basics checklists for spring/summer and fall/winter when you subscribe to my newsletter or when you buy my Style Made Simple guide. Your wardrobe basics should be timeless, fit your body beautifully, and classic but modern.
#5 | Tailoring
Clothing is made for the masses, not for individual, unique body shapes. So it’s safe to say that you will have to get something tailored because not everything is going to fit you perfectly. For example, if you have a tiny waist and thicker thighs, you will probably always have to get your waist taken in (P.S. stop searching for the unicorn). Coming to the realization that you’ll have to get things tailored will make your life easier. Even small changes can completely change the way a garment fits you…and that can make a huge difference.
#6 | Know Your Body Shape
I’ve done a video and post on how to determine your body shape. I cannot stress enough how crucial it is to know your body shape and learn how to dress it! It will make getting dressed easier, shopping easier, and will ultimately save your sanity! Another good thing to know is if you have a long or short torso…find everything you need to determine your body shape in these posts and videos…
How To Determine Your Body Shape
Triangle Body Shape
Circle Body Shape
Hourglass Body Shape
Rectangle Body Shape
Inverted Triangle Body Shape
By the way, if you are struggling to figure out your shape based on the math. Have a friend or partner trace your body onto a mirror. Look at the shape. This should help. Don’t overthink this or worry too much about fitting into a category. You might not. It’s just important to understand what your body looks like so you can dress in a way that maximizes your asssets and minimizes your problem areas.
#7 | Mixing High & Low
Guess what!? You don’t have to wear all high-end designer clothes. Instead, mix high-end with more affordable pieces to look very stylish and smart. There’s definitely a cool factor to making lower-end pieces look higher end.
#8 | Signature Style
I’ve done a video with 5 ways to find your signature style that’s a must-watch! Your signature style is essentially your style uniform. Your style uniform is your ‘go-to’ outfit when you’re not sure what to wear or you’re in a hurry but need to look amazing. Don’t let the word, “Uniform” scare you. I simply mean a combination that works really well for you that you feel amazing wearing. For example, my style uniform is jeans, a jacket and heels. There are a zillion variations that I can wear utilizing this combination so it always feels fresh and new. Bonus points if you have a signature accessory that can spark conversation. For me, it’s traditionally my bee necklace.
#9 | Know The Trends
Even if you don’t like trends, knowing what’s current and modern is important. This will help you from looking dated. Knowledge IS power! And you can pick which trends you want to try based on your style, body shape, comfort level and budget.
#10 | Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
This leads to my next tip…If there’s a trend or something that’s out of your comfort zone, it’s important to step outside of it every once in a while. I used to be afraid of wearing combat boots…I pushed myself and now I love them! Pick a trend each season and try it out…I know you will surprise yourself!
#11 | Always Overdress
You’ve probably heard the saying that “it’s better to look overdressed than underdressed.” It’s true! You will feel much better and more confident when you’re overdress versus underdress! And, please don’t worry about what other people think about you. If you are a woman over 40, you have the confidence now to wear what makes you feel amazing without worrying what other ladies will think. Rock your elegant and glam looks!
#12 | Care For Your Clothes
I know this isn’t a “fun” tip but it’s important! I REALLY don’t like ironing and I no longer take clothes to the dry cleaners. Now, I only use my steamer and if I can’t wash it ‘in cold’ on ‘gentle’ with a gentle detergent and hang or lay flat to dry…then I’m probably not buying it. Some other great ways to take care of your clothes is using a fabric shaver to get rid of pilling and using a steamer to get rid of wrinkles. Clearly knowing your limits is important too. 😉
Now, onto actual style tweaks you can make to an outfit to look instantly more stylish. And, these are all super simple changes or updates.
#13 | Volume Proportion
If you wear something oversized on the top, you should wear something tailored on the bottom. For example, if you’re wearing a voluminous top, wear skinny jeans or more tailored pants. If you’re wearing a flowy skirt, wear a more fitted blouse. This will keep you looking streamlined and stylish.
#14 | Add The 3rd Layer
This can be difficult during the summer. But during the fall and winter especially, you should add a third layer to look more stylish! It can be a moto jacket, cargo jacket, cardigan, trench, blazer, etc. The third layer helps slim the hips, butt, and thighs and ties a look together.
#15 | Mix Styles
If you’re going to wear classic, basic pieces, mix those with something that’s more fashion-forward and trendy. If you’re going to wear a flowy feminine maxi dress, wear an edgy moto jacket! It’s good to add that contrast for a cool, stylish look! I did a post on how I mix styles like a pro!
#16 | Monochromatic Looks
This is a commonly asked style question…do I have to match tones and textures in a monochromatic look? Nope! Don’t worry about matching the color and textures exactly. If you’re wearing all black, throw in some texture with a leather jacket or a fuzzy sweater. All-black is usually a go-to look for a lot of us but you can also wear all white, all blush, all neutrals, etc. Find more of my favorite monochrome looks here.
#17 | Add Impactful Jewelry
Adding impactful jewelry doesn’t necessarily mean you’re adding a statement piece. But it does mean you should wear jewelry that’s not SO dainty that it’s basically invisible. Try adding a cool multi-strand layered necklace or bold, gold cuff. I share more jewelry must-haves, favorite brands, and affordable brands in this post.
#18 | Add A Hat
This style tip is so simple and yet so underutilized. It will instantly elevate your look (and make bad hair days much easier to manage). I’ve written an entire post on how to wear a hat without looking like your trying too hard…make sure you check that out here!
#19 | Statement or Structured Bag
Adding either a statement bag or a structured bag can completely change and elevate a look! A sophisticated, elegant, structured handbag will be the most versatile. This is where you should spend some money. Handbags should be investment pieces as you literally carry them every single day.
#20 | Work Your Sleeves
Playing around with your sleeves can make any outfit look more effortless and bring interest to your look. If you’re wearing a long sleeve shirt, you can roll or push up your sleeves. If you want a step by step demonstration of how I roll my sleeves, make sure you watch this video. Remember that not all shirts will be cuff-able. But try it out! Some other options are having your sleeves strategically peep out of your blazer or jacket cuffs. Or simply scrunching up your jacket sleeves (above) to accomplish an effortless look. A great hack to keep your sleeves up…? Use a hair-tie. Check out how to do that in this video.
#21 | Knot It!
Knotting a tee can add style and cinch the top so it doesn’t feel so oversized. It also helps create a waist. You can even knot a maxi dress at the bottom to make it shorter!
#22 | The Half Tuck
I know that the half tuck or French tuck is not for everyone. If you have a tummy, it can be difficult, but try playing around with it. It’s an effortless style tweak that makes a big difference. Remember that it’s not supposed to look tidy.
How To Do It: Take a small section of your top or sweater (I like it to be a little off-center) and tuck that section into your pants/jeans. Leave the sides and back out.
Another Way: You can take a clear hair tie and make a ponytail with the fabric in the front. Then, just tuck that in for the perfect tuck! See this hack here.
If you’re worried about the bulk of tucking in a top, you can always wear shapewear (like Spanx) and tuck the top into the shapewear first! That will eliminate the bulk!
#23 | Drape Over Shoulders
Draping your jackets over your shoulders is stylish and instantly adds elegance to your look.
#24 | Cuff Your Jeans
I’ve done quite a few videos and posts on how to cuff your jeans that you can find below. But my go-to cuffs are the double cuff and the single long cuff!
Everything You Need To Know About Wearing Boots With Jeans
How To Wear Ankle Boots With Skinny Jeans
A Complete Guide To Wearing Boots With Jeans
#25 | Wear Sunglasses
Throwing on a pair of sunglasses adds a touch of glam and elevates a look. Plus, nobody can tell your age or even if you have makeup on when you’re sporting some sunglasses! 😉
#26 | Wear Lipstick
In a hurry but don’t have a ton of time? Adding lipstick takes your look up a notch especially when it’s a pop of red like the color above.
#27 | Smooth Undergarments
Don’t underestimate the power of good, well-fitting undergarments. Make sure you have a bra that’s supportive, smooth and won’t show any back bulge. You’ll also want to find some great no-show panties or thongs. I did an entire post breaking down the best undergarments for women over 40 here.
#28 | Find The Perfect Jeans
Jeans that fit and flatter your body is key! Look for a pair that is elongating, slimming, and dark wash. I wrote a post on everything you need to know to find the most flattering jeans! Make sure you look at the rise, inseam, pocket placement (you want small high pockets to lift your butt)!
#29 | Tying Your Trench Coat Belt
This one is hard to explain but you can also see how I do it in this video. Here’s how to do it…Take the buckle side of the belt and make it the ‘short side’. Then take the long side and make a knot slightly off-centered. Then, take that long side again and loop it around the buckle side (creating a hole). Finally, fold the long side and pull it through that hole you just created.
#30 | Posture & Confidence
I always talk about being confident. Feeling good in your own skin is SO important! Posture goes hand-in-hand with that. Standing up straight with your shoulder back and your head high will make you look more confident, which is always stylish!
These small style fixes are serious game-changers!
#31 | Double Sided Tape
Double-sided tape has a ton of uses! You can use it to make sure your plunging neckline stays in place, tape down excess belt that’s flapping around, fix a gaping sweater, tape down a floppy lapel, and fix the hemline of pants in a pinch!
#32 | Shoe Fixits
There a quite a few shoe fixits that will make your life SO much easier! Including Still Standing Foot Spray, foot pads, heel protectors, and more! For more shoe fixits, make sure you check out this post.
#33 | Add Holes to Belt
You can buy a leather hole puncher and add holes to your belt! When I invest in an expensive designer belt, I buy a larger “hipster” size and then add smaller holes so I can also wear it around my waist. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can also take it to a shoe repair store and they will do it for you, but I promise it’s a cinch! (pun-intended) Another tip: if you want to get the most use out of a belt, make sure you get one that’s reversible. I prefer one side brown and the other side black with gold hardware.
#34 | Hair Tie Hacks
There are a zillion hair-tie hacks and I mentioned a couple above, but for the ultimate guide to hair tie hacks, make sure you watch this video. Some of my favorites fashion fixits that you can do with a hair tie include keeping your sleeves in place, expanding your waistband, and changing your shirt shape.
How To Expand Waistband: The hair tie goes around the button, through the buttonhole, and then back onto the button.
How To Change Shirt Shape: Gather an inch of fabric on the inside of your top (usually right below the bust) and tie your hair tie around that fabric. Your top will go from basic to elevated with this intentional style detail.
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