BASICS

30+ Style Tweaks That Every Woman Needs to Look More Stylish Everyday!

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!

If you’re interested in my top beauty tips and tricks, I share 30+ secrets here!

 

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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.

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#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. Your wardrobe basics should be timeless, fit your body beautifully, and be 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.

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#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
Long Torso
Short Torso

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 one 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 assets 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 when you wear it. 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.

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#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!

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#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 overdressed versus underdressed! 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 about 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 are 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. 😉
Tip: If the most common stain on your clothing is makeup, try a makeup protector hood when you’re getting dressed…it looks silly but it’ll save your clothes and your makeup!

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Style Tweaks

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!

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#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.
Quick Tips: Buy a necklace spacer to make layering your necklaces much easier…and if you want to make your necklaces longer, make sure to grab some chain extenders!

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#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.

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#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!

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#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.

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#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! 😉

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#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. Don’t forget that I share even more beauty tips in this post!

#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.

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#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, and pocket placement (you want small high pockets to lift your butt)!

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#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 shoulders back and your head high will make you look more confident, which is always stylish!

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Style Fixes

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, footpads, 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.
Another common belt-related question I get is, “How do I keep my pants up without adding bulk?” This question is more specific to when you need to keep your pants up, but you want to leave your shirt untucked and the belt adds a little bulge around the tummy. In that case, I suggest the invisibelt…it’s not the most stylish belt, but it does the trick and since it’s under your shirt, nobody will see it!

#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.

#35 | Bra Fixits

There are a lot of bra fixits out there that can make your life a lot easier! Maybe you’ve gained some weight and your bras aren’t fitting quite right…instead of spending money on a new one, get a bra extender. Another one of my favorites is this bra clip that can transform your regular bra into a racerback bra.

Want more awesome style tips? Get my blog posts delivered directly to your inbox, along with some next-level style resources, when you sign up for my newsletter here. If you liked this post, please share it using the buttons below! You can share it on Facebook, add it to your Pinterest style board for inspiration, or email it to your friends. We SO appreciate your support. Thanks for stopping by!

How To Manifest Anything, Fashion blogger Erin Busbee of Busbee Style wearing an orange and blue Staud Ina dress with white sunglasses walking around in Telluride, Colorado
Erin Busbee
After a decade in TV news, a desire to help women "look pretty" sparked a career pivot. I started my own wardrobe consulting business, styling "real" women for many years. In 2014, I changed direction again, using my TV background and styling expertise to launch this website and my YouTube channel. We are now a community of well over 1 million dynamic, vibrant, amazing women over 40... who know that age isn't something you need to hide from. For us, life is just getting started!!
Join the Conversation

5 thoughts on “30+ Style Tweaks That Every Woman Needs to Look More Stylish Everyday!

  1. Erin,
    I want to thank you for your amazing tips, tricks, and literal life changing techniques you’ve taught me! From fashion to eye makeup for hooded eyes, my world is now a better place all because of you!! My self esteem used to be so poor and I had such little confidence and you’ve showed me how to hold my head high and be proud of who I am! A thousand thanks to you!!!!

    1. I am very honored to be part of your story, Amber. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind words, I am humbled. ~Erin xo

  2. I think you are totally on point!!! You always are!!! The thing you said that I love best is “Always Overdress!!” I learned this from an early age from my mother and a couple of Aunt’s that are very classy and elegant! Many years ago I didn’t listen to this advice and took the advice from a friend who was hosting an event. She said “oh this is a super laid back casual event and jeans and tee would be great!” My inner voice told me to kick it up a couple of notches but I listened to the host instead. That was a huge mistake! Everyone looked great and I felt so uncomfortable the entire time I was there and left early because of it. I learned my lesson that day, look at the event, time of day, location, etc. Thank you for another fantastic video and letter!!

    1. Erin, I discovered you a year ago. You have given me so much inspiration. These days, I’m feeling particularly obsessed with busbee????. Feeling a little guilty and even shallow. ????HOWEVER, THE connection goes DEEPER.
      You see AS a young woman, i was much too worried about surviving and getting ahead in life. Thus, I was always BEHIND the curve when it came to FASHION. LATER, having been raised in a very traditional family, I thought that being a mom and family woman meant that I had to look frumpy and formal …lol.
      Luckily, with age comes wisdom ????. I recently divorced and your tips sister have played a role IN the process of learning to love the woman I am. With your help, I am putting together a style that goes deeper than clothes and price tags. It’s about embracing my femeninity and sharing it with the world.
      Thank you ERIN for the touch of glamour and for keeping it real.
      Angelina from Arizona

      1. What a wonderful note! Thank you for taking the time to send this to me. It really means a lot. And congratulations on finding YOU! And embracing the woman you want to be… the woman you are. I’m proud of you!

        Also… I wanted to share that I spent my young adult years trying to be invisible. I didn’t want to stand out and I also wanted to be taken seriously. I felt like hair, makeup, stylish clothes would lead to people assuming I was not intelligent. I also wasn’t comfortable with attention. We have both come so far… ???? ~Erin xo

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