BASICS

Simple Style Tweaks That Will Take Your Outfit from Fine to Fab INSTANTLY!

How To Elevate Your Everyday Style

I’m taking some of the most common outfit combinations for summer that are ‘fine’… but we’re going to take them to FAB! This reinforces the concept I talk about all. the. time…Those seemingly small style tweaks make the BIGGEST impact. You’ll see how these simple changes can elevate your everyday wardrobe.
Disclaimer: I want to clarify that there’s nothing wrong with the ‘before’ looks. I own and love all of these pieces, so obviously, I think they’re great. Styled on their own, the outfit is just ‘fine’ and the point of this post is to show you how to take the basic outfit and make it FAB!
Let’s dive in!

Also, don’t forget that the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts tomorrow and we’ll be sharing all of our favorites here!

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JEANS | TEE | BLAZER | SANDALS | BELT | NECKLACE | BRACELET | RING 1 | RING 2 | BAG

#1) Jeans & A Tee

The first outfit combination is probably the most common. A jeans and tee is a super simple outfit…so let’s take it up a notch…

  1. Swap the Jewelry – Instead of wearing something dainty like the necklace on the left, swap it for more impactful pieces that add a punch. I swapped it for a chunky necklace, added cocktail rings, and threw on some cool bracelets.
  2. Swap the Shoes – Instead of the gold slide-on sandals, go with a pair of sandals that are a little more elevated and dressier.
  3. Add a Belt – Adding a cool belt not only adds a stylish element…it defines your waist!
  4. 3rd Layer – Adding a 3rd layer always adds polish and sophistication to a look. I know it can be difficult to wear a 3rd layer during the summer so try to find a piece that’s lightweight like this Cinq a Sept blazer that also has ruched 3/4 sleeves. You can also wear your 3rd layer in those heavily air-conditioned buildings and take it off when you’re outside.
  5. Add a Handbag – Always always always add a handbag to tie the look together! On the right, I’m wearing my white chunky chain Bottega Veneta bag that adds a pop. But it doesn’t have to be a designer bag to elevate a look.

Extra tip: Keeping a pulse on the trends or what’s “in” will help you know what kind of pieces you should add to look more modern. I share this year’s top trends in this post.

 

SIMILAR TANK | ALTERNATE TOP | SIMILAR BLAZER | SHORTS | WEDGES | BRACELET

#2) Tank Top & Shorts

Wearing shorts over 40 is tricky. I recently did a post with 8 tips to help you feel the most confident in your shorts that’s a must-read if you haven’t already. But if you’re looking for a few quick tips to elevate your shorts and tank top look, here you go…

  1. Swap the Shoes – Instead of the braided strap sandals, go with a more elevated pair of slide-on sandals like these woven Veronica Beard wedges. They add some height and make my legs look longer.
  2. Swap the Top – Instead of the tank, throw on a not-so-basic tee that has an interesting style detail like a puff sleeve, pleated sleeve, ruching, etc.
  3. Add some Jewelry – Play around with the jewelry you’re wearing to see what works with the neckline of your top. Adding jewelry will just add some pop! This is an old Elizabeth Cole necklace but you probably already have something in your closet that can make the same statement.
  4. 3rd Layer – This is the same tip from the first look…adding a blazer, bomber, cargo jacket, etc. will pull the look together and make you look more sophisticated.
  5. Add a Hat – I didn’t do it in this look but if you wanted to, you could ditch the blazer and add a hat…Style and sun protection? Heck yes!

If you’re interested, I share the BEST denim shorts over 40 in this post. Plus, the do’s and don’ts of dressing when it’s really hot in this video!

 

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TOP | JEANS | WEDGES | RING | BRACELET | EARRINGS | SUNGLASSES | BELT

#3) White Jeans & Printed Blouse

This is a very common combination in the summer and this is how you can shine it up a bit…

  1. Half Tuck – I know many of you don’t like the half tuck…but I promise, it’s a game-changer! I talk all about the half-tuck, why it’s controversial, and why I stand behind it in this video. You can see that the half-tuck helps to create shape and lessen some of that billowy volume of the shirt.
  2. Add a Belt – To add impact, polish, and define the waist.
  3. Add Jewelry & Accessories – I kept it simple by adding some lightweight gold hoops, rings, bracelets, and sunglasses.
  4. Swap the Shoes – You can see in the ‘before’ photo that my shoes are conflicting with the jeans. I swapped for a less fussy pair of wedges and my legs look longer. Voila!

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DRESS | BLAZER | SIMILAR WEDGES | BRACELET | CUFF | BAG | EARRINGS | SUNGLASSES | BELT

#4) Maxi Dress

This outfit isn’t as common but I know a lot of you wear maxi or midi dresses in the summer so I wanted to show a few ways you can elevate it.

  1. Swap the Shoes – Instead of slide-on sandals, wear wedges that dress it up and add some height.
  2. Add a Belt – With such a billowy dress, adding a belt can help create more shape and waist definition.
  3. Add Jewelry & Accessories – I threw on a pair of classic hoop earrings, bracelets, and sunglasses.
  4. Fix Your Hair – Putting your hair up can completely change a look and give it that effortless feel. I shared some of my favorite 1-minute updos in this post in case you’re interested!
  5. 3rd Layer – If you’re headed to dinner, throw on a blazer or lightweight jacket and you’re ready to go!
  6. Add a Handbag – Complete the look with your favorite trendy handbag.

Which of these style tweaks are you going to try first? Please share with us in the comments below! If you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter here, so you don’t miss our style resources or anything new.

Thank you SO much for stopping by!

Erin Busbee signature

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!!
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2 thoughts on “Simple Style Tweaks That Will Take Your Outfit from Fine to Fab INSTANTLY!

  1. Love your idea of a third piece but I live in South Florida where it is just too hot. Any light weight third pieces?

    1. I lived in the Texas heat for quite a few years, so I totally get it. I would suggest a lightweight kimono. Here are some lovely options:
      https://rstyle.me/+OlD1bY2wVSOzjl398ibV2g
      https://rstyle.me/+EvWq_PjEfI6opOgE7m2UKg
      https://rstyle.me/+9yUpEbvoMIiQWeFd4gP_wg

      Look for cooler fabrics such as cotton, linen, viscose, modal, or jersey. I also created a video on this very topic, how to dress in the heat. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6znvyLYrbs&t=704s&ab_channel=BusbeeStyle I hope that helps! xo

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