It's that time of year when a) I'm trying to save some money after an expensive holiday season and b) I'm getting tired of everything in my closet. Sound familiar?
That's when I take a look at what I own (even before the Marie Kondo rage!) and start to think about how to wear it differently and how to inject some new flair into the tried and true. Here are a few of my favourite tricks for getting more style bang without spending a buck.
1. Opposites Attract
One of the easiest ways to up your style game is to think in opposites, especially when it comes to pairing footwear with an outfit. Most simply, try pairing a causal outfit with heels and a "fancier" outfit with sneakers. This is one of my favourite fashion tricks because it means I can get away with wearing dresses and skirts a lot more often. I also apply it to suiting, as seen above. A suit and sneakers is one of my go-to work looks. Not to mention that it's way more practical and comfortable than running around all day in heels.
When it comes to choosing sneakers for your skirts and dresses, I like to keep it simple by sticking to white or black. Also, I generally keep to "sneakers" as opposed to traditional running shoes. But you may have noticed the Dad running shoe trend that's big now, which pairs bulkier runners with dresses. Lots of options!
The reverse is also true: Want to wear jeans for dinner but worry it's not dressy enough? Put on a pair of heels or some high heeled boots and you'll elevate your look, both literally and figuratively! The heels that are tough to walk in I save to wear to restaurants where sitting down the whole night is on the menu.
2. Layer Up
For a long time I resisted layering because I thought it meant adding bulk, like putting a jacket, over a shirt, over a T-shirt, etc. When I did that, I felt big, bulky and frankly, uncomfortable. #michelinman
I now view layering as adding dimension or perhaps even more accurately, visual interest. An outfit, like a pair of jeans and a sweater, is kind of flat, one-dimensional. (And trust me, it is something I wear daily so there's nothing wrong with that!) But when I'm trying to look more stylish, I add a belt, a couple of necklaces of different lengths, and slinging cross-body bag over the whole thing. The result is more layers and more visual interest to the entire look. Here are a few more ways to layer without adding bulk:
- A camisole or light tank top under a cardigan or V-neck sweater. (I do this for warmth too.)
- A scarf either as part of an outfit or as part of your outerwear
- A big armful of bracelets
3. Grab the Scissors
Do you have a pair of jeans that don't seem quite right any more? I can't tell you how many times I've grabbed a pair of scissors and simply cut my way to a more stylish look. (Okay, I can tell you. Six times in the past few months.)
A lot of today's denim styles are cropped, with raw or ragged hems. But there's no need to go out and buy a new pair, just take a pair of scissors to an old one. I tend to start off gingerly, and cut just above the existing hem. Then, throw the jeans into the wash in order to encourage more fraying. Voila, a new pair of on-trend jeans.
I also have a thing about crewneck tops, I don't like it when they're cut too high, too tight around my neck. I take the scissors T-shirts and sweatshirts as well, with excellent results. And, I've even cut sleeves on dresses and blouses. This white dress below had annoying, long puffy sleeves and I cut them off last summer. So much better now!