Need a style boost but don’t know where to start? Here are 7 super-simple ways to make sure the stuff you wear looks and feels right. And don’t stress—there’s no major wardrobe overhaul required!
Get a signature accessory
Got a huge pile of random accessories at home? Same here. Pick your favorite piece or a type of accessory and just start wearing it. A lot. In a few short weeks, it’ll go from that I’ll-try-it-for-a-day item to your signature look.
Bonus: It may influence the rest of your wardrobe. Scarf lovers may start wearing Jackie Kennedy-ish pastels, big bangle fans might channel their inner Beyoncé, and of course headband wearers could wind up sporting Gossip Girl prep-school blazers. Which is A-OK in our book.
Find a celebrity style muse
Track down a few photos of a celebrity whose style and attitude you really love. It could be anyone—from Audrey Hepburn to Miley Cyrus to Diane Sawyer.
Then, while picking through the racks at your favorite store, start thinking, Would [celeb name] wear this? By the time you get to the dressing room, you’ll already have a pile of looks you want to wear.
Choose your words wisely
Pick three words that describe your style (or the style you wish you had) or the vibe you want to give off. Don’t be afraid to dig deep—specific words like refined, brainy and Parisian will be better guides than a nondescript pretty or good.
Then, while sorting through the sale racks or putting together a date-night look, ask yourself if you can use your style words to describe each piece. If the answer’s no, leave it, and if it’s yes, keep (and love) it.
Have a photo shoot
Enlist a friend to spend a Saturday with you. Try on a bunch of different outfits that you usually wear and experiment with a few new ones. Ask your style buddy to snap a head-to-toe photo of you wearing each outfit. Before you review the pics, wait a few days. Then try to look at each outfit as if someone else were wearing it.
(No thoughts like, Ugh, I have to hit the gym ASAP or Why does my nose look so weird?) Pick out five looks that would make you say, “She looks good,” if you saw them on another woman. Keep the photos handy when shopping for new styles so you know what to look for.
Decide on your It hue
Throw open your closet doors and take a good look. What color clothing do you have the most of? For a lot of us, it’s a neutral shade—black, brown or gray. But the first non-neutral shade that takes up a lot of closet space—that’s your It hue, the color you like wearing but don’t always think of first.
When shopping, keep an eye out for clothing in your It color. Chances are it’ll lead you to outfits you never thought of wearing but that somehow feel totally you.
Look at street-style blogs
For ideas on how to make your office uniform less stuffy or how to cute-ify your weekend wardrobe, check out some websites with photos of what real women—who have the same body/budget issues we all have—are wearing.
Try Street Peeper for photos of what the cool kids everywhere from Stockholm to Tokyo are wearing, or Street Styles, a site that pulls together the latest photos from more than 20 street-style blogs. Set aside an hour of gazing time and get inspired!
Go shopping by yourself
Hitting the mall with gal pals can be fun when you’re on a mission to find something that suits you, but going solo can be more productive. Even the most thoughtful friend can talk you into buying something that’s trendy, not timeless—or that’s more her style than yours.