Navigating the ins and outs of style can be tricky, but with these simple stylist-recommend tips, you'll be a certified fashionista in no time.
1. Find out if a pair of jeans fits without a trip to the dressing room.
Ready for a mind-blowing fashion hack? According to Lauren Edelstein, Style Director at Shopbop, all you need to do to determine whether or not a pair of jeans will fit is to wrap the waist around your neck — if the ends meet without overlapping (or stretching), they'll fit your waist. "The neck trick is one I was skeptical about, but it really works!"
2. Make any outfit look great with just three key pieces.
Hate complicated fashion trends that only seem accessible to models and actors? It takes just three items to make literally any outfit look great, according to The Ambitionista's Heidi Nazarudin. "A face-flattering pair of classic sunglasses (preferably black), a gorgeous everyday leather handbag, and a smart pair of shoes you can easily walk in."
3. Test the waters of a bright color via lipstick or accessories first.
Anyone can wear patterns and bright colors — but if you're afraid of them, Nazarudin recommends wearing them as an accessory before you invest in a clothing item: Instead of trying on a bright citron-colored blouse, you can go for a cuff or bracelet, or even a lipstick."
4. A cowboy accessory can take the place of traditional jewelry.
Neckerchiefs can take the place of a statement necklace if you want a warmer alternative to jewelry accessories for fall and winter. "They're bold, bright, and eye catching, too, but feel a little more special," says Edelstein. "And bonus points if you pick a vintage one!"
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5. Weigh down a light scarf with earrings.
Secure a pair of gold vintage clip-on earrings to weigh the ends of a lightweight scarf down. "It creates a really rich and wearable accessory," says Yraola.
6. Maximize your shoe collection.
Want a pair of shoes you can wear all year round, no matter the occasion? A pair of pointed-toe black pumps are essential, says Edelstein — they're seasonless, crazy flattering, and you can where them with absolutely anything.
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7. Pop a belt on for a put-together look.
Adding a textured, embellished, or a great colored belt is the fastest way to pull together the most basic pieces or quickly elevate a casual outfit, says Yraola.
8. Make the most of your bag.
If you want to change the look of a bag you love but feel a little bored with, fashion stylist Genevieve Yraola recommends tying a scarf to it — especially if it's a structured piece with top handles.
9. The key to making online shopping work for you: a tape measure.
You need to know your measurements — not just your size. "I'm a big fan of online shopping," says Nazarudin. "But I find that sizes vary across brands and even cuts, so memorize your shoulder, bust, waist, hip, and inseam measurements."
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10. Make a basic hairstyle look way more impressive.
Accomplishing a Pinterest-worthy hairstyle isn't impossible, even if your skills are super basic! "Cool and modern trends like weaving silk into your braids can fancy up your hairand make it look like you tried a lot harder than you did," advises Combs.
11. When trying prints, use the rule of 2.
If you're stressed about pairing patterns, stick by Yraola's guideline: "Two is the max amount of prints or brights to mismatch, like stripes with florals or lavenders with greys," she says. "Don't add a third."
12. You don't need a massive wardrobe of designer clothes to be a great dresser.
"Every woman really only needs 20 core items in her closet," advises Nazarudin. "A black pair of pants, a blue blazer, a cashmere V-neck sweater in a jewel tone, and so on." Outside of these 20, you can experiment with more inexpensive items — if you don't like them, it's not nearly as bad as if you dropped $300 on a trendy piece you only wore once. If you need tips on how to maximize your basics, check out Good Housekeeping Style Director Lori Bergamotto's weeklong experiment in wearing the same thing every day.
13. Add accessories to instantly look polished.
You can get away with wearing a pair of nice jeans and a T-shirt nearly anywhere (yep, even work!) if you amp up to the look with accessories. "Try throwing on a statement necklace, an intricate bracelet, or even some standout earrings," recommends stylist and Invoice2Go brand ambassador Michelle Combs.