Despite being something that everyone does literally every day, getting dressed (or putting together an outfit, if you want to get fancy), can feel like the trickiest, most frustrating part of the morning. Who hasn’t stood in front of a closet full of clothing and thought “I have nothing to wear!?” Rest assured, you’re not alone in this daily conundrum.
- Balance proportions.
Obviously, you want to show off what you’re proud of—toned arms or a slim waist. It’s the downplaying of less beloved parts that’s tricky. One tactic? Add opposite volume, like wearing wide-leg trousers to offset a heavier upper half that’s wearing something fitted. Avoid anything too oversize or you’ll look bigger. Another idea: Distraction. If you’re pear shaped, wear forgettable black pants, then bring the focus upward with a bold scarf for example.
- Wear trends in an age-appropriate way.
Odds are, there’s a grown-up version of the style du jour. Take crop tops: To avoid revealing skin, pair a shirt that hits at the navel with a high-waisted skirt—or a longer top with a crop top over it.
- The right bra makes you look slimmer.
Where your breasts sit on your chest makes a big difference in how clothes fit. In other words, if you’re wearing a bra that fits properly, there will be no sagging or bulging—and that means your silhouette will look trimmer from every angle. The target is midway between your elbows and shoulders. You’ve scored a match when the front center panel of the bra lays flat, there’s no wrinkling or gapping in the cups, and the bra is not hiking up or creating bulges. If you can squeeze just two fingers under the band and it still feels snug, that’s the perfect fit.
- Don’t be too matchy matchy.
Strive to wear colors that enhance one another rather than “match” in the traditional sense. For an easy hack, look at a simple color wheel. The colors that are opposite each other on the wheel complement each other.” (Think non-obvious but fetching combos, like orange and navy or purple and saffron.) Diversifying your accessories, in both color and texture, is another do.
- Show skin selectively.
If you’re wearing a low-cut dress, focus on the cleavage—you don’t also need bare arms and legs. The concept applies to fit as well: A body-hugging dress is better with a more sensible neckline and hem, whereas a skirt that hits a few inches above the knee won’t raise eyebrows if it’s flared rather than tight.
- Spend as much as you can afford on staples.
First, a disclaimer. There’s no need to break the bank on the basics—tees, button-downs, jeans—of which there are plenty of quality options available at low prices. Instead, splurge (if you can) on the types of items in which even the cheapo versions aren’t exactly steals. For instance, bargain cashmere will still set you back $100. But that sweater will stretch out quickly, and then you’ll have to blow another $100 to replace it, rather than spending a little more only once.
- Get a good hair cut.
Look, you can do everything under the moon right fashion wise, but if you have a ridiculous hair cut, none of it will have mattered. So definitely get a proper haircut with a good blow dry. Do your hair and yourself a favor there.