Are you ready to update your style? Maybe new job, change of scenery, or just wanting something brand new and more styling than your current wardrobe offers. I’ll show you the ins and outs of styling yourself to look polished and sophisticated in a way that will inspire confidence for years to come (or for the rest of your life!).
HOW TO DRESS CLASSY
Pearl earrings are an investment you want to make. They will be stylish a year after they’re purchased, but won’t go out of style the following year. A sophisticated look is a way around the often-trendy and uninspired fashion choices with their short life spans. You can still wear your classy outfit for work, Sunday brunch, shopping or traveling the world! You can even rock it on your sailing adventure!
DEFINE AND KNOW YOUR PERSONAL STYLE
Not every person has a prescribed “style,” but you’re probably of the many who do. When you find your personal style, you know it looks great and feels confident when you leave the house.
Whether you prefer bohemian, street, high-fashion, minimalist or classic styles; whether your clothes look cute when going out for a nice evening on the town or dress up for important engagements – there are surely more than one type that encompasses your personal style.
It’s important to explore what your style is so that you can live with it happily. Here’s a quick tip that works best: remove an outfit that makes up part of your wardrobe to see how it fits in any occasion!
THE 7 BASICS OF CLASSY STYLE
#1 WEAR ITEMS THAT ARE MADE OF CLASSIC FABRICS
There are so many timeless classic pieces of clothing to choose from. You need something that will last well into the next decade and stand the test of time. Whether it’s pillow soft, elegant, or just plain classy all on its own, cotton, wool, linen and silk fabrics offer a wide variety of styles with plenty of variations to achieve your desired look.
If you’re going for something laid-back and wearable in any situation, then denim is an excellent choice.
For wearing on-trend items with panache, try chino cotton for both pants, blazers, vests and jackets (but be sure you can rock those boots!). Finally there is cashmere – the superfine fabric you don’t want to be without. Cashmere sweaters are versatile enough for the office or out on the town.
#2 IF IN DOUBT WEAR SOLID NEUTRALS
Most people assume that neutrals are boring and they won’t be able to jazz up your style. However, monochromatic pieces (different shades or tints of one color) can help you do just that, plus they stretch your wardrobe.
If you want to learn more about this fashion trend before diving in, check out What is Monochromatic and How to Wear a Monochromatic Outfit.
#3 FIT IS KEY
There are a ton of clothes out there from classic to modern that look really flattering and stylish, so it can be hard to figure out which ones would look best for you. Here are some tips on what to wear for different occasions:
Jeans? Look for classic straight, slightly wide, faintly bootcut, or ultra-menswear inspired pants that should hit just above or below the knee.
Classic trousers like these will also take you through all of your style changes, as they come in a variety of colors and shapes.
Blazers follow the neckline of your waist so they make a natural transition with your bust line. Keep an eye out for deals at Nordstrom because they often have tons of amazing clothing – but know this:
If something doesn’t fit quite right when you get it home, stop by any local tailor or dressmaker and ask them to fix the issue (instead of throwing it away!). Good quality clothes will last you 10+ years (as well as save you money from having to buy multiple new items), and again it’s worth the investment if you want to look good every day.
#4 NEVER OVEREXPOSE
Dressing classy requires a little modesty in order to avoid looking careless and unkempt. No midriff-baring tops, revealing low décolletage, or mini skirts are allowed. For some variety, you can also try square, cowl, and scoop necklines. For more formal affairs, asymmetrical, sweetheart and halter necklines work as well.
Regardless of neckline style though, make sure cleavage is covered and your belly button isn’t the first thing on display.
Armholes should not reveal your bra on blouses and dresses, although it’s fine if they’re slightly above or below the knee for daily wear. Hem length on skirts and dresses should be between just above or below the knee for daytime wear. Short and full-length options are appropriate for summer events or classic formal wear.
#5 DON’T GO OVERBOARD WITH ACCESSORIES
When you’re trying to create a classy and sophisticated look, going with simple jewelry is the best way to go. My suggestions are:
- Small, plain or classic designs that would fit well in any ensemble
- Mid-sized, delicate pieces that can be layered
- Large chunky pieces that won’t overpower your womanly figure
#6 STYLE YOUR HAIR
Jewelry is a good way to add color and visual interest to a sophisticated outfit. Bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings and scarves are an easy way to add some style. They come in many chic styles and materials these days so you’re sure to find something that suits your taste. Consider the following ideas:
- A bracelet or necklace: Not necessary but if you do, go with a delicate or statement piece of jewelry.
- A ring: Not necessary but if you do go with either delicate or statement jewelry.
- Scarf: Scarves are usually vibrant and come in many colors such as bright blue or bright pink, floral prints, paisleys, stripes or solids. They can be casual or dressy based on the type of scarf you choose–look for cotton, silk, wool mixes.
#7 MAKEUP MAKES A DIFFERENCE
You might think that dressing up and accessorizing is the hardest part. But it’s actually your hair! We’ve covered everything from colors, fabrics, fit, and shoes to your outfit accessories.
Now let’s talk about what you don’t see a lot of people talking about: hairstyles. What should you wear your hair down? If you’re short on time in the morning or don’t like styling your hair, there are some easy options like a sleek low bun or a quick re-parting. An easy way to dress up is to make sure you spend at least thirty minutes on your hair if you want it to look styled and chic.
YOU DON’T NEED A LOT OF MONEY TO DRESS CLASSY
Trying to create a classic and elegant look? If you’re like me, you don’t spend a lot of time on your makeup. This point is one that I constantly work on whether or not I’m looking particularly polished.
So try these three different accessories to help complete your elegant style. First, start off with mascara that opens up your eyes and adds some dimension; then splash on some blush that adds life and dimension; and finally keep it bold with a bright lipstick. These three guidelines will make the difference in creating a perfect classy look!
KEEP A PRETTY MANI
Contrary to popular belief, a well-fitting classic outfit doesn’t have to break the bank. Yes, you can spend $200 on a designer-label button-down shirt but you can also find one of comparable quality and appearance for $68 at Banana Republic, the Gap, or Ann Taylor.
Not only that, but because traditional clothing lasts for years, and even decades, you often find good bargains at secondhand stores. Invest some time in finding high-quality basics that fit well—and combining them with other accessories to give your outfits another level of cool factor.
Adding more polish to your hands not only helps you stand out from the crowd–it also reflects the care you take with your appearance.
Plus, regular manicures help control the growth of bacteria and nails, which can cause damage in certain contexts. Also, checking in with your podiatrist and switching to a shorter to medium length length will give your jewelry extra exposure and appeal!