Everyone knows that not every woman has the time (or desire) to stay up to date with the fashion trends, who designed what, what’s the “in” color, or what all the celebs are wearing…Needless to say, we don’t all read vogue and watch The Devil Wears Prada every day.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t still be fashionable (luckily for us all, I do read Vogue and watch The Devil Wears Prada…all the time). Even if you don’t have all the latest digs in your closet, there are plenty of ways to ensure you still look your best with what you’ve got. Even a plain Jane can have easy style with a few additions! Here are a few tips to help you turn even a white tee (properly fitted of course) and jeans (again…properly fitted) into an ensemble worth wearing with stylish confidence.
1. First things first, (my all-time favorite “addition”…) accessories. Everyone has something they can use to accessorize (whether its some old bangles, necklaces or earrings), but even still, you can find inexpensive accessories throughout any mall in America. Some (very) inexpensive yet stylish accessories shops include Charming Charlie’s, Aldo Accessories, Forever 21 and H&M. You can also find more moderately priced accessories at clothing stores such as Express and Bebe. Department stores such as Macy’s, Dilliards and JC Penney are also a go-to place for moderately prices accessories. For those of us who don’t mind spending some extra cash, higher end department stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Ave, Nordstrom and Barneys carry various accessories lines that can most likely suit your taste. And never forget about discount retailers such as Marshall’s, TJ Max, Nordstrom Rack, and (my personal favorite for accessories) Steinmart. Even mixing these new styles with vintage jewelry can cause a bang (plus a unique look) in your wardrobe.
2. Shoes. I know I’ve said this before, but I can’t stress it enough…Shoes play a major part in the success of your style. The right shoe can make your outfit and the wrong shoe can most definitely break it! Remember, flip-flops aren’t the kind of shoe you wear anywhere other than the beach/swimming pool. Trade in those thongs for a cute pair of sandals (found at low prices at places like Bakers, Gap, Aldo, Old Navy, and even Target). For an even MORE stylish and sophisticated look, try out a pair of high heels or wedges. While high heels are always a classic staple of a woman’s wardrobe, wedges generally create a more casual (not to mention comfortable) look while still maintaining a level of style that brings out the sexy, elongated leg in us all. As for sneaker days, try to ditch the workout tennis shoes (unless you’re actually, err, working out), and go for a more “casual sneaker” look. This means ditch the Nike cross trainers and go for Converse “Chucks” (appropriate for any age) or Keds-type shoes. Look for a flat sole, low cut top and minimal design.
3. Scarves/Hats. While it is summertime (and 110 degrees in cities like Phoenix and Vegas), you can still add a splash of style with scarves and hats. Summer scarves come in lighter materials and brighter colors (as do hats) and can be found in various stores/boutiques across the Valley. A scarf alone can take an outfit from basic to chic while a cute hat not only fixes bad hair days but also adds a similar feel as other accessories I’ve discussed above.
4. Hair. Speaking of bad hair days, certain hairstyles can add to your stylish (or unstylish) look as well. Rather than the basic ponytail, try other easy styles sometimes like a braid, a high ponytail, a loose (and low) side ponytail or a side bun. Of course, having your hair down is usually easy and cute, but mix those days with flowy (beach-kissed) hairstyles, half up half down styles, and side-swooped styles too. And like I mentioned above, if you’re having a bad hair day, just throw on a cute hat and be on your way!
5. Nails. With all of the fun and trendy nail styles out this summer, we have no excuse to not add splashes of style by our nails alone! Bright colors and fun designs are so easily at our disposal that we can drop by our local Walgreen’s or Wal-Mart for nail “stickers” that last longer than regular nail polish and only take a few extra minutes to apply. With patterns such as hounds tooth, checkers, camouflage, and stripes, they’re no doubt going to bring a little fun into your easy-style summer. If you’re not up for the stickers, try nail colors that pop (instantly adding a little something extra to every outfit) like bright pink, yellow, orange, blue and coral. You can also stick with deeper colors but add a fun overlay like “shatter” nail polish (found at most Ulta and Sephora stores) or create designs on your own with nail art pens. However, one thing we must never forget is to keep our nails from looking messy! The moment they start to chip or wear off, remove the color and either add a clear polish or a new color.
The effortless vibe of summer (which some of us prefer to integrate into our lives year round) doesn’t mean you can’t still look chic or put together everywhere you go. Follow these simple steps and turn the comfortable (and maybe even what some may consider “plain”) clothes you love so dearly into a complete outfit that brings the most stylish you out of yourself. In fashion, it’s the details that count so make these few additions and watch how the details create looks you didn’t know existed from the clothes you’ve always had.
About Ashley LaRae
Ashley LaRae, Founder/Creative Director of StylePHX.com, is a wardrobe stylist who has toured with musicians such as Jay-Z, Kanye West, Keyshia Cole and The Dream as well as working with professional athletes, designers, photographers, magazines, independent films, commercials, fashion shows and books. You can follow her on Twitter at @AshLaRae and contact her at Ashley@StylePHX.com for fashion questions and tips.