The more I talk to women in my friends circle, at work or online about fashion, the more I hear: “I just want to dress easily and quickly. Be comfortable, but still look put together”. Aka, “How can I hit that effortless chic balance spontaneously?”
And I have to say- at least from my personal experience- anything effortless usually becomes so because you’ve first put the work in. Because you’ve taken the time to learn, tweak and perfect it until it became second-nature.
So, with that in mind, I’d like to share the things that I’ve personally tried and found useful for creating a breezy yet refined look. Because as much as I love getting glammed up, I do recognize that it’s not exactly suited for day to day!
And I hope they help you get there yourselves, that much more quickly and easily:
Know your shapes
It may be obvious, but knowing how to play with shapes can be a total style game changer. Especially since, once you grasp the basics, it requires little effort to apply!
A few examples of what I mean by “playing with shapes”:
- Pairing a wide, high volume top, with slim cut trousers
- Adding a large pair of hoop earrings to a square neckline top
- A high waist, vaporous mille-feuille skirt worn with a plain, stiff fabric crop top
- Sliding your top in your bottom’s waistband, to highlight your waist
- Applying contouring shades in different spots depending on your face shape
The key take-away here?
You can play with shapes in your outfits, and get creative with contrasting volumes and contours, or by adding pieces with interesting cut-outs. These will already catch the eye, requiring no extra effort to make your outfit look chic- so you can keep the rest simple.
Next to them, it helps to consider your own body and face shapes, and think about how your clothing, make-up and accessories will pair with them.
Because, of course, no one is stopping you from wearing something you like… just because! But it’s still true that your own physical shapes and features change your outfit’s final look- this is why no result can be identical for two different people.
Now, if you’re really interested in this, you can always sign up for my personal style course.
It covers everything to help you correctly identify your body & facial features, and flatter them beyond the strict “wear this/don’t wear that for a general X, Y, Z shape”. (Plus, so, so much more style knowledge! But I’ll let you discover this for yourselves.)
Lean on the classics
Certain items and outfit combinations just have an effortlessly chic air by their nature. So you can rely on them whenever you have little time (or mood) for creating a whole “look”.
A few examples that basically embody that “I look like I’ve put way more thought into my outfit than I actually have” aesthetic:
- Metallic pumps/oxfords/brogues
- Marinière T-shirt
- Camel duster coat
- A-line cotton pastel dress
- LWD & LBD (that would be little white dress & little black dress)
- Solid hued cotton jumpsuit
- Chocolate/brown/sand/dove grey handbag
And the best part?
You probably already have these (at least in part) in your wardrobe! So get to mixing and matching, to find your personal favorite combos 😉
A few of my own examples (to help get that creative engine going):
- White blouse & blue jeans
- Black top & white palazzo trousers
- Olive dress/jumpsuit & bronze accessories
- Silk shirt & cuffed paperbag chinos
- Trench-coat, knee-length skirt/dress & pumps
Something else which really drives that effortless chic vibe home is mixing high and low elements. And I don’t mean length-wise 🙂
High and low in this context refers to the (perceived) value or impact of your outfit elements. The end result will be elevated and interesting, but still wearable enough for day to day.
Imagine pairing an elegant 1930’s silk dress from your favorite vintage shop with a pre-loved Jacquemus straw bag, and a barely-there pair of modern sandals via ASOS.
Well-rounded, layered stylistic influences, that still add up to an outfit fit for a morning coffee with the girls. And then maybe the farmers’ market. Followed by a prosecco with your guy, out on the terrace.
Another way you can create a mix of high-low elements in your look (and my personal favorite) is to really go big on either the outfit, or the hair & make-up.
Going for all three will lend you a glammed up or preppy air- which can be very nice too. But if you want to sport a relaxed bohemian, or rock-chic vibe, try going for just one, leaving the rest more natural.
And if you (like me) want to play-up your outfits while relying on quick and easy hair & make-up formulas, keep reading to see mine:
Have a hair & make-up uniform
As much as I’m not a proponent of style uniforms in terms of outfits- despite every minimalist fashion editor, stylist and fellow blogger’s advice- I am one when it comes to hair and make-up.
Because as much as I love experimenting with clothing and accessories, I just can’t be bothered to try out countless hairstyles and make-up looks…
So, easy fix:
I have about 3 very versatile looks, which I know I can confidently own anytime, anywhere.
They carry me through a multitude of occasions, can fit a number of different outfits- and most importantly, I can produce them at the drop of a hat!
Like this makeup look?
5 minutes, 4 products: foundation, pearlized lipstick (which I also use for blush and highlighter), mascara, liquid liner.
*One word for the wise here: if you’re not yet adept at winged liner, start small. You can always extend the wings if needed (even to correct a little mishap), but toning big wings down? Uugh…
Or this romantic hairdo?
2 minutes, 3 bobby pins. One for each hair section: left, right and center- back.
Making sure I maintain volume at the crown (the deep part helps), I first bring the widest section- on my right- to the back. I twist and pin it over my ear, which also helps with volume, preferably with a decorative pin.
Then I do the same for the left-hand side. Finally, I take the back section and twist, making sure it covers any “loose ends” from the previous two sections, and pin it in place.
I might pull a bit at a few sections, for a slightly undone look, and that is literally it!
Now you know how I was saying (pretty much) anything effortless simply becomes so because you first put some effort into it?
This is exactly the case!
These looks aren’t overly complicated anyway, but they are the ones I absolutely love on myself.
So I practiced them until they became instinctual. And now they let me get out of the house in about 10 minutes, hair & make-up in place.
Don’t forget the details!
They are the ones that will take your overall outfit from “plain” to “effortless chic” in the subtlest of ways.
A pair of great looking jeans, that hug your waist and fit your hips in the most flattering way (what a dreamboat, right?)
But they happen to be a bit too long.
And instead of emphasizing the most graceful part of your leg- your ankle- they hide it with pointless folds and creases.
Now picture the same jeans, lightly cuffed. They immediately make your outfit look more thought-out, and you, more put-together.
Bonus, they also let you showcase your favorite footwear!
Other styling details that lend the same result of looking a notch above, but without trying too hard:
- Popping the collar on your trench coat (works especially well with the chignon above)- a few more unique styling tips for trench coats here
- Rolling up the sleeves of your blazers, shirts and jackets
- Belting a blazer (or even a coat) with a solid, wide (vintage leather?) belt
- An interesting piece of jewelry- small mention here: make sure you give it enough room to shine (pun intended 😊 ) Namely, if you pick a special pair of earrings, try an updo. If you go for a jingly stack of bangles, roll your sleeves up. Just as a raised hem will work wonderfully with bejewelled sandals (ahem…)
- Wear your buttoned cardigan back-to-front. Trust me, it looks awesome, especially when intentionally accessorized with a stand-out piece of jewelry
I’ll gladly add to this list, if you share your own details that you often notice lend a little je ne sais quoi to your looks (or others’).
And otherwise, I’d like to thank you for making it to the end of the post!
I hope you liked it, and you got some extra inspiration and excitement to try out some of these ideas yourselves. Share the results with me if you do!
And until we meet here again for the next post, have a fabulous time!
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