Insider tips: how to make all your outfits look expensive!
Do you ever stand in your closet, look at all your clothes, and think to yourself: “I have nothing to wear?” From what I hear, many of us do this from time to time (wink) … including me! So, after decades of helping women in the dressing room and seeing firsthand what works and what doesn’t, I’ve put together some insider tips: how to make all your outfits look expensive. I’m really excited to share these suggestions with you below — hopefully they’ll inspire you to get dressed with ease and confidence. Never again will you feel like you have “nothing to wear!”
There are certain items that add instant sophistication and elegance to any outfit. And, while they don’t need to be expensive, it doesn’t hurt if they look expensive! As a matter of fact, there are many great pieces that feel “designer” but cost a fraction of the price. This is the art of high/low dressing, and chances are the fashion girls who catch your eye on Instagram or Pinterest have this mastered.
Later today, I’ll be speaking at the Multnomah Athletic Club luncheon here in Portland — even though public speaking isn’t my thing — at all! Though I’m quite nervous, I’m looking forward to sharing several style tips with everyone there … and here, with you. A huge thank you to Nordstrom who partnered with me to let me bring carefully selected clothes to this event. And, as always, thank you for following along!
High/low outfit inspo
Tip 1: Add the color camel — it’ll take your outfits to the next level!
I’ve written about the color camel many times (most recently in this post). It just makes everything look expensive and elevated. And, it pairs beautifully with gray, cream and denim, so now is definitely the time to add a camel coat! This is probably THE most important piece to own this season. Check out this wrap style from Anine Bing, and this one by Harris Wharf London. I also love a matching set — it’s super stylish, and each piece can be worn many different ways. The one above is well-priced, and is available in other colors too.
Tip 2: Choose faux leather or leather — so luxe!
Left: Chanel perfume | Bony Levy earrings | Rag & Bone Denim | Sunglasses | Frame bag | Faux leather blazer | Leopard sandals | Right: Bracelet | ATM tee | Golden Goose sneakers | Chloe tote | Mother denim | Sunglasses | Faux leather puffer
A must-have for this season, leather adds a feeling of luxury to every outfit. And whether you go for the real thing or a faux leather piece, you can’t go wrong, because both look amazing. These days, faux leather can easily pass for real leather but at a fraction of the cost. For example, a faux-leather blazer, dress, or jumpsuit is current and cool — and affordable.
Tip 3: Invest in all-black, quality staples
Left: Silk Blouse | Vince Pant | Theory Clairene Jacket | Mansur Bag | Sandal | Scarf | Bracelet | Right: Veronica Beard blazer | Vince slipdress | Booties | Balenciaga bag | Still gloss | Earrings | Scarf
All black. It always, always elevates your look. Your outfit will appear more elegant and expensive, even if you scored a deal. Wear it any time of year — it looks great with literally everything! Some things are just worth the splurge, like a Veronica Beard blazer. A nice black blouse (my favorite is this Vince style) always works for both day and evening, and same with a black pant (mentioned below).
Tip 4: Jewelry must-try styling tricks!
Here’s the lowdown on layering: it’s the key to giving your jewelry an update using your own pieces. Adding a diamond layer or a gold chain link style to what you already own works magic. And, it doesn’t need to be the real thing! Recently, I saw a good friend who had the perfect necklace layering combo – at least 6 – and it looked elegant and beautiful. When I asked her about the butterfly she was wearing, she told me it was from her granddaughter — and it cost $12! I’m pretty sure everything else was real — talk about high/low 😉
Tip 5: Neutral accessories are the finishing touch
Neutral accessories are the ideal finishing touch to every outfit. If you can match or coordinate your accessories (by color or pattern), you’ll have dozens of easy combinations at your fingertips! So, try to put together a few sets: a bag/shoe combo, a bag/belt combo, or a scarf/bag/shoe combo in matching or coordinating colors. I love any accessory in a rich saddle brown, a lighter beige color, or black of course! If you need any help with this, feel free to DM me 😉
Before you even get started …
… make sure your denim fits perfectly and your black bottom piece is up to date!
Finding the perfect denim
Since denim is the backbone of our wardrobes, it’s important to have a well-fitting, current style that hits at the correct length. I know, you’re probably wondering “what is the correct length?” Well, with ankle length jeans, my guideline is 3-4″ from the ground. Current denim favorites that work for most everyone: Frame Le Mini boot, Le Sylvie Slender, Mother Weekender, Mother Hustler, AG Prima and Mari and Paige Cindy. All newer, slim straight leg styles. Look for a lighter wash (as seen all over the streets of NYC), a medium wash, black and gray.
Every great outfit starts with the right black bottom piece
As I always tell my clients and friends: the right bottom is the starting piece of every outfit. If you’ve been in “Room 3” with me, you know that we can’t even get started until we find the best bottom piece. So, what is the “right” bottom? Something black! I know, it sounds boring, but trust me: this will make ALL your outfits work. Here are the 4 top selling bottoms everyone loves:
Black pants – This Vince slim knit style has been a go-to for a while, and everyone still loves it. But now this one by Frame has appeared, and it’s also really good! For a long flare option, this Spanx one is very slimming.
Black jogger – The Vuori Jogger is hands down the best! It makes tons of outfits and can be worn year ’round. If you don’t already own a pair, go ahead and get one — it’s never too late, and you’ll be happy you did!
Black denim – Pretty much a staple for everyone’s wardrobe, you’ll love the Levi’s 724. Also, these styles by Mother are top sellers: the “Not Guilty” in black, the Dazzler (a slim, straight leg style that everyone loves), and the Mother Hustler, this season’s updated style to add.
Thank you for reading! xx