If there’s one thing that I love, especially when it comes to fashion, personal style, call it what you may – is looking put together. Something about looking polished and elevated, even when you’re wearing something simple like jeans and a t-shirt, always brings a smile to my face.
I tend to feel my best when I know I look put-together – and whilst everyone’s definition of the term may be different, I think there are a few little tips that I’ve learned over the years that can be applied, no matter what your personal style is or where you live. Especially if it’s a place like Minnesota, where I grew up. Because we all know that dressing for the cold can be tricky.
MY PERSONAL STYLE
I’ve been thinking a lot on this topic lately. The question of, “how do I define my personal style?”. We all go through through style evolutions, depending on the point of time in our lives, where we live and what our tastes are.
There was a time when all that spoke to me were band t-shirts and ripped denim, leather jackets and heeled boots. Now, if you were to see me out and about – you’d realize that whilst the band tees and ripped denim have gone, the leather still remains.
These days, I tend to gravitate towards elegance with a bit of edge. I love the classic lines, design details, cuts and patterns – but sometimes I find that they need a little bit more of ‘me’ injected into the look. In my case, that’s where the heeled boots and my favourite leather jacket come into play – but more on that in another post. I love to feel put together every time I leave my home, regardless if I’m going to the gym, out to the shops or to work. Personally, I feel like there’s a bit of a formula that you can apply to the way you ‘shop your own closet’ for what you’ll wear where, and it’s actually rather simple.
Granted, that could be because I spent most of my younger years in uniforms for school – but I digress.
My Top 5 Tips for Looking “Put Together” Everyday
Creating a look that’s more “put-together” as one might say, isn’t really that difficult. In fact, it’s rather simple. From looking after the tiniest of details that can make a huge difference, to knowing which colours and styles should be on your ‘timeless classics’ list to pull from – it boils down to five things.
1. Ensure the little details are looked after
Sometimes it’s the smallest of details that make the most difference. From steaming the creases out of trousers and tops, to ensuring that all loose threads are trimmed and hems are tacked, it makes a world of difference for overall appearance.
A couple of years ago, I went through a finishing school program – and it wasn’t only the appearance of clothing that was the primary focus. It was the way scents blended together from shampoo, lotion, fragrance and mints. It was the way you took care of the suede on your shoes and the toe/heel caps before they received too much wear. It was ensuring that you make sure your clothing is ironed or steamed before leaving the house and the fit of your clothing is sublime.
The smallest of things can make the largest difference – even if no one else notices and it’s only in the way you feel when walking out of the door.
2. A tailor will be your best friend
A good tailor is my best tool in my tool kit. Especially if you’ve got one that you work with frequently, they know the fit you prefer and do impeccable work.
Fit is everything.
A tailor can take your clothing from good to amazing with a dart, a pleated panel, a hem – really anything. I call my favourite tailoring team modern-day magic workers. Because truly, they may as well be.
3. Know what silhouettes suit you
I’m sure you’ve heard the age old tip of dressing for your body type, or choosing silhouettes that are most flattering. Instead of touting the same information that you’ve heard a million times over, I’ll instead go with this. Whether you choose to dress with silhouettes that are most flattering for you, or those you feel most confident in – choose what puts a smile on your face and makes you feel the most ‘you’! After all, that’s better than following a guidebook, right?
However, in case you’re curious what I tend to gravitate towards (being a neat hourglass myself), here are some of my go-to silhouettes:
- High-waisted trousers / skirts
- Structured bust, flared skirt
- Skinny flare trousers
- 7/8 trousers
- Non-structured shirts
- 3/4 sleeves
- Anything that cinches in at the waist
- Nothing too bulky
- Midi length or maxi
4. Do a colour analysis
This, aside from knowing your signature silhouettes, is probably my greatest secret. Knowing which colours suit you best – separating the ‘wow’ colours from the ‘eh’, will make a world of difference. It can bring a glow to your skin, highlight your eyes and make your hair appear even healthier.
Can the right colour really do all of that? Yes, yes it can.
To do a colour analysis, start by determining your skin undertone. Then hair shade and eye colour. Based on these three factors, you could be given a ‘season’ or a classification of colour palette that would be your best choice. For example, autumnal match vs spring, or cool-light vs warm-medium. Based on this classification, you’ll be able to narrow in on colours that highlight your unique match-up of features best; just keep in mind, if you ever decide to change your hair colour, it’s worth doing another colour analysis to ensure your palette still works for you.
5. Keep your footwear clean, tidy and situation-appropriate
This feels a bit of a given – at least in my opinion – and especially if you live in a colder country.
We’ve all heard that you shouldn’t wear open-toe shoes in the winter – HELLO frozen toes. But it’s more than just weather-appropriate footwear that can prevent cold feet. Here’s a list of some of my favourite tips to keep your footwear well-suited to the occasion and well looked after:
- Keep the slush and the salt off of your shoes with a suede brush or a damp cloth; it can help prolong the life of your footwear and keep them looking their best
- Shoes worn to work should be no higher than 8.5cm (85mm), and should have a closed toe
- Keep a boot-tree in riding boots or taller boots to preserve the shape of the leather/suede and prevent creasing
- To outdoor events, make sure you’re wearing a sturdier shoe – a flat, wedge or block heel
- Stilettos are for nights out or date night; worn during the day, they can seem too much
- Invest in a good shoe polish or liquid-proof spray if you live in a wetter climate
- Insoles will be your best friend
- Keep a set of plasters with you in case your feet get a little sore by the end of the evening
- When picking shoes for going out at night – remember that it’s not until bar/restaurant do us part. It’s ’till home do us part.
Do you have any tips that you use to keep yourself feeling put-together? If you’ve got some that I left out, feel free to share in the comments.
The boots in this look are from Fairfax and Favor.