HOW TO DRESS CLASSY
Is it time for you to change your style? Add a little sophistication and class to your everyday clothes? Maybe you have a new job and need a new elegant business-casual outfit, maybe you have moved to a new city, or maybe you just need a change to represent who you have become. Are you wondering how to make this transition and how to dress classically? I guide you through the details by styling you with a more sophisticated, elegant and stylish look that you can wear for years (or the rest of your life!).
Elegant style is timeless. The navy blue shift dress and camel heels you buy today can still be worn ten years from now. Buying a good pair of pearl earrings outweighs the 10 pairs of trendy earrings that will be out of fashion a year after you buy them. Having a sophisticated and elegant style means you can wear your clothes to work, Sunday brunch, a shopping trip around the city or travel around the world. You can even sail while having a classic look!
Creating classy outfits is about putting together crucial elements and making sure your style and confidence also shines through. So if you are ready to delve into a new classy look and answer the question of how to dress classy, let’s get started.
DEFINE AND KNOW YOUR PERSONAL STYLE
Personal style is something we all have; we just have to identify it, understand it and then live it. It projects your mood, your personality and you as a whole, reflecting your interests, lifestyle, inspiration and your past.
When you find your personal style, you know that you look good and feel confident when you leave the house. Whether you prefer bohemian, streetwear, haute couture, minimalist or classic, you can make your style look elegant when the occasion demands it.
I hear many women say that they do not have a personal style or that they do not know what their own style is. When you hear this, I recommend that you look in your closet. If you are trying to find your personal style, here is a quick tip you can do right now. Take your favorite clothes out of your closet. Lay the clothes you wear over and over on your bed and look for patterns. Are they most solid or patterned, bright or neutral colors, dresses or pants, flirty or conservative?
What category do you think your clothes fit into? Do your clothes teach against a freer spirit, perhaps bohemian? Or is it full of solid, white and navy blue lines in sleek lines and a perfect fit? So it could be minimalist.
Typically, classic and minimalist styles will look classy all the time. Classic and minimalist styles usually learn towards neutral color palettes, shapes, fabrics which make it easier to put together classy outfits. But don’t think just because you prefer bohemian or street style that dressing classy is out of the question.
THE 7 BASICS OF CLASSIC STYLE
#1 WEAR ITEMS THAT ARE MADE OF CLASSIC FABRICS
Timeless, classic clothing made from materials that last well into the next decade is what to look for to add to your essential wardrobe. Think cotton, wool, linen and silk. These four basic substances can withstand the test of time if cared for properly. Clean and ironed things made with these fabrics tend to give a classic vibe alone.
These fabrics also have variations that allow you to expand your wardrobe. Denim is an example of a cotton fabric that cuts through all style lines, from street to boho to minimalist. Similarly, Chinese cotton works well in pants, blazers and even motorcycle jackets (for your inner city style!). Then there is cashmere, a type of wool that feels heavenly against the skin and does not harden with age. Cashmere sweaters, whether it is cardigans, V-neck or round necklines, fit perfectly with denim jeans as well as tailored pants and skirts.
A word to the wise with these substances: read the labels and fit them properly so that they hold. While wrinkle-free cotton has become more available, most cotton garments need to be ironed. (Elegant suits do not wrinkle!) Wool, linen and silk often need to be cleaned or hand washed. If you make a mistake, you may need to give your 6-year-old niece the woolen cardigan that was a staple in her wardrobe but was cut in half thanks to her dryer.
#2 IF IN DOUBT WEAR SOLID NEUTRALS
Bold patterns and prints can certainly work for a sophisticated and elegant look, but you may not be familiar with such patterns if you are just starting out with your smart style journal. Neutral are your friends in this case. There are plenty of solids in stores (and probably in your closet), they combine easily and help stretch your wardrobe.
Typical neutrals are white / beige / cream, navy blue, black and gray. Do not think now that you have to wear black from head to toe (or other neutral). Monochrome (different shades or shades of the same color) allows you to vary a color but maintain the class. Or you can add small accents that can transform a solid fabric into something eye-catching, like a thin burgundy alligator belt, a cashmere scarf or a pair of red heels. Want to know more about monochrome dressing? Be sure to read What is monochrome and how to wear monochrome clothing.
# 3 ADJUSTMENT IS KEY
Elegant and sophisticated clothes are usually tailored and adapted to the shape (not too tight, but you can show your figure). Skirts should reach just above or below the knee, just like your elegant dresses. Classic trousers are straight, slightly baggy, light bootcut or menswear inspired and should be ½ empty from the floor at the back. Wide, thin pants in classic fabrics are also acceptable, as are ankle-length pants (shades by Audrey Hepburn!). Blazers, blouses and sweaters should follow the curve of your waist.
Feel free to take items to a local dressmaker or tailor to have them modified to fit properly. Does it love a change of dress at Nordstrom, but is it too big at the bust? It’s a $ 15 solution. Are the gray wool pants in your closet too long for classic 3-inch heels, or do you want to wear them flat? Another $ 10-15 event. Remember, good quality clothes last you more than 10 years and it is a small price to pay for changes. Better to have to change cheap pants every three years.
Not everything you wear has to be perfectly tailored and form-fitting. You can mix in unstructured pieces for a more relaxed vibe. Pair a blue-striped t-shirt with chinos and a denim jacket or a flowy maxi skirt with a crisp white button-down shirt (roll up those sleeves for added panache!).
#4 NEVER OVEREXPOSE
Dressing in class requires little modesty, no midriff tops, low cleavage or miniskirts.
Necklines are typically neckline, boat neckline, round neck or V-neckline. For a little variation, you can also try square, hooded and scoop necks. On more formal occasions, asymmetrical, boyfriend and halter cutouts work as well. Either way, keep your cleavage and navel covered. Armholes in blouses and dresses should also not reveal the bra.
As mentioned above, the length of the skirt on skirts and dresses should be just above or below the knee for everyday use, with slightly shorter and longer appropriate for summer events or classic formal wear.
#5 DON’T GO OVERBOARD WITH ACCESSORIES
Simple jewelry is the best way to go when looking for an elegant and sophisticated look. My recommendations are:
- Earrings: small silver or gold bracelets, pearl or diamond studs.
- Bracelet: silver or gold bracelet (one heavy or several delicate), tennis bracelet, watch (gold or silver with metal or leather strap).
- Necklace: Long pendants, pearls, solitaire diamond, cross.
- Ring: Not necessary, but if you do, be delicious or flashy. Slim ribbons, diamonds or heirlooms are fine, and everyone should have a cocktail ring to wear to events or to decorate their jeans. Limit yourself to the ring and / or middle finger only.
- Scarf: Scarves are a great way to add color and visual interest to a sophisticated outfit. Especially if the scarf is light or with an interesting pattern, cotton, silk and wool are again the best fabric options. Try different colors and fabrics with light silk or cotton for spring and thicker wool for winter. Flowers, paisleys, stripes and solid colors are great choices. If you need more inspiration for outfits, be sure to check out: Ways to Wear a Scarf and How to Tie a Scarf
And do not forget your shoes. Yes, shoes are accessories! Heels, undercuts, ballerinas or boots in solid neutral colors, such as cream, navy blue or black, are your best option. They all go together with a wealth of outfits, which means you do not have to spend a lot of money on a closet full of shoes.
But do not think you can not dry with your shoe choices, every woman should wear a pair of red shoes, and it never hurts to have an animal print to make an outfit stand out a little. (Think leopard print flats with khaki or denim pants.)
#6 STYLE YOUR HAIR
Now that we have covered colors, fabrics, fit and accessories, let’s move on to your hair! I can not say that this is obvious because I want to include all the basics. Be sure to style your hair. If you are wondering how to dress classically and express sophistication, be sure to spend some time doing your hair.
If you have a short time in the morning, or if you do not like to do your hair, go for a light haircut or a haircut that you can trim quickly. By classic and elegant hairstyles I mean a classic bun or ponytail. I have a lot of hair and it’s pretty long, so if I want to look classic, I know I need to spend at least 30 minutes on it if I want to wear it. But the hairstyle I turn to when I do not want to spend much time on my hair is a classic low bun.
Find a hairstyle that is easy for you to style every day and that you like too!
#7 MAKEUP MAKES A DIFFERENCE
You have reached the last point on how to dress classically! Yes, thank you for coming here. I saved this one in the end, because it’s honestly the one I’m having the most trouble with. I don’t usually put on “makeup” and this point is one that I work on continuously. If you’re like me and do not spend a lot of time taking makeup, focus on these three things that will make a difference in your elegant style.
Your eyes, cheeks and lips should be what you focus on if you only have 5 minutes. Put on some mascara to open the eyes, add a little blush to add life and dimension to your face, and use a bold lip to add a tint. These three things are subtle, but they make a big difference to the integrity of your elegant style.
You do not need a lot of money to dress me classically
Contrary to popular belief, classic clothing does not have to break the bank. Yes, you can spend $ 200 on a designer brand button-down shirt, but you can also find one of comparable quality and appearance for $ 68 at Banana Republic, Gap or Ann Taylor. And because well-made, classic clothing lasts for years and even decades, you can often find great deals in thrift stores.
Invest in good quality staples that suit you well and that you can mix and match. Accessories that are much cheaper than clothing can help you change your look and stretch these basics further.
As I mentioned in my first point about choosing classic fabrics, you should also look for classic shapes and always classic clothes pins. Do not spend money on fashionable clothes that you only wear for one season.
KEEP A PRETTY MANI
Your hands and the jewelry in them are an extension of your wardrobe and a reflection of the care you take with your appearance, especially if you have a bracelet or ring that draws attention to those fingers.
Enjoy regular manicures, whether at home or in a salon. Keep your nails short to medium and choose a nice round or oval shape with transparent or nude polish or a French manicure. Stay away from styled nails and flashy or neon colors as well as nail art and jewelry.
NOTE: If you wear sandals or open shoes, a pedicure is a must. I think a simple pure glitter or nude colors works best, but you can always go for a classic red or pink.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS
They say the devil is in the details and dressing classically is no exception. The trick to wearing smart clothes is to keep everything neat, clean and simple. Make sure the clothes are flattering and the colors and patterns are balanced.
All objects must be free of wrinkles and color adjustment. Check for holes, loose threads, missing buttons or frayed edge. Stick to neutrals with colors in color here and there. Do not use too many accessories; Stick with simple, minimal jewelry like a pair of earrings and a watch or earrings and a pendant necklace.
Your hair and makeup also play a role in your overall look. Again, clean and tidy. Stay away from metallic eye shadows in strong colors, be careful not to go overboard with blush or bronzer, and stick with a neutral or light lip.