Whether you’re having an off day or you’re just looking for that last finishing touch, it’s a good idea to have an arsenal of pieces that will make you feel more put together in a snap. Think what a savior it would be to have at least five shining items in your closet that you know, no matter what, will instantly polish up your look and make you feel more fashionable and fabulous. It can cut down on a lot of stress (and a lot of clothes on your floor) during those mornings where nothing fits or feels right, making you reach for your trusty boyfriend jeans and declare you own nothing worthwhile. Or it can add that last touch to an outfit that takes it from a pretty look to something truly inspired.
Everyone has their own preferences and quirks when it comes to personal style, but there are a few staples out there that we can all agree really add a little summin’ summin’ extra to an outfit, no matter what your aesthetic. Here are seven pieces that will instantly make you feel more put together, with everything from obvious staples like blazers to not-so-obvious pieces like sunnies.
1. A Black Blazer
Whether it's to dress up casual pieces like boyfriend jeans or flannel shirts, or if it's to add the finishing touch to an elegant outfit, the black blazer is a sure-fire way to instantly feel more put together. Not only is it a staple, but it's the quintessential item of class and polish. According to Alyssa Garrison at xoJane, "Whenever I want to look a little more serious and covered up, I always reach for a blazer... I have two styles in my closet at the moment: a loose, black crepe blazer that’s perfect for dinners and weddings, and a more classic suit-style tailored boyfriend blazer that works well in professional situations like interviews." If you're going out to grab dinner with friends or heading to an important presentation at work, a black blazer will do the trick to instantly feel more put together.
2. A Good Leather Belt
Belts are the epitome of finishing touches: Half the time you don't really need one, but when you remember to put it on, it makes all the difference. Whether it adds a subtle pop of color, breaks up the line of an outfit, or contributes a subtle detail (like a tassel or a sheen of metal), cinching a well-made leather belt around your waist can instantly elevate your look to more stylish grounds. According to Joyann King at Harpers Bazaar, "Insouciance is something we're always pursuing in the style department, but in the case of looking like you know what you're doing, tuck in any shirttails or a baggy sweater hem and cinch your waist with a chic belt for maximum impact." A small styling move, but it packs a punch.
3. A Chic Scarf
A good scarf can make all the difference when it comes to elevating a look. Just think back to your lazy-girl outfits. Say you're meeting a friend for coffee but you really, really don't want to get out of your leggings and sneakers. How do you make your outfit not look like you were indoors watching Netflix all day? Shrug on your denim jacket and add a cozy knit infinity or a big, patterned scarf into the mix. In a snap it makes you feel more pulled together and stylish. According to Michelle Scanga of WHoWhatWear, "Pair an eye-catching scarf with your favorite blazer for a quick outfit update. We promise this trick will lend you a polished and cool vibe." It's a simple update, but it goes a long way in terms of polish.
4. A Button-Down Shirt
While button-downs have a tendency to make us think of meeting rooms and sensible office pumps, a good collared shirt can go a long way. Not only does it look very Calvin Klein tucked into jeans, but it adds a pop of polish when paired underneath dresses and pinafores, and balances out quirkier pieces like overalls and statement print skirts. And if you find one with a chic, strong-lined collar, than you'll always look put together and classic.
And if you're not quite sure you can pull off the serious vibes of a button-down? There's always a work around when it comes to styling something to fit your style. According to Hannah Weil McKinley at POPSUGAR, "While a button-down can feel stiff, rolling up the sleeves gives it an easy nonchalance. It's the easiest way to inject a little cool factor into even your most classic shirts."
5. Statement Sunglasses
Whether it's a cool and classic pair like wayfarers or aviators, or a bold and statement making set like cat eyes or colored frames, a great pair of sunglasses can make all the difference when it comes to feeling more put together. Say you're wearing a slightly frumpy outfit — it's plenty cute, but has the potential to cross over to grandma chic territories. Give it a boost in terms of polish and refinement with classic shades to keep it anchored in chic territories. Or say you didn't have enough time that morning to go all-in when it came to pulling yourself together, and all you could manage was to pull on jeans and brush your hair. Sunnies can instantly help. According to Michelle Scanga of WhoWhatWear, "No time for makeup? Shield your 'sleepy eyes' with a pair of your favorite sunglasses and the issue is instantly resolved!" It's a small accessory, but it really helps.
6. A Well Tailored Outer Layer
There's nothing worse than putting on a lumpy, dumpy jacket around your shoulders when the weather cools. When it's cold outside, 50 percent of the day your outfit will be your coat so it makes sense to find a sharp, tailored one to make you feel instantly chic. Just think of the difference: How do you look in a baggy, shapeless peacoat, and how do you look in a clean-lined, close to your body wool jacket? It's like a before and after picture, and it instantly makes your outfit look more expensive and put together.
According to Joyann King at Harpers Bazaar, "A tailored jacket is an editor's secret weapon. It elevates denim, polishes flow-y dresses, looks chic thrown over the shoulders and takes slim pants to the board room." If you want to instantly polish your look, invest in and add a well tailored outer layer into the mix!
7. A Killer Pair Of Boots
All you could be wearing is a knit sweater and a pair of jeans, but if you throw in a pair of beautifully made boots into the mix, you look like an instant street style star. We all know shoes go a long way when making or breaking an outfit, and if you have a sharp pair of boots at arm's reach, you can be certain you'll always look put together, no matter how casual the outfit.
According to style blogger Audrey of Putting Me Together,"One thing I really appreciate about ankle boots is that they can add some grounding and character to an outfit that ballet flats can't always do because of their texture. Leather and suede in a sturdy boot shape has a nice weight to it that a sleek ballet flat doesn't have, you know?" While ballet flats and sandals always look nice with an outfit, there's something about a well made pair of boots that take it to another level.
There's no reason why you can't feel your most stylish every day if you have a closet full of finishing touches.