Some mornings I wake up with an uncharacteristic desire to put effort into my outfit. But much more often I simply cannot be bothered. That's not to say I don't understand the importance of looking and feeling put together. But doing it — that's the tricky part.
If you feel the same way, you might think "put togetherness" requires an expensive wardrobe full of clothes. Or a team of stylists and makeup artists. Or an hour spent in the bathroom. But not so. There are so many simple ways to feel more polished that take hardly any time at all.
So why don't we all do this? I say let's put in a bit more effort — if only for the boost in self-esteem. As Laurie Brucker, Certified Image Consultant and Personal Stylist, says in an email to Bustle, "I believe that style and confidence are one in the same. When you own your style, you feel confident. When you feel confident, what you wear has style." And since it only takes a few minutes, you'll soon be reaping those sweet, sweet rewards. Sound good? Then read on for a few simple ways to feel more put together — no huge commitments necessary.
1. Wash Your Face
Before you do anything else, pop into the bathroom and wash that face of yours. And while you're at it, give your teeth a scrub and comb your hair. It seems so simple, and yet it's amazing how some basic grooming can reset your life and make you feel more put together.
2. Stand Up Straight
Slouchy posture is not only bad for your back, but it's also bad for your self-esteem, your mood, your look, and the way people perceive you. Rounded shoulders can convey an air of insecurity, according to lifestyle writer Lauren Levine on StyleCaster.com. Standing up straight, on the other hand, gives off more positive vibes. So do yourself a favor and put those shoulders back.
3. Play Up Your Lips
If you can't be bothered to step out with a face full makeup, never fear. It's still possible to look (and feel) super polished, even without all the effort. All you gotta do is play up one area of your face — such as your lips — and you should be feelin' fine. In fact, a 2011 study by Proctor & Gamble showed that makeup can help boost a woman's confidence, according to voices editor Rebecca Adams on HuffingtonPost.com. This likely has something to do with showing off your personality. "When you pick a shade that you feel great in, it can become what differentiates you from your peers — it can help you find what makes you you," she added. Makes sense, doesn't it?
4. Go For Four Pieces In Your Outfit
Creating an outfit can seem overwhelming, but not if you break it down to four parts. "I call this the 'four-piece formula,'" Brucker says. Think along the lines of wearing jeans, a cute sweater, a belt, and a necklace. This will look so much more put together than just plain ol' jeans and a sweater. And it barely takes any more effort.
5. Pay Attention To The Details
For that extra bit of polish, be sure to pay attention to the personal touches. As Brucker says, "It's in the details of how you put yourself together that makes a great outfit." This might mean adding a unique pair of earrings, or a couple of cool rings. You know, things that up the ante by introducing your own personal style.
6. Throw On Some Sunnies
There's something about a pair of sunglasses that really pulls a look together. Or, you know, makes a look if you didn't want to put effort in anywhere else. A good pair of shades can show off your style, while also covering up things you don't want seen (like tired eyes.) But sunnies get my vote, too, because they take zero effort. Just throw them on and you're done.
7. Do Your Nails
I so admire people who take the time to do their nails. They could be wearing five day old yoga pants, and yet they still give off a having-their-sh*t-together vibe. While I love a professional manicure, being one of those people doesn't require dropping tons of cash in the salon. All you have to do is routinely file your nails, trim those cuticles, and maybe put on a clear polish. "This will make your hands look polished and takes no time at all," fashion blogger Jennifer Scott told Holly Corbett in Redbook. Easy as that.
8. Clean Your Shoes
Of course it's not the end of the world, but wearing a pair of beat up kicks can really detract from your outfit, according to Corbett. Besides, there's just something so "done" about shiny, clean shoes. So give 'em a polish, or throw 'em in the wash, and get to feeling more polished yourself.
9. Put On Some Perfume
Ever spray on perfume and feel instantly more grown-up? I know I do, which is why I highly recommend finding and wearing a signature scent. Once you get one that really represents your taste, make it your go-to spray. "That means wearing scent 24/7 — even with a t-shirt and jeans," noted an article on Instyle. You'll feel (and smell) more put together.
That's really all it takes. Some details here, a few simple touches there, and you'll have yourself a confidence-boosting style that's all your own. And what could be better than that?
Images: Pexels (12); Bustle