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5 Ways to Elevate Your Look Today

November 19, 2019

This week is taking on a theme, I do believe. Because I know where I’m going with the remainder of this week’s posts, I can tell you that this week is all about leveling up your outfit to a more sophisticated, elegant style. Yesterday I shared a dozen ways to style a blazer, and a jacket is a sure fire way to elevate your look. But today I’m going to pinpoint 5 ways to elevate your look that you can put into effect immediately.

5 Ways to Elevate Your Look

Now look, I know a gal doesn’t necessarily want to elevate every look. But there are days and events for which we want to add just a little something to our outfit to achieve a more elegant, sophisticated style. We’re heading into the holidays and, while I’ll be sharing some specific holiday looks soon, I think it’s just as important to be able to elevate an everyday look to party caliber with just a tweak here and there. So that’s what I’m sharing today…little tweaks that will take your look from simple to chic.

#1 – Wear at least one structured piece.

I think this is the absolutely easiest way to add elegance and sophistication to a look. Adding structure can be as easy as picking up your structured handbag on the way out the door or slipping into that blazer before your meeting.

Here’s how this tip plays out…

Add a structured bag. This Michael Kors bag is one I purchased on deep sale last year, so it’s no longer available. But Michael Kors often offers great sales on their gorgeous structured handbags. Or you can shop the selection of satchels at Nordstrom Rack for great deals.

Classic Fall Go-To Outfit
See more of this post.

Add a structured blazer. For more ideas about adding a blazer to your outfit, you might want to check out this post.

The Most Modern Way to Wear Your Blazer
See more of this post.

Add a button up collared shirt. A plain white button up shirt or a silky one or a plaid cotton shirt. They’ll all work to varying levels. But the structure of a button up shirt will definitely elevate your outfit more than a t-shirt.

How I Really Dressed for My Day October
See more of this post.

Wear a structured belt. Adding a belt even elevates the look of your outfit. Think about how different this outfit would look without the belt. In fact, the belt is the most structured piece in this entire outfit!

Add a scarf to your pullover sweater
See more of this post.

Can you think of other ways to add structure to your outfit?

#2 – Add black – the more the better!

Somehow adding blocks of black really elevates an outfit. I think our eyes just identify black with elegance, so when we see any of it in an outfit we elevate the look in our mind’s eye.

Check out how I’ve used black in the following outfits. You’ll notice that the more black there is, the more chic the look appears.

Ruffles, Denim and Leather
See more of this look.
Black and Brown
See more of this post.
Black Long Cardigan
See more of this post.
Powerful Black Dress
See more of this post.
How to Style a Column of Black Between Spring Colors
See more of this post.
How to Wear Ankle Length Joggers - Prologue
See more of this post.
How to Style a Column of Black Between Spring Colors
See more of this post.

#3 – Add a bold lip.

This is the one tip I rarely follow myself. I usually prefer a more nude lip. But truly, adding a bold pink, deep red or even dark plum will make your overall look more elegant and chic. And some of you gals have this one mastered!

What to Wear Out to Eat this Winter
See more of this post.
Target Jewelry
See more of this post.

#4 – Wear manicured nails.

I struggle to keep my nails manicured, but I do indeed try. I’ve determined that we all notice other people’s hands quickly and often, but we generally feel like no one notices ours. See the problem with that thinking? Our hands actually speak up for us quite quickly and often are the game changer. Your entire outfit can look polished and elegant, but if your nail polish is chipped, your nails look ragged or your hands appear cracked and dry, your overall look is immediately diminished. And I’m preaching to myself!

Style and Etiquette Tips for the Mother of the Groom
Definitely get a manicure for special occasions. See more of this post.
Chic Camel Cashmere Cardigan
A nude or toned down polish will actually elongate your fingers. See more of this post.

If you’re interested in adding elegance and class through a manicure, you might want to check out my post about the OPI Infinite Shine nail polish system. Read the post here.

Home Manicure OPI Infinite Shine
Read my OPI Infinite Shine post.

#5 – Wear heels or pointy toe shoes.

Finally, you can instantly elevate your look simply by slipping into heels or pointy toe shoes before leaving your house. Again, it’s the structure and the feminine angles of these shoes that make your overall look appear more chic to the eye. Heels will accomplish the desired result more easily, but if you choose or need to wear flats, simply choose those with a pointy toe.

Chic Camel Cashmere Cardigan
See more of this post.
Snake Print Trucker Jacket
See more of this post.
Caramel Pullover and Silk Floral Scarf
See more of this post.
Marled Knit Wide Leg Crop Pants
See more of this post.

So let’s review! To add instant polish and style to even your most basic outfit, simply…

  • add at least one structured piece such as a structured handbag, blazer, button up shirt or belt.
  • add a block of black…the more the better.
  • wear a bold lip.
  • keep manicured nails.
  • wear heels or pointy toe shoes.

How will you elevate your look today?

Save + Share

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Blessed for My Day

At our ages, I think most of us gals are aware that the company we keep rubs off on us. If we spend an hour or two with someone who complains a lot, we easily become more critical ourselves. If we go to lunch with a gal who likes to gossip, we’re more prone to listen to gossip and perhaps chime in. And if we sit in front of the television news for very long we begin to grow anxious and fearful.

But it’s not enough to simply steer clear of poor company. We also need to spend time in the presence of that which is good for us. That’s why it’s so important we make time each day to spend ample time in God’s Word. That we seek Him in prayer and meditation. If you’re interested in spending more time in God’s presence, you might want to try out the Abide app. I’ve found it very beneficial and settling.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. ~ Psalm 1:1-2

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xoxo, Kay
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11 thoughts on “5 Ways to Elevate Your Look Today

  1. Great ideas, Kay, but no pointed shoes here, unfortunately! Never thought about just using a structured bag to elevate. I’m a tshirt and jeans girl. Have a great day!

    1. Hi Terry. Yes, try a structured bag with your jeans and t-shirt and see the difference it makes. Also, I meant to mention but failed, that squared toe shoes are another good option. But in the long run it can be an either or. You don’t have to use all of these tips. Just one or two work fine!

  2. You always have such good ideas! By adding a structured piece, it varies the textures or profiles of an outfit, which in turn makes it more interesting. Hadn’t thought of this until you wrote this post. Think about how a woman looks wearing nothing but soft clothes, ie sweats and trainers. I would love to wear a button down shirt but have trouble finding one that fits over the “girls” (actually grown women). Enjoy your day!

  3. Please explain the term “structured” piece. I’m not sure what that means in terms of style. Thank you so much. I enjoy your blog each day.

    1. Hmm. Now that you ask, that’s a hard one. Ha! I can spot it much more easily than I can describe it. But let me try! By structured I mean the article of clothing or the accessory has more definition, more solid lines. A satchel like the one I’ve shown is structured. It stands up on its own, doesn’t flop over when it’s set down. On the other hand, the tote bag I often use is not structured. It flops over and it has a lot of give to it. A t-shirt CAN be structured, but most are soft and mold to the body. While a tailored shirt with a button placket and a collar is more structured. I’d say a flannel shirt, on the other hand, has some structure, but not as much as a crisp white shirt. Does that help?

  4. Great Ideas! I love all these looks. I pointed shoes are always uncomfortable on my feet so I go for rounded or slightly pointed shoes. I do find pumps or ballet flats a great look with jeans and sweaters. I struggle with my nails. I’m too busy and can’t keep polish on my nails. I have found press on nail are a great option for my and most people don’t even know there no gels. They last just as long as a gel manicure for a fraction of the cost.

    1. Hi Cathy. Yes, I’ve seen people have great results with the press-ons, too. I couldn’t even tell they weren’t real polish. I’ll have to try those sometime and review them. But thanks for the suggestion.

  5. Love these tips! It’s so true that the little extra things can really elevate an outfit. I’m always on the lookout for comfortable heels that don’t look frumpy. I just found a pair of Franco Sarto suede tall boots that have pointy toes and a 2 inch heel that are so comfortable from DSW. If you have a favorite pump that you love please share.

  6. These are great tips! I dress pretty casual but love to dress up my simple outifts with a simple necklace and recently I’ve been wearing my Clarks booties that have a little bit of a heel. I don’t usually wear heels but these are so comfortable! I don’t have the prettiest hands and don’t really like to draw attention to them, so I mostly use clear nail polish. I also love the simplicity about clear nail polish.

  7. A leopard silk scarf elevated my look today of black pants, lilac tee, black cardigan and some statement loafers. Then I added a red blazer.