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7 Ways to Elevate Your Outfit from Simple to Stylish

October 3, 2018

Hi there, and welcome to Dressed for My Day. If you’re like me, you probably love the idea of dressing up, but more often than not you throw on simple pieces. I gravitate toward jeans, joggers or maybe simple cords most days. And I appreciate the ease of a solid white t-shirt or maybe a basic, monotone sweater. But when I leave the house in my simple uniform I like to turn the dial up so that I don’t look quite so much like oatmeal. Right? Today I have 7 easy, quick ways to take your outfit from simple to stylish.

7 Ways to Elevate Your Outfit from Simple to Stylish

Remember, you can shop all the looks in this post in my Shop My Looks tab in the top tool bar.

1. Go just a little wild

Add just a splash of animal print or texture to your ensemble. This is such an easy way to elevate the style factor of even the simplest blue jeans and t-shirt outfit. And animal prints and textures are really trending right now.

You can add faux cheetah, leopard, zebra or even giraffe print. Or you could ratchet up the style factor with the texture of faux snake, crocodile or fur. Usually, you want to choose just one piece of animal print or texture per outfit, but then again, you might do fine with both a thin faux crocodile belt and leopard print shoes, so just use your best judgment. But, to keep the look truly chic, don’t overdo it.

7 Ways to Elevate from Simple to Stylish - Animal Print & Texture
1) a cheetah print skirt elevates a simple black cardigan and nude pumps, 2) faux snakeskin pumps (similar) add interest to plain dress slacks and a solid silk blouse (similar), 3) a thin leopard print belt pulls together simple separates

Here are some more great “wild” options currently available to help turn the dial on your simple outfits:

2. Put Your Money in the Bag

If you’re going to splurge somewhere, invest in a designer handbag. Certainly, buy it when it is significantly on sale. But a well structured, neutral toned handbag is an investment you can use for years.

But if you still don’t want to spend so much on a designer brand, at least carry a more structured bag. In other words, choose a bag that stands up on it’s own when you put it down. Sure, we all love a sack-like bag occasionally, but to crank up your look from simple to stylish, select a more polished looking, structured bag. Consider a structured satchel, clutch or shoulder bag. And choose one in a more neutral color such as grey, black, taupe or beige, maybe burgundy.

7 Ways - Structured Designer Bag
1) This Michael Kors truffle colored satchel (similar) elevates this simple jeans and pullover, 2) a Ted Baker pale pink lady bag ups the look 3) this structured large satchel is from Target, but still adds class

A structured bag elevates your look because it appears more expensive and polished. It also makes you look more confident and professional. I’m certainly not saying to ditch your other bags, ladies. Remember, this post is just about how to elevate your simple look with one easy component. And you truly can walk out of the house in jeans, a t-shirt and a blue jean jacket, carrying a taupe structured handbag and look more sophisticated and polished.

Here are a few current offerings of structured handbags in a variety of price points:

3. Top it off with a Blazer

A simple, well structured blazer can add so much polish and elegance…even to a t-shirt and jeans. Choose a simple black, grey, navy or white, or go with a classic plaid. Shoot you can also add a pink or red or yellow, but you’ll undoubtedly get more mileage out of a more classic shade or pattern.

Ruched Sleeve Blazer for Dressing Up Jeans
Sure, I’m wearing a lacy top and colored jeans here, but you know this grey blazer would look just as great with a plain white t-shirt underneath.

Here are some other great blazers to choose from right now…at several price points (some are on sale and you’ll have to click through for sale prices):

4. Tie One On…in Silk

A great way to ratchet up your look is by tying on a pretty silk (or silky!) scarf. I don’t have a photo for this, but fortunately for us Ann Taylor has featured their scarves with simple white tees.

I’ve learned from listening to other women that it takes a measure of confidence to even wear a scarf. So many women think that others look great with a scarf, but that they don’t. Y’all. That is such a lie. Every woman can wear a scarf and look beautiful. Yes, you need to learn to tie it on in a way that best suits your neckline, bosom, shoulders, etc. But you can wear a scarf.

7 Ways to Elevate from Simple to Stylish - Scarves
1) This plaid floral silk little scarf would look great with jeans, 2) this wild botanical silk scarf elevates black jeans and a white tee

That’s why I say it takes confidence. You really have to learn to like yourself in a scarf, get used to seeing yourself with a scarf and then own. the. scarf! And then, when you wear a little silk swab of fabric with a white t-shirt and jeans, suddenly your look elevates from simple to stylish…all because you look confident and lovely!

Here are some beautiful scarves that are currently available and beautiful for the fall:

5. Stay in the solid

Honestly, if you really want to look chic and elegant, stick with solids. Yes, I love pretty prints and florals, too. And I have them and wear them. But if I want to just wear jeans and a simple shirt, but I want my look to be elevated, I’ll keep my jeans simple and my t-shirt solid. I’ll also keep my jacket or cardigan solid, too. It’s not that prints can’t be stylish; obviously they can. But solids just read more chic at first glance.

7 Ways to Elevate from Simple to Stylish - Solids
1) solid golden yellow v-neck from Target with solid green utility jacket and cropped jeans, 2) solid white pocket tee with cranberry cardigan and cropped jeans, 3) solid drape cardigan over white tee and cropped jeans – You can shop the whole looks in my Shop My Looks page.

6. Point Your Toes!

I remember when I was taking ballet lessons – a long, long, long time ago! – that we were constantly being instructed to, “Point your toes!” Why? Because pointed toes look more elegant than cocked feet!

Well, pointy toe shoes also look more chic and classy than rounded or squared toe shoes. That does not mean all of your shoes need to be pointy toed! But if you want to elevate the look of your jeans and t-shirt before you walk out the door, slip on your shoes with pointy toes.

Elevate from Simple to Stylish - Pointy Toes
Clockwise from top left: 1) Marc Fisher Zala pumps crank up the style factor for these cranberry jeans, 2) Halogen leopard print mules (similar & similar) elevate the style of these cropped flare cut jeans, 3) Sam Edelman leopard print flats with pointy toes take cranberry jeans to a new level, 4) toasted sesame Eryn suede pumps bring class to black skinny jeans, 5) deep red patent leather kitten heels (similar) with pointy toes raise the style factor of these straight leg jeans from simple to stylish

Notice that all the pointy toe shoes above are paired with jeans. The look would not have been the same without them.

I often get asked, when I show an outfit with heels, if flats could achieve the same look. Yes, almost, if they are pointy toe flats. So if you don’t wear heels, but you want to achieve a chic look with your jeans or dress pants, try pointy toe flats over squared toe loafers or rounded toe ballet flats. The effect is noticeably different.

7. Go Ahead and Keep It Simple

My final tip for elevating the style quotient of your simple jeans and t-shirt? Go ahead and keep it simple. Skip the big, chunky statement necklace, push aside the printed cardigan, leave behind the handbag with all the flourishes, pass on the fringed statement earrings and even tone down your make-up. Keep it simple instead.

If you go with one of the six tips above, then stop there. Don’t add a leopard print belt, a silky scarf, a plaid blazer and pointy toe red shoes, for heaven’s sake! Keep it simple. Simple is beautiful. Simple is elegant. Simple is sophisticated and chic.

Checking Out Prologue - Target's Newest Style Brand
simple black skinny jeans, simple white tee, simple black cardigan, simple gold tote, simple neutral kitten heels…with a slender leopard print belt – that’s all

Just let it be. That’s how you go from simple to stylish.

Wrap Up

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Remember, the purpose of this post isn’t to indicate that these are the only stylish choices you can make. The point is to indicate simple, quick additions you can make to a basic jeans and t-shirt outfit in order to elevate you look from simple to stylish. Obviously, you can make different choices and still look fabulously in style!

If you learned a little something here, I hope you’ll pin this post to one of your Pinterest boards for future reference. Also you could share it on Facebook so all your girlfriends can look simply stylish, too!

Hopefully you’re already a subscriber and following me on Instagram, but if not let’s take care of that right now. You can find out more about my subscriber community here. And you can follow me on Instagram here.

I have used affiliate links in this post for your shopping ease and so that I can earn a commission on sales, but at absolutely no cost to you. Thank you for shopping through my links. I appreciate that more than you know! And thank you so much for spending some time here today. Take a few minutes to look around if you’re new here. And if you’re a regular I look forward to seeing you around again. Why not leave a comment and let me know you were here?

Also, I’ve linked this post up with other fashion bloggers at the Style on the Daily Link-up. Be sure to check out a few other great fall fashions there.

Have a blessed and beautiful day!

Blessed for My Day

Do you ever get lonely? If the kids are grown and gone, friends are busy or have moved away, your husband is occupied or maybe even passed, and social media connections seem distant and cold, it’s normal to grow lonely occasionally. In fact, even if your life is full and busy and crowded with people…it’s normal to feel all alone at times. Why? Because no one can resonate with our hearts 24/7…except the One who made us and knows us most intimately. Our souls were created for fellowship with our Maker. And that cry of loneliness that emanates from within is really a call to meet your God in sweet, intimate communion. Dear friend, I hope for you today to make time to meet with Him. And I hope for you to find sweet satisfaction in His presence. May you know that He is searching for you, calling for you, waiting for you, anticipating you. You may feel lonely, but you are never alone. May you feel His abounding and tender companionship throughout this day.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. ~ Psalm 16:11

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xoxo, Kay
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7 thoughts on “7 Ways to Elevate Your Outfit from Simple to Stylish

  1. Thank you, Kay, for this awesome advice! I love your blog, your style and your ‘words’ of encouragement and blessings!

  2. I love that term “oatmeal”….how funny!! I try to add some fun or excitement to every outfit too. Blazers or jackets are my toppers of choice, but I’ve also been loving statement earrings. Even to the point where I don’t wear a necklace (shocker…ha ha)

    1. Hi Jodie! Yes, I find myself opting for earrings over a necklace a lot these days, too. And actually, as we age and our necks become … hmm…aged, it’s a good idea to raise the gaze from our necks to up where our earrings are, anyhow!

  3. Hello,
    I just discovered your blog and enjoyed this entry and photos. I also look forward to reading more. Thanks for the common-sense advice. I am a second-hand/thrift store shopper. Oh, the treasures I find! Your advice is true; keep it simple, keep it classic, keep it just “a little” wild. Most of all, keep it in God’s hands. I love the spiritual message at the end.
    Blessings to you,