Little things do matter a lot! They can make or break even the most polished look you are creating. I know that paying attention to detail is hard. Sometimes I just have enough time to throw on a t-shirt and jeans, and I am lucky if a tee is ironed. But most likely it is not. We are all overloaded with life chores, work worries, and family dramas but try to give yourself a little bit of a time buffer to take two breaths before heading out. Not every day; start with a few days a week. The extra time you allow yourself will bring life to your outfits and lift your spirits.
In this post, I will share with my “magic dust” that helps me make each look complete and stylish.
First, consider tucking in shirts, tops, and blouses, when appropriate. Whether you are wearing jeans, skirt, pants or shorts, this little trick will add instant polish to your look. Just try it out. Style a top being out and then in. See the difference? The idea of tucking in was a foreign concept to me for a long time. Maybe because it was easier or faster to dress or perhaps I just did not know any better. Probably the latter. When I’ve started to notice how drastically different outfits look with and without a tuck, a light bulb went on in my head - I instantly transformed. Nowadays, I love the polished tucked looks.
There are other benefits to the tuck. You are in control of defining your waistline, where it is, and how it looks. If you wear a flowy or boxy top, when you tuck it in, you establish a waistline without hiding it. Another benefit of the tuck is an illusion of elongated legs. You clearly define where the top of your body stops and legs begin. A high wasted outfit will create an illusion of longer slimmer legs. If you pick cropped pants, your legs will look even longer.
Second, this one goes hand in hand with the first idea. Belts are essential, especially if you are tucking in a top. Invest a good belt or preferably two. Pick black and brown belts, and you will be set for a while. In my mind, belts are like bows that tie everything together in a beautiful complete set. They can be matched with shoes, bags, or stand out. No matter what your preference is, any belt will be that perfect detail that adds completeness.
Belts are very personal, and a lot of consideration should go into buying them. Consider your body. Women with a long torso should choose wide belts to balance out two parts of a body. The opposite is true if you have a short torso.
When you figure out the best type for your body, think about a few other points:
1. Belts up to 2cm match great with dresses;
2. Belts between 2-5 cm work best with jackets, sweaters and cardigans;
3. Belts between 5-12 cm work best for emphasis with separates.
Third, handbags are essential. Do not pick a size-able black bag that “will work for everything.” No, it will not. At the very least, buy a large brown tote; it will serve you much better. Then, when you can afford, invest in a smaller crossbody bag that can be worn at night and during a day. Neutral colors, tan, and blue are great color options that match with almost any outfit. Then think about buying a weekend option that is fun and on-trend. This season, the trendy item is a woven bag. I purchased mine at T.J.Maxx, and I love it. It adds a perfect touch of style to my weekend looks without adding bold colors or distracting patterns.
Selecting a perfect handbag can be tricky. On the one hand, you want many things to fit in, and on the other, you want a stylish small number. It took me years to perfect my purse collection, but I think I am down to a perfect selection of two mid-size bags for work, two smaller cross-body bags, and two night options. And of course, I have a few large totes to carry all-things-children.
Fourth, hats, especially for summer, are crucial. Primarily because they protect your face from the sun and hide messy vacation hair. We all know how bad the sun is for our skin, and prolonged exposure could lead to sunspots or skin cancer. There are many options for a fun summer hat, from bucket hats to large brim hats. I got one this summer from T.J.Maxx with SPF protection. It is a classic large brim woven hat that will last me many seasons and fashion changes.
It is always a struggle for me to find a perfect hat because my head is smaller than average. The only hats that work are the ones with ties that allow me to reduce the circumference of a hat. These are hard to find or more precisely hard to find cheap. Often I end up buying an expensive option unless I get lucky at T.J.Maxx.
Fifth, accessories are essential. You do not have to spend lots of money on different options. No. Get classic pieces that are versatile and stylish. Simple lines, forms, colors, and shapes. There are hundreds of minimalistic brands that offer simple pieces. But do not think that simple is boring. No! Simple will elevate your look, giving it the needed final touch to complete your entire outfit.
Recently, I was introduced to Mejuri brand. The brand claims to sell its pieces at an actual cost. It’s gold and silver pieces are beautiful and affordable. I recently purchased two white gold rings ($69 each) and earrings ($135). Cannot wait to try them on!
Sixth, hands matter. We a meeting people almost every day, we shake hands, we point at things - our hands are our business cards. They make an instant impression, whether we like it or not. Dry hands with chipped nail polish, stain the first impression. So take care of your hands. Invest in hand lotion and apply it every night. If your nail polish is starting to chip and you have no time for a manicure, take off the polish altogether. If a few nails are broke, cut them all off. Do not ignore your hands, they are as important as your outfit.
The perfect lotion is still elusive to me. I have not been able to find one that I would want to buy again. I am always on a hunt for a great lotion. My latest discovery is Rodan + Fields Active Hydration lotion ($66). I cannot say, yet, that it is fantastic. My hands are definitely softer, not as dry, and do look better than before. But it has only been a few weeks; thus, my review is limited. It is a pricy lotion, but if you have a budget for it - give it a try.
Magic Dust Recap.
So next time you head out, think about these details:
Tuck: consider tucking in your top when it is in your best interest;
Belt: complete any look by adding an appropriate belt;
Handbag: invest in an excellent timeless bag;
Hat: consider a stylish summer hat as your style staple;
Accessory: minimalistic or bold, accessories will add character to the simplest outfit;
Hands: moisturize daily to keep your hands looking and feeling healthy.
I have shared with you the tips that I follow religiously. This might look like a long list but do not fear! Select a few that resonate the most with you and start from there. Then, once you get used to the initial set, add on more. You will notice an incredible change once you start using my “magic dust.”
And most importantly, be brave, be bold, be you.