We’ve all been guilty of not looking our best every time we walk out the door — life gets hectic! But the whole process of looking great shouldn’t be that complicated. I’m here with tips on how to get dressed easily and look effortlessly chic.

Let’s start with your closet. Looking effortlessly chic requires organization. Clear out the clutter and get rid of anything that’s permanently stained, torn or doesn’t fit any longer. Anything that’s out of style or doesn’t fit should be donated for someone else to enjoy.

Once the unused pieces are gone it’s time to edit out any items that aren’t attractive. Make it hard to put on an oversized, old shirt when going out by not having it hanging in your closet front and center. It’s just as easy to put on a pair of fabulous pants as it is to put on old sweatpants, so get rid of unfashionable, bad temptations!

Once your closet is down to stylish clothes you like to wear, analyze if they’re versatile. To look effortlessly chic requires crafty mixing and matching of your wardrobe items. Keep only the pieces that fit the bill.

Hopefully you now ended up with some open space in your closet! Be proud of your hard work and reward yourself with a little shopping. But before you go fill your closet up again, here’s some ideas to help you look effortlessly chic.

1. Embrace the classics

classics

Classics don’t have to be boring. Invest in timeless pieces like a good jacket, a pair of boots or some tailored blouses. Classics mix and match easily and can be dressed up or down.

2. Effortlessly Chic Women are Masters at Layering

layering---nordstrom

The next time you put pants and a shirt on, think about how you can layer the look. A good rule of thumb is to start with three layers: Your basic outfit + jewelry + a scarf, belt, statement shoe or handbag. As you get more confident, don’t stop at three layers. Add a cardigan, hat or belt (see also my article on how to wear a belt)– follow your inspiration.

3. Don’t Be “Match-y”

ann-taylor

Although a business suit is an essential wardrobe staple, mix it up sometimes. The same goes with jewelry or the old-fashioned rule of matching your handbag with your shoes. To look effortless means you didn’t overthink your outfit. Break sets up creatively. A great way to do this is by using the rule of three again: use three different colors or tones in your outfit and accessories.

4. Add a Little Casual to Your Look

banana-casual

Another way to make your look effortless is by not looking too stiff or contrived. Years ago, when I worked as a stylist on photo shoots, I would take the stiff, heavily starched clothing samples and wash them, giving them a very light steam instead of an iron. I liked showing things not too perfectly rolled up or tucked in. It made a big difference!

Have your dry cleaner lighten up on starch and skip the stiff pleats some like to add to trousers and blouses.

5. Choose to wear more natural fabrics that breathe and move

Not only do these look good, they also feel superb.

6. Go easy on hair styling and makeup

One of the best ways to soften your style and look effortlessly chic is through your beauty choices. If you’re wearing an updo, leave a few tendrils to hang. Or avoid too much hair product or makeup, especially during the day.

These items are on my effortlessly chic shopping list:

Have fun being effortlessly chic. No one needs to know it took some planning.

What are your favorite effortlessly chic looks?

cynthiabowman40+ Style contributor Cynthia Bowman is a former fashion stylist and current zen fashionista blogging about looking stylish while traveling with 2 kids, a dog and husband in tow. She currently lives in San Sebastian, Spain. She contributes articles on style and dressing to 40+Style.

 

 

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