How to make an outfit look better

Can you believe that #everydaystyle is more than six months old?

I can’t.

What started as a reader request to see more of what I wore every day – not just for special occasions or for blog posts – evolved into a personal challenge for me.

I might blog and advise people about fashion and even have a book coming out where I help you – Unlock Your Style (shameless plug … you’ve been warned, there will be lots of them!) – but I have wardrobe crises and fall into ruts just like the next woman.

What has saved me from falling into those ruts over the past six months has been YOU. You’ve made me accountable. Just the knowledge that I’m going to be photographing and uploading what I’m wearing each day has made me really think about what it is I’m going to wear.

I’m all good when it comes to dressing for certain events and occasions but the everyday stuff? That’s where I can easily fall into a rut.

The main reason for this is that I work from home. By myself.

At this time of year I could easily and happily stay in my pyjamas, disguised as loungewear. Ugg boots on, no makeup, no accessories, hair pulled back and not attended to.

And that would be ok if I felt ok doing it.

The first couple of days are usually fun but then I find that my mood starts to drop in line with the amount of effort I haven’t taken in prioritising myself.

When I do prioritise myself – getting to yoga, going for walks, eating well, drinking less AND making and effort with how I present myself to the world – I feel good.

That feeling of good might not take away a crappy day or a help you forget a nasty comment but it sure does help.

Sarah from Creating Contentment this week echoed these thoughts and how it applies to her life. Some time ago, Anna from Colour Me Anna talked about why she joins in #everydaystyle too.

Perhaps you haven’t joined in by posting photos but have been inspired by those who do?

Inspired to think and plan about what you wear for the every day? Not just for special occasions?

If that’s the case and you’re still looking for tips on how to make an outfit look better. I’ll give you the hottest tip around:

It’s all in the detail.

My outfit below is a basic long-sleeve tee and jeans outfit for a casual school holiday day that started off very cold. It’s the line and texture of the cardi-coat, the colour of the tee brought in with the scarf and the knee-high boot that makes that basic outfit better.

When you break it down like this – and do do this with outfits you see others wearing in the #everydaystyle feed – it’s easy to crack the code that will have you more confidently adding details to your everyday outfits.

Harlow Australia cardi-coat | Metalicus top | Blue Illusion jeans | Zoe Kratzmann boots | Mimco scarf | Uberkate necklace

Harlow Australia cardi-coat* | Metalicus top | Blue Illusion jeans | Zoe Kratzmann boots | Mimco scarf | Uberkate necklace

How to make an outfit better

1. Have your outfit building blocks in place. The base part of your outfit needs to work for you – flatter in the right places; disguise others. This is where your confidence starts. Get this right and the rest will fall into place.

2. What you add next can make your outfit. Don’t be scared of this step. Embrace the challenge. Have a selection of jackets, scarves, necklaces, earrings, brooches, shoes, boots at hand. Coordinate the night before and you won’t be scrambling around in the morning rush.

3. Stand in front of a mirror and forget that it’s you you’re looking at. Imagine you’re dressing someone else as you add and subtract possible details from your outfit.

4. Forget the rules and play. Some base outfits might need little more than a hot pair of shoes and a delicate necklace. Others might benefit from a colourful coat, a textured scarf and a hat. Don’t be limited by so-called rules. Go on how you feel when you add details to your outfit.

5. Coco Chanel was right. Sort of. She said: “Once you’ve dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” I think sometimes, yes, this applies. Sometimes not. Sometimes over-accessorising really does work; other times I feel like a Christmas tree and un-adorn quick smart. I prefer to switch the idea on its head. Don’t leave the house without adding at least one thing, one accessory, to your outfit. If all you do is add one thing it will add interest and you will have made your outfit look a whole lot better.

Your #everydaystyle working the details

Take a look at this small selection from the Real Women of Everyday Style. They know how to work an outfit detail or two or three or more.

Study them closely, take on board the tips they give by example. A colourful hat, a statement necklace, fur, animal print, sunglasses, statement shoes, scarves … they’re all showing how to make an outfit look better.

how to make an outfit look better | real-women style inspiration #everydaystyle

Left column (from top): @redcliffestyle | @myencorestore_designer_recycle

Middle column: @katy_potaty | @sisterinstyle | @stuffmumslike

Right column: @_archie_lane | @clairechadwick

Shop the look

I’ve started with a base outfit of jeans and tee and then added in the details. They all work together but equally you could just choose to add one or two of the included details below.

The important thing is to play. And always add one thing to that basic outfit.

How to make an outfit look better

1. Bonds tee $19.95 | 2. A little Bird Told Me jacket $49.95 | 3. Cooper St faux fur vest $119.95 | 4. Samantha Wills ring $79 | 5. Target bag $25 | 6. Mix Apparel jeans $25 | 7. Maria Rossi boots $187.47 on sale at Styletread

How do you bring detail into your outfits?

Join in

Want to join in? Simply upload a photo of yourself showing your everyday style to Instagram or Facebook, use the #everydaystyle and tag @stylingyou so I can find you. Don’t feel you have to post every day. Post when you can. For consideration in my outfit of the week round up, I look first for clear, in-focus photos without text or borders on them. These work in best with the montage layout.

More inspiration

Check out Wardrobe Wednesday with Kim-Marie on Kimba Likes. Over 30? Rach from Redcliffe Style links up with other style bloggers each Thursday for 30+ Style.

* This garment was sent to me for editorial consideration

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  • http://www.sugercoatit.com/ Melissa Walker Horn

    Great advice, considering different ways to style your basics makes for a wardrobe that goes a really long way!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      It sure does … you’re a champion of this!

  • Caitlin @ Chasing Cait

    LOVE IT! The whole blog echoes how I feel! SO easy to just get up and walk into the home office in my uggs and jammies, but you’re so right, it does start to affect your mood!
    I love playing along with Everyday Style and I’m always encouraging my personal styling clients to play along too! xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I love seeing your style Caitlin – brightens up my feed it does!

  • StyleOnV

    Love this post Nikki and those super stylish ladies. V x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      And you’re a super stylish lady too V x

  • Fiona

    Thanks so much for the tips Nikki. I’m relatively new to Styling You but love reading the posts everyday and drawing inspiration. I’m currently on mat leave with number 2, so having a shower is an accomplishment! I’m in a cold house and find I opt for jeans and a hoodie (accented with a hot water bottle!). I’d love to get out of the hoodie rut – any tips (cost and practicality are major considerations). I love that you comment on everyone’s posts as well – no wonder you’ve built such a successful site :) Also love the Nina Proudman posts – I bought the noosa Amsterdam bag the other day (belated 40th birthday gift after a long search). Thank you for the great tips and inspiration :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Hi Fiona – great 40th present you chose there! Will have forever. In lieu of hoodie, I’d opt for a knit or cardi and scarf. You should be able to get some great specials at the moment and even if you just buy two for this season that will get you started on a different wardrobe idea.

  • The Plumbette

    My accessories pull my outfits together. I can’t believe #everydaystyle is 6 months old. It feels like it’s been around forever – but in a good way. :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Yes, I know what you mean Bec! It’s in my book so better keep it going!!

  • Claire Chadwick

    Thanks for including me in today’s photo collection Nikki. An honour!
    And I can totally relate to falling into an everyday wear rut – I think we all can. And that is why your #everydaystyle movement is so inspirational and fun! Have a great weekend, Claire x

    http://www.mumscloset.com.au/

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Hope your weekend has been great Claire!

  • http://www.alittlepartoftheworld.com Jess @ alittlepartoftheworld

    I am new to everyday style and I’m loving it. I completely agree it makes you put more effort into your daily outfit. Thanks for all the tips and inspo.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks for joining in Jess!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks for joining in Jess!

  • http://www.creatingcontentment.com/ Sarah @CreatingContentment

    This is such brilliant advice Nikki! Really helpful for me right now. I love adding accessories to my outfits, they really do lift the jeans and tee look. Plus accessories are much cheaper for me to buy lots of in new fashion trends and colours. Thank you so much for linking this post back to me. It is very generous and I really appreciate it. I especially love the idea of adding one thing, rather than taking it off. I think a lot of women get stuck in just getting dressed, that we forget to dress it up. xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      We do forget to dress it up and it’s so easy to let it slip. Accessories really are key. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in your post. x

  • Kelly

    There are some seriously stylish people sharing their every day style! I love checking out what everyone is wearing and trying to get some inspiration for my own outfits. Thanks for facilitating it Nikki! Enjoy your son’s birthday today and your weekend.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      So much inspiration Kelly! And yes we are enjoying the day!

  • Mish Young

    All the ladies in your montage look amazing! I am definitely going to try the multi-photo pic like @sisterinstyle next week. Lurve the Mimco Scarf :)

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I will look out for it Mish!

  • Petra

    Love all the photos above! My little family have just moved to Melbourne to live (leaving the GC behind), so I’m enjoying wearing “winter” clothes again and dressing up. Love your outfit today Nikki!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh you will be embracing winter style – that’s for sure Petra!

  • Teena Davidson

    I do agree with alot of your other readers, Great post Nikki! I love these colours and in fact everything about your example outfit works for you.. the print seems also to really suit your personality. And the boots do really sharpen the look here. I think it’s great you include other bloggers to give them the opportunity to get their work and ideas out there! . . × Just gorgeous!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I love the blogging community Teena and it is better when we all share and support each other – we all have so much to offer and in this case our styles are different and people may connect more with another blogger’s style and be inspired by that!

  • Kalyani

    This is such a great post Nikki! I have been a fan of your everyday style series and your creativity and commitment amazes me more each day! I have also been introduced to other great bloggers and everyday style inspiration! Thanks and keep inspiring!!
    xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks so much – it’s been a challenge for me but a good one to practise what I preach!

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks so much – it’s been a challenge for me but a good one to practise what I preach!

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    Great advice Nikki I love all these everyday style outfits and I do love a scarf or 10 ,these mornings I have been living in my poncho and wraps as it has been minus 3 degrees or more,I also have been wearing all my boots!Have a lovely weekend Nikki Xx

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Love a poncho or wrap Lisa. And thinking of you again today x

  • merliyn

    morning nikki, raining here … obsessing over weather lately!
    ok … at home if I’m doing my artwork I’m a messy worker so I’m paint splattered from head to toe at times but that is my happy place because I’m being creative expressing myself! … I love my individuality in my space so when it’s cold I tweak it up with a turban add an animal scarf, belly dancing earrings and lippy! sometimes mr m and I just look at each other and laugh! … I tell him I’m styled up today! … I play dress ups at home … lol m:)X

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I would love to see a photo of that one day Merilyn!

      • merliyn

        you may
        one day … m;0x

  • Kara Handley

    Love the post so much Nikki that I have printed it and put on my noticeboard for future reference.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Oh wow Kara – thanks!

  • chrisatpb

    Great advice Nikki. Love Friday’s outfit posts. 12 months ago I started to take more care of what I wore for a day at home. No reason I can’t wear something stylish with makeup and accessories just for being at home! Also find using a different mirror to the one you use all the time at home somehow helps get a more objective look at your outfit. Does anyone else find that? Catch a glimpse in a shop window or mirror and it seems like you see yourself with fresh eyes.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Using a different mirror and the photos work for me for a different perspective. I’m glad that you’ve made it a personal challenge!

  • HootinTootin

    Great post Nikki!
    Even though I don’t post photos I also have been doing the every day challenge for the past 6 months. I’ve always looked professional for work but with taking that extra bit of thought I now look both stylish and professional.
    I am in the Coco Chanel camp (which is why I prefer ‘pared back’ Nina) but because my natural style is bare I’ve had to learn to add something extra.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I love this – that you’ve really made it a personal challenge. Coco did always add a few somethings so it is good to play with that.

  • http://soniastyling.com/ Sonia from Sonia Styling

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Nikki! Once you have a wardrobe full of great basics (and keep adding them – don’t stop!) have fun with jackets, hats, shoes and accessories. Fashion isn’t meant to be rocket surgery. Love this week’s roundup (again!) – thanks for the inspo, ladies. x

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      Don’t stop adding – yes to that. I love that you have some signature add-ons that we just love and they work for you!

  • http://www.thatsummerfeeling.com Michelle

    I’ve only joined in twice with a photo but every day before I leave home. I stand in front of the mirror ( in my Nikki pose) and think. How would this look as an #everyday style post. In doing that, I’ve really gotten more of an instinct for what works and what doesn’t.

    • http://www.stylingyou.com.au/ Nikki | Styling You

      I think that’s a good practice to have Michelle. I also find that even having the outfits photographed gives me a good perspective on whether it’s working for me. Things I loved in the mirror have sometimes proven not to work for me as I thought the did.