We can’t all be celebrity stylists or fashion bloggers or struggling styling students with a whole secret folder of secret styling hacks – it’s just a fact of life.
Another fact of life is that we all despise our own wardrobes on a deep, deep level and occasionally have to take drastic action via an online shopping binge (or by becoming creative almost immediately). Here are six tips that will help you do that second one.
Flash your wrists
It kinda sounds like a 2 Chainz song, but the first styling hack I live my life by is Flash Your Wrists.
It’s pretty simple why: your wrists are the smallest and slimmest part of your body, so when you scrunch or roll your sleeves up, leaving your wrists bare, you’ll instantly look more petite and your jacket or shirt will fit perfectly (or at least look like it does). I double dare you to try it in front of a mirror.
This also works if you have to buy the next size up in a jacket or shirt because you don’t have the self-discipline to accept they don’t have your size and therefore you can’t buy it.
So scrunch 'em, roll 'em, cuff 'em, or don’t bother leaving the house.
Taper your jeans
It sounds like a really uncool version of Flash Your Wrists, but although it doesn’t necessarily have the same catchy ring to it, I promise it’s just as good.
This one is for all the girls out there who think they can’t pull off a boyfriend jean (me). You try on pair after pair, but something just doesn’t look right. They’re just too baggy and relaxed for you.
Here’s where the trick comes in: while you’re wearing the jeans, rather than rolling the hem up horizontally, fold the hem vertically (or lengthways) just once, to make them tighter around the ankle. While holding the fold in place, roll them up a couple of times horizontally. Voilà! You now have tapered boyfriend jeans that are nice n’ skinny around the ankle.
Knot your shirt
Everyone has at least one (hundred) button-up shirts in their wardrobe and if you don’t, then you’re either a very disciplined psycho person who cleans their wardrobe regularly, or you’re a liar.
Button-up shirts are a wardrobe MVP. They’re versatile, work-approps and cover your chest so you can bronze your face a couple of shades darker. But at times, you gotta admit, they’re a bit of a wet blanket. They’re just so… nice.
Instead, give your shirt some much-needed *pizzazz*. Firstly, do up every button except the last two or three, then use this fabric to tie a knot right there at the bottom of the shirt.
Bonus tip: This magic trick also works with T-shirts and looks fashion week-y when worn with midi skirts.
Layer your bottoms
This is one of those trends you only ever see via your Instagram feed. A fashion blogger is mid-walk on their way to a very important event, in an outfit that both confuses and arouses you. Like, how did they put this together? Where does it start and where does it end?
The thing is, if you actually look really closely at the photo, they’re almost always just wearing a skirt over their pants.
To replicate this, simply take one pair of slim cigarette pants and put a knee- or midi-length skirt or dress straight over the top like a f*cking crazy person. If you’re determined to be even more different, try a long sheer dress with a leather mini skirt over the top.
Play with textures
Even though we all know everyone spends way too much time getting ready, we like to pretend we’re all totally ‘lax and didn’t try too hard. The secret ingredient to those killer, effortless outfits is a little thing called ‘contrast’. Think about it: why does all-black-errthang look so good? It’s because we’re contrasting textures – knits, leathers, lace, sheers – in the same shade.
Next time you’re wearing a basic bitch knit, pair it with leather pants. Next time you’re wearing a suede jacket, contrast it with a lace skirt. You’ll look like you rolled out of bed and threw something on, except all the clothes on your floor are stylish as hell.
Add a novelty
It’s that old saying: arm yourself with a collection of statement accessories and you’ll never have a bad outfit in your life… or something like that.
A pair of pink oversized sunnies, a set of sequin sneakers or a bag in the shape of a doughnut will always lift your game, or at the very least, divert all attention away from your boring-ass outfit.
Illustration by Twylamae.