Effortless style means keeping your style simple, but never boring. It means appearing as though you randomly threw a few things on, and it just happens to look put-together. It’s the illusion that you didn’t even try (when of course, you actually did). However, effortless style is not as…effortless…as the phrase would suggest. Here are some Do’s and Dont’s to dressing effortlessly.
DO: Wear quality, classic items
Not only is wearing good quality classics the key to looking put-together, but classic items also reflect someone who doesn’t read magazines (even though they do) or follow trends (even though they do), and has figured out their signature style – the defining feature of effortless style. Classics include your basic tee, button down shirts, and well fitting (not necessarily in-season) jeans. Also think cashmere jumpers in neutral colours, well made wool blazers and timeless ballet flats.
DON’T: Over style
What is ‘over styling’? It’s when you’ve thought too much about the outfit and ended up with something that looks way too contrived or elaborate – the opposite of effortless style. Matching your shoes to your bag, and to your phone cover, and to your hair clip; throwing on all your favourite pieces at once (less is more!); being too tidy, like doing up all your shirt buttons or rolling up your jeans too neatly. You always want to leave an element of being disheveled, of having thrown things together quickly: forget to wear jewellery at all; wear no more than one attention grabbing item; roll shirt sleeves up rather than button them neatly.
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DO: be practical
Effortless style means dressing for your lifestyle, and looking good while doing it – almost accidentally. Always consider the weather, conditions and activities so that you never turn up to a picnic on the lawn in stiletto heels, get caught in a chiffon dress on a rainy day, or be left with carrying your hat and sunglasses in your hands because the day is spent indoors. Effortless style is being more interested in being practical and comfortable, than taking out best dressed or showing off your new designer arm candy (or not, but you’d never show it!).
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DON’T: wear things that don’t fit right
I’ve mentioned keeping to classics and not over styling, but when you don’t have all the bells and whistles to hide behind, every ill-fitting shoulder, bulging fly and too-short sleeve will stick out like Zoolander on the Valentino runway (when you’re not intending to do a comedy skit). Your clothes should look as though they were made for you. The exception to this, however, is next.
DO: wear oversized (the right way)
‘Oversized’ is practically synonymous with ‘effortless’. It says that you’ve got enough self confidence to wear something for comfort, rather than (or in spite of) style; that you’ve stolen your boyfriend’s t-shirt, jeans and shoes for the day because you had nothing else to wear; or that you treasure your vintage designer finds so much that you’re willing to make it work by ruching the sleeves or cinching the waist with a belt. Wearing oversized the right way involves always being thoughtful about proportions and balance. This might mean wearing an oversized jumper with a pencil skirt, or a pair of baggy jeans with pointed heels.