Is it past time for you to switch up your look? Do you want to add a touch of class and sophistication to your regular outfits? Perhaps you’ve started a new work and require some new stylish business casual apparel, or perhaps you’ve relocated to a new place and require a change to reflect who you’ve become. Are you unsure how to make the transition and dress elegantly? I’ll show you how to style yourself in a more mature, fashionable, and classy way that you’ll be able to wear for years (or the rest of your life!).
Elegant design is ageless. You’ll be able to wear the blue shift dress and camel-colored shoes you buy now ten years from now. Investing in one good set of pearl stud earrings trumps purchasing ten pairs of trendy statement earrings that will be out of style a year later. You can wear your ensembles to work, Sunday brunch, a city shopping hanfu daopao excursion, or even throughout the world if you have a smart and classy style. You may even go boating while maintaining a refined appearance!
Putting together sophisticated clothes entails combining key aspects while also ensuring that your personal flair and confidence shine through. Let’s get started if you’re ready to try a new classy style and solve the topic of how to dress classy.
Define your personal style and be aware of it.
Each of us has a distinct personal style; all we have to do is recognize it, comprehend it, and then embody it. It reflects your interests, lifestyle, influences, and past, projecting your mood, personality, and you as a whole.
When you find your personal style, you know you look amazing and can leave the house with confidence. You can make your style look nice when the situation calls for it, whether you choose boho, street, high fashion, minimal, or classic.
Many ladies tell me that they don’t have a personal style or that they don’t know what it is. Whenever I hear something like this, I tell them to look in their closet. Here’s a short trick you may use right now if you’re attempting to figure out your particular style. Remove your favorite garments from your closet. Look for patterns in the clothes you wear on a regular basis and lay them out on your bed. Are the clothes mostly solids or patterns, bright or neutral colors, dresses or pants, flirtatious or conservative?
What category do you think your clothes belong in? Is your wardrobe becoming more free-spirited, even bohemian? Or is it made up of black, white, and navy solids with clean lines and great fits? It might then be minimalistic.
Classic and minimalist styles, on the other hand, are always tasteful. Classic and minimalist styles tend to favor neutral color palettes, forms, and textiles, making it easy to put together elegant ensembles. However, just because you favor bohemian or street style doesn’t mean you can’t dress elegantly.
The 7 Essentials of Elegant Style
#1 Dress in items made of classic fabrics.
What you should be looking to add to your core wardrobe is classic, timeless clothes made of fabrics that will last far into the following decade. Cotton, wool, linen, and silk are just a few examples. If properly cared for, these four fundamental fabrics will last a lifetime. Items composed of these textiles, when cleaned and pressed, tend to give off a refined vibe on their own.
These textiles come in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to expand your wardrobe. Denim is an example of a cotton fabric that may be worn in a variety of styles, including street, bohemian, and minimalist. Chino cotton is also great for pants, blazers, and even moto jackets (for the street style in you!). Then there’s cashmere, which is a sort of wool that feels wonderful against the skin and doesn’t pill over time. Cashmere sweaters, whether cardigans, V-necks, or crewneck pullovers, are ideal for wearing with denim jeans, tailored slacks, and skirts.
A word of advice when it comes to these fabrics: read the labels and take adequate care of them to ensure that they last. Although wrinkle-free cotton is becoming more widely accessible, most cotton clothing will still require ironing. (Classy attire isn’t wrinkly!) Wool, linen, and silk must frequently be hand-washed or dry-cleaned. If you make a mistake, you could have to give your 6-year-old niece the wool cardigan that was once a wardrobe staple but has now shrunk in half owing to your dryer.
#2 When in doubt, stick to solid neutrals.
Bold patterns and prints can undoubtedly work in a sophisticated and fine appearance, but if you’re just starting out on your classy style journal, you might not be comfortable with them. In this instance, neutrals are your best friend. Solids are easy to pair, easy to get in stores (and possibly in your closet), and assist to lengthen your wardrobe.
White/beige/cream, navy blue, black, and gray are common neutrals. Don’t assume you have to wear black from head to toe (or other neutral). Monochromatic (various hues or tints of the same color) allows you to alter a color while maintaining a polished appearance. Small touches, such as a narrow burgundy alligator belt, a paisley scarf, or a pair of scarlet heels, can change a solid into something eye-catching. Are you interested in learning more about monochrome dressing? Check out What Is Monochromatic and How to Wear a Monochromatic Outfit for more information.
#3 It’s All About the Fit
Clothing that is classy and sophisticated is usually tailored and form-fitting (not too tight, but you can show off your figure). Skirts and dresses should be cut to hit just above or below the knee. Straight, somewhat wide, faintly bootcut, or menswear-inspired trousers are classic, and should be 12 inches from the ground in the back. Wide-leg and slender pants in classic materials, as well as ankle pants (a la Audrey Hepburn! ), are also suitable. Blazers, blouses, and sweaters should all hug your waistline.
Don’t be afraid to take items to a local tailor or seamstress to get them changed to suit properly. Love that Nordstrom shift dress, however it’s a little bit big in the bust? That’ll set you back $15. Do you want to wear those gray wool slacks you have in your closet with flats or with classic 3-inch pumps? Another fix of $10-15. Remember that good quality clothing will last you for ten years or more, and modifications are a modest amount to pay. It’s a lot better than having to replace your cheap jeans every three years.
You don’t have to wear everything perfectly fitted and form-fitting. For a more laid-back vibe, mix in some unstructured items. Wear a flowy maxi skirt with a crisp white button-down shirt (roll up the sleeves for added panache!) or a blue-striped t-shirt with chinos and a denim jacket.
I chose solid neutrals and coupled a structured blazer with a flowy jumpsuit in this look as an example of how to dress a jumpsuit.
#4 Don’t overexpose your photos.
Classy dressing necessitates modesty: no midriff-baring tops, low décolletage, or mini skirts.
Collared, boatneck, crew neck, and V-neck are the most common necklines. You can also try square, cowl, and scoop necks for some variety. Asymmetrical, sweetheart, and halter necklines are also appropriate for more formal settings. In any case, keep your cleavage and belly button hidden. Armholes on blouses and dresses should also not expose your bra.
For everyday wear, hem length on skirts and dresses should be just above or below the knee, with slightly shorter and full-length appropriate for summer occasions or traditional formal attire, as previously said.
Here’s an example of a classy and professional attire I’d wear to a professional function or to the office. And this is an outfit I wore to a black-tie event that was incredibly nice and polished. Those two outfits demonstrate how to look trendy and sensual without revealing too much skin.
#5 Don’t Overdo it on the Accessory Front
When it comes to achieving a classy and elegant look, simple jewelry is the way to go. My suggestions are as follows:
- Earrings: pearl or diamond studs, little silver or gold hoops
- Tennis bracelet, watch, and silver or gold bangles (one heavy or several delicate) (gold or silver with metal or leather band).
- Long pendants, pearls, a diamond solitaire, and a cross make up the necklace.
It’s not required to wear a ring, but if you do, choose for something delicate or bold. Thin bands, diamonds, and ancestral rings are acceptable, and everyone should have at least one cocktail ring to wear to events or to dress up jeans. Only use your ring and/or middle fingers.
Scarf: Scarves can be used to add color and visual appeal to a classy ensemble. Cotton, silk, and wool are the greatest fabric choices, especially if the scarf is bright or has an attractive design. Choose a variety of colors and textures, such as light silk or cotton for spring and heavier wool for winter. Florals, paisleys, stripes, and solids are all wonderful choices. If you’re looking for more costume ideas, check out:
The Definitive Guide to How to Wear a Scarf and How to Tie a Scarf.
Also, don’t forget your footwear. Shoes are, indeed, an accessory! Solid neutral pumps, slingbacks, ballet flats, or boots in cream, navy, or black are your best bet. All of them go with a wide range of clothing, so you won’t have to spend a fortune on a shoe collection.
But don’t believe you can’t be bold with your shoe selections; every woman should own a pair of red shoes, and an animal pattern never hurts to make any ensemble pop. (Think khakis or denim with leopard print flats.)
#6 Make a Hairstyle
Let’s move on to your hair now that we’ve covered colors, fabrics, fit, and accessorizing. Because I want to cover all the bases, I can’t say this goes without saying. Make sure your hair is styled. If you’re looking for a way to seem sophisticated and put together a classy ensemble, make sure you spend some time arranging your hair.
If you’re short on time in the mornings or don’t enjoy styling your hair, go for a simple or quick-to-put-up haircut. A sleek bun or ponytail comes to mind when I think about attractive and trendy hairstyles. I have a lot of hair, and it’s rather long, so I know that if I want to wear it down, I’ll have to spend at least 30 minutes on it. When I don’t want to spend a lot of time on my hair, however, I go for a sleek low bun.
Find a hairstyle that is simple to style on a daily basis and that you enjoy!
#7 Makeup Has a Big Impact
You’ve reached the final step on how to dress elegantly! Thank you for making it this far. I saved this one for last since it’s the one that gives me the most difficulties. I don’t “do” my makeup very often, and this is something I’m constantly working on. Focus on these three things if you’re like me and don’t spend much time on your makeup. They’ll make a difference in your classy look.
If you only have 5 minutes, concentrate on your eyes, cheeks, and lips. Apply mascara to open up your eyes, blush to provide life and dimension to your face, and a bright lip to offer a splash of color. These three details are minor, yet they make a significant impact in the overall look of your elegant ensemble.
Dressing formally does not necessitate a large sum of money.
Contrary to popular assumption, elegant attire does not have to be expensive. Yes, a designer-label button-down shirt can cost $200, but for $68 at Banana Republic, the Gap, or Ann Taylor, you can have one of identical quality and appearance. Because traditional, well-made clothing lasts for years, if not decades, secondhand and thrift stores are typically ideal places to look for good deals.
Invest on high-quality, versatile basics that you can mix and match. Accessories, which are significantly less expensive than clothing, may help you switch up your style and get even more mileage out of your basics.
Look for basic shapes and timeless closet staples, like I indicated in my first tip about choosing classic textiles. Spending money on trendy items that you’ll only wear for a season is a waste of money.
Maintain a Lovely Mani
Your hands and the jewelry you put on them are an extension of your clothing and a reflection of your attention to detail, especially if you’re wearing a statement bracelet or ring that draws extra attention to those fingers.
Manicures, whether at home or in a salon, should be done on a regular basis. Maintain short to medium-length nails with a good round or oval shape, clear or nude lacquer, or a French manicure. Stiletto nails, bright or neon colors, as well as nail art and diamonds, should all be avoided.
A pedicure is required if wearing sandals or peep-toe shoes. Simple clear gloss or nude hues work best for me, although you can never go wrong with a classic red or pink.
Pay close attention to the small print.
The devil is in the details, as they say, and dressing elegantly is no exception. Keeping everything nice, clean, and basic is the key to dressing sophisticatedly. Make sure the clothes you’re wearing are flattering to you and that the colors and patterns are well-balanced.
All of the clothing should be wrinkle-free and color-coordinated. Look for holes, fraying hemlines, loose threads, missing buttons, and missing buttons. Stick to neutrals with a few splashes of color. Keep your jewelry modest and minimal, such as a set of earrings and a watch or earrings and a pendant necklace.
Your hair and makeup also contribute to your overall appearance. Again, everything is neat and tidy. Avoid metallic eyeshadows in bright colors, avoid overdoing the blush or bronzer, and opt for a neutral or pale lip.
Your Personal Style and How to Dress Classy
Dressing elegantly does not have to be difficult, but it will take time to integrate your particular style with the new sophisticated look. Don’t automatically dismiss what you already have in your closet. You might be able to combine products in ways you never imagined.
My personal style is more traditional and simple, but I do enjoy incorporating color whenever feasible. I’m wearing a stylish dress with a design that shouts personality, as you can see in this fashion post. The little splashes of color don’t overpower the dress or me, but rather enhance my appearance.
With a hem that ends just above the knees, a crew neckline, and a form-fitting but not tight fit, this dress has everything I described above. It’s got that classic shape, but it’s got a little attitude to it.
I accessorized with a red handbag, a colorful metallic pump, and simple jewelry: sunglasses, earrings, and a tiny watch. This attire is simple, elegant, and classy, and it perfectly represents my particular style.
So go through your closet once more. Maybe you can cuff jeans that are too long for your ballet flats or let the hem down on your favorite skirt. Also, how about that floral silk blouse? It’ll look great with a neutral skirt and the same-colored pumps. To be stylish and chic, you don’t have to fully abandon your personal style, but you will need to put in some effort and make certain changes.