It can happen to anyone – you stand in front of the mirror and realize that your style no longer reflects who you are and where you want to go. You want to look more polished and professional but have no idea where to start.
We interviewed fashion designer and stylist Merit Lookene from women’s dress shirt brand Ella Hopfeldt for some tips on how to polish up one’s style without having to break the bank or spending tons of time.
1. Shop Online
Shopping online has many advantages when it comes to upgrading your style. Most importantly, it enables you to get premium quality pieces for a much lower cost than what you’d pay at a physical retail store.
True, you cannot touch or try on clothes before buying but is that really a problem? You can get a pretty good idea of the fabric by reading the product description and figuring out the right size is no rocket science either.
“In my experience people end up with ordering the wrong sizes because they either think that they know their size and don’t check the size charts or they don’t trust the numbers,” Merit comments. “Nevertheless, the slight inconvenience of returning and exchanging an item is a small price to pay for the larger choice, better price / quality ratio and the overall comfort that shopping online has to offer.”
2. Forget About Your Size
You might think you know your size, but the problem is that there is no standard sizing in fashion and your size is very likely to vary by brand, style, and fit.
“When shopping online, it is best to forget about what you think your size is and rely solely on your actual measurements,” advises Merit. “There is nothing embarrassing about ordering a size 16 even if most of your clothes are size 12. The numbers don’t matter as long as the measurements are correct.”
The fit of a clothing item matters more than its sizing. While it is possible to size down in looser styles it may be necessary to size up in fitted items. At the end of the day the only thing you should care about is the way a piece looks on you and how comfortable you feel wearing it.
If you have any doubts about what size to get, don’t hesitate to ask the customer support to help you. The support team usually knows the products they are selling better than anybody else and can be trusted to help you make the best choice.
3. Give New Brands A Chance
Upgrading your style may prove difficult if you are attached to certain brands. Granted, it is convenient to buy clothes from the places you are used to shop at but there is no reason to confine yourself to what you have grown used to.
“Keep an open mind and give yourself more variety and quality by searching out and buying from new brands,” says Merit. “You may be in for some positive surprises as smaller brands often offer unique products that are perfect for specific needs.”
Additionally, smaller brands are likely to go above and beyond to offer you the very best customer service experience and they tend to have a much smaller carbon footprint than the big companies.
4. Focus on Fit
When you want to polish up your style and look flawless, fit is the most important aspect to focus on. Superior quality, style, brand name, and the cost of an item do not mean anything if the garment doesn’t fit properly.
“The way your clothes fit is paramount to the image you present. If your aim is to look sharp, polished, and confident, your number one priority is to make sure that everything you wear fits flawlessly,” advises Merit.
Alison Hoenes, a freelance patternmaker gives the best definition for good fit in her article “What Makes Clothing a “Good Fit”: “a good fit means that the shape and proportions of the garment match those of the body wearing it. If there is a bunch of excess fabric, drag lines, or wrinkles in places that should be smooth, then it is not a good fit.”
But there is more to good fit than creating a visually pleasing look. Perfect fit is also about feeling comfortable. When you can put an item on, feel awesome and can almost forget about what you are wearing, you have most probably nailed the fit.
5. Discover the Power of the White Shirt
The white shirt is a timeless classic that can enhance any style and be incorporated into a variety of outfits. It is one of the wardrobe chameleons that helps you get the most out of the clothes you already have in your wardrobe.
“The key to looking polished and chic is having versatile pieces that enable you to create fresh looks over and over again,” says Merit. “The classic white shirt is definitely one of such pieces.”
6. Build Your Wardrobe Gradually
Polishing up your style will cost money, especially if you decide to go for quality pieces (as you should). Which is why it is best to avoid doing a complete overhaul of your wardrobe and instead to buy all the necessary items gradually.
“Don’t underestimate the impact that incorporating even just one quality item can have on your overall look,” advocates Merit the idea of upgrading the wardrobe gradually. “Be it a new suit, a new blazer, or a new dress shirt – if you have chosen well and found a quality piece that looks flattering, it will take your entire outfit to a whole new level.”