You know when you’re walking down the street (or in 2020, just scrolling through your Instagram feed) and stop in your tracks because you just saw someone who looks so indescribably chic? Everything they’re wearing somehow fits together perfectly, and fits them like a glove too.
If you aren’t normally a person who follows trends super closely (or even if you are), nailing a look like that seems easier said than done, but that’s completely untrue. Looking like you know about fashion doesn’t need to come with studying pictures from runways or buying a new wardrobe every season—it just requires a few pieces that make you look like you’re in the know.
No matter who you are or what items you already have in your closet, these 10 pieces will help you fake it ’til you make it. Don’t be shocked when people assume you’re a trend-obsessed style guru—your source will be our little secret.
1. Bike shorts
Ah, the quintessential cool-girl uniform of the past two years is a predictable but necessary addition to this list. I resisted them as much as Lindsay Lohan resisted getting out of bed in Freaky Friday, but the persistence of them pulled me out with all the force of the mighty Jamie Lee Curtis. Once you give them a chance, you’ll get why they’re the it-piece of the year, and although it pains me to admit it: they make any outfit look pretty damn good.
2. A shoulder bag
The crossbody bags of seasons past are practical, but the ’90s shoulder bags that we had as kids are the new it-accessory. They’re perhaps the easiest way to upgrade a look to appear trendier with minimal effort.
3. An oversized blazer
If the word “oversized” intimidates you, remember this: oversized clothes shouldn’t be pieces you bought two sizes too big, they should be items that are meant to have an oversized fit. Then, you can avoid looking like you’re drowning in something that’s unflattering and instead can look like you’ve mastered street style.
An oversized blazer can truly do it all—in a boxier, oversized fit, they can be worn a lot more than just to the office. You can wear them draped over your shoulders with shorts in the summer or to top off jeans and a white tee in the fall—there’s no situation they don’t thrive in.
4. Non-skinny jeans
Skinny jeans have always had their time and place, but in 2020, they should be the last jeans you reach for. ’90s-esque straight-leg versions have been taking over for a few years, but if you want to really be on-trend for 2020, opt for a straight-leg pair that’s long, rather than cropped.
5. An asymmetrical tank
There’s nothing more convenient to add to your wardrobe than a subtle twist on a basic. Swap out your go-to tank for a one-shoulder option that’s sure to be your new favorite top.
6. Long denim shorts
When the word “bermudas” started being thrown around in trend articles, it was nothing short of terrifying. But this year’s denim shorts are—in my humble opinion—actually more flattering than the butt-cheek baring ones we’re used to. In a looser, longer fit, they’re nothing short of effortless. If you don’t want to opt for something too long, get a pair that hits mid-thigh instead.
7. Cat-eye sunglasses
Cat-eye sunglasses are a miracle in that they hold the power to immediately transform your look. Throw a pair on and you immediately look fierce and chic and stylish. Keeping a pair in your arsenal is key if you’re looking to fake knowing what you’re doing.
8. Statement sandals
The amazing part of having a pair of statement shoes? You literally only need one. By opting for an of-the-moment color or block heel or strap, you can throw them on with whatever basics you’re wearing to immediately upgrade what you’re wearing.
9. A bright lipstick
Nothing screams confidence more than a bright, out-of-the-box lipstick. Put your go-to nude on the backburner and try out a hue that will make a statement—no matter what you’re wearing.
10. Statement (faux) leather
Colored leather made its mark in 2020 by way of the Spring 2020 runway shows, and basically came with no rules. In both dreamy pastels and bright jewel tones incorporated into any piece you can dream of, it’s a sure-fire way to look like you know what you’re doing. If you don’t feel a bright color is for you, you can opt for leather in a piece you wouldn’t expect instead, like shorts, a blazer, or a bomber jacket.