When you’re putting an outfit together, all too often, the finishing touches are an afterthought. Shoes, jewelry, the bag you choose—all of your accessories combined are what make or break an outfit. And it’s never more true than why you’re trying to figure out how to dress up an outfit.
It’s said constantly—This look can be dressed up or down!—but what does that really mean? But think about it: at the end of the day, jeans and a T-shirt can end up looking a thousand different ways, all depending on what you style them with.
The secret to dressing up an outfit? It’s all about what you top off the bones of your outfit with, and we think we’ve cracked the code to mastering it. With these five hacks, you’ll never feel underdressed again.
1. Strategize your shoes
As predictable as it may be, there’s no easier way to change the feel of an outfit than with the shoes you choose. Just like a pair of sneakers can make a dress look more casual, a pair of heeled sandals or boots can dress a pair of denim up and completely change how formal it feels. Whether you’re a heel wearer or not, having a go-to dressed-up option in your closet is a necessity.
2. Add a blazer
Blazers have proven that they stand the test of time, and while we love styling ours with jeans and a tee for a casual look, their essence naturally brings an elevation to what they’re paired with. Keeping a basic option in your closet than can be worn over any outfit you put on is a surefire way to know that you have a way to dress you look up whenever you need to.
3. Carry a structured bag
A bag is often the very last thing you think about when you’re putting together an outfit, but when you’re aiming to dress a look up, it should be one of the first. Rather than a slouchy tote or crossbody, choose a bag option that’s structured (bonus points if it has a top handle) to upgrade your vibe.
4. Put your hair up
Rather than leaving your hair down and loose, choosing to put it up can instantly transform how formal you look. Be it a slicked-back, low bun, a looser updo with the help of a clip, or sleek ponytail, pulling your hair back is a fast-track to looking put-together. When you’re done, you can also work a hair accessory in as a finishing touch.
5. Incorporate classic jewelry
We’re all about a trendy necklace or pair of earrings, but nothing can top wearing classic jewelry for a dressed-up occasion. Be it subtle pearls, a plain gold chain, or classic hoops, this is an instance where less is more.