Over the past 3 years since founding THD, I feel like I’ve accumulated a wealth of styling knowledge, tricks and tips — things that you never think might come in handy, until one day they do.
These are the little things you might not notice upon first glance, but make all of the difference when it comes to getting dressed, or in my case, dressing others. These are the easy fashion styling tips that can elevate a boring outfit you’ve worn a dozen times to make it feel fresh and on-trend. These are the skills that can make your morning routine just slightly less frustrating and time consuming. These are the ideas that you wish you had years ago… at least, I do.
1. The Shirt Tuck (Untuck)
I’m sure you’ve seen multiple variations of a woman’s shirt tuck and might be confused as to which one is “correct.” Well, there is no true, right or wrong answer, but there are a few distinct variations I want to fill you in on:
• The half tuck — Sometimes called the ‘frat boy tuck,’ this is the tuck you want for looser shirts, sweatshirts and sweaters. You pull up your pants/skirt/etc. and simply use your hand to tuck the front half of the top into your pants. Why are we doing this? Well, with anything not completely fitted to your body, it’s important to create a visual silhouette and define your shape. The front tuck allows people to see your waistline, which is generally the thinnest part of a woman’s body.
• The editor tuck — This is the tuck that was specifically invented for more traditional button down blouses. In this case, you take the half of the shirt under the button panel and tuck it in, leaving the other side of the shirt exposed over the pants.
Don’t ask questions… know that it just works.
• The full tuck — If you have a pair of higher waisted trousers, jeans, or even a skirt the full tuck is especially important. Again, it allows you to create a defined waistline and trim silhouette. I like to full-tuck any blouses, tees, tops and even sweaters into higher waisted bottoms — it’s especially important for ladies with ‘boyish’ figures than need that extra bit of waist definition.
2. The Easy Hem
As a taller, 5’9″ lady, hemming is rarely an issue for me, but I do know that many of you are stuck hemming each new item that comes into your closet. One trick I’ve picked up is an easy hemming solution that while not permanent might get you some wear out of a pair of pants or jeans before you take them to the tailor.
Grab 1-2 inches of fabric from the bottom of your pants/jeans above the hemline and tuck underneath itself. Pull down on the resulting hem to straighten the fabric and smooth out any creases or bunching. If you have double sided tape, now it’s time to put it into action — apply a piece of tape to the fabric that you just folded under and press to ensure it’s adhered to the inside of the pant leg.
Basically fashion’s version of neurosurgery, I know.
3. The Jacket Cape
As the weather slowly heats up heading into spring (Punxatawney Phil told us so!), we inevitably start to shed some layers to welcome the warm weather. Aside from extremely pale haven’t-seen-the-sun-in-months skin, you might be left with outfits that just don’t quite do it. Let’s face it, they look kind of boring.
A simple trick to spice up a bland outfit is with a ‘third piece’ — I’m not going to go into the details, but you can read all about it HERE! Chic little jackets and blazers make ideal ‘third piece’ material, but to keep from adding additional bulk and warmth try draping the jacket/blazer across your shoulders instead. It’s sort of old fashioned, yet totally modern. Best of all, you won’t die of heat stroke.
4. The Sleeve Roll
I’d like to thank Jenna Lyons of J.CREW for this one… At some point we’ve all rolled a few sleeves up, but have they stayed up?! That’s the true test! If you’re looking for a sleeve roll that will last throughout the day (and beyond) and add a little umph to a conservative look try this technique instead:
Take your sleeve and fold it up in half to your upper arm (about 2/3 up). Then take the remaining sleeve length and fold it up again up to the exposed cuff.
There you go. Done and done.
5. The Jacket Scrunch
I tried this styling tip out myself last weekend! I’ve always admired how fashion editorials can give a casual spin to a very formal blazer/blouse combo. I realized that getting that “I’m going out for a cocktail” vs. “I’m going to work in my cubicle” look is as easy as a few strategically placed rubber bands.
Take your jacket and place a comfortably fitting rubber band slightly above your elbow. Now, pull up on the fabric above that rubber band and scrunch up the sleeve of the jacket to a length that you like. Position the new fabric folds to cover the rubber band evidence and off you go!
Do you have any simple styling tips YOU use to amp up your looks?
(header image via)