Flipping through the pages of Harper’s BAZAAR or perusing Bazaar.com, you might think the editors assume you can spend $1,000 a month on shoes and buy a new coat every season, but the reality is, we don’t. We edit a magazine and a website to inspire your personal style—and what’s more personal than making the most of what you’ve got? Here, we’ve gathered some tried-and-true tips to making your clothes look luxe, even when they aren’t. Some might seem obvious (but require going the extra mile), while others are a testament to us being privy to the best-dressed women on a daily basis. It’s not rocket science, but it certainly commands your attention.
1.Get it tailored.
Taking the extra two days from purchase to have your neighborhood tailor nip and tuck your latest great find, versus ripping the tags off and wearing right away, will elevate the final product way beyond its original price tag.
2. Make sure everything is freshly pressed.
This seems like something your mother would say and we all know time in the morning is precious. Taking the extra five minutes to steam or press your look will add instant polish to even your most worn-in wardrobe MVPs.
3. Add gold accessories.
There is just something about structural, gilded extras—whether a bag or jewelry or both—that make you look like you stepped out of the pages of a magazine.
4. Dress in tonal colors like all white or all black.
Not only is it incredibly elongating, but a monochrome outfit always looks intentional and put together. (Tip: Just make sure your whites are bright and your blacks match.)
5. Add a belt and tuck in for polish.
Insouciance is something we’re always pursuing in the style department, but in the case of looking like you know what you’re doing, tuck in any shirttails or a baggy sweater hem and cinch your waist with a chic belt for maximum impact.
6. Keep handbags shiny and clean.
(Charles & Keith)
Use windex on patent leather, unscented body lotion on all other leather, re-stuff easily malleable shapes when storing and always, always pack your purses in dust bags when traveling.
7. Beauty matters. Polished hair and makeup elevate any look.
Sleek blowout, red lip, flawless skin—these are the ultimate finishing touches.
8. Layer—a great jacket is your best friend.
A tailored jacket (see #1) is an editor’s secret weapon. It elevates denim, polishes flow-y dresses, looks chic thrown over the shoulders and takes slim pants to the board room.
9. Dress up your denim.
We absolutely love jeans at BAZAAR. Just make sure you always add heels and keep the silhouettes and washes classic.
10. Buy timeless outerwear.
Forgo the trends each season and focus on purchasing coats that are forever: classic camel, navy pea, black moto, belted trench, raw denim—everytime you reach for a topper you won’t regret it.
11. Match your shoes and your bag.
When in doubt, keeping your accessories in the same color palette will ensure your look comes off as intentional, not haphazard.
12. Avoid prints—except leopard.
Prints are the easiest way to make an outfit tired. What you love one season will make you dated the next. Stick to solids—with a healthy dose of spots here and there.