How to Dress up an Outfit With Barely Any Effort

it’s all about the accessories

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Source: Laura Jade Stone

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.

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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

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A post shared by Dolce Vita Shoes (@dolcevita)

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. 

Steve Madden

Honey Slide Sandal

3 colors available
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Jeffrey Campbell

Fluxx Sandal

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Chinese Laundry

Block Heel Sandal

10+ colors available
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Steve Madden

Slide Sandal

2 colors available
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ASOS

Cross Strapped Sandal

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Dolce Vita

Paily Slide Sandal

10+ colors available
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Top Shop

North Sandal

2 colors available
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Jeffrey Campbell

Caviar Platform Slide Sandal

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2. Add a blazer

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A post shared by Laura Jade Stone (@laurajadestone)

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.

OpenEdit

Pinstripe Blazer

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Openedit Plus

Pinstripe Blazer

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Madewell

Plaid Dorset Blazer

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Abercrombie & Fitch

Plaid Cropped Blazer

2 colors available
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ELOQUII

Long Tailored Blazer

2 colors available
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ASOS

Longline Blazer

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3. Carry a structured bag

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A post shared by M E N Z A | BLOGGER (@menzabolamba)

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.

MANGO

Buckled Flap Bag

3 colors available
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MANGO

Croc Mini Bag

2 colors available
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MANGO

Oval Split Leather Crossbody

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ZARA

Mini City Shoulder Bag

2 colors available
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ZARA

Crossbody Square Bag

2 colors available
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ZARA

Mini City Bag

4 colors available
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Number One Nano Bag

Polène

10 colors available
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Madelina Bag

Sancia

2 colors available
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4. Put your hair up

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A post shared by KRISTIN ESS INC (@kristin_ess)

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.

ZARA

Jeweled Hair Clips

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Kristen Ess

Celestial Bobby Pins

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H&M

Metal Hair Claw

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Madewell

Puffed Barrette

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TASHA

Crystal Jaw Clip

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Madewell

Chunky Circle Hair Clip

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TASHA

Pearl and Crystal Barrettes

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TASHA

2-Pack Pearl Jaw Clips

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5. Incorporate classic jewelry

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A post shared by Mejuri (@mejuri)

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.

Nordstrom

Hoop Earrings

2 colors available
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Madewell

Edged Chain Bracelet

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Mejuri

Diamond Necklace

2 colors available
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Mejuri

Essential Pearl Necklace

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Monica Vinder

Chain Link Bracelet

3 colors available
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Mejuri

Thumbtack Studs

2 colors available
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Gorjana

Marin Necklace

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Gorjana

Classic Diamond Studs

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Ways to Make Your Style Look More Effortless
don’t overthink it
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