Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Look Effortlessly Chic

jess burke well layered personal wardrobe stylist minneapolis easy ways to look effortlessly chic.png

You see a woman walking down a busy city street.  She has an air about her, a pep in her step.  Her outfit is impeccable, yet, not overdone.  Your eyes are drawn to her.  She’s rocking an ear-to-ear smile and she really looks like she has it all together.  She’s effortlessly chic.

Here’s a little secret:  You can totally be this woman today and everyday!

Here’s another even bigger secret: All of the pieces in this chic look that I am going to highlight here cost less than $350.  Oh, and did I mention there are names like Kate Spade and Dolce and Gabbana in the mix?

This classically-chic outfit is made up of items I have accumulated over the years, some new, some consigned (and one special one that was made especially for me).

So, it’s probably sounding like all of this isn’t all that easy as promised by the title of this article, right? 

I’ll be honest with you, it takes WAY more time to hunt for and accumulate these pieces over time than it would to just go to Nordstrom and purchase these items full price.  (which is why you may want to consider hiring a personal stylist to hunt down some awesomely stylish deals for you!)

I promise that once you have the right pieces on hand, mixing and matching them for your own version of everyday chic will get easier and easier!  You may even be surprised at the possibilities in your closet today and how little you may need to invest to be able to recreate your perfect version of everyday chic.

Repurpose your accessories in an unexpected way

Purse, Vintage, $40; Hair Bow, Nordstrom Rack, $5

Purse, Vintage, $40; Hair Bow, Nordstrom Rack, $5

Here I’ve taken a basic hair bow that I already owned and clipped it to my purse.  It adds a preppy feel that plays off the red beret in this specific outfit. 

Don’t own a hair bow?  Maybe try adding a festive brooch to elevate your black blazer this holiday.  Use a velvet ribbon as a belt instead of a classic leather one.  There are numerous ways to repurpose accessories that you have in your closet to give them a new life.

The most important rule about this?  Have fun with it and don’t take yourself too seriously!  Hone your inner child and don’t be afraid to play dress up in your own closet, you just may surprise yourself!

Wear heels, but only ones that you are comfortable walking in

Full disclosure: I do NOT usually walk my dog in this outfit.

jess burke well layered personal wardrobe stylist minneapolis easy ways to look effortlessly chic personal shopper.JPG
jess burke well layered personal wardrobe stylist minneapolis easy ways to look effortlessly chic personal shopper.JPG

I’m sure that you are familiar with the old saying “Beauty is pain”…well I’m here to tell you that I think it’s total crap!

My simple shoe rule: If you can walk at least three full city blocks in your heels without looking like your feet are broken, you may wear them out in public.  It doesn’t matter if you are rocking $800 Louboutins or a $30 Target pair, if you aren’t able to walk properly and confidently, they will not be doing you any justice.

These shoes are vintage Dolce and Gabbana that I picked up at a local Minneapolis boutique a few years ago for $65.  In case you were wondering, I can in fact walk three full city blocks in these.  Shout out at me if you would love to be able to find similarly awesome pieces for your own closet!

Layer, Layer, Layer!

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Wool Topcoat, Yaly Couture (Vietnam), $100

Wool Topcoat, Yaly Couture (Vietnam), $100

I landed on the name Well Layered for a reason…layering is so key to looking chic!

A classic topcoat in a neutral like black, navy, camel or gray, is a wonderful investment that you can make today if you don’t have something like this already in your arsenal.

I was lucky enough to travel to Vietnam in 2016 and when we visited the famous tailoring district in Hoi An I had this lovely coat made especially for me (and it was under $100!) 

So obviously we can’t all fly around the world to have items custom tailored for us, but I love picking up pieces when I travel. Everytime I wear it I am reminded of my time there and knowing that this classic camel coat is one of a kind made especially for me gives me an additional confidence boost!

The white blouse is from Kate Spade and was purchased on sale for about $125.  A classic white silk blouse is a must have! (For all of my other fall/winter must haves, make sure to check out the style guide here)

A Triad of Colors is Effortless

Satin Pants (old), White House Black Market, $50

Satin Pants (old), White House Black Market, $50

So the idea here isn’t to be a hard and fast rule, but when you are assessing your outfit in the mirror and trying to figure out if it’s too much, not enough or the perfect, effortless balance, you can use this easy rule of three.

Rules of dressing in a triad of colors:

*white totally does not count

*a single item in a wild print or mix of colors only counts as one color.

That’s really it!  Here I put this rule into practice with black satin pants, a camel coat and a red beret.  If I were to say take off the hat, the outfit just wouldn’t feel quite as balanced.  I could maybe add a printed silk scarf, but if I did so with the beret on, it might just be too much (unless maybe I swapped out the camel coat for a black one).  You want to always go for that just right, effortless balance, and this rule is a quick and easy way to do just that everyday! 

Beret, Nordstrom Rack, $13

Beret, Nordstrom Rack, $13

Nothing is as easy as it seems, and that holds true to dressing.  To look effortless, you do, in fact, have to put in some effort.  With the right style tricks and pieces in your closet it truly can be attainable to feel and look super chic in your everyday life!  

Want to know more about what a personal stylist can do for you?  Check out Work With Me for more details!