I’ve always been a fan of what would be considered ‘smart’, ‘classic’, ‘sophisticated, ‘elegant’ or whatever you want to call it outfits. My Pinterest boards are full of classy coats, luxe looking layers, red lipstick and elegant jewellery. I’m sure you know the look I’m talking about – the Olivia Palermo kind of vibe.
The thing is though, unfortunately I’m the kind of girl who never fails to smudge lipstick on their chin and has been known to walk out the house with their skirt tucked up in their tights. I’m usually in a rush (why are the 10 minutes before you need to leave the house quicker than every other 10 minutes in the day?), and I have a talent for tripping up over thin air. My hair’s usually frizzy because I probably forgot my brolly and got caught in a downpour. I mean, I like to think I’ve improved over the last few years and don’t trip over or forget things as often as my gangly 14 year old self did, but still. Much as I’d like to be sophisticated and composed at all times, I’m really not. A read of a few of my Instagram captions will tell you that.
However, one thing I have been told on a few occasions, is that my outfits look sophisticated. To anyone who’s ever said this to me – thank you! One step closer to reaching my Pinterest dream. Whilst I, as discussed, have not reached the level of being actually sophisticated, I’ve (hopefully) mastered the art of dressing like it. Figured out a few tips and tricks that help you fake it ’til you make it, if you will.
Sidenote: please nobody call me a fraud if you bump into me nipping to Sainsbury’s in my gym kit with a random jumper thrown on top. That doesn’t count.
Case in point: the humble trench coat. Why it took me so long to add a classic beige trench to my wardrobe I have no idea, because I’ve since wondered what I ever did without it. I’ve also since spotted a Burberry trench coat in a charity shop for £10, but even I wasn’t silly enough to buy an XL men’s coat for myself. This H&M one is doing the job just nicely. Unfortunately it’s no longer online so I can’t link this one up, but it was in the sale in store a couple of weeks ago making it even more of a winner. Long(er) coats in general seem to help with this whole ‘wannabe sophisticate’ thing, especially belted ones that nip in at the waist just nicely. So yes, tip 1 = long coats.
Tip 2 = a neutral palette. Says the girl who just made the most garish red jumper to ever exist. The contradiction isn’t lost on me, don’t worry. In general, I think mostly-neutral-with-one-splash-of-colour outfits are best if you’re trying to look more elegant than you actually are (ie. me).
Tip 3 = rings, watches and earrings. For a long time I was the worst for owning lots of pretty jewellery and forgetting to wear it, but lately I’ve made a habit of wearing these items to the point that I now feel naked without them. You just feel much more put together with a few details brightening up the look.
Tip 4 = slick low ponytails. We’re gonna have to go with ‘do as I say, not as I do’ on this one, because in these photos I’d literally just ran a brush through my hair and legged it out the door when I roped my brother into taking outfit phots because the fading light looked nice. Kindly excuse these straggles, and focus on better days of nice neat ponytails, OK? Anyway, I first wore my hair like this when it was driving me mad swishing around in Tenerife, and have done at least 3 times per week since. For those of us not blessed with a fantastic hairline (mine is far too square and I can’t stand it) – the low pony is far better than the Sporty Spice look, and doesn’t give you the same headache either. Low ponytail + cool earrings = much chic, much stylish. Usually very quick and easy too and we all know that’s most important when you’re inevitably legging it out the door.
If I think of anything else I’ll add to this list (4 is a bit of a rubbish number, isn’t it?) but for now that’s all. Excuse me whilst I go attempt to be a domestic goddess next.
lily kate x
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