10 Styling Tricks to Update Your Look—Without Buying a Thing
Style is mostly about how you wear something, not what you wear. This spring, after examining our packed closets, we turned to Nordstrom Styling Director Ruth Basloe for tips on how to make the most of what we’ve got. Ruth gave us 10 ways to wear things we already own, incorporating small updates to look fresh this season. So here’s how we’ll be wearing everything—along with some street-style inspo and shopping links (in case you feel inclined to buy)!
1. Forget wearing your coat or jacket thrown over your shoulders. The new way to wear your outerwear is to put it on and then shrug or slip it off your shoulders. When done in a way that looks casual and accidental, it lends an effortless, sensual feel to your look. With longer styles, keep one shoulder on so it doesn’t drag on the ground.
2. Tweaking the traditional preppy approach to wearing a sweater over the shoulders provides another option for updating your look with something you already own. Instead of neatly laying your sweater over your shoulders and tying it centered at the neck, loosen the tie and shift the sweater so it is sitting askew and falling over one shoulder. For a more advanced look, pull one sleeve under your armpit and then tie the sleeves in the middle of your chest.
3. How you carry your handbag can also show you are in the know. The of-the-moment approach is to hold the bottom of a shoulder bag or satchel like a clutch. Another way to wear a bag that is trending is to take a shoulder bag with a shorter strap or even a belt bag and wear it as a crossbody. Essentially, wear your bag in ways it was not intended to be worn.
4. With all the new shirting for the season, how to tuck also evolves. The half-tuck is no longer just reserved for casual, traditional-fit shirts. To add drama, try half-tucking some of the longer, more exaggerated styles. Make sure to unbutton up to where the shirt is tucked. I’ve already been playing with more exaggerated half-tucks and the questioning looks from my mom are a good sign.
5. Also part of the shirting trend is layering button-downs with or instead of a tee. Try a dress shirt underneath a slip dress, instead of a tee, or worn open between a tee and blazer as a mid-layer.
6. In a season of contrasts, my favorite layering idea is wearing distressed denim under a frilly, feminine dress. The mix of preciousness and destroyed feels fresh.
7. With the return to all things ’80s, graphic tees are trending: from rock tees to quirky sayings to iconic logos—and the more vintage-looking, the better. Instead of saving them for the weekend to wear with jeans, mix with something tailored, like a blazer, or with something feminine and fancy, like a lace skirt or a silky slip dress.
8. Fortunately for our feet, the flats trend doesn’t end with fall. To update your favorite styles, add a little quirkiness with a sheer sock. My favorite look right now is a classic penny loafer style or a retro sneaker with a fishnet anklet.
9. Silk scarves continue to trend. For a new way to wear them, try wrapping smaller styles around the wrist like a cuff.
10. If you never quite managed the artof rolling your jeans owned by brands like J.Crew and Madewell, you’ll be happy to know the of-the-moment approach is just a simple, clean cuff.