ALL POSTS Street Style Style

10 Styling Tricks to Update Your Look—Without Buying a Thing

Spring style

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)!

Draped Shapes 

Spring style, jacket off the shoulder

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.

Shop spring styles:

Burberry London Kensington long trench coat | J.Crew stripe trench coat | Line & Dot Obispo moto jacket

New Knots

Spring sweater style

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.

Shop spring styles:

Topshop poppy embroidered sweater | Tory Burch seaside cotton & merino wool sweater | JOSEPH destroyed cable knit pullover

Totes Amazing

Spring style
Spring style

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.

Shop spring styles:

J.W.Anderson Medium Pierce shoulder bag | TOD’S Mini Double T leather shoulder bag | Tory Burch Duet embellished leather shoulder bag

Untucked Tails
Spring style, half tuck

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.

Shop spring styles:

Leith stripe shirt | IRO Aadi ruffle top | Robert Rodriguez ruffle print silk shirt

Button-Down Bases
Spring style, shirting layers

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.

Shop spring styles:

Helmut Lang ticking stripe cotton top | Diane von Furstenberg Carter blouse | Equipment Reese stripe silk shirt

Cute Contrast 

Spring style, frilly dress
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.

Shop spring styles:

Free People One Day midi dress | Topshop Unique Aster silk midi dress | Rachel Comey Steady seersucker maxi dress

Teed Up

Spring style, logo tee

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.

Shop spring styles:

Lucky Brand Death Valley graphic ringer tee | Stella McCartney ice cream logo tee | Junk Food Michael Jackson tee

Flirty Feet

Spring style, fishnets
Spring style socks

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.

Shop spring styles:

La Double 7 fishnet ankle socks | Chelsea28 sheer crew socks | kate spade new york dot crew socks

Scarf Art

Spring style scarves

9. Silk scarves continue to trend. For a new way to wear them, try wrapping smaller styles around the wrist like a cuff.

Shop spring styles:

Halogen® Bella Floral square silk scarf | Rebecca Minkoff silk bandana | MARC JACOBS embroidered silk scarf

Clean Cuffs

Spring style clean cuffs

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.

Shop spring styles:

Madewell Perfect Vintage ripped high waist boyfriend jeans | 7 For All Mankind Josefina boyfriend jeans | KUT from the Kloth Catherine boyfriend jeans