Text by Vanessa Taylor
Break open the jewelry box
Saving your truly spectacular pieces for the next black tie event is a mistake. Get more wear out of your chunky sparkler (think oversized necklace a la Lanvin) by wearing it for day as well. The unexpected combo of a casual shirt paired with a traditionally worn after-dark jewel sparks up even the most basic of looks.
Invest in a t-shirt
While there are plenty of inexpensive options on the market, shelling out for the perfect tee is worth the investment. Designers like The Row and T by Alexander Wang have honed in on the exact cut that drapes in all the right places. Pairing one with a wide leg trouser or layering underneath a blazer adds a modern esthetic to your wardrobe.
The belt is a relatively inexpensive way to test-drive the latest trends. Not sure you can commit to that orange Jil Sander skirt? Try a belt for starters. By continuously updating this accessory, you’ll extend the life of classics like your black blazer.
While those enormous totes we’ve all come to love have a purpose, they aren’t always necessary. Edit out the clutter (are 6 shades of lipstick necessary?) and go with an oversize clutch. Sleek portfolio styles in buttery leathers easily tuck under the arm and give an instant refresh to your outfit.
Rethink the tuxedo
Typically relegated to cocktail hour, the luxe topper like a tuxedo or velvet blazer make a big statement during the day. The dark, rich fabrics are the perfect pairing against casual denim or a flouncy printed dress.
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Céline, Gucci, and Jil Sander spring/summer 2011 collections.
Stay in the shade
Whether you’re working a glam oversize style, quirky cat-eye shape or classic aviator—sunglasses make the look. Eyewear is one of the easiest ways to swap an uptown Chanel sophisticate style for a downtown Phillip Lim urbanite. They’re also extremely useful at concealing the effects of any late-night soirees.
Become a mixologist
Sticking to a co-ordinated palette may be safe but who’s interested in a risk-free wardrobe? Liven up your predictable pieces by mixing prints. As a general rule, graphic prints (stripes, polka dots) go best with organic patterns (leopard, floral).
The bright stuff
Subscribe to some colour therapy by infusing bold, brash shades into your style. Instead of always reaching for that black skirt, try one in a dramatic jewel tone. For the fearless fashionista, go big with a neon piece. Stick to classic silhouettes when choosing a strong colour and avoid fussy details like ruffles and embellishment.
Wear the pants
Skip the short hemline for your next night out and step into a pair of trousers. Depending on your shape, choose from a wider leg or slightly flared silhouette in a higher waist style. Stick with a sexy heel or towering wedge to elongate your legs.
The extra yard
Think the scarf is solely for the winter months? Think again. A long scarf is a seasonless accessory that requires little effort but provides maximum style results. Choose airy fabrics like cotton-silk blends or lightweight wools that drape easily. Loosely twist it around your neck concealing the knotted ends in lieu of a necklace.