Think about the style icons that you love most—what is it that elevates their always put-together outfits above all the rest? Is it the perfect dress, shoes, or an un-chipped mani giving them an unparalleled allure? Friends, it’s all of it. It’s no surprise that an acute attention to every minor detail adds up to polished style every time.

And the good news is that honing such style precision can happen—in just a few extra minutes. Alicia Simpson, a Toronto-based fashion stylist with Plutino Group, shares her expert fashion tips on how to drastically upgrade your outfit by paying attention to these 5 subtle details.

1. Consider your footwear
Looking put together is a head-to-toe venture. “You can’t be polished without good shoes,” Simpson affirms. “Wearing beat-up shoes or boots with salt stains is my biggest pet peeve.” Pack leather wipes in your purse to quickly wash away salt and slush stains when rushing around the city.

How to take care of your leather boots

2. Pay attention to fit
If you can’t decide whether that on-sale but slightly over-sized shirt (in the literal, non-fashion-y way) is worth the steal, keep these simple words in mind: “Fit is everything,” says Simpson. “Wearing clothes that don’t fit is the quickest way to look unpolished.”

Bring pants to a tailor to adjust for length—and the same goes with modifying a blazer to get the perfect fit. “You can adjust the sleeve length and move buttons over so that it doesn’t pull.”

3. Don’t go overboard with statement jewellery

There comes a moment with every outfit when you must ask yourself what it needs to complete that look. “Accessories really do add that final touch,” says Simpson. “One statement accessory looks great and adds polish.” Just don’t overdo it with a ton of distracting bangles, earrings and a patterned scarf. “Too many statement pieces looks unsophisticated,” warns Simpson.

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More fashion tips to upgrade your outfit on the next page…

5-ways-to-upgrade-your-look-page.jpg4. Have quick-fix solutions on hand
Apart from stashing shoe polish wipes in your purse, keep a fully stocked emergency repair kit at your desk or in your bag to quickly deal with unexpected situations gracefully. Pack a Tide To Go Instant Stain Remover Pen in your clutch in case you have a run-in with that dreaded party guest: you know, the dual hand talker and red wine drinker.


And keep a mini lint roller on hand. “In case you have pets—you don’t want to walk into a meeting covered in cat hair,” says Simpson. This will also clear away lint or dust that accumulates on wool coats and sweaters throughout the day.

5. Remember the small details
Remember that if you can notice seemingly insignificant but off-putting details on your outfit—a snag in your tights, a wrinkled collar—other people can too. This helps to quell that internal battle when deciding if it’s worth ironing a blouse in the morning or rushing out the door and hoping it will eventually straighten itself out (hint: it won’t). “If it’s super wrinkled, you’ll look like a rumpled mess,” says Simpson. Not the best first impression when giving a presentation during an office meeting or heading on a first (or even eighth) date.

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If you’re wearing a monochromatic black-on-black look, make sure that all pieces are the same shade—avoid pairing a cute black top with faded black jeans. It’s the subtle but impactful details that make all the difference—good or bad.

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