A goal that arises again and again with my style consult clients is feeling “pulled-together.” It’s an interesting phrase, no? As if the wrong outfit keeps our bottom half at the office, while our top half visits Aunt Martha in Detroit … and the RIGHT outfit will reunite those pieces. But then, my brain likes to be amusingly literal. And, clearly, many women feel that their dressing choices can create a disjointed or unpolished appearance, and seek ways to create looks that help them feel sophisticated and chic. So here are three items that constitute shortcuts to pulled-together-ness.
My friend Katie mentioned this ages ago, and it’s really stuck with me. She said she got loads of comments on how pulled-together she looked, and thought, “Of course I look pulled-together. I’m wearing a dress!” She pointed out that a dress is, in essence, a pre-made outfit. Sure, you’ve got to accessorize and add shoes, maybe pop on a jacket or cardigan, but the dress is the meat of the look. Solid dresses or dresses that feature a single print are especially useful in creating unified, intentional looks since they create instant continuity.
As I’ve said many times, I know blazers can be tough to fit off the rack. But when you DO find a style that works for your figure, this piece can be invaluable in creating pulled-together looks. Blazers add a dash of formality to even the most casual outfits, but perhaps more importantly they add structure. Many non-pulled-together-feeling outfits either skew casual or lack structured garments with clean edges and a hint of stiffness. It’s not a cure-all, but throwing a blazer into most outfit mixes can make them feel more sophisticated and stylish. Amazingly, even a ponte or knit blazer can hint at the necessary formality and structure, so don’t feel like you’ve gotta do thick, lined wool!
OK, you caught me. Jewelry isn’t an item, it’s a category. Adding jewelry to outfits is something I encourage virtually ALL of my clients to consider. All accessories can help pull together your outfits, but jewelry makes what you’re wearing look polished and finished. It’s the final touch that completes your ensembles, and well worth adding if you’re not feeling as chic as you’d like to.
Anyone out there long for that pulled-together feeling? What items or groupings do you employ when creating outfits that you want to feel unified and intentional? Any of these three figure in?
Top images courtesy J.Crew.
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