Slowly coming out of lockdown fashion has largely been on my mind a lot. Mainly because I’m not feeling very fashionable in my sweats working from home. With restrictions finally loosening up, getting back in the fold has me daunted with the thought of mustering up thoughtful and creative outfits on the daily. While I’m excited, I’m also entirely way too comfortable and lazy in my PJs. With the current trends more relaxed and leaning towards athletic wear, slouchy trousers, sweatshirts and sneakers, it very obviously favours my more relaxed sense of style, but it sometimes does not cut it for certain times and places.

Here is where we fall back to tried and tested methods to adjust our look, especially when you’re in a hurry or panicking and have put together a complete outfit without much time to think about it. What you need or hopefully already have in your closet are some key pieces that are a great way to make your casual or simple outfits, classier and more intentional. While many of us get caught with brand name styles it’s not always the cost but quality, fit and condition of the items that make a difference. Approaching your outfit with these three points in mind can evoke the feel and look of expensive or luxurious without the hefty price tag.

Here are some genius yet effortless pieces to make you look stylish and put together even when you are having one of those no-good days:

1. Tailored Pants

There are so many trendy pants styles that you can embrace but nothing beats a well-fitted, dress pant. The way the pant is cut can make all the difference to your silhouette. So, if you have trouble finding a pair that fits you perfectly, pick a style you like and get yourself to a tailor. A well-fitted pair of pants is appropriate for any occasion!

2. Trusty Blazer

When in doubt your trusty blazer will do the trick. It’s a piece that just makes an entire outfit look put together. Easy to style, you can even just pull them over your sweats in a jiffy. Don’t already have this staple in your closet? This is the sign you were waiting for, go and buy one now! We’re swimming in so many different blazers this year, take your pick from longlines to standard fits to more advanced double-breasted versions.

3. Walkable Heels

Heels can be super chic and sexy, giving you the height and confidence you need to conquer the day ahead. But let’s not forget practicality here. It’s important to invest in a pair that you can walk in comfortably and throw on for any occasion that calls for it. Don’t worry, comfy doesn’t mean ugly shoes. Why not opt for classic closed-toe black or nude block heels that are two to three inches in height. Sandal block heels work perfectly fine but a closed-toe shoe or pumps make your outfit look more sophisticated and polished.

4. Moto Jacket

The good old moto jacket is an easy way to add some edge to your style that’s still quite fashionable and essential for those who live in cooler cities. Pair this jacket with more feminine items like a dress or skirt to balance out the rocker look. Opt for a moto jacket style or a cut that has simple clean lines and avoid vintage versions or ones with too many studs and embellishments. With the clean, moto jacket style, you can literally wear anything underneath, as it works as an impactful but chic statement topper.

5. Statement Earrings

Sometimes a good pair of earrings can make a huge difference to your outfit and mood. While some earrings can be bolder than others, it can elevate your jeans and t-shirts with minimal effort. Want something classic? You can opt for some pearl or chain-link styles but don’t be afraid to play with colour and let your personality shine through.

6. Well-Fitting Jeans

Now, I know you’re already thinking that you have a trusty pair in your closet. But the key to an effortlessly polished look is a regular pair of jeans that have no rips or embellishments on them. You need a traditional style and colour, like a boot cut or dark wash that is flattering on most body types. Next step, it needs to be tailored to your body and hit the right length. Trust me, tailoring your jeans will make a world of a difference in accentuating your shape.

7. White Button-Down

Are you tired of hearing about the versatility of a white button-down? Well, there’s a reason it’s a classic. It takes you from casual to professional in an instant. A great crisp white shirt or blouse put together with anything can make any outfit look more expensive and chic. Just make sure to iron out those nasty wrinkles!

8. A Classic Black Dress

A black dress is another essential you might already have, but once again I can’t stress enough the importance of tailoring it to your body for that extra polish. Whether its an LBD or maxi, it is something that never goes out of style. An effective piece to have on hand to transition from day-to-night that also works brilliantly while layering. With so many styles and lengths available you can never have too many but when purchasing one, pay attention to details like textures, cuts, necklines, etc and keep in mind what makes it classic yet uniquely you.

9. Belts

A fantastic yet underrated accessory at times, a belt is very flattering when used right. It’s perfect for cinching an oversized outfit at the waist and accentuating your figure. Adding this layer of dimension can really pull a look together, taking you from frumpy to stylish and fashionable.

10. Chic Sunglasses

A pair of snazzy shades can really enhance any ensemble. Find a shape that you’re comfortable with and speaks to you, then you can always carry it around in your handbag. When you add your signature shades as the finishing touch to complete your look, a boring outfit is suddenly more interesting and put together.

11. A Structured Leather Bag

A real leather bag is a great quality piece to invest in. When you’re out and about, ditch the old canvas tote because as an adult you need a bag that says: ‘I know what I’m doing. Whether you choose a big size or small size, opt for a structured bag in neutral hues like black, white or tan. There are so many more affordable versions available in the market and a structured leather bag is always chic and timeless.

12. Elegant Watch

Time to be a grown-up and get a classy watch. Yes, you have a phone with the clock but it does not replace the elegance of a real watch. Remember the watches our parents wore? More along the lines of those, avoid any trendy styles and go for a timeless piece with a classic metal or leather strap.

What key items are missing from your closet? Let us know in the comments below.

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