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Elevating Jeans and a Tee

Pretty boring, right?

Pretty boring, right?

I love a pencil skirt as much as the next personal stylist, but I’ll be honest: I field so many more questions about how to wear t-shirts and jeans. They’re casual, comfy, and with a little bit of tweaking, they can look every bit as stylish as that pencil skirt.

Your perfect jeans, perfect tee, and perfect accessories will all be informed by your personal image archetype, so there’s no one-size-fits-all, but I do have some tips for you:

As far as I’m concerned, any relatively basic top can qualify as the “tee” in this equation. For one woman this might be a solid-colored silk tank, for another it might be a graphic tee with the neckline cut out. It might be a striped knit boatneck with 3/4-length sleeves.

If you want to wear a literal t-shirt, ask yourself if the basic boxy cotton version is your best. If not, how can it be improved for your body shape? Do you need more curve to the waist? More flow? Should the hemline be curved, straight, or asymmetrical? How long should your t-shirt be?

Your neckline can easily turn a forgettable top into a statement piece. Is a closed-in neckline best for you, or an open one? A rounded neckline, or an angular one? Are there any eye-catching design details along the neckline such as lace, mesh, crochet, cutouts, embroidery, or grommets? I’m a big fan of neckline detailing because it frames the face and provides an opportunity for pleasing harmony with your facial features.

Do you know if skinny jeans are the best choice for you? What about flared, cropped, or trouser styles?

Jewelry and accessories are paramount for adding visual interest. A pair of earrings the color of your eyes, a funky purse, a sparkly statement necklace, a scarf in your hair, or a unique pair of shoes take two seconds to put on, and the impact lasts all day.

If you want to add an additional layer, a colorful jacket, cardigan, or scarf on top of a more basic tee can add dimension.

This outfit has the same base formula, but jazzing up the colors and accessories quickly takes it from boring to eye-catching

This outfit has the same base formula, but jazzing up the colors and accessories quickly takes it from boring to eye-catching

You don’t need to wear a full face of makeup everyday (no matter what you’re wearing), but taking five minutes to do your brows, swipe on some mascara, and put on a great lipstick makes a big difference. This is where knowing your season really comes in handy, because the right lipstick will light up your whole face, even if it’s a My Lips But Better. Your skin will look better in the right colors, too!

Spend some time perfecting simple hairstyles beyond the ponytail, and work with your natural hair texture, not against it. If your hair is straight, let it be straight! If your hair is curly, let it be curly! Get a cut that suits your hair’s behavior and your face shape, and your morning routine will be so much easier.

Lastly, learning to coordinate - rather than match - the different colors, textures, and shapes of your outfit will go a long way, keeping your look safely removed from “it’s laundry day” territory.

If you don’t know where to start, I want to help you! Click here for more information about a personal color analysis, personal image analysis, or coaching packages.