Monday, May 12, 2008

It's the Little Things

I can't tell you how often I hear from fellow Bombshells who are stuck in a clothing rut and say things like, "A t-shirt is a t-shirt." Or, "Seriously - who has time for cute clothes, accessories and makeup every single day??"

I get it. Honestly, I do - even though I can't remember the last time I went outside without (at least) concealer, mascara, and a pair of earrings. That's just me. You don't have to be me, or that super stylin' girl down the hall, or even the very best version of you 24/7. But let's face it - you feel better when you look like you've put some effort into your look. Here are some tried and true tips for making the most of a minimalist look.

Buy easy clothes that have special little details. Smocking, bib front, henley-style draping and buttons, a keyhole cutout, ruching, something, anything a little extra can elevate a basic tee shirt. It's just as comfortable (and twice as stylish!) to wear a cotton tee with that something extra over yoga pants and flip flops.

Charter Club Embroidered-Bib Jersey Tee, $40 @ Macy's.

Speaking of yoga pants, replace your frumpy sweatpants with a pair of this alternative. Sweatpants always look like you should be at the gym or at home scrubbing the bathroom floor. Yoga pants, on the other hand, look sporty yet stylish - kind of an "Are they or aren't they?" effect. They're usually cut a little closer to the body, with a healthy dose of Lycra to skim over your curves. You can order the pair below online from Danskin, or check out the Danskin line at Lane Bryant.

When I was in college, quite a few years ago, you could not have convinced me that flip flops did not go with every outfit in my closet perfectly. I had them in every color ($5 at Old Navy). They were comfortable and easy to slip on and didn't make it look like I was trying too hard. I still believe shoes should be all those things - but I've upgraded from the basic plastic flip flop. By trading plastic for leather or canvas or any number of more substantial materials, you can instantly upgrade your fashion quotient while maintaining comfort and ease.

Steve Madden Loope sandal, $69.95. Available at Nordstrom.

And finally- accessories. Make it easy on yourself. Buy a signature pair of earrings that you switch out only on special occassions (or, not even then). Make sure they are classic and versatile enough to look great with casual wear, work clothes, and everything in between. I'm thinking a pair of diamond or pearl studs, or hoops. It doesn't matter if they come from Claire's Boutique or Tiffany & Co. Pick up the best you can afford, stick them in and forget about it.

None of these tips are especially earth-shattering. But they do require a little forethought when you're shopping - some due diligence up front can help you create an easy, minimalist look that will let you bum around town without looking like a bum.

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