Everybody has those days. You know, the days where staying in bed isn’t an option because you have to fulfil your adult obligations. Ugh. And not only do you have to get up, but you have to get dressed.
On one of those days, finding something to wear that’s cute and put together is the ultimate struggle. Sometimes, you can put on the first t-shirt and pair of workout shorts you see to get you through the day.
But other times, wearing whatever won’t cut it. Showing up to work, a meeting, or a nicer restaurant looking like you came from the gym will probably get you a lot of strange looks.
Maybe you don’t even have plans you need to look decent for, but you just want to look cute anyway and don’t want to have to think about what goes together.
Well I have good news. The days of struggling to put on something stylish are over, because I’m about to give you a few effortless ways to look fashionable.
Wear a Dress
Dresses, especially printed ones, are a great way into tricking people that you actually put in effort to look good. Your hair might be in the messiest bun possible and you might not even have makeup on, but people will still tell you that you look cute.
My theory is that it’s an automatic, subconscious, association because dresses and skirts are typically considered nicer than jeans, but who knows. Also, if you’re just having a normal day, there’s a good chance someone will ask you “why you’re so dressed up today.”
I can’t tell you how many times people have pointed out that I look really nice when I was actually being lazy. Earlier this semester, I wore my galaxy print maxi dress to my 8 a.m. class, and I just know that people were wondering how and why I put effort into getting ready that early in the morning.
If you want to make this tip extra easy, have a couple of official go-to dresses so you don’t have to think twice. My go-to’s are loose and flowy, because when I am not having it I at least want to be comfortable.
Now that it’s getting colder, your go-to dress may not be an option unless you want to freeze. But, if it’s just warm enough, you might still be able to get away with it by wearing tights under. It may be a little more work, but not as much as digging for other possible layers to wear.
All Black Everything
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: there’s just something so chic about all black outfits. While black leggings and a random t-shirt may be really dressed down, black leggings and a black shirt is sleek.
However, the one minor issue this has is when the shades of black are way too contrasted, then it can look a little tacky. But honestly, as long as your shirt doesn’t look like a washed out gray against your pants, you should be fine.
Workout clothes work here too. A black quarter-zip looks way different with pink athletic shorts than it does with black workout pants. You might still look like you came from the gym, but in a more femme fatale kind of way. That combination is perfect for the colder weather too.
If you don’t have anything that’s completely black, it’s ok, you can still make it work. Black clothing with a white graphic or saying can also work really well as long as the rest of the outfit is a solid black. The white really stands out, and, depending on the design, can look edgy or cool.
Tie a Flannel Around Your Waist
This one works best because we’re currently in the cold seasons, so naturally it’s flannel season. Plus, having one around your waist is a major trend right now.
A few years ago I would’ve been writing this as a “Fashion Don’t,” but now it’s the total opposite. I remember tying an Aeropostale jacket around my waist and middle school and cringing in high school because I dressed so badly.
Well in college, it’s one of the trendiest things to do. You gain at least five style points when long sleeves are used to make a cape around your bottom half. Seriously though, jeans and a v-neck looks so plain and casual, but as soon as you add a flannel around your waist, you look super stylish.
I always do this when I think my outfit needs a little push. It’s not restricted to flannel either, you can pull this off with other printed, denim, or solid colored button ups. My XXL “Vote for Pedro” t-shirt, with pink paint stains, would look like the epitome of a bummy day when paired with plain blue shorts, but I became obsessed with the outfit after I tied a blue and red flannel around my waist.
I know it’s not just me either because some of my friends agreed it was super cute. Without the flannel, I would look like I just rolled out of bed, especially with a messy bun and coffee in hand.
Although it’s an instant style booster, this look can go very wrong if the colors, materials, or prints don’t match. Nowadays that’s what I would put under a “Fashion Don’t,” unless that’s the look you’re going for.
When in doubt, just put on a bold shade of lipstick. Lipstick has a similar effect as dresses, where people are going to assume you spent time and effort into your appearance for the day, even if you have no other makeup on.
A bright color might look a little weird if you’re wearing a large t-shirt you got for free on campus somewhere, so in that case go with a more neutral color.
Me being me, I’m wearing lipstick in all my photos, and even though I have on a full face of makeup, you can still see how it enhances the outfit.
All of the shades I’m wearing are Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick. I’m obsessed. I also wanted to try out some of the colors I just got in the 8-pack of mini tubes from Sephora on Black Friday.
In my photos I’m wearing Project Chimps (limited edition), L.U.V., and Santa Sangre, respectively. I’m in love with L.U.V., which means a lot coming from me because I’m a red lipstick type of person.
Putting on make-up can be time consuming, and a lot of people feel self-conscious or gross if they go out without it, but, if you don’t have time for a full-face, putting on at least lipstick can boost confidence. I know for me it does.
The other upside to putting on lipstick is that you can take it with you. If you’re in a hurry because of hitting the snooze button, it’s so easy to put your lipstick in your purse and apply it when you get a chance. Two of the makeup items I have with me at all times for minor touch ups are foundation and lipstick. Even if I walk out of the house with a bare face, I still carry them with me in case I want to wear them later.
As someone who is lazy and can’t get out of bed in the morning but wants to look cute every day, these tricks saved my life. The best part is that you can mix and match them and come up with the ultimate effortless but fashionable outfit.
I added a flannel to one of my all-black looks and it became cuter than it already was. My hairstyle, a half-bun, is also an easy effortless way to appear fashionable. (I even made a post about it here) I’m pretty sure I tricked people into thinking I made a conscious effort into putting on a stylish outfit when I really just picked out a couple of the first few things I saw on top of the mountain of clothes in the corner of my room.
When I do make a conscious effort into putting on a stylish outfit, it always takes a lot. It takes even more in the morning, aka anytime before noon, and with no coffee in my system. I get frustrated staring at my closet, and if I do settle for workout shorts and a t-shirt, sometimes I feel bleh.
After all, if you look good, you feel good, and utilizing these tips has helped me look good and feel good, both mentally and physically, a lot more often.
dress well. eat well. live well.