Does Beyoncé really wake up that flawless? Probably. For those of us who don’t, looking polished is, thankfully, a learnable skill. Whatever your style and budget, with time and practice, you can look put together all the time with these dressing habits.
1. Tailor It. The art of seamless dressing (pun intended) is to wear clothes that fit you well. Unless you can afford custom made, you’re going to need a tailor from time to time; so make it a point to look for one. A tailor can cinch, nip and sometimes refashion a piece for a better fit or make it more YOU.
2. Wear the right undergarments. The polished look is smooth, i.e. no bulges, dimples and stuff where they shouldn’t be. To get the look, go for a seamless wireless bra for every day and check out this post from Marie France for the right bra to go with plunging, backless and other special occasion necklines. Do add shapers when you’re wearing fitted clothes.
3. Practice good grooming.
a) Groom your brows: Whether you thread, pluck or wax ’em, keeping these babies groomed is one of the simplest and most impactful things you can do to look polished. Check out Bobbi Brown’s Tutorial to achieve the best brows for your face. Once a day, do a quick check in the mirror and take care of any stray hairs on brows and elsewhere.
b) Keep nails neat: If you like nail art, Jamberry Nails carries nail decals/wraps that they guarantee to last longer than your average manicure. A few other tips for neat-looking nails:
- Short nails look neater.
- Carry around a nail file and hand lotion in your handbag.
- Use cuticle oil daily (you may want to keep a bottle at your desk).
- Can’t keep up chip-free nails? Go for the clean buffed look with a shiny topcoat and be done with it.
- Stick to one color like Vanessa of The Haute Pursuit who almost always wear white or buffed nails.
c) Moisturize. Moisturize: More hydrated skin looks more awake and fresh. Pay as much attention to your heels, hands, neck and other body parts as you do to your face. This overall attention gives you and your skin a “cared for” look, which is a sign of being polished.
d) Be hair-free: A big timesaver for underarm and leg hair is laser treatments, but if you can’t afford it, you must find your own routine to keep these areas hair-free. If you don’t have time to get to them, pants and long-sleeved blouses are best, but I’m sure you know those hairy legs are a big no-no.
e) Use makeup to enhance: There are several tricks to applying makeup to enhance your features as well as tricks to prepping your skin so it doesn’t look cakey or shiny later on. Fact is, there are so many things to learn about makeup that we couldn’t get to them here but to say, focus on enhancing features, defining your cheekbones and bringing out your eyes. Instead of applying foundation all over face, apply only to areas that need coverage. This will mean less shine and cakiness later on in the day, and instead of hiding behind your makeup, we get to see more of you. Here are some other suggestions for polished-looking makeup.
- Pay more for a foundation, if a particular formula and brand give you the best shade and coverage for YOU.
- Use powder to keep shine away and to use less foundation.
- Tools are your friend– especially good brushes! Ask for them as gifts.
- Learn to apply a go-to look for your eyes. Sephora or a department store makeup counter offer free lessons and there are many YouTube channels to check out.
- Touch up your look when you get to the office, after lunch and before you head out the door at the end of the day.
4. Get a great easy-to-maintain haircut. One of our favorite trends is natural hair. Embracing our heritage, curls and kinks is a major time-saver. A good cut, however, and regular trims are a necessity whether you’re sporting a blow-out or natural do. Find a cut that you can maintain that takes little time to pull together. We also recommend keeping a few hair accessories and hats handy for humid days and other times when your hair won’t cooperate.
5. Pay attention to details. Well-made shoes, bags, and accessories make you stand out and can really make an outfit. They’re worth the investment when you’re looking for something to splurge on.
Your feet will thank you for comfortable well-made soles while quality handbags with quality hardware and finishes give you that pulled-together look. New jewelry and accessories can be fun and easy to shop for. I have friends who are always getting a new piece of jewelry when they go to the stores. They leave for jeans, and even if they don’t come home with jeans, they did manage to find earrings. Put some thought into your jewelry shopping. Establishing a jewelry wardrobe is going to be better than buying just any shiny bauble that catches your eye. You’ll begin to curate go-to accessories and a jewelry collection that works with the rest of your wardrobe and personal style making your entire look appear cohesive… which is another way of saying “polished.”
6. Have tools at the ready These are the tools we find most useful (yours could be different based on your wardrobe and personal style): Tweezerman, a lint brush or lint sheets, a sewing kit with pins and tapes for fashion emergencies and a clothes steamer. A great portable alternative to a steamer is The Magic Wrinkle Remover. This stuff really is magic! Spray it on your clothes and poof, wrinkles gone!!
7. Keep things simple A sleek, minimalist look with clean lines and classic styling can be dressed up or down. Build your wardrobe around lots of neutral colors, as well as fitted tops and signature pieces that are versatile and can be worn in many different ways, like this skirt. Again, you don’t need a closet-full of labels to look your best, but a few splurges which usually have better hems and finish is one of the keys to looking really polished.
8. Develop a “signature style” Many bloggers, stylists, and fashion insiders consider signature style as the holy grail of fashion. It helps you distinguish yourself from everyone else but the big bonus is that it simplifies getting dressed.
YOUR SIGNATURE LOOK: You’ll notice that fashion icons from Coco Chanel to Michelle Obama to Victoria Beckham veer toward classic, not trendy clothes. With classics as your base, any one thing can be your look: a piece of jewelry or a statement-y accessory, a particular color, a particular silhouette, or wearing clothes that accentuate a particular body part. From that base, build your look systematically — not haphazardly — by planning your wardrobe needs with intention.
Ask yourself before you shop: What piece and in what style/color/shape will pull together many of the items in my closet? It may be a modern kitten heel, a navy dress, wire rings or hoop earrings.
9. Organize and beautify your closet A chic and organized closet makes getting dressed quicker and because it’s beautiful, you’ll want to maintain your organized standards.
Don’t have a walk-in? Make the best of whatever closet you have by making yours the chicest it can be:
- Wallpaper the wall or inside doors of your closet with a beautiful print, or paint an accent wall. Every time you open your closet you’ll be greeted by something beautiful.
- Maximize overhead space with great looking baskets, bins, and boxes for storage.
- Add a narrow bookshelf or create shelving in the center of your closet to display shoes and handbags.
- Add a great full-length mirror.
- Decorate your dressing area walls with art and consider hanging a few key pieces as on the wall or closet door as decor. I also love to add a short rod or hooks to hang outfits when I’m getting dressed.
If you’re not rolling in it, please remember these are suggestions you can apply in stages and just the ones you really like.
10. Iron it Out! Have your nicer tops dry-cleaned, when you can afford it. Get a clothes steamer. While watching TV or on your down-time, iron essentials like tees. When even your basic wear are pressed and wrinkle-free, you’re definitely achieving the polished look.
11. Keep your weight in check. Embracing our bodies no matter what size we are, is important. Fluctuating weight, however, is something else. It means you’re not being consistent and maybe, that you’re not prioritizing your health and well-being. Keeping your weight in check will help to maintain your confidence and make it easier to have a dependable wardrobe. To keep belly bloat out of the picture, follow our bloat-busting plan, which includes having Braggs ACV every day and eating lots of lemons!
12. Develop inner confidence. In the end, style is about expressing yourself and there’s no better way to do that than to have inner confidence to express. How we feel about ourselves shows. Confidence is going to anchor your good grooming so your polished look shines even more.