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. A tailor can cinch and nip new purchases and even re-style items completely to make it more YOU. The extra $50 (approximately) per item is one of the best wardrobe investment you can make. If you have to choose which pieces to tailor because of your budget, get tops and jackets done.
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. Definitely add shapers when you’re wearing fitted clothes.
3. Get into the good grooming habit
a) Groom those 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. Once a day, do a quick check in the mirror and take care of stray hairs. And before you go, check out Bobbi Brown’s Tutorial to achieve the best brows for your face.
b) Keep nails neat with these tips:
- 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.
- If you like nail art, Jamberry Nails carries nail decals/wraps that they guarantee to last longer than your average manicure.
- Top your polish with Sally Hansen’s Miracle gel to help your manicure last a bit longer.
c) Moisturize. Moisturize: Hydrated skin looks more awake and fresh so get your glow going by prioritizing moisturizers (ideally with SPF). 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.
d) Do the hair-free thing: Laser treatments to zap underarm and leg hair is a worthwhile timesaver, if you can afford it. If you can’t, find your own routine to keep (at least) those two areas hair-free. And if you really don’t want to be bothered, plan your wardrobe around pants and tops with sleeves.
e) Go light on the makeup: When you use makeup mainly to enhance, your look will be more timeless and current. The drag look doesn’t look all that hot on women but when you work to enhance your features, you start focusing on bring out your eyes, you balance that with soft lips, and use a light hand when applying foundation. Instead of applying foundation all over the face, apply only to areas that need coverage and seal with a great powder. Your skin will be less shiny during the day, and you’ll have a more polished look. Here are some other suggestions for a polished-looking face.
- Tools are your friend—especially good brushes!
- Learn to apply a go-to look for your eyes.
- 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 an easy-to-maintain haircut
A good cut and regular trims are a necessity whether you’re sporting a blow-out or a more natural style. A cut that’s current and easy to maintain will that little time to pull together. We also recommend keeping a few hair accessories and hats handy for humid days and those times when your hair won’t cooperate.
5. Pay attention to the 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. Quality handbags with sturdy hardware and beautiful finishes give you that pulled-together luxe look. Speaking of looking pulled together, every girl needs 2-3 great belts in her wardrobe to style her outfits right! A well-thought-out jewelry wardrobe is a big plus and well worth the time and money to curate. Not all need to be blingy but try to buy a few interesting looking pieces and some that are genuine silver or gold. All these things will upgrade your wardrobe and style making it easier to look “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 the 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.
Meridith is a lifestyle blogger and personal stylist who knows what's important to her -- faith, family, friends, fashion, and fighting for causes she cares about. She's a foodie who loves brunches with her gal-pals, a good comedy, and being a beach bum.