Feel like your closet is stagnant and you can’t put together an outfit? Want to learn a little more about how to simplify your fashion life? I’ve rounded up 27 fashion hacks from Tik Tok, fashion books, and personal experience that will change your life – and you’ve probably never heard of most of them before. So, let’s dive right in!
1. Learn new ways to style your wardrobe with Pinterest.
Are you staring at your overflowing closet and still feel like you have “nothing to wear”? Rather than go out and buy an entirely new wardrobe, you can learn how to style your favorite pieces in new ways thanks to Pinterest.
Let’s say you have a white button-down that you love but never wear because you don’t know how to style it. Go to Pinterest and type in the search bar: “white button-down outfits” or “style white button-down”. Pinterest will pop up with hundreds of new outfit ideas that you can replicate and make your own with similar pieces you already have in your closet. You can also use Pinterest to find even more fashion hacks!
2. Get more basics in your closet.
The #1 fashion hack you’ll hear time and time again from fashion influencers: get more basics. Stop spending money on trendy pieces that are just going to go out of style in a season. You’ll be left with a closet full of clothing you won’t wear, and you’ll have wasted your money.
Rather than purchasing lots of prints and colors and unique silhouettes, focus on buying wardrobe essentials. Invest in pieces that you love and that you know you’ll always feel good in. Remember that simple pieces are easier to style in different ways and with different outfits.
Along with neutrals and timeless silhouettes, other go-to basics include a white collared shirt underneath a sweater (for an academic vibe), a timeless black slip dress, and a white mock turtleneck layered beneath tees, dresses, or overalls. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a mini skirt and stockings paired with a tee, sweater, or turtleneck. Check out these 9 “basics” outfit ideas for when you have nothing to wear.
3. Get your clothing tailored.
If you want to look polished and put together, your clothes need to fit well. That means purchasing high-end, good-quality clothing that is made with fit and form in mind, rather than cheap fast fashion with off-kilter seams and silhouettes. It also means you might need to get some clothing pieces tailored. But trust me, the extra cost upfront to purchase and tailor quality clothing will be worth it. Gorgeous, well-fitting clothing will keep you looking and feeling fresh for years to come.
4. Use your neck to check if pants will fit.
Hate shopping for pants? It can be exhausting trying to find your pants size in different brands, taking off your shoes and pants, putting them back on… only to take them off again to try on another pair. That's why this is one of my favorite fashion hacks. Skip the dressing room drama and find out if a pair of pants will fit without even trying them on.
Hold both sides of the waist in either hand and wrap the waistband around your neck. If your hands just touch at the back, they will fit. If the pants don’t reach or your hands overlap, they’ll be too small or big (respectively). This is a great way to narrow down your pants search and only try on those contenders that are most likely to fit.
5. Fix loose or tight jeans with a hair elastic.
Do you own a pair of jeans that don’t seem to fit right? A simple hair elastic can help solve the problem!
For jeans that are too tight, attach the hair elastic around the button. Pull the elastic through the buttonhole, and then loop it around the button again. This will close your pants together while giving you more stretch to work with. (This is a great idea for your Thanksgiving outfit too.) Hide the elastic with a belt or under your shirt. Here’s a great step-by-step to show you how.
For jeans that are too loose, knot the elastic through the closest belt loop and attach it to your button. Then, put the button through the buttonhole like you normally would. You don’t even need the hair elastic for this one; you can also just put the button directly through the belt loop and then button it. Hide with a shirt or belt.
6. Use a hair elastic to keep your belt flat.
Is your belt too long? Do you have that awkward “extra belt” hanging over between your belt loops? We’ve got you with this fashion hack.
Get a hair tie that matches your belt color. Pull the hair tie between your belt and pants, so it’s behind two layers of belt on top. With the bottom part of your hair tie, wrap it around the end of the belt loop. With the top of the hair tie, twist it once and then also wrap around the end of the belt loop. That creates another loop that will keep your belt flat to your pants.
7. Pair baggy and tight clothing to create dimension.
To give your outfit dimension and movement, you want to pair form-fitting pieces with oversized or baggy ones. The general rule of thumb is to pair a loose top with tight bottoms (like an oversized knit sweater with skinny jeans or leggings), or the opposite, pairing a tight top with loose bottoms (like a bodysuit with flared jeans). Sticking to this guideline is an easy way to create a chic look with minimal effort.
That’s not to say you can’t wear an entirely form-fitting outfit or pair baggy with baggy if you want to, though. If you have a lot of larger or oversized pieces, you’ll want to add some elements that will give you more of a defined shape, like a belt or crossbody to cinch the waist or tucking your oversized tee into your bottoms to sharpen your hips. If you tend towards tighter clothing, create dimension by adding a few oversized pieces, like a long blazer or trench coat, or incorporating XL accessories like large totes or blanket scarves.
8. Ditch the crop tops.
Crop tops are cute and trendy, but they’re probably making you look shorter because they stop the natural lines of your body at the middle. If you like the look of a crop top but want to appear taller and not show off your midriff, try bodysuits instead. These create a streamlined look that will give the illusion of length while also creating a gorgeous silhouette that’s super flattering.
9. Stop pairing light tops with dark pants (or vice versa).
Like crop tops, pairing dark with light will cut off your body and make you appear shorter. Although pairing a white top with black pants can create a sophisticated style, it could be making you lose a lot of height. For shorter ladies or those looking for a longer look, you might want to avoid this.
So rather than wearing dark tops and light bottoms—or the opposite—try wearing tops that are a similar shade to the bottoms. For white tops, try it with light-colored denim and a brown belt. For black pants, try dark tops like grey or black. With brown pants, try beige or brown tops. Staying in the same neutral color variation is a fashion hack that creates an illusion of length to make you look taller. Plus, this kind of monochrome look will never go out of style.
(If you want to look shorter, do the opposite!)
10. Use clothing silhouettes to lengthen your body.
If you’re feeling “frumpy” when trying on outfits, you probably just need to add more lengthening elements to your look. For most people, you’ll want to create a long appearance, because this will make you appear tall, strong, fierce, and confident.
So, take note of which outfits make you look taller and which make you feel less confident. Flare pants that cover your shoes will lengthen your legs, compared to tapered bottoms which cut off your length. High-waisted bottoms, vertical stripes, and A-line silhouettes can also help build length. Even white shoes will make you appear taller than dark shoes.
11. Use clothing silhouettes to accentuate your body.
But it’s not all about lengthening. What’s most important is dressing for your body type. Identifying and researching your body type can help you understand which types of clothing items will best accentuate your unique features.
Here are some body types to get you started with this fashion hack:
- Pear shapes (or triangles) are those women who have hips broader than shoulders.
- Apple shapes (or circles) are curvy with a less defined waist.
- An hourglass body has balanced shoulders and hips with a more defined waist.
- An inverted triangle means the shoulders are broader than the hips.
- Rectangular bodies have fairly uniform measurements all around with similar shoulders, bust, waist, and hip measurements.
- Petite bodies are under 5’3” and tall body types are over 5’11” (or so), but these can have one of the other five types as well.
I am also a fan of Kibbe body typing, as it’s more in-depth and inclusive of different body types. Learn more about the 13 kibbe body archetypes here.
12. Learn dress code basics.
Here’s an easy, handy guide to keep on hand if you’re not sure what to wear for specific dress codes. When in doubt, do a quick Pinterest search for dress code outfit ideas too!
- Dress comfortably.
- Pair your favorite jeans and a plain tee with cute accessories for an easy go-to outfit.
- Don’t over-dress.
- Avoid sweatpants or workout clothes (unless otherwise stated).
- Dress comfortably but a little more put together.
- Tees and dark jeans are still allowed, but pair with quality jewelry and accessories to elevate the outfit.
- Smart pants and unstructured blazers work beautifully to add sophistication to other casual pieces.
- Business casual is similar to business formal, but each element can be slightly more comfortable (like an unstructured blazer versus a tailored one).
- No jeans or t-shirts. Wear a tee only if it is plain, high-quality, and paired with a blazer and accessories.
- No open-toe shoes.
- Keep jewelry simple and minimalistic unless used as a purposeful statement piece.
- Wear dress pants or a pencil skirt with a matching blazer.
- Skirts should be no shorter than above the knee.
- Heels, loafers, or designer flats are best.
- Avoid tees, jeans, and other casual pieces.
- Wear your best appropriate party attire.
- Mini, midi, and bodycon dresses are great options.
- Dainty jewelry or statement pieces are a must.
- Pair with smart outerwear, like trench coats or shawls.
- Floor-length dress is best.
- Heels or quality flats will add another layer of refinement.
- Jewelry should be dainty. Use statement jewelry only with more neutral or simple dresses.
13. Stop hanging your sweaters.
Fold your sweaters. Gravity pulls on the weight of your sweaters, and it can cause them to stretch out or leave you with misshapen shoulders. Keep your sweaters folded neatly and stacked atop one another to best preserve their material and structure. Learn how to fold a sweater with this video.
14. Hang button-downs with only one button done.
Keep button-down collars crisp and fresh by only buttoning the top button (the one at the collar). This keeps the collar firm and the rest of the shirt straight, which will help prevent wrinkles and worn, loose collars.
15. Sit down when you’re trying on new clothes.
Did you know that seat in dressing rooms is there for more than just a purse rack? It’s there so that you can try on your clothes while sitting! Clothes look and feel different sitting than standing. They can particularly feel too tight or constraining when sitting. So, take a seat before you buy to make sure they’ll actually be comfortable. (Comfortable clothes get worn; uncomfortable ones end up sitting in your closet for years.)
16. Use ice cubes to iron your clothes.
Wrinkled clothes instantly give a messy vibe. Get rid of those wrinkles for a more polished, put-together look. But… ironing is kind of a pain, right?
While steaming or ironing your clothes will do the best job, if you don’t have those on hand, fear not! Throw three or four ice cubes into your dryer along with the wrinkled garment. Let it run for 10-15 minutes. As the ice cubes melt in the dryer, they’ll create steam that can help de-wrinkle your clothes. If you don’t have any ice cubes, you can also throw a wet hand towel in with your clothes for a similar effect.
No dryer available? Hang the garment in the bathroom with you while you take a steamy shower. This won’t get rid of all the wrinkles, but it will help release some of the creases.
17. Wash sweaters and pants inside out.
Prevent your sweaters from pilling by washing them inside out. Wash with cold water and a low spin cycle and lay flat to air dry. Also, turn your pants, jeans, and anything else with graphics or bold colors inside out to prevent color fading during washing.
Get more tips on how to take care of your clothes for years to come here.
18. Don’t use fabric softener on athletic clothes.
Fabric softener can be damaging to your clothes because the chemicals actually wear out fabric quickly. It’s particularly damaging to athletic clothes because the fabric softener leaves a film on synthetic fibers that lock in sweat and bacteria. Your athletic clothes will smell even dirtier than before you washed them!
19. Organize your closet.
If your closet is disorganized or cluttered, it’s going to be impossible to style new outfits. If you want to use fashion as meditation or to channel creativity into your style, you’ll want a clean closet with a system that makes it easy to find clothes. A streamlined closet will make getting dressed faster, simpler, and more fun.
Check out some of our resources for cleaning out your closet:
- Quarantine Closet Cleanout: Love Your Wardrobe and Make Money
- The Ultimate Closet Clean Out Guide and Checklist
- Clean out and Consign Your Closet For The New Year
20. Match your purse to your belt or shoes, not your entire outfit.
Don’t try to match your purse to your outfit. It’s too complicated, and often it ends up looking even more mismatched. Instead, match your accessories, like your bag, your belt, and your shoes. For example, match a black belt with a black purse, or a brown belt with brown loafers. Your outfit will look seamless and sophisticated, and it requires a lot less work.
Matching two clothing elements—like two accessories—is one of the fashion formulas that we live by. Check out our top three fashion formulas that make getting dressed super easy.
21. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize.
Let’s say it again: accessorize! It’s such a simple fashion hack, but it makes all the difference. Accessories can make even the simplest outfits look refined and cohesive. You could wear a white tee with jeans every day for a week, but that same outfit can look different based on the accessories you use.
Layering necklaces of different sizes and lengths can add dimension to a plain shirt, and sunglasses add a layer of sophistication. Long earrings can accentuate the jawline, and jangly bracelets add a bit of fun. Don’t forget rings—people look at one another’s hands all day long, so the right rings can add a little pizazz.
Choose jewelry that makes you happy and allows you to express yourself. In general, dainty pieces of jewelry are more timeless and will be easier to wear and style. But don’t underestimate the power of a statement piece!
22. Shop for your climate.
We’re all guilty of this at one time or another because we start to romanticize different types of clothing. If you live where it’s hot, you might imagine yourself cozying up with knits and scarves. If you live somewhere cold, you might long for sundresses.
Unfortunately, buying for these fantasies will just leave you with a closet full of items you never wear, wasting money and space. Focus instead on buying basics for your climate, so you have more wardrobe options at your fingertips. There is an infinite number of ways to dress for your climate, so start playing around with new styles so you can fall back in love with your weather-appropriate attire.
Psst… Have clothes that don’t suit your climate that you never wear? Bonus fashion hack: sell them to Current Boutique to make some cash and help reduce textile waste.
23. Tuck your shirt into your underwear.
If you’re tucking in your shirt, keep it from bunching up or sliding around in your pants by first tucking it into your underwear. This will give a cleaner look, it will stay put longer throughout the day, and it will feel more comfortable.
Similarly, tuck the ends of your skinny-leg pants into socks before putting on boots. This will keep your pants in place so they don’t bunch up or get uncomfortable. It can also help keep your socks from sliding down.
24. “Half” tuck your clothing.
Tucked-in shirts almost always look better than untucked shirts. But, if you want a polished yet casual look, try only tucking the front or side of your shirt in. This can give a high-low, asymmetrical look that’s super chic. Tucking adds definition to your body, while leaving some of the fabric out of the tuck gives it a purposefully-messy and sexy look.
25. Use a hair elastic to keep sleeves folded.
If you’re folding long sleeves halfway up your arm, keep them in place with a hair elastic. Just wrap the hair tie around your arm on the second to last fold, and the sleeve will stay up. Fold the sleeve one more time to hide the hair tie and voila!
26. Focus on quality over quantity.
Stop buying clothes that you’re going to throw out after a season. You’re wasting money and contributing to massive amounts of textile waste.
Instead, focus on buying high-quality investment pieces that you will be able to style, re-style, and style again for seasons to come. Quality pieces look and feel better than fast fashion, which means that they’ll give your outfits a more put-together feel as well. When it comes to looking chic, most of the time it just comes down to wearing quality pieces that fit well.
27. Be confident in your skin.
You can wear anything if you are confident. A radiant smile, a powerful walk, and the acceptance of your internal and external beauty are the best accessories for every outfit. What you wear impacts your psychology, so wear whatever makes you feel good. The best fashion hack to change your life is simply to remember that you are beautiful.