Kirstie Clements: The little touches that transform simple into stylish

A fresh look at your wardrobe – and what it already contains – can help freshen up your look, without heading to the shops.

A fresh look at your wardrobe – and what it already contains – can help freshen up your look, without heading to the shops. Photo: Getty

Yesterday was a day like any other, where I was in and out of the house, picking up groceries, grabbing lunch at a café, going to an art exhibition in the afternoon and then on to dinner at a local restaurant.

All day, and night, I wore a long sleeve black and white striped T-shirt, blue jeans, white sneakers and a navy parka.

This morning I got up, and realised I had to make a trip to the corner store to get milk. I put on another pair of jeans, and a different striped T-shirt in blue and white, because it’s just an easy, weather-appropriate uniform at the moment.

Then, somewhat inexplicably, a silk scarf literally fell out of my wardrobe, a black, white and gold Louis Vuitton scarf that I’ve had for several years and, to be quite honest, have probably only worn once. I took that as a sign from the heavens that I should wear it, so I spent a couple of minutes tying it in front of the mirror, bandana-style, around my neck, then threw on some slides, grabbed a red canvas tote bag and headed out.

This is the honest truth, but in the space of about 15 minutes, three people commented that I looked nice.

It’s proof again that just one, or two extra touches can take something from basic to rather stylish.

The problem is we’re often so short on time we don’t leave those few extra minutes to think about adding an accessory or changing something up. We also tend to have things put away in drawers, or hanging at the back of cupboards, or stacked neatly in boxes. If we can’t see them, they won’t spring to mind.

Everybody is feeling the cost of living at the moment, so it makes perfect sense that we should be taking a fresh look at what we already own and getting extra mileage out of it. So here are a few things you can do today, to be better dressed tomorrow.

  1. Pull out those silk scarves. We all have them somewhere – we either inherited them, bought them at a vintage store or have been given one as a present – and most of them sit unloved and unused. I don’t like big square scarves, because I think they look mumsy. But if you spend some time twisting them and tying them so they resemble something more like a kerchief or a bandana, they’re a really chic addition to a T-shirt or a cotton shirt. If they’re designer, even better with a jean jacket or denim shirt. It’s the high/low mix that makes it stylish.
  2. Mix up patterns and seasons. Now we’re heading into spring, I’m wearing grey pinstriped wool flannel pants but with a floral silk blouse instead of a sweater. Or wear a light sweater with a chiffon skirt. This mix-up bridges seasons without having to spend more money.
  3. Pull out every handbag, evening bag and shopping tote you own, line them up and use a different one every day to change up the look of what you have on. Same with jewellery – choose a dozen glamorous pieces, leave them where you can see them, and then wear a new one daily.

Then wait for the compliments.

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.