Tips for Instant Style

MORE's resident fashion expert, Susan Swimmer, shares insider knowledge on how to add a touch of chic to any wardrobe. Integrate these simple pieces with what you already own—being fashionable is easier than you think.

Images loading...

Your #1 Accessory

Belt it. Weather you're wearing a blousy top, a cardigan or a light-weight rain coat, adding a belt is chic and slimming.


7 Hills belt, $32;

Photo courtesy of Piperlime

Top It Off

Let your shirt hang out. Note to all: We’re no longer tucking…for the time being. Leave your top hanging out and then add a shorter (fitted) layer on top, like a little jacket or a cardigan.


J.Crew cropped silk blazer, $155;

Photo courtesy of J.Crew

Lip Service

Try red lipstick. I promise you, a swipe of a bold, red hue on your smackers will cheer you up and illicit lots of attention (the good kind). There are loads of shades of this color, so find the one that’s right for you.


NARS lipstick, $24;

Photo courtesy of Polyvore

Try Sexy Shoes

Embrace heels. I know, I KNOW, flats are what you like, flats are your friend, flats are way more comfortable. I don’t want to hear it: Heels are chic and sexy.


MICHAEL Michael Kors "Chandler" open-toe pump, $120;

Photo courtesy of Michael Kors

Go Big, Big, Big

Wear one, great piece of jewelry. Whether you like a necklace, a bracelet or a ring, try something big and bold and make that the focal point of your look.


"Entwined" necklace, $58;

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie

Sparkle Selectively

Add one, embellished piece. Maybe you go for a beaded collar on a top, perhaps you try a heavily studded belt, or maybe try a glittery sequined hair accessory. Use embellishment to add just a bit of sparkle, in an instant.


AK Anne Klein tank, $69;

Photo courtesy of Zappos

Cool School

Roll up your sleeves! I’m not talking about doing housework, I’m talking about fashion. Roll up the sleeves of your blazer and give your outfit a hint of rocker cool.


Aqua fitted blazer, $88;

Photo courtesy of Bloomingdale's

Color Pop

Add a scarf. Spring is a great time for a little decorative neckwear, and wearing a scarf is the perfect place to use bold color, fun prints or classic stripes.


Theodora & Callum scarf, $175;

Photo courtesy of Shopbop

Get Sunkissed

Bronze yourself. Your extremities probably haven’t seen the light of day in many months, so before you go bare legged (or bare armed), use a bit of self tanner or cream bronzer to warm up your skin tone.


Benefit Cosmetics Hoola bronzer, $28;

Photo courtesy of Sephora

Shape Up

Use shapewear.  There’s no reason why you can’t have a smooth silhouette under your clothes. There are so many choices of slimming undergarments, at every price point. I beg of you, wear them!


Leonisa high-waist panty shaper, $35;

Photo courtesy of Leonisa

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Pull your hair back. There’s nothing like a smooth, sleek ponytail to add instant chic to your appearance.


Calvin Klein Collection dress, $2,395;

Photo courtesy of Shopbop

Love This Layer

Layer a shirt under a sheath. You know that sleeveless sheath that you LIVE in? Mix up the look by adding an oxford-style shirt underneath.


Old Navy oxford shirt, $25;



Next-up: tips to avoid fashion disasters. No one knows better than a professional fashion stylist; peek at what they bring with them to shoots.


 Want the latest beauty, fashion and lifestyle tips? Click here to sign up for our fabulous weekly newsletter!

Photo courtesy of Old Navy

First Published April 6, 2011

Share Your Thoughts!


Post new comment

Click to add a comment
Member Voices
Shoes & Accessories
Woman of Style and Substance
Swim & Lingerie