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5 Items That Make an Outfit

Sometimes an assortment of garments is just that—items that you happen to be wearing at the same time. And sometimes that group of items becomes An Outfit. It screams, “This is a coordinated look that I purposely wore together because I Am Stylish!” Obviously, this is what you should aim for. It’s not hard to turn one into the other, and it doesn’t take expensive statement bags or fancy, uncomfortable shoes. You just need one or more specific outfit additions instantly up the fashion factor. To perfectly top off any ensemble, try one of these five subtle touches.

A Belt
Skinny or wide, bright or basic, a belt does more than cinch your waist and hold up your pants. It creates a visual break that separates your top half from your bottom, making each half look distinctive. It’s like a bow on a present, only the present is your killer fashion sense. 

One Statement Accessory
Whether it’s a big bib necklace, a pair of sparkling chandelier earrings, or an entire arm party of bangles, accessories always come across as a final touch, not a haphazard afterthought. Even when worn with basics, they make an outfit look more finished. 

If there’s one way to look more “done,” it’s wearing lipstick. Statement red, poppy pink, nearly nude—the color doesn’t matter. More than any other cosmetic, lipstick brightens your face and makes you look more invested in your outfit.

A Blazer or Fashionable Jacket
Note: Cardigans and/or schlubby sweaters do not achieve the same effect! An ordinary shirt becomes another interesting layer when you add a stylish blazer or jacket. To make a serious impact, look for cool stitching, unexpected silhouettes, or bright colors. 

Tights—Even Black Ones
No, fusty pantyhose are not back in style (much as your grandma might like them to be), but with skirts and dresses, legwear matters. Bare legs just look unfinished. Not to mention that today’s colored and patterned tights are just plain adorable to boot.  Even if you wear simple opaque brown or black ones, the seamless transition from hemline to heel creates the illusion of longer legs and a more deliberate sartorial statement. 

Allison Ford

Allison is a writer and editor who specializes in beauty, style, entertainment, and pop culture. She was part of the editorial team at DivineCaroline (now for more than three years. She loves makeup, sparkly accessories, giraffes, brunch, Matt Damon, New York City, and ice cream.

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