Article sponsored by Joe Fresh
If it wasn’t for the nature of my job, it would be hard to find the time in my calendar to set aside an hour to rip through my closet and put together specific outfits. Meal planning? Try outfit planning. It’s an entirely different adventure. This is why I’m always looking for style hacks to make one piece work with five others; or one little tuck here, and accessory there, anything to bring the look I want into reality without too much effort. Most days I’m running from one thing to the next, so I’m usually in my basics. I love brands that offer “basics” because we live our lives in them. Sure, you see me in gowns, suits, and heels because that’s my Instagram highlight reel. But most days, I’m living in my basic wardrobe capsule, which allows me to get dressed and feel really beautiful in five moves or less. Here’s how to do it:
The Classic Look
Shop this look: Skinny Jean, Joe Fresh
You seriously can’t go wrong with jeans and a t-shirt. Want to get dressed in five moves or less? This is your outfit of choice. There’s a reason this outfit is referenced so much in pop-culture - a basic white t-shirt and jeans is the easiest thing to put together and strikes that balance of comfort while still being “put-together.”
First move: Pick your jeans
I really don’t have too many style notes for jeans. The right answer is the pair that makes you feel sexy and comfortable. Lately, I’m loving anything with a slight ‘70s flare or frayed edges and some stretch. The ‘90s boyfriend style is back and I’m loving the way it hugs my silhouette but isn’t restricting my movement. If you want something that will elongate your leg, a straight-leg fit is always a good idea. A lighter wash for spring is also a great choice - but really any color will work if you choose the white t-shirt to style with it.
Second move: Style you white t-shirt
Shop this look: Scoop Neck Tee, Joe Fresh
I’m really loving scoop necks lately - they pair well with higher coverage bras so you don’t have to worry about any straps becoming visible, and it’s still a style that's flexible enough to go from a day at the office to a night out. See below for accessories!
Third move: Tucking
Revolutionary, I know. But the easiest way to look more presentable is to just tuck that t-shirt into your jeans. Obviously, if it’s a crop-top you can’t, so if that’s the case, look for higher waisted jeans that you can use to complement your crop tops or easily tuck in a longer t-shirt. To create some dimension, tuck in your t-shirt and put a longer knit cardigan over top.
Fourth move: Accessorize
My first choice to accessorize this look is small jewelry pieces. Pearls, huggies, cuffs, or a small bracelet are my go-to’s. You don't have to use statement pieces, since this outfit is elevating everyday basics, so a dainty, chic jewelry choice will elevate your look in an understated way. A simple watch, something minimal, will also easily add to this clean-cut outfit. With scoop necks, I usually don’t wear necklaces.
Quick tip: if it’s warmer outside, you can easily pull up your sleeves and create an ‘80s silhouette while letting more of your arms breathe (see photo above). Take your bra strap and pull it over your shirt sleeves. Pull the top of the sleeve to however short you want you sleeves, and you’ve created this masculine, boxy shape. To create some contrast, pair this muscle tee look with feminine heels.
Say you want to add some color. My favorite hack that I don't see others doing often is add a silk scarf to your hair. You can add that splash of color and your white t-shirt will match perfectly. See my tutorial below on four ways to wear your scarf in your hair.
Fifth move: Shoes
For shoes, sneakers will always be your best friend for this casual look - but if you want to dress it up a bit, something with a small heel or a sandal for this incoming spring weather is the perfect choice. Use whatever accessories you chose to inspire the pieces you take with you out of the house (bags and shoes). If you’re wearing gold hoops, pick a bag that has gold accents (clasps, straps, or buttons).
Shop this look: Knit Mules, Joe Fresh
The Office Chic
Shop this look: Crepe Blazer, Joe Fresh
Oversized blazers and button-down shirts are the chosen pieces for spring and summer this year. Paired with mini skirts, trousers, high-waisted shorts, or really anything, this look is so sleek and so comfortable. It’s an easy outfit that will take you from daytime events to evening ones.
First move: Choose your pants
I always think matching top to bottom looks clean and sophisticated - especially if you’re going with a blazer. Simple black trousers will work - and they’re a good investment for your closet since they will literally go with everything you’ve already got in there.
Second move: Blazer or button-down
If it’s an evening event, I like to skip the under-layer altogether and let the buttons on the shirt work for me. Partially buttoning a longer button-up shirt creates a bit of dimension and more movement in your outfit. Tucking in one side or just the front part of the shirt creates a lovely dimension.
You can do the same thing with a blazer by wearing it unbuttoned with a crop top or a colorful bandeau.
Shop this look: Shirt Tunic, Joe Fresh
Third Move: Shoes & Accessories
I love pairing flats or loafers with any sort of cropped trouser. They also really complement the chic, Parisian vibes that an all black outfit really give off. Shoes with some sort of gold or silver clasp or accent will elevate this outfit. Loafers are perfect for transitioning to spring, so look for a pair with shades of color and texture like burgundy and browns or faux leather and velvet.
Don’t forget sunglasses! Since it’s getting sunnier outside, an easy addition to your accessory game and a simple way to elevate any outfit is adding sunglasses. Also, it’s a way to let your personality come through your outfit since this outfit is more of a basic ensemble.
Shop this look: Platform Canvas Sneakers, Joe Fresh
Shop this look: Loafers, Joe Fresh
Shop this look: Taylor Sunglasses, Verie
The Little Black Dress
Shop this look: Rib Shirt Dress, Joe Fresh
Another essential outfit, this is the easiest way to have something quick on hand for a last minute dinner invitation, a day when you can’t run home to change for a night out, or you just want to wear something a bit more special on any given weekday. There are so many ways to style a simple black dress - so it looks, in the end, anything but simple!
First move: Pick a dress
For spring, I like slip dresses or something with a really slinky, silky feeling. Think bouncy - when I’m strolling, I want it to have some movement but be lighter so it can carry me through hotter summer evenings as well as spring ones. Mini skirts are all the rage right now, so if you’d prefer to go with something shorter - choose a mini dress or skirt to pair with your button-down shirt or oversized blazer.
Second move: Hair & Makeup
If you want something edgier, put on a bold red lipstick. Something basic but it really pops - and makes it look like you’ve put hours into this actually effortless chic look. For hair, a sleek low bun really pulls everything together and communicates this classy feeling (check out my tutorial below):
Third move: Your top layer
If it’s cooler out or you just want another layer, a blazer or jacket with a patten or some texture will suit this little dress perfectly. Something tartan or tweed will give you Clueless vibes, especially if you go for a longer and oversized top layer (highly recommended, it’s the trend right now). Another option is denim. You can never go wrong with denim for springtime. Oversized will also give you that beautiful silhouette since it will again contrast with the slimmer fitting dress.
Shop this look: Denim Jacket, Joe Fresh
Shop this look: Tweed Blazer
Fourth move: Boots
If your dress cuts above the knee, go for high boots. Something that hits at the knee or calf. If your dress is longer, chunky ankle boots or heels are your best bet - they once again give you that masculine contrast to the feminine dress. Boots are more approachable than high heels but you still look done up.
Shop this look: Sock boots, Joe Fresh
Shop this look: Tall Boots, Joe Fresh
Fifth move: Last accessories
If the dress you chose is more of a t-shirt dress or an oversized look, you can always pull in the waist to create a more hourglass silhouette. You can easily do this by adding a small belt (not something too Y2K oversized, since you already have a lot going on with this look). Another styling option is to pull the material out the top of the dress and over the belt for a more layered look.
Shop this look: Twisted Buckle Belt, Joe Fresh