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How to Be a Bit More Chic

The term “chic” can apply to many things: Fashion, décor, food, music, attitude, and lifestyle. It’s hard to define chic. Much like irony, you know it when you see it — or rather you know when something isn’t chic. And, while some may see the concept as an abstract, lofty, unattainable mark of beauty and

The term “chic” can apply to many things: Fashion, décor, food, music, attitude, and lifestyle. It’s hard to define chic. Much like irony, you know it when you see it — or rather you know when something isn’t chic. And, while some may see the concept as an abstract, lofty, unattainable mark of beauty and wealth, I tend to look at it as an aspiration to elevate the everyday. Instead of toast with butter, toast with preserves. Instead of a floral centerpiece, an arrangement of feathers and fruit. Instead of jeans — trousers. Instead of a plain t-shirt — a striped t-shirt. It’s really just turning the dial up a few notches on the style barometer, without going overboard or being too loud. Not that there’s anything wrong with bold, wild style, but, for times when you want to present a more effortlessly chic self, even in your everyday comings and goings, here are a few simple tricks to help you be a bit chicer

First, simplicity is key. You don’t want to look like your clothes are wearing you. There’s no need to pile on accessories, pair mix-matched patterns, or wear complicated silhouettes in order to achieve a chic outfit. Instead, wear what you normally would, what you feel comfortable in, then zhoosh it up. If your normal look is a t-shirt and jeans, add some delicate jewelry and don a blazer instead of a hoodie. If your shoes of choice are sneakers, try a ballet flat or ankle boot. If you regularly wear a shift dress, try both skinny and wider belts to change up the shape. Swap your hoop or dangling earrings for simple studs. All these subtle add-ons and swaps are easy ways to achieve a chicer look.

If you’re bored with what you normally wear and are looking to add chic pieces to your closet, embrace classic silhouettes, like dark-wash skinny or straight-leg jeans. Look for V-neck and crewneck pullover sweaters in neutral shades like black, navy, and grey. Cropped pants and crisp white button-downs will also round out your chic-leaning wardrobe. These classic garments can be added to any look to amp up the chic factor, or be worn with each other for a full-on chic effect.

Also, only buy items that you love, no matter the style you’re trying to achieve. Your face and body language show when you aren’t comfortable with what you’re wearing. Dress for you, dress in what makes your body happy. There’s nothing chicer than confidence.

Whether you’re buying new, or restyling current pieces, pay attention to fit. Tailored fits always read more chic than oversized and baggy. A great dress could cost hundreds of dollars, but if it doesn’t fit or flatter your figure, it looks cheap. Whereas, an inexpensive frock that fits you perfectly (be it off the rack or by being altered by a tailor) looks polished and elegant. So, be mindful when shopping for new pieces, or shopping your closet, that garments can be made chicer after a trip to the seamstress.

For accessories, choose one statement piece, like a metallic belt, printed scarf, or cocktail ring, then keep the rest of your jewelry and add-ons subdued. Think of them as supporting players to the main attraction. Opt for either a necklace or scarf, but not both. If you normally layer jewelry, be it rings or bracelets, limit it to 2-3. Remove any tassels, pom-poms, or hooks from your handbag. Think sleek and streamlined for accessories in a chic look.

Speaking of sleek, for beauty, go with natural yet groomed hair and makeup. Nothing says chic like a classic chignon, which is a knot or coil of hair arranged at the back of a woman’s head. If you prefer your hair down, try a side part with a simple wave. Of course, if you have naturally curly hair, embrace that and utilize products to enhance your curl and tamp down frizz.

For makeup, like accessories, choose one feature (either eyes or lips) to highlight, then keep the rest of your face neutral. A bright red lip on an otherwise clean face screams French Girl-level chic, especially worn with a striped shirt, jeans, and simple flats. A well-defined lash with a “no-makeup” face gives your overall appearance a bit more polish.

Hopefully, these tips will make the idea of looking chic achievable instead of intimidating. Remember to keep things simple, clean, and classic to be a bit chicer.

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