Recently, a wise friend of mine who has raised two beautiful (inside and out) daughters told me that it’s important to stay interesting. She surprised her girls by eating pizza at a sports bar while watching a football game, all things that are very out of the ordinary for her. Inspired, I decided to go for a walk. I wore leggings, a sports top, and a hoodie. I know. CRAZY. Seriously, though, not only do I not usually take off and go for a walk on a very busy Saturday morning, but I also never wear leggings and hoodies and athleisure clothes. After the walk, I met up with my husband (he ran 5 miles while I walked half a mile, but who’s counting) for kombucha and smoothie bowls at a favorite spot near our house. We are SOOOO trendy.
I got home and immediately launched into a crazy busy Saturday without taking the time to change and do my glam. It was a sunscreen and lipstick kind of day, and all day long, my older daughter (the one who notices) told me how cute and sporty I looked.
I have sometimes been called cute, but I’ve NEVER been called sporty.
There is something about a look that is casual-cute (not sloppy-cute or messy-cute) that makes you look younger, hipper, fresher. And that’s what today’s video is all about. 7 pieces that you can bring into your wardrobe and wear with what you already have that will INSTANTLY make you look more youthful. No Botox, no filler, just clothes. 🙂
All of the items featured in this video can be found here, or click on the links under each section.
Shoes don’t just make the man. They make the woman. Or, at least, they make the outfit. Comfort is mandatory, but so, I believe, is style, and we deserve to have it all. So here’s what I suggest:
- Pick your go-to shoe type for the season (boot, flat, loafer, pump, etc.)
- Find a comfortable MODERN version in your go-to neutral (the color closest to your hair)
- Wear it on repeat
If you focus on the shoe style that you will wear the most, and make sure it is comfortable but also beautiful, you can afford to invest more because you know you will wear it constantly and get your use out of it.
For many women, the go-to shoe style that they wear on repeat in the winter is the boot or bootie. A boot in your dark neutral (and then, once that box is checked, your light neutral) is a wardrobe essential in cooler months, and I’m obsessed with my new Latte boots from 7 or 9 shoes.
7or9 Shoes is a brand that I work with that creates luxurious, high-quality and COMFORTABLE shoes with advanced comfort technology. These Latte boots are chic, timeless, and very versatile. Use code NADAMANLEY for 10% off. If you’re on a budget, skip the multiple pairs of lower quality shoes and invest in one chic and versatile style like these boots.
If booties aren’t your thing, check out one of the other versatile styles below.
Nothing adds instant edge, glam, and attitude to an outfit like a real or faux leather jacket. Plus, I’ve found that this moto jacket style silhouette (and many structured, waist length jackets) is also one of the most FLATTERING and the easiest to pair with all sorts of outfits. This style goes with EVERYTHING, from midi dresses (always hard to layer) to pants outfits of every description. You can go for faux leather versions (Blank NYC does these well), real leather (like my pick from Jacket Maker), faux/real suede, or even fabric (although it won’t have the same attitude, with the possible exception of coated denim).
A pair of updated jeans is critical, as they can serve as the foundation of so many chic outfits and they have a cool factor that is hard to get in any other way. Here are some of my favorite brands for denim at every budget:
- Budget: Express, Levi’s, H&M
- Mid: Mott + Bow, Madewell
- High: Agolde, Mother, Frame, Rag & Bone, ReDone, AG, Paige, L’Agence
The most modern jean silhouettes right now are the straight leg, the flare, and the wide leg. Fortunately, there is a style here to suit every body type. The wide leg is the most universally flattering, followed by the straight. The flare works best on straight or proportional body types, and can overamplify the curves of a strong lower body type. Here, the very best silhouettes by body type.
All my faves are right here.
The Pull-On Jean Debate
After years of telling you to avoid pull-on jeans, I’m making a few exceptions. When I’ve discussed the perils of pull-on jeans in the past, I was thinking of faded, legging-style jeans that have been out of style for a long time (and should never have been in style to begin with). They look something like this unfortunate pair.
There are, however, chic versions of pull-on jeans. I know. I can’t believe those words left my mouth either. It may have been Frame denim ushering in a new era of pull-on denim chic with their JetSet jeans, but now suddenly other brands are coming out with their own options. Here are a few to consider. (Note: While many brands show the waistband of these jeans, I prefer the waistband hidden if it’s designed to look like a real jean waistband. If it’s a flat and clean waistband, then you can show it. My two cents on styling these jeans. 🙂
These can all be found here.
A solid tee is an essential, and much chic-er and more versatile than the busy, frumpy tees that are often sold to women over 40. The key, however, is to find the right one. A simple clean white tee can be super flattering if chosen well. Look for a slightly boxy cut, which can look cool and modern, or a sleek version made of double-layered fabric or compression fabric for smoothness and flattery.
These can all be found here.
Meet your new comfort shoe. Once we all wrap our minds (and adjust our eyes) to wearing sneakers with nicer clothes, possibilities open up. You need a hip, sleek sneaker that will go well with dresses, trousers, and pretty much any other outfit. They also add a hipness and a casual vibe that is instantly youthful and fresh and not fussy and just cool. Here are my current faves.
For bad hair days, in-between-color-appointment days, and any time you feel like your outfit can use a dash of cool, a baseball cap is the answer. It adds a coolness to potentially stuffy outfits and gives you a laid-back and youthful look. My faves are neutral and solid, and not the colorful styles with team logos on them (although those of course are good for sporting events).
These can all be found here.
A crossbody bag is a modern staple. Not only does it give you a cool, hands-free, and secure way to carry your belongings, the strap can add shape to an otherwise slouchy outfit, and it gives a carefree vibe to an outfit that instantly makes it look more youthful.
My current favorite for travel and sporty looks is this one from Nomatic. It’s designed to last for life, and after the abuse that my daughter has given it over the last 6 months (first in Europe this summer, and in constant rotation ever since- it’s always on the floor of her car), it’s living up to that claim. It’s chic, durable, and filled with fab features.
Click here to shop this style!
Which of these items will you consider bringing into your wardrobe? And which is already a go-to? Let’s discuss in the comments!