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are stiletto heels comfortable woman wearing stiletto heels comfortably

How to make seductive stiletto heels comfortable. My top tips!

There are few things more seductive and stylish than a woman wearing a stiletto heel with ease and with poise. There are various types of heeled shoes that a woman can wear to exude style and grace, but nothing quite compares with the level of sophistication and elegance that a good stiletto shoe can give. 

Wearing heels every day is something that you become accustomed to over time, but wearing a stiletto heel is a more particular affair. To ensure that you’re not attracting the wrong kind of attention, it’s important for you to understand what a stiletto heel is, when to wear it and how to wear it. This is something I have had to learn the hard way, so I want to help you avoid the unnecessary mistakes that I made and fasttrack your way to accentuating your style with stiletto heels.

What is a stiletto heel

The first thing you have to get right is knowing the difference between a stiletto heel and a regular heel. When you know how a stiletto heel is designed, it will become so much easier to grasp how and when to wear your stilettos so that you don’t kill your feet or come across as uncomfortable and insecure, which can also ruin an outfit. The point of this article is to give you as much knowledge and confidence to wear your stilettos without so much as a second thought. 

A stiletto is a shoe with a heel that is specifically designed to resemble the long and narrow blade of a stiletto dagger from which it takes its name. Stilettos can come at various heights, but the heel usually corresponds to the shape of a stiletto dagger where the tip that touches the ground is narrow and sometimes the thinnest part of the heel.

are stiletto heels comfortable what is a stiletto heel
are stiletto heels comfortable what is a stiletto heel origin of stiletto heels

A stiletto in French is also called “talon aiguille”, which literally translates as “needle heel” and the two terms are used interchangeably. This means that while stilettos can be closed or open-toed, and can come in a variety of colors and materials, the heel itself must be designed to be narrow and thin and either tapers in from the top or falls in a straight line to the tip of the heel where it touches the ground.

are stiletto heels comfortable what is a stiletto heel tapered stiletto heel
Tapered Stiletto (Needle Heel)
are stiletto heels comfortable what is a stiletto heel straight stiletto heel
Straight Stiletto

Contrary to popular belief, a stiletto does not always translate to a really high heel. Stilettos are usually associated with a long and thin heel, which is where the misconception comes from, but as long as the shape of the heel corresponds to the traditional design, whether it is 6cm or 2cm in length, then it is still technically a stiletto heel.

Likewise, just because a pair of shoes has a very high heel, this does not mean that they are considered stilettos if they do not have the shape of a stiletto. However, for the sake of argument in this article, I will use the term stiletto to mean a high heel.

are stiletto heels comfortable what is a stiletto heel low stiletto heel pump
Low stiletto heel
are stiletto heels comfortable what is a stiletto heel high block heel not a stiletto
High heel but not a stiletto

Are stiletto heels comfortable?

Any prolonged wear of stiletto heels, whether they are well broken in or not, will cause some level of discomfort overtime. Because stilettos have very narrow and thin heels that make it harder to balance on, your muscles tire more easily than with other types of heels. 

Shoe fit, design and material play an important role in how comfortable or painful stilettos can be. Well-designed stilettos work to distribute your weight more evenly and avoid friction in sensitive areas. Stilettos made with real leather can soften and mould to the shape of your feet over time, as opposed to synthetic or faux leather which does not. Stilettos that fit well make a huge difference if you plan to wear them for long periods of time, but certain things can also help to further reduce pain.

How to make stiletto heels more comfortable

There are two ways that you can approach wearing stiletto heels to make them more comfortable. The first is to do with choosing a particular shoe design that prioritises your comfort and the second involves using pain-preventing products to increase the comfort and wearability of your stilettos.

1- Stiletto Design

There are four design features that make stiletto heels more comfortable. They are; heel placement, weight distribution, fit and grip. 

are stiletto heels comfortable heel placement

Stiletto heels that are placed right at the back edge of the shoe tend to push all of your weight onto the ball of your foot, so instead, try to wear heels that are placed under the center of your heel, as this will help to distribute the weight more evenly. 

are stiletto heels comfortable weight distribution

Ensure there are no gaps between the arches of your feet and the shoe bed. Instead, you can use insoles in these areas or have them stitched directly into your shoe so that your weight is distributed throughout your whole foot.

are stiletto heels comfortable skin friction

A closed-toed stiletto can provide better support than an open-toed stiletto, but make sure that there is enough space for your toes and the lip of the leather does not press into your knuckles as this is a high friction area. Use silicone pads if necessary.

are stiletto heels comfortable shoe grip

Slip-on stiletto heels can tire your foot quickly because you have to hold onto them by the toes. If your feet are prone to slipping out of your stilettos, ankle straps can help secure the shoe to your foot without the need to hold on too tightly so your feet will not tire as easily.

2 – Pain preventing products 

It is possible to mitigate the more immediate types of pain that are associated with wearing stilettos by using a variety of pain-preventing products. However, buying the right shoes in the first place can go a long way to helping avoid unnecessary pain, especially when teamed with products to further alleviate it.

Below is a list of products and a description of what they do, but it’s important to remember that no matter how many products you use, if your stilettos do not actually fit your feet to begin with, then there is no point in trying to prevent pain.

are stiletto heels comfortable wear stilettos without pain ball cushions

Ball of Foot Cushions: Place these gel pads under the ball of your foot to improve shock absorption and aid in pain relief. There are many different types you can buy depending on how you want them to sit and you can use double-sided fashion tape if the adhesive isn’t strong enough.

are stiletto heels comfortable wear stilettos without pain first aid tape your toes

First Aid Tape:  works by taping your third and fourth toes together before putting on stilettos. This is supposed to relieve some of the pressure on the nerve between those two toes that causes most of the pain.

are stiletto heels comfortable wear stilettos without pain gel heel liners

Gel Heel Liners: If the back of your shoe rubs against your heel/ankle a lot and you want to avoid blisters, try some gel heel liners. They can also provide more grip and prevent your foot from slipping too much out of your stiletto when you step forward.

are stiletto heels comfortable wear stilettos without pain insoles inserts

High Heel Insole Inserts: Placing this insole into the stiletto starting from the heel. It adds cushioning to your stiletto and can assist your foot by supporting the inner arch and improving the weight distribution.

are stiletto heels comfortable wear stilettos without pain arch-support inserts

Arch inserts: If you have a very high arched foot, some people find having a dedicated arch insert can give them the support they need. If you’re wearing open-toed sandals, it’s possible to ask a shoe cobbler to place the arch support under the insole so that it’s built into the shoe.

are stiletto heels comfortable wear stilettos without pain toe guards toe protectors

Toe Guard: These are like silicone socks that protect individual toes from too much friction or pressure by allowing them some breathing room. They’re more for closed-toe stilettos, however.

are stiletto heels comfortable wear stilettos without pain bunion cushions bunion protectors

Bunion Protector: If your stiletto irritates the outside or inside of your foot at the knuckle, try some bunion protectors to give them some cushioning and prevent blisters.

are stiletto heels comfortable wear stilettos without pain body glide anti chafe balm

Body glide: Reduces friction on skin and makes it much easier to slip your stilettos on and off. I would be careful using this with more valuable stiletto shoes however, in case it leaves a residue. But it’s useful for putting in between your toes to prevent chafing when wearing open toe sandals.

are stiletto heels comfortable wear stilettos without pain emergency foldable flats

Foldable flats: There’s always a bit of relief knowing that you’re not stuck in a pair of stiletto heels that are hurting you the whole day. Always, have a pair of flats that can easily fit into your purse because they can come in handy if there’s an emergency heel snap as well.

I hope you have you found this blog useful and helps you to feel confident and comfortable in your stiletto heels. I would love to see how you use this these tips to find your perfect pair of comfortable stilettos so please tag me on Instagram, Tiktok or Pinterest or you can or send me a message because I would love to see!

About the author 

Mish has a Masters in Fine Art and she’s passionate about classical design, style and culture. She loves to analyze fashion and style through this lens to help people develop a personal style that’s authentic and tasteful.

what jewelry can you wear every day what jewellery is best for everyday wear

What jewelry can you wear everyday? – A full analysis.

Simple fine jewelry is suitable for everyday wear as it’s durable, water-resistant and hypoallergenic. Nickel-free fine jewelry can be worn by most people every day with little issue but individual lifestyle factors will help to determine exactly what karat or metal you should wear every day.

It’s important to note that the marketing term – hypoallergenic, really means “below the normal level” which is anything that less than 50% of the population is allergic to. This is why it’s important to know the composition of the jewelry you are buying so that you can be sure that you can actually wear it every day.

So, I’ve read up on the most common compositions of all fine jewelry options out there from 10k to platinum and I’ve quizzed multiple jewelers in my area to finally find what kind of jewelry is perfect to wear every day. I’ll give you my personal opinion on what is the best type of jewelry for everyday wear as well as more detailed research on each jewelry type. You can jump to it here if you need a quick answer and don’t necessarily want all the details.

Is it OK to wear the same jewelry every day?

From a style perspective, it is perfectly ok to wear the same jewelry every day and can even become part of your own signature look. No matter how often you wear jewelry, it looks best when it’s untarnished but unlike clothing or footwear, fine jewelry can look good every day with low maintenance and still be hygienic.

I must warn you however that once you start your own fine jewelry collection, it never really ends and it incentivises you to always be on the lookout for good deals and beautifully designed pieces to add to your collection. I would also like to add that if you are looking for pieces that you can wear every day, it is wise to stick with something that’s timeless and simplistic in design so that it can pair well with almost everything in your wardrobe.

what jewelry can you wear every day is it ok to wear the same jewelry every day

What types of jewelry won’t tarnish?

Platinum and 24 karat gold jewelry do not tarnish because they do not react easily to oxygen or sulfides. Tarnishing is inevitable for most jewelry that is alloyed with other metals like silver or copper but the lower the alloy content the slower tarnish should appear especially with good care and maintenance.

Tarnish is a natural reaction that happens on the outer layer of the jewelry so unlike rust which spreads throughout the metal, tarnishing only occurs on the outside layer that is exposed. The rate of tarnishing depends on two things – exposure to the atmosphere and the length of time of the exposure. Nevertheless, there are types of jewelry which can withstand more exposure than others without losing their luster.

Factors that can accelerate tarnishing include exposure to oxidants, moisture, and high heat. High-sulfur materials like paper and cardboard used in the packaging of jewelry have also been identified as one of the most common tarnishing accelerants. Chemical formulated cosmetics such as makeup, hairspray or perfume and household cleaning agents like bleach also contain high levels of oxidants which can induce tarnishing.

What is the best jewelry metal for everyday wear?

10k and 14k white, yellow and rose gold offer a good balance of durability, beauty and affordability that makes them the best option for everyday wear for most people. They’re tarnish-resistant enough to withstand some water exposure and have enough alloy metals to withstand daily wear and tear without much maintenance.

18k gold pieces provide enough protection and longevity to those who have very busy lifestyles and don’t like to have to remove their jewelry every time they shower or workout for example. However, due to their higher price points they may not be the most practical pieces to wear every day in case of loss, damage or theft. 

White gold will also hold up very well but may require a bit more maintenance to ensure the rhodium layer is kept intact. However, for those who love the look of white gold and don’t mind the higher price point, platinum jewelry is an excellent choice for everyday wear because of its superior ability to withstand wear and tear so well.

Related: Is it weird to buy yourself jewelry.

10 Karat Gold Jewelry 

10k gold jewelry consists of 10 parts gold and 14 parts other metals, usually silver or copper, or zinc. Because 10k gold is the minimum amount of karatage that is considered to be fine jewelry and contains more alloy metals than it does gold, this means it is the least expensive fine gold jewelry that you can find on the market. 

10k gold jewelry is best known for its durability and its affordability making it a really good option for everyday wear. This means that it won’t bend or break as easily as high karat gold pieces and is more scratch-resistant too.

what jewelry can you wear every day 10k gold pendant chain necklace

What is 10k white, yellow and rose gold jewelry made of?

A common composition for 10 karat white gold is 41.7% gold, 47.4% silver, 10% palladium, and 0.9% zinc. A common composition for 10 karat yellow gold is 41.7% gold, 52% silver and 6.3% copper. A common composition for 10 karat rose gold is 41.7% gold, 20% silver and 38.3% copper

Can you wear 10k gold jewelry every day?

All types of 10k gold jewelry (white, yellow and rose) can be worn every day. It’s a highly durable composition that can withstand daily use. 10k pieces are hypoallergenic and won’t discolor your skin even if you get them wet which makes them very practical to wear every day even for people with sensitive skin. 

White gold may require higher maintenance to keep the rhodium layer intact but should only require re-plating every 2 or so years. The more often you wear jewelry, the more possible it is to get broken, lost or stolen so having some basic 10k pieces in your collection is always a good idea because they’re much less risky and easier to replace than higher value pieces.

10k gold jewelry is a great option for moms, sporty people and just people who have a busy lifestyle in general. It’s the best option for someone who doesn’t mind a little bit of maintenance and who wants high-quality pieces that they don’t have to be too careful with either.

14 Karat Gold Jewelry 

14k gold jewelry consists of 14 parts gold and 8 parts other metals, usually silver or copper, or zinc. The difference in color between 10,14 and 18k gold is very subtle but 14k gold tends to be a bit richer than 10k gold jewelry. It is the most popular option for engagement rings as it’s slightly stronger than 18k gold which means it can hold gemstones and diamonds quite reliably. It provides the best combination of rich color, good durability and reasonable affordability.

What is 14k white, yellow and rose gold jewelry made of?

A common composition for 14 karat white gold is 58.3% gold, 32.2% silver and 9.5% palladium. A common composition for 14 karat yellow gold is 58.3% gold, 30% silver and 11.7% copper. A common composition for 14 karat rose gold is 58.3% gold, 9.2% silver and 32.5% copper.

what jewelry can you wear every day 14k gold diamond bracelets

Can you wear 14k gold jewelry every day?

All types of 14k gold jewelry (white, yellow and rose) can be worn every day. It’s a high-value, durable composition that can withstand daily use. 14k pieces won’t discolor your skin even if you get them wet which makes them very practical to wear every day even for people with sensitive skin. 

White gold may require higher maintenance to keep the rhodium layer intact but should only need re-plating every 2 or so years. This karat is the most common choice for those purchasing wedding or engagement rings because it offers a high level of gold while still being durable and practical enough to wear every day. 14k is a superb choice for people who want to wear impressive pieces of jewelry more casually, professionally or socially too. It’s also a great choice if you like to have gemstones and diamonds in your pieces that you want to feel secure with.

18 Karat Gold Jewelry

18k gold jewelry consists of 18 parts gold and 6 parts other metals, usually silver, copper, or zinc. The color of 18k gold is rich and has a brilliant shine and should retain its aesthetic beauty longer than lower karat pieces due to the high gold content. It’s a great option for very special and sentimental jewelry pieces because it offers a good balance between the beauty of 24k gold and the durability of 14k gold jewelry.

What is 18k white, yellow and rose gold jewelry made of?

A common composition for 18 karat white gold is 75% gold and 25% nickel, nickel-free white gold alloys use palladium or platinum. A common composition for 18 karat yellow gold is 58.3% gold, 30% silver and 11.7% copper. A common composition for 18 karat rose gold is 75% gold, 2.8% silver and 22.2% copper.

what jewelry can you wear every day 18k rose gold diamond ring

Can you wear 18k gold jewelry every day?

18k yellow and rose gold jewelry can be worn every day without issue. In the US, 18k white gold that’s alloyed with nickel might tarnish over time if worn every day, especially if the rhodium layer is worn. 18k white gold that’s alloyed with palladium on the other hand is very tarnish-resistant. 

The downside of wearing 18K gold jewelry every day is that it’s softer and less durable than 10k and 14k gold jewelry because of its lower alloy and high gold content. For example, 10K or 14K gold pieces will wear down more slowly than 18K pieces, which can scratch, bend and break more easily.

18k gold works best for special occasions and for jewelry pieces that don’t get a lot of wear, like earrings for example. 18k can work beautifully for rings as well because they don’t have any clasps, chain links or closures that can break easily and they can withstand handwashing better than 10k and 14k pieces.

22 Karat Gold Jewelry

22k gold jewelry consists of 22 parts gold and 2 parts other metals, usually silver or copper, or zinc. Much like 24k gold, jewelry made with 22k gold is mostly used in Asian countries to craft plain gold pieces because of jewelry with higher gold content is seen as more prestigious. 22k gold is best suited to plain jewelry because of it’s weight and malleability and because it doesn’t have the right strength to hold diamonds and gemstones reliably. 

What is 22k white, yellow and rose gold jewelry made of?

22 karat white gold does not exist since it’s impossible to combine enough of the alloyed metals required to make 22k white gold. A common composition for 22 karat yellow gold is 91.7% gold, 5% silver, 2% copper and 1.3% zinc. A common composition for 22 karat rose gold is 91.7% gold and 8.3% copper.

what jewelry can you wear every day 22k yellow gold diamond ring

Can you wear 22k gold jewelry every day?

Small, simple 22k gold pieces can be worn every day but larger pieces may not be that practical because of their high value and heavy weight. Usually 22k gold jewelry is worn for ceremonial events or celebrations rather than everyday jewelry. 

24K Pure Gold Jewelry

24 karat gold jewelry is made of 100% pure gold and is the purest jewelry on the market. Because it’s 100% pure gold, this makes it the most expensive jewelry and is typically purchased as an investment rather than for everyday wear. Pure gold is very malleable meaning it can be hammered or pressed into shape without breaking but at the same time lacks the strength and durability of its alloyed counterparts.

Even though 24k jewelry was used throughout history on pieces that have been excavated from the earth after 1000s of years and put on display in museums around the world, 24k is not commonly used today for jewelry making. The reasons include that it’s a very expensive material for people to purchase, it weighs more than alloyed gold jewelry and is difficult to make intricate designs with. It’s also not as durable against wear and tear like lower karat jewelry which means 24k gold is best for making heavyweight plain, simple jewelry that’s not made for everyday wear.

what jewelry can you wear every day 24k solid gold pendant for chain necklace

Can you wear 24k gold jewelry every day?

Theoretically 24k gold jewelry can be worn every day since it’s very good for sensitive skin and is very tarnish resistant. However, it is not the most practical jewelry to wear daily because of its weight, high value and lack of durability against everyday wear and tear.

Not only is 24kt gold pliable, but it also scratches extremely easily so it’s not best to wear 24k pieces on high contact areas like rings on your hands for example. A more appropriate daily use for 24k gold would be as a pendant for example on a lower karat necklace like 18k or 14k gold. The chain part of the necklace will be durable and lightweight enough for you to wear on a daily basis while you can still have the striking color and vibrancy of a more hefty 24k gold pendant that’s more protected and out of the way of daily wear and tear.

Sterling Silver Jewelry

Sterling silver jewelry is not pure 100% silver, it’s composed of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper alloy. This is the minimum amount of alloy needed to make durable and functional jewelry because pure silver is too soft to produce something that can hold precious gemstones or even its own shape over time.

what jewelry can you wear every day sterling silver hoop earrings

Can you wear sterling silver jewelry every day?

Most people can wear nickel-free sterling silver every day without any issue. However, it’s important to realize that daily wear of sterling silver can require high maintenance as it’s important to keep your sterling silver items dry and away from any moisture, direct heat and chemicals.

Platinum Jewelry

Platinum is rarer than gold and is considered among the most pure and precious metals used in modern-day jewelry making. Because of its natural strength and durability platinum is often used in luxurious and high value pieces. In jewelry, It’s often alloyed with other metals to make it more malleable because it’s so tough.

what jewelry can you wear every day platinum simple everyday pendant chain necklace

Can you wear platinum jewelry every day?

Platinum is more durable than gold and is actually one of the most durable metals in the world so it can withstand daily wear and tear easily. Unlike most white gold, platinum jewelry is nickel-free and completely safe for most people to wear on a daily basis. Because this metal is considered more precious than gold, it has a higher price tag but is such a long lasting metal that jewelry made from high-quality platinum can last for generations.

Whether you’re looking for high-quality jewelry that can last a lifetime or just some reliable pieces that won’t tarnish, fade or stain your skin, I hope you have found this helpful. I would love to see how you use this article to find some beautiful pieces that you can wear everyday so please please tag me on InstagramTiktok or Pinterest or you can or send me a message because I would love to see! 

*All jewelry composition stats were sourced through this very insightful article by the World Gold Council.

About the author 

Mish has a Masters in Fine Art and she’s passionate about classical design, history and culture. She loves to analyze fashion and style through this lens to help people develop a personal style that’s authentic and tasteful.

what type of heels are easiest to walk in do you get used to heels eventually

Do you get used to heels? Here’s how to do it!

If you are not used to wearing heels frequently or at least once or twice per week, it can feel intimidating or unnatural to start incorporating them more often into your wardrobe and your lifestyle. There are some things that you need to know before you start adopting heels more often in your outfits and I want to share what has worked for me.

Getting used to high heels involves two things; a comfortable fit and learning how to walk correctly. Provided you have no chronic foot issues, you can get used to high heeled shoes as long as your feet are not strained in them. By first mitigating pain, you can then focus on learning how to walk correctly in them.

Hopefully this gives you some hope even if you are not used to wearing heels at all. The number one rule is not to rush it and keep practising step by step by increasing the heel height and reducing the heel thickness gradually. This allows you to find your centre of gravity which will make it so much easier when wearing thinner heels. There are also specific types of heels that are easier to walk in than others and can help to maximise your efforts.

How long does it take to get used to wearing heels?

This is highly dependent on each person and which heels they are trying to get used to. However, you should generally give yourself 3-5 days to allow your body to get used to its new center of gravity and allow the shoe to mould slightly to your feet. This will also give you enough time to practice walking in them.

Therefore, if you’re not used to wearing heels at all and you want to take a more gradual approach by wearing low wide heels at the beginning and working your way up, try to give yourself at least 3-4 weeks before you move up to 4 inch heels that are thinner. This will allow your body to get used to one thing at a time so that you can build up your ability and your confidence in wearing and walking in heels. 

how long does it take to get used to wearing heels walking in heels

Once you have gotten used to wearing high heels, remember that it can still take a little while to get used to a new pair of heels even for seasoned heel wearers. This is because not all heels are made the same and how a heel is made, affects how easy or difficult it is to walk in. Once you know what type of heeled shoe suits you best, it becomes sooo much easier to shop for and invest in the right ones.

What type of heels are easiest to walk in?

Aside from block heels and wedges, which are much easier to walk in than high heels for a majority of women, there are a number of design features that can make high heels easier or more difficult to walk in. 

There are four elements that make high heels easy to walk in, they are; balance, weight distribution, comfort and grip. There are specific design features that affect these four elements of heel wearing but it is still crucial for each person to test which features are easiest for them to wear and walk in.

what type of heels are easiest to walk in do you get used to heels heel placement

Heels that are placed right at the back edge of the shoe tend to push all of your weight onto the ball of your foot, so instead try to wear heels that are placed under the center of your heel as this will help to distribute the weight more evenly. 

what type of heels are easiest to walk in do you get used to heels skin friction

Close-toed shoes can provide better support than open-toe but make sure that there is enough space for your toes and the lip of the leather does not press into your knuckles as this is a high friction area. Use silicone pads if necessary.

what type of heels are easiest to walk in do you get used to heels weight distribution

Ensure there are no gaps between the arches of your feet and the shoe bed. Instead you can use insoles in these areas or have them stitched directly into your shoe so that your weight is distributed throughout your whole foot.

what type of heels are easiest to walk in do you get used to heels grip

Slide on and slip in heels are quite fatiguing for the foot because you have to hold onto them by the toes. Ankle straps secure the shoe to your foot without the need to hold on so your feet will not tire as easily.

How to get used to walking in high heels

  1. Know what style shoe suits you best not just in terms of style but in design. 
  2. Buy high-quality, well made shoes that are a good fit especially if you expect to wear them for long periods.
  3. If you’re not used to wearing heels at all then work your way up in heel size and heel width to practice muscle strength and balance first.
  4. Test the heels first by wearing a thin pair of socks or tights with them and walk around for 5 minutes. This will indicate if there are any pressure points or high friction areas that need to be addressed. 
  5. Mitigate pain by using insoles to improve weight distribution and padding to protect high friction areas. 
  6. Practice wearing them around the house first and then start wearing them in places where you’ll have a limited time period of standing.
  7. Take up hobbies that will improve your heel wearing ability, these include activities that improve balance and coordination like yoga, ballet and Latin dancing.

    how to get used to wearing and walking in heels yoga balance practice

  8. If you have a treadmill at home you can practice walking slowly on it and gradually increase the speed.
  9. Don’t try to wear heels everyday, give your feet a break in flat shoes and let them adjust to your heels gradually.
  10. If you feel forced to take tiny steps and to hit the ground with your toes and heel at the same time then you are wearing a heel that is too high for you. You should practice in a smaller heel first and once you feel confident you can move back up to a higher heel.
  11. Practise your walk at home by taking regular size strides and hitting the ground with your heel first and only a slight bend in the knee. Remember to take your eyes off the ground, look forward and keep your posture straight.

In the end, it’s important to wear heels that you feel confident in – your overall look will be more polished and put together if you wear small chunky heel boots that you can be yourself in rather than 4″ pumps that you can’t walk in yet.

Related: How to wear heels casually

How can I wear heels without pain

Any prolonged wear of heels whether they are broken in or not will cause some level of discomfort. It is possible to mitigate the more immediate types of pain that are associated with wearing high heels by using a variety of products. However, buying the right shoes in the first place can go a long way to helping avoid unnecessary pain especially when teamed with products to further alleviate it.

Shoe fit, design and material play an important role in how painful heels can be. Well-designed shoes work to distribute your weight more evenly and avoid friction in sensitive areas. Shoes made with real leather soften and mould to the shape of your feet over time as opposed to synthetic or faux leather which do not.

Heels that fit well make a huge difference if you plan to wear them for long periods of time but certain things can also help to further reduce pain. Below is a list of products and a description of what they do but it’s important to remember that no matter how many products you use, if your shoes do not actually fit your feet to begin with then there is no point in trying to prevent pain.

Pain-preventing products

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain ball cushions

Ball of Foot Cushions: Place these gel pads under the ball of your foot to improve shock absorption and aid in pain relief. There are multiple different types you can buy depending on how you want them to sit and you can use double sided fashion tape if the adhesive isn’t strong enough.

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain first aid tape your toes

First Aid Tape:  works by taping your third and fourth toes together before putting on heels. This is supposed to relieve some of the pressure on the nerve between those two toes that causes most of the pain.

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain gel heel liners

Gel Heel Liners: If the back of your shoe rubs against your heel/ankle a lot and you want to avoid blisters, try some gel heel liners. They can also provide more grip and prevent your foot from slipping too much out of your shoe when you step forward.

High Heel Insole Inserts: Placing this insole into the shoe starting from the heel. It adds cushioning to your heel and can assist your foot by supporting the inner arch and improving the weight distribution.

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain arch support inserts

Arch inserts: If you have a very high arched foot, some people find having a dedicated arch insert can give them the support they need. If you’re wearing an open toe sandal it’s possible to ask a shoe cobbler to place the arch support under the insole so that it’s built into the shoe.

Toe Guard: These are like silicone socks that protect individual toes from too much friction or pressure by allowing them some breathing room. They’re more for closed-toe shoes however.

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain bunion cushions bunion protectors

Bunion Protector: If your shoe irritates the outside or inside of your foot at the knuckle try some bunion protectors to give them some cushioning and prevent blisters.

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain bunion body glide anti chafe balm

Body glide: Reduces friction on skin and makes it much easier to slip your shoes on and off. I would be careful using this with more valuable shoes however in case it leaves a residue. But it’s useful for putting in between toes to prevent chafing when wearing open toe sandals.

what type of heels are easiest to walk wear heels without pain emergency foldable flats

Foldable flats: There’s always a bit of relief knowing that you’re not stuck in a pair of shoes that are hurting you the whole day. Always, have a pair of flats that can easily fit into your purse because they can come in handy if there’s an emergency heel snap as well.

Foldable flats: There’s always a bit of relief knowing that you’re not stuck in a pair of shoes that are hurting you the whole day. Always, have a pair of flats that can easily fit into your purse because they can come in handy if there’s an emergency heel snap as well.

How long does it take to break heels in?

Not all heels have the same break in period and there are many factors that contribute to the amount of time it can take. These factors include the style of the shoe, material of the inner sole and the outer structure and how you like your heels to fit but typically it can be between 3 and 4 weeks with regular wear.

If you decide to purchase real leather heels, breaking them in properly can really reduce discomfort and make them easier to walk in. The reason shoes are traditionally made of leather is because it’s a wonderful material for progressively fitting a person perfectly. It’s important not to confuse “breaking in” with suffering poor fitting or badly made shoes. Neither of those problems can be fixed no matter how much you try to break them in.

how long does it take to break heels in do you get used to heels

How to break in heels

Here are some quick tips on what to do and not to do when breaking in heels. 

Do…

  • Buy good-quality heels and ask the store clerk to help you find the perfect fit.
  • Wear thin socks at first with padding in high friction areas to allow the heat of your foot to penetrate to the leather
  • Wear for short time intervals of 30 mins to an hour a few times per day at home for 2 to 3 days.
  • Increase the thickness of your socks and remove padding if possible.
  • Increase the time interval and wear the heels for two or three hours to allow the leather to warm up through the thicker socks.
  • Remove socks and pad any spots you know will rub when you start to wear your heels in public. Carry band aids just in case.
  • Pack some foldable flats in your bag, just in case you need an emergency change.
  • Continue to break them in at home if they are still too stiff to wear in public.

Don’t…

  • Immediately wear them on a long trip – short walks are best to start with.
  • Continue to wear them if it hurts – little by little is the key.
  • Put your heels under a hairdryer or the freezer – you might have heard the advice to warm up the leather, or cool it down, but don’t do it! With fine shoes you want to do everything gentle.
  • Get your heels wet, again this could irrevocably damage your beautiful shoes!
  • Give up! If they are reluctant to mould, use a shoe stretcher to give a more prolonged stretch between wear.

Whether you’re just starting to wear more heels, or you’re looking for ways to make them more comfortable then I hope you have found this helpful. I would love to hear what works for you and see how you use the tips to wear your heels more frequently so don’t forget to tag me on InstagramTiktok or Pinterest or send me a message because I would love to see! 

About the author 

Mish has a Masters in Fine Art and she’s passionate about classical design, history and culture. She loves to analyze fashion and style through this lens to help people develop authentic personal style.

how to wear heels casually with everyday outfits

How to wear heels casually

Have you ever looked longingly at a pair of heels that you knew would look so good with your outfit but questioned whether they were “too dressy” or “too formal” for the occasion? Or do you just long to wear heels more often but you don’t know how to incorporate them into your style without looking too formal. I want to help you learn how to wear heels casually and more often, with a few tips on how to wear them everyday if you really want to.

I am quite tall already (5’8”) and I’m used to wearing heels only at special occasions and nights out, so I set out to overcome my hesitation to wear heels more casually and learn to be comfortable wearing them more often and for more informal occasions. It’s done wonders for my confidence, my own sense of style and has helped me to look more polished and put together on the regular. 

Is it weird to wear heels casually?

Generally, heels are considered a dressy shoe worn at formal occasions to look more professional, feminine, sexy or glamorous. This is why it may look strange to wear certain types of heels in casual situations. But wearing heels casually is neither weird nor normal because it depends on multiple factors. 

The most common reason women hesitate to wear heels casually is because it looks too professional, sexy or glamorous in the wrong setting. While it’s important to learn to wear anything you want with confidence, I think it’s equally important to learn how to judge the situation and be tasteful with your style.

how to wear heels casually nude stiletto heel on grass
how to wear heels casually wedge heels summer picnic heels for grass

For example, wearing a 3 inch stiletto heel to a picnic in the park with friends could be considered weird because it will be extremely hard to walk on grass making you uncomfortable and therefore your friends uncomfortable as well. In this situation, a wedge heel would be more balanced because the wider surface area will make it much more easy to walk on grass and the cork or straw materials that wedge heels are usually made of would give a really nice summery aesthetic to suit the occasion.

How to wear heels casually

As a general rule the higher and thinner the actual heel of the shoe is, the more it’s associated with formal footwear for situations where women want to look more feminine, sexy or glamorous. 

A good way to avoid feeling overdressed when wearing heels is to opt for either a high block heel or a low stiletto heel (ie. kitten heel). Finding a balance between heel height and heel type (eg. stiletto, block, wedge) is a good initial rule to help you wear heels casually in any given situation.

how to wear heels casually high block heels casual outfit
how to wear heels casually low stiletto think kitten heel casual outfit

To a lesser extent, shoe type (eg. open or closed toe) and shoe texture (eg. patent leather or cork) can help you to find shoes that are more suited to casual occasions. Closed pointy toed shoes are considered more formal than open toe sandals but they can work depending on the rest of your outfit. 

The sheen of patent leather can usually give a very professional look but you can counteract this by choosing a more subtle colors like nude or beige. You could also opt for more casual looking textured shoes like suede, matt leather, cork or wood. With these more general guidelines out of the way, let’s look at how you can actually wear a pair of proper heels casually.

Skin tone colors

how to wear heels casually subtle colors nude beige neutral high heel outfit
how to wear heels casually subtle colors brown neutral high heel outfit black stylish woman

Skin tone or neutral color heels are a great way to soften the formal look of heels because they blend in so smoothly. This works best if you’re wearing cropped pants or a skirt that shoes a bit of leg because you want to see a bit of that skin color for this to work well. Another great thing about this is that it can work with open sandal heels and more formal pointy stilettos as well.

Make it the feature

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how to wear heels casually statement leopard print heels casual sweater outfit

You don’t necessarily have to hide your heels or camouflage them when you want to wear them casually either. You could choose to make a statement of them by keeping your outfit really relaxed and simple but choosing a nice bright color or and interesting print to make it the feature of your outfits. This is a very cool way to show some of your personality and make your causal heeled outfit look intentional and fun.

Keep it simple but classy

how to wear heels casually keep outfit simple but classy white shirt
how to wear heels casually keep outfit simple but classy high heel outfit black turtleneck

Black pointy stilettos are perhaps the hardest shoe to dress casually because they are so associated with professional wear. The way to make this shoe work casually is to keep a bit of that professional vibe throughout the rest of the outfit but make it very relaxed and simplified. This helps to create a look that’s classy and polished but not “dressy” or formal. Try to incorporate some more relaxed textures as well like denim for example to tone down the corporate vibe. 

Dress them down

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how to wear heels casually dress down your heels athletic wear outfit with heel selena red tracksuit

Some athletic and lounge wear can work really well with heels. It’s a nice go to casual outfit for running errands or traveling. If you’re trying this look, pay close attention that your outfit still looks presentable and your clothes don’t have any rips, stains or creases. This casual heeled outfit is not about looking messy but rather elevating your casual clothes so that they look intentional and put together.

Hide your heel

how to wear heels casually hide the heel long trouser outfit
how to wear heels casually hide your heels with long flowy skirt outfit

This look is for you if you want a bit of height in your casual outfits but don’t necessarily want to reveal that you’re wearing heels. You can conceal your heel with wide leg pants that have a sleek drop or a long floaty skirt. The idea here is to remove the heels visually from the whole look and just concentrate on the rest of the outfit. It’s a great way to get that elevation and feminine feel while minimizing the formal effect that heels have. 

Oversized

how to wear heels casually oversized outfit
how to wear heels casually oversized outfit jeans

This can be a very cute and comfortable way to wear heels casually. Similar to the dressing down technique, it’s important to make sure you’re clothes are well kept because this look works best when your clothes look intentionally oversized, not baggy, poorly fitted or messy. With this look you have a lot more flexibility with the types of clothing you can pair with your heels as the oversized technique is an effective way to make formal clothing like blazers and office trousers look more relaxed. 

Is it OK to wear heels with jeans?

how to wear heels casually with denim outfit katie holmes
how to wear heels casually with denim jumpsuit outfit

Jeans of all types are another great way to make heels look more casual. This is because denim as a material itself has a rustic, laid back look to it and if you choose it as the main material for your whole outfit you can get away with more vibrant, eye-catching heels as well as more traditional office style shoe. Denim has the ability to make heel wearing look effortless and there are so many ways to incorporate the material into your outfit so if you like it denim then this is a very versatile way to wear heels casually.

Block & Wedge

how to wear heels casually high wedge casual heels for everyday outfits
how to wear heels casually high block casual heels for everyday outfits

And of course there is the option to focus on wearing heels that actually look more casual. Block heels and wedges are great because you can get away with having quite a high heel because they’re much less formal and “glam” looking than the traditional stiletto type heels. They work so well for summer outfits especially with open toes sandals and wedges made of natural materials like wood, cork and canvas. If you do decide to pick up a few more block type heels for your wardrobe, opt for more traditional styles rather the trendier heels as this will allow you to wear them longer than just a season or two. 

How often should you wear heels?

As I’ve started to incorporate more heels into outfits more often, I’ve been curious about the impact on my feet and back so I asked my podiatrist how often I should be wearing heels and here is what he recommended. Heels can be worn on a daily basis provided you take care to make sure they’re comfortable and you don’t wear them for very long periods of time without breaks.  

How often you should wear heels depends on height, structure, and support. Low heels (1.5 inches or shorter) should be worn up to 4 hours a day, medium heels (1.5 – 3 inches) up to 3 hours a day and high heels (3.5 inches or more) around 1-2 hours a day. 

how to wear heels casually how long should you wear heels heel placement

Heels that are placed right at the back edge of the shoe tend to push all of your weight onto the ball of your foot, so instead try to wear heels that are placed under the center of your heel as this will help to distribute the weight more evenly. 

how to wear heels casually how long should you wear heels weight distribution

Ensure there are no gaps between the arches of your feet and the shoe bed. Instead you can use insoles in these areas or have them stitched directly into your shoe so that your weight is distributed throughout your whole foot.

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Close-toed shoes can provide better support than open-toe but make sure that there is enough space for your toes and the lip of the leather does not press into your knuckles as this is a high friction area. Use silicone pads if necessary.

how to wear heels casually how long should you wear heels ankle straps foot grip

Slide on and slip in heels are quite fatiguing for the foot because you have to hold onto them by the toes. Ankle straps secure the shoe to your foot without the need to hold on so your feet will not tire as easily. 

Can you wear heels casually everyday?

Depending on your lifestyle, you can wear heels casually everyday if you want to, especially if you mix and match the height and type of heel you wear. However, it’s important to pay close attention to your foot health as wearing heels constantly can result in damage to your feet. 

If you plan to wear heels daily, it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist and have regular checks on your feet to make sure everything is fine. It’s important to note that wearing heels casually does not mean you need to wear them everyday or to every casual event that happens. You can gradually incorporate heels into your daily wardrobe  for specific casual occasions where you still want to make an effort and this will help you to find what works best for your lifestyle. 

There are ladies who love their heels and will wear them every single day for different reasons, such as looking professional, or simply their love for heels. It really just boils down to your personal style and works best for you. Here are some tricks that can help you optimise your comfort while wearing heels for long periods of time so that you can start wearing them more often or even daily.

how to wear heels casually everyday foot doctor protect your feet podiatrist

How to wear heels casually everyday?

If you want to start wearing heels casually everyday there are some things you need to take into consideration to help you wear your heels on a daily basis. These tips will help you to be able to wear your heels comfortably throughout the day and prolong the amount of days you can wear them as well. 

It’s always good to take a break from wearing heels and there are plenty of other gorgeous shoes that can still enhance your style without a heel, so please don’t feel like you have to wear them everyday if you would prefer not to. These tips can also help you if you just want to wear heels occasionally as well. 

Related: What to wear if you can’t wear heels.

Perfect your walk

Learning to walk correctly in heels is essential to being able to wear them more often. Heels with ankle straps or anything that fixes the shoe more securely to your foot will also go a long way to prolonging wear time as your foot can become quickly fatigued in slip on shoes that are held on by the toes.

There are three basic principles that can help you walk correctly in heels. Balance is often overlooked but it’s essential to walking well in heels. Improving your core strength or practising yoga postures for balance will really benefit your walk especially if you do this consistently and make it part of your lifestyle. It will help you to find your centre of gravity which is different for everyone and develop strength in your feet and legs which can also help to lengthen how long you can wear your heels for.

how to wear heels casually three important keys to walking in heels for a long time

Next is making sure your weight is mostly distributed through your heels and not just dumped on your toes or the balls of your feet. When you step your heel should hit the ground first with a soft bend in the knee. This helps to maintain a straight posture from your heel to your head rather than feeling pushed forward by the heels, making you bend over your toes. 

The final basic principle is to protect the most vulnerable parts of your foot that are exposed to high friction like the back of the heel, the inside big toe knuckle and the ball of the foot. We all know how hard it is to walk when you have even a tiny pebble in your shoe, so making sure you have no pain is crucial to having a good walk. Transparent gel cushions are discreet and provide a thick buffer for your skin. Gel cushions also provide a bit of suspension to help reduce impact of walking on hard surfaces for your joints.

Never wear a new pair of heels for a long period of time fresh out of the box, it’s vital that you break them in properly so you don’t put your feet through hell. This testing period will also help you to figure out if you need insoles, toe separators or ankle guards to protect your skin and give your feet all the support they need throughout the day. 

how to wear heels casually everyday comfort protect skin

Double down on TLC

A good amount of tender loving care towards your feet is always recommended not only as a thank you for helping you look fabulous but to also prep them for the next time you wear your heels. Foot stretches are excellent for keeping the muscles in your feet flexible and supple and helps your foot health by releasing any tension that has built up throughout the day. 

Another effective method is the “golf ball” massage which is great for stimulating circulation and relaxes tight muscles. For maximum effect you should do at least 10 mins of stretching/rolling after a warm foot soak and follow up with a high quality moisturising cream that can sink into your skin overnight. 

Here’s how I perform a golf ball massage after a foot soak:
  1. Place a golf ball on a yoga mat beside a wall, you can also use a towel, carpet or any other surface that won’t just allow the ball to slip and roll away.
  2. You can sit if you want a lighter massage, but I prefer to stand and use the wall for balance as this allows me to apply more of my body weight for a deeper massage which is more effective. 
  3. Remove shoes and socks and roll the ball under one foot applying moderate pressure.
  4. Roll the ball along the length of your foot from your heel to your toes and then from the outer edges to the inside all the way down along the foot. 
  5. Next focus on the ball of your foot and the base of your toes. You can use circular strokes or a back and forth movement, just find what feels good.
  6. Finally repeat the same strokes around the heel and when you find a sore or tender spot you can work on it a bit more. 
  7. It’s important to do the massage on both feet.
how to wear heels casually everyday tlc foot massage golf ball

Craft Confidence

One of the most important aspects of making heels look casual and effortless, is confidence. This comes with feeling comfortable with the shoe you’re in and learning to walk well in them. You can always start slow and gradually increase the heel height and type so that you can get used to your new aesthetic.

Don’t be afraid to film yourself walking in your heels as well from different angles so that you can analyse what your heels are doing to your overall posture from an outside perspective. It will help you to correct minor issues like overly bent or flexed knees, leaning too far forward or back or looking down too much etc. 

It’s important to remember that a lot of the hesitation of wearing heels comes from uncertainty of how you look in them and what they’re actually contributing to your style. The more you work on perfecting your walk, comfort and overall sense of style in your heels the more confident you will become in wearing them whenever you want. 

Related: Do you get used to heels
how to wear heels casually have confidence make heels your aesthetic olivia palermo

Whether you’re hesitant about looking too overdressed, or you’re just researching some casual outfit ideas that work great with heels then I hope you have found this helpful. I would love to see how you use the tips in this article to enhance your style so please please tag me on Instagram, Tiktok or Pinterest or you can or send me a message because I would love to see! 

About the author 

Mish has a Masters in Fine Art and she’s passionate about classical design, history and culture. She loves to analyze fashion and style through this lens to help people develop authentic personal style.

how to build a classic wardrobe from scratch woman's classic classy wardrobe

How to build a classic wardrobe from scratch and long term

Developing a classic wardrobe provides so many benefits to you and the environment. Not least of all the longevity of a classic wardrobe in terms of style and quality means that your outfits will be stylish even years from now and you are buying less fast fashion trends that fall out of style after one season. I’ve spent a lot of time researching and wardrobe to reflect a more classic and timeless style.

A classic wardrobe contains outfits that incorporate a lot of polished silhouettes, quality materials, tailored fits, neat and precise hemlines, neutral colors, simple prints and minimal detailing. Outfits are often accompanied with quality accessories and simple fine-jewelry. 

Maintaining a classic wardrobe is also a crucial step that should not be ignored because one of the signature characteristics of classic style is good quality and clean, pressed pieces of clothing. Let’s look at what steps you can take to start building your own classic wardrobe, the essential items you’ll need and then how to continue your classic wardrobe for the long run and maintain quality for years to come.

How to start building a classic wardrobe

Step 1 – Get familiar with the classics

This is all about getting a better idea of what makes outfits classic and put together. There are many elements that are often used in classic style like garment proportions, necklines, silhouettes, colors etc. However, if you’re just starting out it’s important to not get overwhelmed by all of this detail (which is pretty easy to do) and just try to get a sense of the garments that are used the most often in different outfits and therefore the most versatile. I like to create a specific pinterest board where I pin inspiring outfits regularly so that I can use it as a visual database when I am looking for something new in my wardrobe.

Step 2 – Assess your wardrobe

This is an important step so don’t skip it, let me explain why. The idea here is not to throw out everything you own and go buy a whole new wardrobe. It is actually an exercise for you to start honing your taste for classic pieces. Clearing your closet is not only about making space both mentally and physically but it is also a process for you to start paying close attention to the quality, detail and design of the items you already own and assess whether you should keep them or let them go. If you are hesitant to relinquish certain pieces, that’s okay too, just place them inside a vacuum bag or a plastic container to keep them fresh and store them somewhere for safe keeping.

Step 3 – Let the lux go

You’d be forgiven for thinking that having style is synonymous with wearing luxury accessories and designer clothing from head to toe these days. However while the classic wardrobe is affectionate towards beautiful luxury accessories, it is by no means essential to own them for you to develop your style or build a classic wardrobe. You can however create a wishlist to keep track of any new luxury items that you’d like to add to your wardrobe in future but for the beginning stages, try to focus on creating a solid base of stylish outfits first. Even if you have some luxury items already, I suggest that you prioritise building your wardrobe with versatile quality pieces and refining your personal style first, so that you can feel stylish no matter what brand you’re wearing.

Step 4 – Fifty shades of beige

While it’s important to express yourself with colors that best suited to your skin tone, hair and eye color,, a classic wardrobe is undeniably linked to neutral and natural colors. The neutral colors that you need to focus on are white, black, grey, beige, cream, ivory, nude and tan etc. but more natural colors like khaki green, brown, navy and light blue are also acceptable. This is because one of the characteristics of a classic wardrobe is its ability to adapt seamlessly between casual, work and formal wear which is why a good solid set of neutral basics are fundamental to a classic wardrobe. So instead of having a mix of various colors try to purchase the majority of your basics in a neutral color that also is well suited to your coloring.

Related: What colors are classy, elegant and stylish?

Step 5 – Choose your silhouettes

While silhouettes seem like a more advanced topic to talk about at this stage, it’s important to develop a sense of how important they are to the classic wardrobe. They can also help you understand what kind of outfits flatter your body shape the most and therefore the ones you should be focusing on when you go shopping. In my article on classic silhouettes, I explain eighteen different classic silhouettes in detail that can still be worn stylishly today. For example, if you choose to focus on two basic silhouettes like the H-line and the Tulip, you’ll be able to have a much clearer idea of what to look for when shopping for your classic wardrobe.

Related: What are classic silhouettes and how to use them

Step 6 – Prioritise presentation

Unless you are lucky enough to have someone do your laundry and iron all your clothes for you, this is another essential step that shouldn’t be skipped. There is no point in investing in high quality clothing if they look like a crumpled paper bag so try to become particular about any creases or stains in your clothing as this can detract from the outfit very quickly. Steaming your clothes is a great way to make sure that you eliminate those unwanted wrinkles but ironing is also essential if you want to maintain the definition of tailored trousers or blazer for example. This is especially important for if you are inclined to do a lot of travelling, if this is the case there are also handy travel steamers that can fit in your luggage if you find yourself caught in a pinch.

Step 7 – Snap your go-tos

Below is a shopping list for anyone who wants to start building their own classic wardrobe. If you have any of these items already you can cross them off the list. It can also be adapted to match your favorite neutral colors but usual white and black are a safe bet to add to every classic wardrobe. Once you have collected enough of the essentials (listed below) for your new classic wardrobe, take the time to curate and snap a quick pic of some go-to outfits for different situations like casual get togethers with friends, running errands or professional attire so that they are easier to remember and will help you be prepared even when the deadlines are tight.

Essential items to build a classic wardrobe

  1. Loose 100% cotton shirt (white and blue striped)
  2. Silk blouse (white and black)
  3. White cotton dress
  4. Quality denim blue jeans (preferably straight leg not skinny jeans)
  5. Midi light weight chiffon dress or skirt
  6. Breton stripe sweater
  7. Black turtleneck cashmere sweater
  8. Matching pants suit (Black and cream or beige)
  9. Little black dress (suitable for formal wear)
  10. Brown greek/roman sandals
  11. Chanel style flat dolly shoes OR black and brown style leather loafers
  12. Stiletto pumps in black and nude (Or block heels if you prefer)
  13. Knee high block heel boots (black or brown depending on your preference)
  14. Merino wool camel or black coat
  15. Lined trench coat
  16. All black quality sunglasses
  17. Leather belt (Black and tan brown with gold hardware)
  18. Everyday jewelry (2-4 gold/silver rings, pearl earrings, simple gold chain pendant, bracelet is optional)
  19. Black work handbag
  20. Small crossbody day bag
  21. Leather pencil skirt (black or brown)

How to continue your classic wardrobe long-term

Assess what clothes fit your lifestyle and location best.

Now that you’ve had some initial experience in building a classic wardrobe, styling your new clothes and taking care of them, let’s look at how you can build on your classic wardrobe for the long term so that you’ll have a great selection of stylish outfits at hand for years to come. At this point you should have a better understanding of how you can use a classic wardrobe for your individual lifestyle. It’s vital that you analyse your lifestyle needs so that your new style can be consistent across all the different aspects of your daily life like your gym workouts, your beach holidays, the school runs, day trips or social events with colleagues for example. The more aware and honest you are about your lifestyle needs the easier it will be to plan going forward and keep your new classic wardrobe on point.

Assess what classic silhouettes you like best.

Hopefully you have already mastered one or two classic silhouettes already, now it’s time to experiment some more and even start paying more attention to the finer details like different necklines, sleeve options, hemlines and proportions etc. The more silhouettes you experiment with the more diversified your classic wardrobe will become so that you can make your outfits look unique and different from one another. Silhouettes help you to look at your outfits as a whole no matter how many different items of clothing you’re wearing so that you’re constantly finding ways to optimise your outfits for your body like creating my definition in the waist, elongating your figure and accentuating feminine curves.

Curate more color

The first part of building a classic wardrobe is all about neutral colors so if you feel that you have a solid foundation of neutrals to work with and you want to branch out a little more the best place to start is with jewel toned colors. These colors like ruby red, sapphire blue and emerald green are really complementary with neutral colors so they are the perfect next step to adding more color into your wardrobe. If you want to start adding even brighter colors, I would advise you to keep it simple at first and choose monochromatic outfits and then start to experiment with colors that work well together when you feel more confident. If you want to know how to match bright colours intentionally then check out this article that explains different color patterns for stylish outfits based on color theory. I would recommend to add color sparingly however as the classic wardrobe is so strongly linked with neutral and natural color palettes.

Learn to speak label

One of the best ways to make sure that you are buying good quality garments for your wardrobe is to check the label or the detailed description online. I do this whether it’s from a fast fashion shop or a premium brand. I like to know what I’m getting in terms of material as it’s somewhat of a good indicator how much it costs to produce. I like to look for natural fiber garments as these are usually the most breathable and tend to be well fabricated. However, synthetics are not all bad. They do have some advantages in certain situations and can be well made as well. As a general rule I like to avoid trendy pieces as these are usually made very cheaply as fabrication quality tends to be quite low. Another useful method is to actually look at the seams and hemlines, if there are any loose threads, if the buttons are well attached and whether it’s lined or not. These are also good ways to assess the quality of a garment.

Comfort rules 

Going forward it’s really important to understand the priorities of a classic wardrobe as this will help you navigate the best clothing for you. Ultimately the goal of a classic wardrobe is to help you look clean, fresh and polished in a variety of situations, not just on the weekend or on your nights out for example. An important part of looking polished and put-together is being well prepared and comfortable for the environment you are in. This is why cotton an linen fabrics are used heavily in the summer because they are so breathable and perfect for hot sunny days. Merino wool coats are not only great quality but they make sure that you’re shielded from the elements. So therefore as you continue to build your classic wardrobe, remember that comfort should play an important role in what you add to your cart.

Care Repair Rewear

Hopefully by now you are not only developing an eye for quality but a passion for it. Personally, as soon as I experienced the benefits of wearing better quality clothes I found I was less tempted and a lot more selective about what I bought from fast fashion stores. So as you build a classic wardrobe that contains more quality you’ll start to realise the importance of keeping your clothes in tip top condition and looking their best every time you wear them. Make it your business to protect your clothes as much as you can and wash them properly with good quality products and even protective washing bags if needed for more delicate items made with silk or lace. Ironing is a nice way to press a defined shape into your clothing but it can be harsh on more delicate items so make sure to equip your classic wardrobe with a fabric steamer to make your clothes look great and last much longer.

Stock up on signature pieces 

Now that you’ve developed a strong sense of classic style without luxury accessories or loudly branded items, it’s the perfect time to start refining your taste for high quality luxury goods. You don’t have to only focus on top designers however, there are many beautiful specialised brands out there that are creating super high quality and exceptionally designed accessories at more affordable price points. It’s the perfect moment to also start diversifying the materials in your wardrobe and introducing more signature pieces like genuine leather skirts and quality knitwear that will last for years and help to make your wardrobe more unique to you.

Related: What are considered luxury handbags – The luxury hierarchy

Advanced items for a classic wardrobe

  1. Genuine leather skirt
  2. Palazzo linen trousers
  3. Linen shorts and top
  4. High-waisted tailored trousers (black, camel/tan and ivory)
  5. Jewel coloured merino-wool statement coats
  6. Open toe heels (block heels are okay too)
  7. Silk scarf
  8. Mohair or cashmere sweaters
  9. Lace blouse
  10. Silk camisoles
  11. Large soft clutch handbag
  12. Small hard case formal clutch purse
  13. Chiffon blouse (Nude, cream or ivory)
  14. Straw summer beach bag
  15. Cashmere long knit dress
  16. Matching loungewear set
  17. Tweed pencil skirt
  18. Wool pants suit
  19. Dotted tights
  20. Denim shirt
  21. A-line skirts
  22. Chunky cable knit sweater

Where to shop

I’m not going to finish this article without giving you a few ideas on where to find quality items as that would be a bit cruel, so I have developed a little list below on some brands and their specific strengths that make them a good choice for a particular garment. Note that I’ve included some fast fashion stores as well because sometimes we just need that convenience but I encourage you to be really selective what you buy in order to hone your own sense of quality fashion if nothing else.

I hope you found this helpful. I would love to see how you use the tips in this article to enhance your style so please please tag me on InstagramTiktok or Pinterest or you can or send me a message because I would love to see! 

About the author 

Mish has a Masters in Fine Art and she has an interest in classical design, history and culture. She loves to analyze fashion and style through this lens to help people develop authentic personal style.

what to wear if you can't wear heels cover

What to wear if you can’t wear heels

Let’s face it, wearing high heels is not the most comfortable thing in the world. Understandably, you probably don’t want to wear sneakers every time you choose not to wear heels so I’ve been on the hunt for some really beautiful and classy looking alternatives to heels that your feet will feel and look great in.

If you cannot or prefer not to wear heels at all, then the next best thing to wear is formal flat shoes or block heels that do not dress down your outfit but rather recreate the same elegance and formality of a pair of heels as much as possible, without being uncomfortable or impractical to wear. 

Don’t get me wrong, there are alot of things that can be done to make wearing heels more comfortable and sometimes they are even worth the sacrifice. But a lot of women develop a love-hate relationship with heels especially if you have to wear them all day long. And for other women, heels are just not that appropriate or practical for their lifestyle. So I’ve compiled some great alternatives for you with examples of how to wear them and some of my personal recommendations too.

How can I look classy without heels?

Before we jump into the shoes, let’s quickly talk about how to be classy without heels. While shoes are an important part of an outfit, if you are wearing heels in an inappropriate setting or if you are too uncomfortable to walk in them, the classiness of your outfit no matter how glamorous, will be taken away. I’ve tried numerous different style flat shoes with both dresses, skirts and pants suits and here’s what I found:

The classiest way to wear a dress or skirt without heels is with a structured pointy ballet flat. They can be simple in design or embellished on the toe to match the classiness of the rest of the outfit. However, if you are wearing pants, the best replacement is a smart leather loafer or flat mule to reflect the sophistication of the rest of the outfit.

what to wear if you can't wear heels ballet flat very pointy toe classy flat shoe
what to wear if you can't wear heels black smart loafer classy flat shoe

You also need to take the rest of your outfit into consideration to harmonize the overall look. You can’t just replace heels with sneakers every time because heels are often used for formal or special occasions in our lives and we need to stay in keeping with that. So here are my recommendations for what to wear when you can’t wear heels. 

Related: What colors are classy, elegant and stylish?

Ballet flats

Ballet flats are a perfect shoe to wear for a day out in the city, or running errands. They are not the most ideal shoe to wear in the rain or for when you are in a rush as they can easily slip off your heel if you’re not going at a relaxed pace. The round-toe ballet flats are perfect for casual wear and for adding a touch more femininity to your outfit as they are designed to look dainty. The pointy toe ballet flat on the other hand is a more sophisticated look but still not the easiest to get around in a rush unless it has an extra strap around the bridge of the foot.

what to wear if you can't wear heels ballet flat chanel round toe classy flat shoe
what to wear if you can't wear heels ballet flat with foot strap classy flat shoe

Prom flats

Unlike the ballet flats, prom flats have a strap that wraps round the ankle to hold the shoe more securely to your foot. There are usually no sides to the shoe but there is a closed toe that’s usually pointy and can be bare or embellished with more detail. The extra strap makes it a little easier to walk without worrying about your shoe slipping off but much like the ballet flat they are not the best for rainy or cold weather.

what to wear if you can't wear heels prom flat pointy toe classy flat shoe

Oxford Shoes 

Oxford shoes are a fully closed shoe with  a lace up closure. They can have a small block heel but they often come as flat shoes for both men and women. Because they are made of hard leather they generally come in a rich brown, black or burgundy color. They work really nicely with tights and skirts during fall and winter and because they offer a bit more protection from the elements and are a bit easier to get around in. The name is perfect for them because they are quite a studious looking shoe that’s perfect for sipping a pumpkin spiced latte while having a study session at your local coffee shop.

what to wear if you can't wear heels oxford shoes black with dress classy flat shoe
what to wear if you can't wear heels white brown oxford shoes summer dress classy flat shoe no socks

Loafers

Loafers are the perfect replacement for heels when you’re trying to achieve that effortlessly chic Parisian vibe. They can have a pointy, round or square toe and are made with soft leather unlike Oxford shoes. There are loafers that have a very chunky platform sole but these tend to look very clunky when worn with elegant clothing. Therefore, I would opt for the more sleek streamlined design. 

what to wear if you can't wear heels black leather loafer summer dress outfit classy flat shoe.png
what to wear if you can't wear heels brown leather loafer pants summer outfit classy flat shoe

They usually come with a plain toe or minimal gold hardware on top of the toe. They can look very elegant with skirts but I think they look their best with more sophisticated clothing like a blazer outfit or even tailored shorts. They feel like slippers to walk in, especially if you get some good quality leather ones that mould to the shape of your foot. They can be a little chilly for winter though as they are usually not worn with socks.

Related: How to look feminine and not girly – a guide to sophisticated femininity

Flat mules

Flat mules can come in a variety of different styles. They have a silhouette that is very similar to house slippers so it’s important to pay attention to the style you’re wearing. The more casual styles run the risk of looking “too casual” in the wrong situations so I would opt for more structured and formal lines like a pointy or square toe to offset the relaxed design. These shoes work well with trousers, jeans, skirts and dresses so they are quite versatile. As long as you’re not planning to jog anywhere, they should be fine.

what to wear if you can't wear heels flat white mule pointy toe classy flat shoe
what to wear if you can't wear heels black flat mules round toe classy flat shoe

Slingback slides

Sligback slides are the perfect middle ground between the more casual looking ballet flat and the strap of the prom flat that makes them slightly more grippy and secure around the heel. You will most often see these shoes with a pointy toe and I think they are a very elegant shoe for work with pants, dresses or skirt outfits. Again they are most suitable for spring and summer but if I had to choose a shoe to spend the whole day in and also go out for the evening, this would be my choice as they just give a slightly more formal vibe than the ballet flats without being super dressy like the prom flats.

Related: What is modern classic style and how to master it
what to wear if you can't wear heels black flat slingbacks classy shoe
what to wear if you can't wear heels beige flat slingbacks classy shoe

Flat espadrilles

Flat espadrilles are a beautiful flat shoe to wear in the summertime. They’re perfect with white cotton dresses or striped jumpsuits. They usually come with a closed toe and heel but the strap mechanism can vary. I love the natural aesthetic and my favourites have ankle straps that wrap around the lower leg as it adds to those Mediterranean summer vibes. They can also come as platform flats if you want to keep a bit of height without the heel.

Sandals

And of course there is the simple sandal. They are a summer staple and can look really elegant and cute with everything from jeans to shorts to skirts and dresses so they are a no-brainer for your summer wardrobe. You can add some extra style by investing in a pair of designer sandals but there are also some exquisitely made and elegant sandal brands out there that are unique and less widely known like A.Emery, Aeyde & Elleme.

what to wear if you can't wear heels white brown flat sandals shoes summer dress classy flat shoe no socks
what to wear if you can't wear heels white brown flat sandals shoes summer dress classy flat shoe

Are heels more professional than flats?

The answer will depend because there are many styles of both heels and flats that are not professional at all. However, I researched what was the most professional flat shoe and compared it to a sophisticated looking plain heel to see which one looked more appropriate for work and a professional environment and here is what I found. 

In comparison, a heel does look more professional than a sophisticated flat shoe. This is because there is a higher level of formality in the heel, making it more suitable for a corporate environment or an important meeting. However, the flat shoe has a sufficient level of formality for an average work day.

what to wear if you can't wear heels professional black heels business outfit
what to wear if you can't wear heels white brown professional flat black heels business outfit

Even still, this answer highly depends on the individual and whether they feel comfortable in heels or not. Even the most formal heels will look unprofessional if you cannot walk or you need to adjust them all the time. Comfort plays a big role in the professionality of an outfit so it’s important to take that into consideration when deciding which one is best for your work environment.

Related: How to refine your personal style

What are the easiest heels to wear?

If you are not completely averse to a heel, as long as it’s comfortable and easy to walk in, then this could also be a perfectly good alternative to wearing high heels for any outfit. Block heel boots are a staple in my winter wardrobe because they are comfortable and elevated enough so my feet stay mostly dry in the rain. But I’ve also done some digging on this to see what is the easiest heel to wear.

The wider the base of the heel and the lower to the ground it is, the shoe will be easier and more controllable to walk in. The easiest heels to walk in include kitten heels, pyramid heels, block heels and wedges. Each of these styles provide greater surface area and a lower center of gravity for improved balance which makes them easier to walk in.

Kitten heels

Kitten Heels are a perfect example of easy to wear heels. Because they are lower to the ground, they put less pressure on the ball of the foot which makes them a great alternative for people who have a wide foot but still want to wear a heel. They retain a lot of the professional look that higher heels have and you can also find them as slingbacks which are perfect for spring and summer.

what to wear if you can't wear heels kitten heels that are easy to walk in autumn
what to wear if you can't wear heels kitten heels that are easy to walk in autumn

Pyramid heels

These heels offer a triangular tip at the base of the heel. Because the surface area is wider, these heels can still be as high as regular heels but are more stable on the ground making it easier to find your balance and walk in. However they have a tendency to look dated so I would be careful with how much money you invest in a pair of heels like these.

what to wear if you can't wear heels pyramid triangle heels that are easy to walk in
what to wear if you can't wear heels pyramid heels that are easy to walk in

Block heels

Block heels work in a similar way to pyramid heels because there is a lot more surface area that touches the ground making them a much more sturdy heel to walk in. The great thing about block heels is that they offer the perfect balance between comfort and formality and they come in many different styles from open toe sandals to knee-high winter boots.

what to wear if you can't wear heels professional black block heels that are easy to walk in
what to wear if you can't wear heels block heels that are easy to walk in

Wedge heels

Wedge heels are not as easy to walk in as block heels but they are still an easier shoe to walk in than stiletto heels of the same height. However, because the heel part of the wedge shoe curves in around the heel making it narrower than a block heel, it’s more prone to wobbling especially if you are walking on uneven surfaces. Therefore, it’s good to have an idea where you’re going if you’re planning on wearing these heels so that there are no nasty obstacles (like cobblestone pavements SIGH*)

what to wear if you can't wear heels summer wedges heels that are easy to walk in
what to wear if you can't wear heels summer wedges heels that are easy to walk in classy

I really hope this article has helped you to find a suitable alternative to wearing heels that matches your fashion style and your lifestyle. Remember, you shouldn’t feel pressured to wear heels all the time even if you find them comfortable and easy to walk in. It’s important to experiment and get used to styling flat shoes with your outfits well so that you don’t have to rely on heels to make you feel beautiful or stylish. Don’t let them control your style, take back the power for yourself and learn about which styles work well with different outfits. This will give you so much for flexibility with your outfits and ways to protect your foot health for years to come.

I hope you found this helpful. I would love to see how you use the tips in this article to enhance your style so please please tag me on InstagramTiktok or Pinterest or you can or send me a message because I would love to see! 

About the author 

Mish has a Masters in Fine Art and she has an interest in classical design, history and culture. She loves to analyze fashion and style through this lens to help people develop authentic personal style.

what are the most versatile accessories belts handbags scarf scarves jewelry

The most versatile accessories for the whole year

There are so many different types of accessories, some are very unique and others are a bit more adaptable. I’ve been researching what it is that makes accessories versatile in the first place and what the most versatile accessories are so that you can have the maximum impact in your wardrobe from a minimal amount of accessories. Accessories can be versatile in three ways; they can adapt to different outfits and situations, there are different ways you can wear them or they can be worn all year round.

The most versatile accessories include reversible (slim-medium) belts, convertible handbags, silk square scarves and gold, silver or pearl jewelry. There are other versatile items within other accessory categories but these are the most versatile in terms of how much impact they can have if various types of wardrobes. 

Let’s get a better sense of why these accessories are the most versatile and what makes them versatile so that you’re aware of all the different ways you can wear them. If you can add these few items at the very minimum to your wardrobe, you’ll be able to style various different outfits in different ways throughout the whole year and not just in one season.

Reversible belts

what accessories are most versatile reversible leather belt salvatore ferragamo

Belts are a very versatile accessory even if they are not reversible. They can be used all year round whether it’s to complete a summer dress look or to give a bit of definition to a winter coat. Having a two toned belt just gives you a few more options that are different from one another and make it look like you have more accessories than you actually do. 

They are also great when travelling as you can pack light but still be flexible with your outfit choices. There are very chunky belts that look great over blazers and dresses but they are less versatile. A more slender belt that can fit through trouser loops (ie. about 1-2 inches thick) will be able to be worn with low rise jeans or trousers on the hips as well as waist defining dress or blazer outfits.

what accessories are most versatile reversible leather belt over white summer dress brown
what accessories are most versatile reversible leather belt over winter coat black

What color belts go with everything

Reversible belts are able to go with twice as many outfits as a normal belt so it’s best to choose the colors  that will match most of your outfits. The colors that are most versatile are black and brown, white and tan, navy and cream or taupe and grey but you can find reversible belts in a variety of different colors combinations.

If you prefer wearing gold jewelry or a lot of your clothes have warm tones like beige or brown then try to stick with a gold belt buckle. Choose a silver buckle if you mostly wear silver jewelry or your clothes are mostly cool toned like grey or pastel colored. This is to ensure your new belt will not clash with the other elements of your outfits. 

Related: What colors are classy, elegant and stylish?

Convertible handbags

Convertible handbags are not made specifically to be versatile they are more so designed to be a certain type of bag but when slightly adapted they can look like a totally different style of bag with another outfit. For example, I like to purchase crossbody handbags that are perfect for day time but that can also hide the shoulder strap seamlessly so that it can also be used as a classy clutch bag for the night. 

Another example is a shoulder bag that can also be carried as a top handle bag, or a shopper tote bag that can also be used as a backpack purse. I would emphasise that quality is important with these types of handbags because if you are using and adjusting it more often the easier it can wear so purchasing a good quality convertible handbag should be a good investment.

Related: What are considered luxury handbags – The luxury hierarchy

What color handbag is good year round?

Black, brown and grey handbags are the most versatile colors for handbags that can be used all year round. To get a full idea of what color handbag is best for Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter or all year round, here’s a table to display what color handbag work best according to which season of the year it is. 

Color

Spring

Summer

Autumn/Fall

Winter

White

Yes

Yes

No

No

Brown

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Black

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Emerald Green

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Burgundy

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Straw/Wicker

Yes

Yes

No

No

Cream

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Grey / Taupe

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Pink

Yes

Yes

No

No

Tan

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Red

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

An important point to add here is, to optimise the versatility of a handbag, it’s best to choose a dark colored bag like black, brown or navy. The reason for this is because bags tend to get thrown around and pick up quite a few marks and smudges. Remember, versatile accessories work best when they are clean and presentable so it’s advisable to avoid white or light colors for a bag that you intend to use all year round.

Related: Forever Classic Black Luxury Handbags

Silk scarves

Normal scarves are usually only worn in winter and worn to protect us from the cold. A silk scarf however has SO many ways to be used in an outfit and can be used all year round. You can wear it as a headband, on your handbag, in a ponytail, as a necktie, a headscarf or even to embellish a simple shirt or coat. There are so many ways to wear it that it can look different each time you do and become part of your own signature style. 

It’s an accessory that lends itself very well to a lot of different styles so you don’t have to worry about it not going with all of your different outfit choices, there is a way to fit it into almost any outfit. It’s also a beautiful way to add a bit more color to your outfits. The square silk scarves are the best option in terms of shape but a rectangular silk scarf can also be used in a similar way.

what accessories are most versatile silk color scarf with neutral beige outfit

How do you wear a silk scarf in summer?

I’m glad you asked. In this video, I show you the most versatile ways to wear a silk scarf in summer without overheating and so that you can get the most out of your silk scarf even when it’s hot outside.

Gold, silver and pearl jewelry

Out of all the jewelry that exists in the world by far the most versatile are plain gold, silver and pearl pieces that are simple and good quality with minimal design. Gold, silver, pearls and even diamond stud earrings can be worn with any outfit. They go with most color clothing and are appropriate for either casual or formal wear. 

I’m stressing the quality part again here because if you want to find accessories that are truly versatile then it’s worth paying a bit more for better quality that can withstand the extra use and last a long time. Fine jewelry (at least 10K gold or sterling silver) is a great way to go because you can wear it everyday without worrying about getting it wet or tarnishing. As a general rule of thumb, the most versatile jewelry should have the ability to be worn almost everyday.

Related: How to have expensive taste (authentically)
what accessories are most versatile jewelry gold pearl simple necklace wear everyday
what accessories are most versatile jewelry sterling silver ring simple classy elegant

What jewelry can you wear everyday?

Simple fine jewelry (at least 10K gold or sterling silver) can be worn everyday. It is appropriate to wear in multiple situations because it’s water-resistant and hypoallergenic. You will also not have to worry about tarnishing, skin discoloration or infection from fine jewelry.

If you build a small collection of different pieces of the same color jewelry like a few rings, earrings, chain pendants and bracelets, you will also be able to mix and match your combinations so it looks a little different every time you wear them. Here is a simple chart on the wearability of  different jewelry types.

Solid Gold

Silver

Vermeil

Pearls

Gold Filled

Gold Plated

Exercising

Yes

Yes

Not good

Not good

Not good

Not good

Hot weather

Yes

Yes

Not good

Not good

Not good

Not good

Pool

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

Beach

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

Work

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Shower

Not recomm.

Not recomm.

Not good

No

No

No

Everyday wearability

So that’s it for my thoughts on the most versatile accessories. If you have any thoughts or experience with other powerhouse accessories that are not mentioned here, I would absolutely love to hear about them. I hope this article gives you some inspiration for your accessory game and helps you make some very smart and efficient purchases for your wardrobe that will also last a lifetime. Tag me on Instagram, Tiktok or Pinterest or you can or send me a message because I would love to see! 

About the author 

Mish has a Masters in Fine Art and she has an interest in classical design, history and culture. She loves to analyze fashion and style through this lens to help people develop authentic personal style.

what colors are classy elegant stylish victoria beckham style color scheme color wheel feature image

What colors are classy, elegant and stylish?

When choosing an outfit or buying new clothing, it’s really beneficial to choose colors that align with your personality and style. I’ve spent the last year researching the most classy, elegant and stylish women to try and understand how they use color in their wardrobe to reflect their personal style.

Traditionally classy colors include white, black, grey, ivory, cream, beige, tan and nude. Different shades, tones and tints of these colors are also considered classy because they are neutral and clean looking. They are also appropriate for most social situations as they do not attract too much attention while making your outfit look sophisticated and put together at the same time. 

This classy color palette is strongly linked to fashion history and even though they may become trendy during different seasons they will always be considered timeless and will never go out of style. If you are in any doubt what color is appropriate for a certain time of year or occasion, any one of these colors are a safe choice that you can be sure will make your outfits look classy and timeless.

what colors are classy elegant stylish color combination white nude outfit
what colors are classy elegant stylish color combination nude outfit

Natural and earthy colors like light blue, khaki and rich jewel colors like burgundy, navy and forest green are also considered classy. However, it’s important to say that the overall “classiness” of any outfit also depends on factors like material, fabrication quality, silhouette and fit. All of these colors can also be combined to create classic color combinations.

Related: Classic silhouettes that can elevate your outfits.
what colors are classy elegant stylish color combination ruby red burgundy monochrome outfit
what colors are classy elegant stylish color combination megan markle emerald green forest green dress outfit

Because these classic colors are synonymous with timeless style, they are therefore also considered to be colors that make your clothing appear expensive and luxurious. However, this is not to say that all other colors cannot look classy, it depends how you wear them but as a general rule these neutral colors are the classiest colors that you can wear.

Related: Master the modern classic style
what colors are classy elegant stylish color kate middletion beige tan monochrome outfit
what colors are classy elegant stylish color combination rosie huntington whitely all black monochrome outfit

Color is probably the first thing you notice about an outfit whether you know it or not. It plays a vital role in your wardrobe and in communicating your personal style. It’s been scientifically proven that colors can have a psychological impact on the viewer and can evoke different emotions. Therefore, your color choices can say a lot about who you are and how you want to appear in your social setting. 

However, color can definitely be an overwhelming topic for even the most seasoned fashionistas so I want to help you understand how to use color effectively in your wardrobe through a different perspective. Of course, this is not an exact science and there can be a lot of overlap between what works and what doesn’t for different people but this article will help you to look at color more confidently. 

For the purposes of this article I’m going to break down colors in terms of different goals: classy (as explained above), elegant and stylish. These three things do not necessarily mean the same thing, but each of them can be expressed through color. This guide will help understand how you can use color  in your wardrobe depending on what your goals are. Other important things to consider are how appropriate the color is for the location, occasion, time of year and of course, your natural coloring.

Here are four questions that can help you decide on the right color for any given outfit.

  1. What colors suit your natural coloring?
  2. What colors reflect the current season?
  3. What kind of occasion is it for? (professional, formal, casual, celebration etc.)
  4. Which of the three goals do you want to achieve? (Classy, Elegant or Stylish)
Related: How to build a classic wardrobe from scratch and long term

What colors are elegant?

Next let’s talk about elegance, as expressed through color. Elegant colors include white, black, ivory, cream, nude, champagne and other pastel colors with a muted or soft tone. The more saturated the colors become, the less elegant they appear as they move away from tones that are considered to be more soft and feminine. 

For example, pink is usually the most widely accepted color to represent femininity. However, different shades of the same color are perceived differently so a very intense hot pink outfit will have a completely different effect to a soft pastel pink outfit. Both are considered feminine colors but if you are trying to create an outfit that is demure and elegant then you should choose the softer pink.

what colors are classy elegant stylish model-style color scheme color soft pastel pink suit
what colors are classy elegant stylish julia roberts hot pink outfit

However it’s important to acknowledge the ambiguity here because while brighter colors are generally accepted to be more feminine and darker colors more masculine, it’s just not that black and white (pun intended) when it comes to elegance. Coco Chanel’s little black dress is a great example of this as it has become an iconic in the world of fashion for its elegance and simplicity. Therefore, it’s not impossible for bolder or darker colors to be considered elegant but if you are looking for a safe bet, then I would opt for softer colors.

Related: How to dress feminine and not girly – 10 tips to timeless and sophisticated femininity
what colors are classy elegant stylish audrey hepburn little black dress elegance
what colors are classy elegant stylish black dress elegance

What colors are stylish?

Style is not dictated by trends so all colors no matter what shade, tone or tint can be stylish. However, anyone can throw on some colorful clothes with white or black and make it work, but it takes more effort and expertise to master the art of color combinations and make your whole outfit look cohesive and put together. Victoria Beckham is a great example of this as she is known to include a variety of color in her wardrobe from neutrals to bold color palettes while hitting the mark every time.

what colors are classy elegant stylish victoria beckham style color scheme color wheel
what colors are classy elegant stylish victoria beckham style color scheme color wheel

With that in mind, let’s learn a bit about how color can be combined to look intentional and sophisticated. To understand how colors can be combined stylishly we need to first look at the color wheel. The basis of all colors are the primary colors red, blue and yellow. Secondary colors are what we get when we mix equal amounts of primary colors together which gives us green, orange and purple. Tertiary colors are made by mixing equal amounts of primary and secondary colors which gives us more variants. Each of these colors can then be made lighter, darker or muted by adding different amounts of white, black and grey respectively.

After you understand how the color wheel is made, there are a few basic patterns that can help you match colors in your wardrobe.

Monochromatic

This is the first color pattern to be aware of as it’s the most simple and foolproof when you want to look stylish, classy or elegant. Choosing one single color is the easiest way for an outfit to look cohesive, it looks best when you have an outfit that consists of one or two pieces max. However, if your outfit consists of three or more pieces, consider using varying shades of the same color to make it look more refined and less stark unless you are intentionally trying to create a statement outfit.

Complementary

This is when you choose two different colors on opposite sides of the color wheel like yellow and purple or blue and orange. Even though these colors highly contrast each other they are complementary because they balance each other out. When you’re using this method you don’t have to pick the high intensity colors represented in the color wheel, you can choose a more muted tone like navy and tan for example. If you want to add another color then keep it neutral like white or black so as not to take away from the harmony of the complementary colors.

what colors are classy elegant stylish complementary color scheme color wheel

Analogous

The analogous pattern focuses on two to four colors that lie next to each other on the wheel. For example, purple, red-purple and blue. With this method its best to choose less intense colors and opt for light shades of each color so it can achieve the same effect without being too jarring. You can also choose three colors that are within the four color distance as shown in the green and yellow outfit below.

Triadic

The triadic pattern takes three colors that are equal distance apart on the color wheel. For example, red, yellow and blue. Again this is a high-contrast pattern, but is supposed to create more of a balance than complementary colors. The trick with this pattern is to let one color dominate the outfit and then add accents with the other two colors.

what colors are classy elegant stylish tertiary color scheme color wheel three color purple green orange outfit

Split complementary

Split complementary pattern uses three colors. It takes one color and matches it with the two colors directly on either side of its complementary color. For example, blue, yellow-orange and red-orange. The goal of this pattern is to choose colors that contrast each other but that are not too stark creating a more subtle look.

what colors are classy elegant stylish split complementary color scheme color wheel three color purple green yellow outfit

Tetradic

Tetradic uses four colors together by choosing two sets of complementary colors. For example, blue and orange is paired with yellow and violet. This is probably the hardest pattern to balance in your outfits without looking like a rainbow. The best way to avoid this is to not use all four colors in equal amounts, choose one or two dominant colors and then the other two colors can be introduced in the smaller details of the outfit.

what colors are classy elegant stylish tetradic color scheme color wheel four color outfit

What are some good color combinations.

You can really have some fun with these color patterns in your outfits, however if you’re not used to wearing or matching colors and you just want to start slow then you can use the same methods as above but choose more muted colors like navy and tan instead of bright blue and orange. The outfit below is a good example of a complementary color outfit where the colors are not so intense along with some other tried and tested color combinations that work really well together.

What are seasonal colors?

Seasonal colors are colors that reflect the characteristics of each season of the year. Spring is represented by white, cream and pastel colors, summer is represented by white, light blue, and warm bright colors like red, orange and yellow. Autumn is represented by darker warm colors like burgundy, purple, brown and khaki and winter is represented by cool and dark colors like black, grey, silver, navy and green. 

This is not definitive as a lot of different colors can work well in multiple seasons and can depend on other factors too. However, it’s important to be aware of these seasonal colors anyway as they are not dictated by trends that come and go but are more to do with the underlying mood of each season.

what colors are classy elegant stylish seasonal color themes winter spring summer autumn

Should I only wear colors that suit my skin tone?

My personal stance on this is that your skin tone should not dictate what colors you wear. Style is about self-expression and if there is a color that you like then you should wear it with confidence and without hesitation. That being said, there are some colors that compliment certain skin tones more than others but this varies greatly based on a variety of factors like skin, hair and eye color etc. You can take a quiz which will help find the colors that best suit you but it’s important to do your own testing and not take the results too seriously.

I hope it’s much clearer now how colors can add to your appearance when you are trying to achieve a certain look. I’d like to reiterate that I don’t believe that colorful clothing cannot be classy and neutral colors cannot be stylish. I wanted to create a separation that was easier to understand the psychology of colors in a traditional sense. Just remember that color is not the only thing that can make or look classy, elegant or stylish. 

How you carry yourself and what you wear also contributes to your personal style and that’s what makes it unique to you. If you do try out the different colors and color patterns that I’ve mentioned in this article, I would absolutely love to see it so don’t hesitate to tag me on Instagram, Tiktok, Pinterest or wherever you post them so that we can all learn from each other.

About the author 

Mish has a Masters in Fine Art and she has an interest in classical design, history and culture. She loves to analyze fashion and style through this lens to help people develop authentic personal style.

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What are classic silhouettes and how to use them

One of the most underrated factors of great personal style is the silhouette of your outfits. Often we get so caught up on which colors or prints go together and we forget that silhouette is the most effective way to emphasize all your best features and take your outfits to the next level. I’ve studied 18 classic silhouettes that are still widely used today so that you can understand how to use them in your own wardrobe.

Classic silhouettes are popular outfit shapes that come from earlier years of the fashion industry and have remained mostly unchanged even today. They are designed to accentuate or enhance different aspects of a woman’s figure, like her waist, height or natural curves.

Women’s fashion has evolved over the years to incorporate much more styles of clothing, cuts, textures and patterns but the basic shapes behind classic silhouettes remain the same because they are so closely linked to the history of design and fashion itself. Below I have listed 18 different classic silhouettes that are still used today.

If you can understand how silhouettes work on you, it will be much easier for you to put your outfits together and be efficient when shopping for quality pieces. Some silhouettes might work better on some body types than others, it’s important to keep that in mind. This is not an exact science and sometimes parts of different silhouettes can be mixed together. It’s all about what speaks to your personal style, what makes you comfortable and feel good.

The silhouettes that I will mention are not set in stone. They can have different necklines, hemlines, sleeve options, back cutouts etc. that can further personalise the look. However, you can always come back to these basic silhouettes as a helpful source of beautiful style.

Related: How to master modern classic fashion style
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Why are silhouettes important for fashion and style

Finding your favourite classic silhouettes is really beneficial when you want to develop your own personal style. They are most often thought about in relation to bridal and other formal gowns but in reality silhouettes play an important role in everyday fashion and style as well.

Silhouettes are mainly used to enhance three things; the length of the body, the definition of the waist and the natural curves and lines of the body. In this way, silhouettes can be used to accentuate or flatter different parts of the body and still play a vital role in the fashion industry today.

So with all that in mind let’s break down some of the most classic silhouettes and see how you can adapt them to your wardrobe. I will organise them in terms of the silhouettes main characteristic and what it is used for but most silhouettes have multiple characteristics so it’s important to keep that in mind as well. So let’s get started.

Waist

A-line

The a-line silhouette can have a very to somewhat fitted top half and then gradually gets wider from the hips down to the hem which should end around the knee. It’s called the A-line because it resembles the shape of the letter A meaning that the line from the waist is kept straight with no curve. This silhouette was coined in 1955 by Christian Dior’s Spring/Summer collection. It later evolved into the similar Trapeze silhouette by Yves Saint. 

To achieve the a-line silhouette, you will usually need a dress or a skirt with some kind of fitted top or blouse. A basic top will help to dress the skirt down and keep it casual but elegant. Belts are also useful to emphasise the shape but not necessary every time. The a-line can be achieved at different lengths as well but to get the maximum effect, try to keep the length around the knee or a little bit above. It’s a feminine and fun look that can be paired with heels or flats too.

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X- line

The X-line is similar to the a-line silhouette but has one key difference. Instead of keeping the top part of the outfit minimal and fitted, the x-line puts emphasis on the shoulders or can just embellish the décolletage with a plunging neckline to mirror the shape of the bottom half of the outfit. 

Unlike the hourglass silhouette which accentuates curves, the x-line keeps the lines more straight and directs the eye toward the focal point of the waist. You can use a belt to anchor the outfit at the waist, but again it is not essential as long as you are creating some kind of symmetry between the shoulders and the hips.

what are classic silhouettes x line dress outfits inspiration

Trapeze

The trapeze silhouette is an evolution of the a-line silhouette that was popularised by Yves Saint Laurent. One key difference between the two lies in where the drop of the a-line begins and the impression of length that it can give. The a-line usually expands from the hips and ends around the knee, whereas the trapeze silhouette is thought to begin higher up around the small of the waist and can pass the knee down to the shin area therefore merging the leg and the midsection to elongate your figure. The expansion of the A shape is also slightly more subtle and therefore works best with a more minimal, fitted top rather than the embellishments of the x-line.

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Bell

Bell or Ball Gown silhouette is again similar to the a-line silhouette but introduces a curved line which starts high up around the waist or hips. The top half of the outfit is usually fitted and bodice-like. At its most extreme, you can think of it like a Cinderella dress but it doesn’t have to be so Disney-like or whimsical to be effective. 

It can be achieved through structured skirts but it can also be achieved with a certain type of high-waisted pant that flares out generously from a fitted waist over the hips creating a more subtle bell curve around the hips. Try to keep the leg sleek and straight or flared at the bottom like a pair of palazzo trousers. Avoid pants that are tapered at the bottom as this will create more of a tulip or pencil-like silhouette.

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Princess line

The Princess Line is more relevant for dress wearers. It’s a very soft and feminine silhouette that was popularised by Charles Frederick Worth who introduced the silhouette in the 1870s. This type of dress is actually made with long vertical panels fitted around the waist to give a sort of a-line shape without a horizontal separation like seam or  accessory. Instead it sculpts around the top half of the body and the waist and then flows out from the hips adding a soft feminine touch. 

In 1951 Christian Dior presented a collection, called the Line Longue, based on the princess-line. In order to achieve this look, you need to look out for dresses that already have this structure built into them. This silhouette can be used in both formal and casual situations and therefore can be a very versatile dress shape to add to your wardrobe.

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New-look

Christian Dior’s “New Look” debuted in 1947 with his very first collection. It featured rounded shoulders, a cinched waist and a very full skirt that dipped past the knee. This silhouette in particular encompasses all three characteristics including lines that are designed to elongate, a defined waist that creates an anchor in the outfit and soft curves that femininise the overall look. Dior was able to strike a really fine balance between soft and sophisticated femininity that I find super appealing and is still super relevant today. It’s a truly iconic silhouette and has been transformed by all the successive creative directors of the house of Dior ever since.

The key elements to recreate this look for the modern woman is a full straight line high waisted skirt, a relaxed blazer which can vary in length as long as it covers the top of the skirt and a belt to cinch and define the waist. It can work with flat or heeled footwear but I personally think a mid size heel complements this silhouette the most.

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Lines & Curves

Sheath

The Sheath line is a demure and subtle silhouette that is designed to fit closely to the body. Think Jackie Kennedy Onassis or Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffanys”. It’s a look that is often worn with a solid color and minimal accessories but doesn’t only have to be kept for dress looks only. The idea of this silhouette is to showcase the curves of the body as it is a form-fitting silhouette but in a very subtle and sleek way that is uninterrupted by other accessories, seams or cuts. It can come in a variety of cuts, lengths, necklines or sleeve options. Note this silhouette is not a bodycon look that hugs every curve. The lines and curves are defined but soft at the same time, creating a  subtle and sleek silhouette making it perfect for a professional or a formal setting.

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Tulip

The Tulip silhouette is another one of Christian Dior’s favorites. It’s similar to the Sheath silhouette but with more pronounced curves and tapered hems. The bust is accentuated and the skirt is slightly swollen around the hip area to create more of a contrast between the fulness of the hip area in relation to the knee and the bust area in relation to the waist. Unlike the sheath silhouette which is achieved through one piece of clothing (ie. the dress), the tulip silhouette can be created using skirts, tops, dresses, blouses, sweaters, belts and jumpsuits as long as it emphasizes the shape.

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Hourglass

This silhouette is characterized by a fitted waistline. This very popular silhouette emphasizes the curves of the feminine figure. You can design this silhouette with the help of waistbands, belts, darts. Corsets tops and bustiers with a flared skirt can emphasize the waist and create this silhouette.

This is one of the most coveted of all silhouettes but mostly suitable for people with a narrow waist. You need a somewhat slim waistline to do justice to this silhouette. A pear-shaped body suits this silhouette more than an apple body shape or an inverted triangle provided the wearer doesn’t have a very thick waistline.

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Mermaid

The Mermaid Line — as the name suggests — is a slinky silhouette that starts with a form-fitting bodice that continues around the hips and fans out from the knee which is meant to resemble the fins of a mermaid’s ‘tail’. The lower part may or may not be in the same colour or texture as the top and does not have to fan out all the way to the floor. You don’t have to keep this silhouette only for dresses however. The fish tail skirt is a good example of this, despite the different name the silhouette is effectively the same and can be found more easily at different lengths. The mermaid effect can also be achieved with pants provided that they are designed to taper into at least the knee and then fan out again from there. It’s a distinct silhouette and one that you can have fun with in your wardrobe.

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Peplum

The Peplum silhouette is definitely a classic and has its roots in ancient Greece which is also where the word peplum originates from so you can rest assured that this look is not a trend and will be in style for many more years to come. The fact is, it’s timeless for a reason because it is a very flattering silhouette on many different body shapes. In short it consists of an almost skirt-like frill or pleated fabric that’s attached to the waist of a woman’s jacket, dress or blouse and hangs out over the bottom half of the outfit in a structured manner. 

The peplum is also featured in Dior’s New Look silhouette and can be combined with other silhouettes as it is so flattering. Contrary to popular belief the peplum is not designed to accentuate the hip area but rather to disguise the natural line of the hips while being flattering and feminine at the same time so it’s perfect for those who want to wear form-fitting outfits but also want to minimise their hip area for whatever reason.

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Slip

The Slip silhouette is a simple one as it is based on the shape of a traditional loose-fitting slip dress that follows the curve of the body without being fitted at all. It’s a very seductive and romantic silhouette and is ultra feminine too. I also like that it is forgiving as it doesn’t hug the body too closely and can suit different body shapes. 

However, it’s important to get the right fit for you to make this silhouette work effectively. Too tight and the dress could become inappropriate in certain situations very quickly, too loose it can look unintentional and baggy. Look for a dress that has some soft curves built into the shape itself and then opt for maybe one size bigger depending on the dress to make sure that it’s loose enough to be comfortable but still a good fit.

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Length

Y-line

The Y-line is an inverted version of the a-line: a slender and elongated silhouette on the bottom with emphasis around the bust and the shoulders. It’s a silhouette that was introduced by Christian Dior in 1954 and became more widely worn in the 1980’s. It originally consisted of a broad neckline with a deep V shape that hung from the shoulders and funnelled down into a long and form fitting skirt. 

This silhouette can be evoked with many different garments, not only dresses and skirts. For example, shoulder pads or puffy sleeves can help to broaden the neckline and can work well with a pair of skinny jeans or tapered straight leg trousers to create a similar effect. It’s a beautiful look that highlights the décolletage area and can look very elegant and classy when combined with a good pair of heels for that extra lengthening effect.

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H-line

The H-Line is another straight-forward silhouette introduced by Christian Dior. As the ‘H’ implies, is a straight shape with a slight horizontal accent at the waist to make the bar of the ‘H’. The silhouette is designed to emphasise the length of the leg, making it a sophisticated and feminine shape without being overly defined at the waist. If you like chic outfits for an urban lifestyle then this is the silhouette to master. 

Tops, skirts and trousers with straight vertical lines are essential for this structured yet effortless look, so focus on straight wide and narrow leg trousers that do not taper in at the bottom (like skinny jeans). Shirts, basics, and sweaters can work with this silhouette and the horizontal bar of the H can begin at the waist or lower down at the hips. However, in order to nail this look, I would recommend you to focus on quality garments that are made with good material to ensure a perfect and precise fall.

Related: How to dress feminine and not girly – 10 tips to timeless and sophisticated femininity
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Empire 

The Empire line has Neo-classical inspirations and takes its name from Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, who was married to Napoleon, leader of the First French Empire, in the 18th century. This silhouette is fitted through the bust and then flares out immediately from under the bustline and can continue to the floor like a maxi dress would. 

The effect is slimming and elongating as the lines start from the bust and do not accentuate the waist. It’s a fantastic silhouette for pregnant women as it’s very flattering while being super comfortable at the same time. With the right dress this can also be a very floaty and breathable outfit that’s perfect for the summer heat. You can also get away with wearing flats with this one as heels are not essential as it gets enough length from the lines of the sillhouette.

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Straight column

This silhouette is similar to the Empire line but instead of having a skirt that flares out from a fitted bust it creates a straight rectangular shape rather than a skirt or dress that flares out like the a-line or tapering in like the tulip. It’s a minimalist and demure similar to the sheath silhouette but works to elongate the body. 

A person with a wide waist and hips might love this silhouette as it works to smooth these areas while being very comfortable. This is another popular silhouette for summer clothes and works best with quality fabric that is lightweight and drapes very well.

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Box

The Box silhouette consists of a straight, unfitted jacket that is designed to hang loosely from the shoulders and can be paired with a matching straight, unfitted knee-length skirt, adding to the rectangular shape effect. Think Chanel lines, stiff tweed material and Jackie Kennedy’s famous pink suit. 

This is a very classic silhouette that can look dated if not done correctly but it has the ability to flatter many different body types which is great. The straight almost masculine lines of this silhouette create an elongating effect while being balanced out by a soft and tactile material like tweed. This is why this silhouette is often seen on business women and professionals like Amal Clooney for example.

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Classical A-symmetrical

A-symmetrical silhouettes are not often thought of as classical but in fact they have their origins in ancient Greece. The key characteristic of the asymmetrical dress is a slanted hemline or neckline, with the most common design featuring a one shoulder bodice. 

The degree to which the slant occurs in the skirt section of the dress can vary greatly ranging from a subtle slant in one direction to more severe slants which go both ways to create a peak in the centre. The asymmetrical style first came to the forefront of fashion back in the 1970s when top American designer Roy Halston released a series of dresses featuring the style.

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As you can see there are so many beautiful ways to experiment with classical silhouettes and incorporate them into your own wardrobe. We can sometimes get caught in a comfort zone with our outfit choices and we often wear the same silhouettes day in day out. 

However, I hope this post made it a bit easier to understand the different silhouettes that are out there for you to try. This is by no means an exhaustive list of silhouettes but if you can master basic classical silhouettes you will soon have a beautifully sophisticated wardrobe that you can curate fabulous outfits from.

Refine: How to refine your personal style

I hope you found this helpful. I would love to see how you use the tips in this article to enhance your style so please please tag me on Instagram, Tiktok or Pinterest or you can or send me a message because I would love to see! 

About the author 

Mish has a Masters in Fine Art and she has an interest in classical design, history and culture. She loves to analyze fashion and style through this lens to help people develop authentic personal style.

15 steps to refine your personal style

Everyone has a personal style whether they know it or not. However, having “good style” is like a craft that can be learned and honed to showcase exactly how you want to appear in the world.

Refining your style and developing a look that is tasteful, authentic and true to you is one of the best communication tools you can have. We’ve all heard that first impressions are everything, but I am convinced that style is deeper than a fleeting impression, it’s something that can also help us to become the best version of ourselves. 

Refining your style however it a process and it cannot be done overnight. So if you’re not sure where to start in order to refine your personal style and develop good taste, then this is the right place for you. 

What is a refined personal style?

A refined style is one that has been intentionally crafted to eliminate unwanted or unnecessary elements and create an elegant, cultured appearance that is punctuated by good taste. It should express a concentrated snapshot of your personal style preferences and decisions. 

Not only does refining your personal style help you to build a sophisticated wardrobe but it will also help you to streamline your wardrobe so that you can develop a refined signature look that is unique to you.

However, refining your style does not necessarily mean that you have to limit or restrict what colors, patterns or fabrics you wear. The whole idea is to learn how to be flexible in your wardrobe while staying true to your own personal style preference. So here are some concrete steps on how you can look more refined.

Before we begin here are just some of my favorite well-known women who have a refined sense of style

How To Refine Your Personal Style

1. Pinpoint inspiration 

Whether or not you already have a sense of what your personal style is or not, this is a very useful step in your journey to a much more elegant and refined personal style. Sometimes there are outfits that look nice and then sometimes there are outfits that instantly speak to who we are or who we want to become.

Pinterest is by far the best tool to use for gathering a database of images that speak to you and make it easy to then review, sort and organise into boards and sections so that you can get a clear understanding of what styles resonate with you. 

Once they are grouped you can start to go through and identify what the common threads are, and what kind of message they’re communicating. It’s much more valuable to get an understanding of what it is that you want to communicate through your style rather than just wearing a nice or trendy outfit. If you have a mix of different styles, that’s okay too! You don’t have to pick one style for life. The most important thing is to just understand the message it’s conveying, its silhouettes, its color palette, its accessories, its patterns & prints, its seasonal changes, its staples & wardrobe essentials etc.  

With this exercise it’s important to balance your expectations with the more practical side to your daily lifestyle so that it can act as a valuable source of information for you as you move on through the next steps. With that in mind, be sure to only pin the styles that you would actually wear and not just something you like on other people.

Here are some questions to ask yourself once you have a good amount of saved pins.

  1. What is the primary fashion style of each board?
  2. Why does this style speak to me?
  3. Why do the clothes communicate that message to me?
  4. What are the most dominant colors, patterns, textures, prints & fabrics?
  5. What kind of accessories are used?
  6. Would I wear any of these outfits and when?
  7. Do I already have any of these clothes/accessories in my closet? 
(You can also follow my Pinterest board for inspiration on sophisticated feminine style and conscious style & fashion)

2. Find your signature silhouettes

Before you consider anything else, it’s really important to gain an understanding of what silhouettes suit your particular body shape, match your style preferences, and enhance your best features.

For example, a-line skirts are a powerful way to create a cinched waist and an instant hourglass figure, but if you are not inclined to wear skirts, then it’s important to have a clear vision of how the silhouette can be achieved with other clothing, like high-waisted pants, belts, wrap blouses for example.

If you’re not sure about what types of silhouettes you like, you can check out this post on some of the best classic silhouettes for women and how to wear them today.

3. Develop a tailored color palette

The next step is to find the colours that not only match your theoretical style preferences but that also suit your particular skin tone, hair and eye colour etc. It’s important to remember that refining your style does not mean you need to look like everyone else, but it means tailoring your wardrobe so that it complements your unique features.

Related: What colors are classy, elegant and stylish.

However, as a universal rule, create a foundation of the best neutral colors for you (black, white, grey and some shade of nude/beige usually work on everyone). Next, select a range of pastel or soft colors that can help to diversify those outfits and finally, select two or three of your favourite bold colors that suit you best in order to incorporate some individual statement pieces like wool coats or dresses etc.. By having a strong set of basics in neutral solid colors you should be able to find it easier to match with bold colors as well.

4. Timeless fabric combinations

So now that you have an idea what silhouettes and colors you like and suit you best, fabric choice is another essential component of refining your personal style. 

Develop a more authentic connection with your style and incorporate more natural fibre fabrics like genuine leather, pure cotton and silk. The quality and authenticity of well made natural fabrics can almost instantly enhance and elevate your outfits.

Learning how to combine these fabrics is another great way to make your outfits look intentional and will set them apart from fast fashion clothes which mosty use cheap synthetic fabrics. High quality natural fabrics will also last much longer in your wardrobe and can make super versatile investment pieces.

Related: Fabrics that work well together: Timeless fabric combinations

5. Get rid of the dead weight in your wardrobe

Once you have done all your research, it’s time to assess your current wardrobe. Do your current clothes reflect your refined style vision? If the answer is a straight no then it’s time to start clearing out. You can sell old clothes that still have some use on Dpop, Facebook Marketplace, donate them to a charity shop or recycle them at a clothes bank if needed. One way or another, we need to declutter in order to see what you have already that can work and to make space in your mind and your wardrobe for newer pieces.

It’s also a good opportunity to assess the quality of your garments. If most of your blouses have faded or are torn or fraying at the seams, it’s time to reconsider their presence in your wardrobe. A refined style is also about improving the overall quality of your outfits, so it’s important to be honest and accept when it’s time to let go of clothing that does not meet your standards anymore. 

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6. Learn to recognise quality

Speaking of quality, we’ve all heard the saying “I’ve got expensive taste” right? Well, very few people actually knows what that means in reality. It’s become synonymous with high price tags, but the truth is many women who are able to afford the most expensive items do not even know why they are expensive or what makes them high-quality in the first place.

This is a great skill to learn if you want to refine your personal style because you will be able to recognise high-quality even when there is no price tag. It’s also a very useful skill to have if you like thrift shopping because you should be able to find some amazing bargains.

Related: What are considered luxury handbags – The luxury hierarchy 
Related: How to have expensive taste (authentically)

7. No need to follow the crowd

When you are just starting to refine your personal style it doesn’t mean you have to stear clear of fast fashion brands and fashion trends completely. The whole point of developing your personal style is to look good, feel good and enjoy it. So if you like certain trends then why not find a clever and unique way to integrate them into your outfits in a way that also reflects your personality.  

If you are going to do this, I would strongly advise you to adapt the trend in a moderate way and incorporate it into your outfits gently so that it looks relevant without being cliché. Try not to buy trendy clothes from fast fashion stores however, as they are designed to be transient both in terms of their design and durability. 

These garments are also worn by the masses during the exact same season so it’s easy to look like you’re following the crowd. Try to find some high-quality stores that also do trends as you’re more likely to find something that’s higher-quality, more versatile and unique.

However, regardless of where you shop, the most important question to ask yourself is, would you wear the garment after one season? If the answer is no, then save your money for other things.

8. Prioritise structure and tailored fit

Fit is super important when it comes to refining your style. You can do all the other steps but if your clothes are a poor fit then it will undo all your hard work. So if there is a garment that you absolutely love but it doesn’t feel right on your body then I would highly recommend to get it tailored or find a service that can custom make it.

At the very least, just make sure that you are comfortable in whatever you are wearing. Make sure that it’s not too baggy or tight, too short or trailing along the ground. This is not to say that you can’t wear something that is intentionally cropped or oversized but it should still be in the right proportions for your body so that it doesn’t look like it’s swimming on you or like it got shrunk in the washing machine. 

9. Focus on footwear

It always depends on the occasion but footwear really has the power to change a whole outfit instantly. It’s important to be aware of this when you are refining your style, but you also need to be realistic and assess your lifestyle needs. Have some footwear options that are sophisticated and smart without necessarily being stilettos or high-heels.

Sometimes, I see women wearing stylish outfits but their choice of footwear instantly dresses them down. Sneakers can look fine with some outfits but wearing them with everything just because they’re comfortable won’t help you refine your style. Instead, experiment with different types of shoes and build a selection of stylish flat footwear that you know is comfortable but that is also high-quality and durable too.

Related: What to wear if you can’t wear heels
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10. Maintain your wardrobe

Wearing clothing that is not only stylish but also presentable is paramount if you’re serious about refining your style. That means no loose threads, hems, tears, rips, stains or dirt etc. I know it seems pretty obvious but I’m intentionally emphasising the importance of maintaining your clothes and keeping a high standard when it comes to what you wear.

Preserving quality starts by keeping your closet organized and properly cleaning or repairing your items as soon as possible when needed. Cleaning your garments appropriately is also worth mentioning because there is no point in investing in 100% silk blouses if you wash them at 60 degrees. 

One inconvenient truth here is that, the more you wash clothes the faster they wear or fade. To prevent this, I recommend purchasing natural fibre garments that are super breathable. They tend to stay fresh for much longer so can be washed less often, preserving them for much longer in your closet.

However natural fibre fabrics tend to crease easily so I would recommend getting a good clothes steamer that will help make sure you look fresh and on point. Steaming your clothes is also more gentle than ironing and will also help to maintain their condition.

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11. Explore niche brands

This is one of my favourite parts of refining your style. Luxury items are great, but you do not need to be dressed head to toe in designer clothes everyday to be refined or stylish. In fact, quite the opposite. Many women rely heavily on branded luxury items to communicate “a sense of style” instead of “their own sense of style”. 

There has always been something odd to me about a woman wearing a Lady Dior bag with a poorly designed H&M coat. While mixing and matching brands is perfectly fine, it’s important to learn how to strike the right balance with different garments and accessories if you want to refine your personal style and not just be a walking billboard. 

Don’t be afraid to explore and find specialised niche brands that align with your personal style. Everything from lingerie, to handbags, to jewelry to pyjamas, there are really innovative brands and talented designers out there creating high-quality, unique products just waiting to be discovered.

12. Ditch the fashion jewerly

I take a hard stand on this when it comes to refining your style. Fashion jewelry including gold plated and gold filled jewelry is not worth your money as it’s essentially impossible to repair and is prone to cracking and tarnishing. Fine jewelry (at least 10K gold or sterling silver) is much stronger than fashion jewelry and does not tarnish with proper care or cause skin discolouration. 

Fine jewelry is authentic and made with precious metals so can be repaired if needed which means it can be kept for years and even passed down through generations. It does come at an elevated price point but due to its longevity and its ability to retain its value, it can be well worth the investment. In my view it’s an essential component of a long-lasting wardrobe and if you want to get serious about refining your personal style, then I really recommend starting your own fine jewelry collection too.

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13. Pay attention to detail

Just like it suggests, an elegant and refined personal style means there should be an acute attention to detail. This includes high-quality and beautifully crafted accessories like belts, watches, sunglasses, bags, etc. 

But it also includes even finer details like what hairstyle, make-up or nail color you choose with a particular outfit. No matter what your personal style is, those details are equally essential when it comes to looking refined and looking your best. 

Each of these details is a personal choice and is another way to make your style unique, memorable and put together. With that in mind, try not to neglect your personal beauty or grooming routines. View them as an integral part of your personal style and take pride in those details and self care.

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14. Have some scents.

I can’t ignore the important a good scent when it comes to style. In the real world your style is not captured in 2D, it also emcompasses your presence and the atmosphere that surrounds you. In order to enhance that ephemeral part of your style, I recommend building a collection of beautiful scents that work appropriately for the season and situation you are in. 

You do not have to cover yourself head to toe in a sickly sweet Eau de Parfum however, there are some beautiful natural scents that can be worn daily and will enhance your outfit. Some scents are perfect for the summer and others for winter, and it’s important to take note of that when deciding what fragrance to pair with your outfit.

For example, wearing a warm honey and gourd fragrance in the heat of the summer doesn’t work well, and doesn’t showcase your ability to be thoughtful and intentional about your style. If you’re not a perfume person, that’s okay too. Good hygiene can also go a long way to complementing and refining your style.

15. Engage with the world of style

And finally, the last step in refining your personal style, is one that should never end. Try to actively engage with the world of fashion, learn about style from history, from iconic fashion houses and their talented designers too. The more you become engaged and share your comments, questions or opinions on style and fashion in general, the more you will become entrenched in that world and the more ingrained it will become in your own style.

Here are a few ways you can do this effectively:

  1. Sign up to receive email newsletters from top fashion magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Instyle and Vanity Fair.
  2. Discover and follow your favourite style inspirations on social media (If you’d like to keep updated on my style inspiration you can follow me on instagram)
  3. Watch fashion documentaries and explanation videos on youtube. Here are some cool channels that I like to watch myself: Dior, HauteLeMode and Zoe Hong.
  4. Start your own inspiration board on Pinterest and update it regularly
  5. Snap pics of your own outfit experiments
  6. Start to plan whole outfits from scratch even if they are based on another image, see how close you can get to it without knowing where the clothes in the image are from.
  7. Read helpful fashion books (some of them can also make great coffee table books). Here are five recommended books to get you started.

In order to make your personal style more refined you need to start getting specific about what styles you like and what you want to communicate through your style. When you have a good idea of what that means for you, the other steps are universal and become much easier to follow.

Honing your style, building a wardrobe of elegant high-quality clothing and taking care of yourself is so enjoyable when you put your mind to it and hopefully these steps will give you a good idea on how to get started. I hope you found this helpful. I would love to see how you use the tips in this article to enhance your style so please please tag me on Instagram, Tiktok or Pinterest or you can or send me a message because I would love to see! 

About the author 

Mish has a Masters in Fine Art and she has an interest in classical design, history and culture. She loves to analyze fashion and style through this lens to help people develop authentic personal style.