Contrary to popular belief, really chic women aren’t superhuman — they’re just well-prepared. If you don’t see them running around with week-old coffee stains on their blouses or hobbling in painful heels, it’s not because those things just don’t happen to them. It’s because they know how to deal.
In fact, they’re dealing on a daily basis. Truth is, the fashionable friends you envy have some very helpful habits that make looking polished, confident, and cool a daily reality. It’s not about a total wardrobe overhaul or dropping tons of cash on the season’s biggest trends. Real style starts at home the moment you wake up.
Below are some things they do we probably don’t.
- Plan Their Outfit the Night Before: It’s not magic — or rocket science. The pulled-together women you see out and about really did try to look that way. And it all starts by pulling out the outfit the night before to save you from running around in a panic the next morning.
- Give Themselves Plenty of Time to Get Ready: This goes hand in hand with readying your outfit at bedtime. Instead of waking up three snooze alarms later, take the morning to prep your outfit and fix your hair. Not only will it save you from running out of the house with a button unfastened or mismatched shoes, but it’ll also give you a few extra minutes to add a belt or a special piece of jewelry to polish off the look.
- Select the Right Undergarments: Stylish women know the foundation of a great look is good underwear. Plan for the fabric and silhouette of your look with the right bra, panties, and shapewear to provide the support you need, whether it’s to ensure you’re not inadvertently giving your office a peep show when you forget your slip or preventing a nip slip on date night.
- Follow Other Stylish Women for Inspiration: Stylish women may craft a look all their own, but that doesn’t come without studying fashion icons and other ladies with killer style. The easiest place to get inspired? Scrolling through your Instagram feed or Pinterest board on the regular to get outfit ideas and endless fodder for your daily look at the office — and beyond.
- Dress for the Weather: It sounds simple enough, but dressing sensibly goes a long way in the style department. Check the weather before you leave the house to avoid being that girl trudging through the snow in her flats or dodging puddles in your wide-leg flares.
- Dress for the Occasion: The well-dressed women in the room are always the ones who got the dress code memo. They look polished and appropriate — never the ones tugging at their miniskirt in a room full of more conservative looks. If you’re ever on the fence about an out-there top or flashy skirt, remember to consider where you’re going and who you’ll see. There’s a time and a place for that plunging neckline — but it may not be at your boss’s dinner party.
- Only Wear Clothes that Fit and Flatter: Sure, even the most fashionable women among us probably have a pair of “skinny” jeans they’re waiting to fit back into or a top that got taken to the cleaners and was never the same, but they don’t wear them. Despite how much you love something in your wardrobe, if it doesn’t fit, it’s just time to let it go.
- Anchor Their Look With One Expensive-Looking Piece: Ever wonder how some women make even jeans and a t-shirt look impossibly chic? It has a lot to do with the fit, of course, but there’s another subtle way these ladies are elevating their outfit. It might be a great leather belt, a special pair of earrings, or a luxe bag, but in every case, one expensive-looking accessory adds infinitely more polish.
- Pick the Perfect Accessory: Like Coco Chanel famously dictated, “when accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on.” There is a point at which it becomes just too much, and the chicest women know exactly what that point is. Ask yourself if you really need the scarf and the statement necklace? Often, the cut of your clothes — an exposed neckline or bare arms — is a great help in determining just what jewelry or accoutrements to pair with it.
- Never Lounge in Their “Good” Clothes: The reason why stylish women’s clothes never look crumpled? They’re not lounging in their blazers or silk dresses on the couch. Curl up in your favorite leggings or sweatpants, but please, don’t do it in your poplin blouse.
- Fold and Hang up Their Clothes: Your blouses and trousers aren’t just going to magically ‘wrinkle after you’ve tossed them on the floor. Get in the habit of hanging up your clothes right after you wear them to ensure they’re ready the next time you want to wear them, too.
- Know When to Wear Heels and When to Wear Flats: No one looks stylish hobbling down the street in too-high heels. A fashionable woman is also a smart woman — she stocks her closet with shoes that are as comfortable as they are sophisticated and knows when to pull out the stilettos or rely on a pair of pointed, polished flats.
- Sort Clothes for Laundry and Dry Cleaning: Rather than tossing clothes and forgetting about them, make a habit of sorting your clothes daily. Keep an eye out for spots and stains you can treat immediately, plus pieces that need a trip to the dry cleaners or jeans that might be due for a wash. Sorting them daily means you won’t be surprised by a hideous stain on your favorite top the next time you’re looking to wear it.
- Always Keep a Fashion Emergency Kit Handy: We can prep and prepare all we want to, but stuff happens. The difference between the most stylish women and the rest of us is just how prepared she is. Keep an emergency kit with a Tide pen, safety pins, Band-Aids, and double-stick tape handy, and you’ll be ready when blisters, a busted zipper, or snagged hemline strikes.
- Stay True to Their Personal Style: Chic women never bow to the trends. They keep an arsenal of classic pieces that always flatter and work, despite the season or latest craze — and it’s why they always have something to wear.