Today I’m changing things up a bit! You know I’m very much about making style easier. Sometimes that happens through learning more about style, and sometimes that happens by simply finding the right pieces to wear in the first place. Recently, I was updating some of the lessons in my online style course Simply Put Together (for which you can get on the waitlist for spring enrollment HERE), which got me reflecting on a few things that have been game changers and made style a lot easier over the years. I want to share some of them with you in case any of them help make style easier for you, too!
So, here are a few of the things that have been huge in making style easier and more enjoyable for me!
Jeans with different types of shoes
1. Realizing that skinny jeans work with the most types of shoes compared to other cuts of jeans.
One reason I wear skinny jeans so much (besides just simply liking how they work with my body shape) is because they go with SO many different types of shoes, so I don’t have to think much about whether my shoes are going to work with my jeans.
I know there is a spectrum of how people feel about skinny jeans, ranging from, “NEVER 🙅🏻♀️,” to “I’m SO OVER THEM” 😜, and everything in between. That is all fine, and that’s not my point anyway. My point is simply that skinny jeans are the most versatile cut in regards to shoe options.
The reason I bring this up is because A LOT of women have told me how they are stumped with footwear, and one huge game changer for me was when I started wearing skinny jeans. (Yes, there was a time when I never wore them.) While straight leg, boot cut, crop flares, boyfriend, and whatever other cuts are out there are great, they don’t pair as well with as many different types of shoes as skinny jeans do. Skinny jeans go with almost all shoe types: athletic sneakers, slip-on sneakers, sandals, wedges, pumps, booties, tall boots, rain boots, all-weather boots, and the list goes on. A lot of other cuts are trickier to pair with slip-on sneakers, athletic sneakers, tall boots, and rain boots or all-weather boots.
So, I’m not at all saying to ditch the other cuts of jeans. I’m just saying that having at least one pair of skinny jeans will open up shoe options when you need it. Like a safety net when you’re in a pinch. Like, if it’s raining one day and you need to head out the door quickly, you can throw on skinny jeans and rain boots and not have to think much about how to work them together. They just open up your shoe options, and therefore make it much, much easier to get dressed, especially when the other cuts of jeans just aren’t… cutting it. 😜
2. Stretchy jeans… and pants… and stretchy everything, really.
Any of you regular PMT readers know I talk sooo much about jeans and work pants that are super stretchy and comfy. That’s because it totally blew my mind to learn HOW comfortable jeans and pants for work could be, and I don’t want y’all to spend any more time in uncomfortable clothes if you don’t have to!
If you’re interested in a breakdown of my favorite stretchy bottoms, check out Your Guide to Crazy Comfortable Jeans and Comfortable Pants!
I’ve also learned that pretty much EVERYTHING comes in an insanely stretchy and comfortable version. Sometimes you have to pay a bit more, but it’s totally worth it for having comfortable clothes. For example, there are super soft and stretchy utility jackets, denim jackets, and faux suede moto jackets.
Check out some of my favorite soft, stretchy pieces by clicking through the widget below. You can also read my notes underneath each item for sizing and other info.
3. The stretch test
This has been my secret sauce to preventing that extremely annoying saggy-jeans syndrome. I wrote about it a long time ago in 3 Tests to Do with Jeans to Ensure You’ll Love Them. You can read the whole thing there, but here’s the recap. Jeans usually get saggy because the fabric loosens up, right? I used to think it was just a problem with the fabric, which might be the case sometimes, but I also don’t want to pay exorbitant amounts to remedy that. One day I wore a pair of jeans that stretched out, and I was very frustrated with them. Somehow it dawned on me to try a size down, so I did, and though they started very, very tight, they eventually stretched out to perfection. If they don’t, then that pair of jeans just isn’t for me, clearly. But, I’ll always give a pair a bit of time to settle before deciding on sizes.
4. Water resistant sneakers and booties
It doesn’t rain much where I live, and because of that, my shoe options weren’t fit for rain. Sometimes rain boots were overkill or didn’t work for the setting I was heading into, yet I was worried about the rain and mud ruining my other shoes.
Then, I discovered that all sorts of shoes are available in water-resistant options! I learned that shoes like water-resistant slip-on sneakers and water-resistant ankle boots existed, which look exactly like sneakers and boots that I would wear on a regular basis, but water-resistant.
Now, I have several pairs of water-resistant sneakers and ankle boots, which has made getting dressed so much easier! Before, I’d have to rethink my outfit if it was raining so as not to ruin any of my shoes. Now, I have a bunch of sneakers and booties that I’d wear whether it was raining or not, and if it does rain, I don’t have to think twice about my footwear. Having one less thing to worry about may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but when I’m trying to get three kids dressed and out the door, not having to worry about my clothes makes a huge difference for me.
Shop some water-resistant shoe options through the widget below:
5. The importance of accessories
“Accessories can make or break an outfit.” I’d heard people say that, but I didn’t fully understand it. Until one day, I saw a cute outfit on a celebrity in a magazine. I realized she was just wearing boyfriend jeans and a plain pink tank top, but the reason her outfit looked so cute was because she added a scarf. That’s when it clicked—that one accessory made the entire outfit.
I write about the importance of accessories often, but here is my post that demonstrates it the most clearly: Plain to Polished: Using Accessories to Pull Together Outfits. If you haven’t read that one yet, go check it out to see the side-by-side examples of what a HUGE difference accessories make!
So, now I always, always, always make sure to have some sort of accessories on. Most often, it’s a pair of Nickel & Suede earrings because they make a statement, but they’re soooooo lightweight and comfortable to wear. I usually forget I have them on! If you need recommendations for accessories, check out My Most Used, Most Versatile, Go-To Accessories.
Shop some Nickel & Suede earrings through the widget below:
6. HEATTECH layers
I shared about this in How to Stay Warm in the Winter While Trying to Look Cute, but this has been a very, very helpful one in colder weather. HEATTECHs are thin layering shirts (and they have other things, like tights) that you can wear under blouses, shirts, sweaters, dresses, and more, to provide more insulation and warmth. They are very thin and hug your torso to fit well under most tops, even closely-fitting ones. They also have slightly shorter sleeves than normal to stay hidden under tops. I get the scoop neck versions so that they are also more hidden at the neckline. HEATTECHs are very stretchy and never lose their shape.
There are different weights of HEATTECHS, so some are thicker and less stretchy than others. I wear the thinnest ones, which are HERE. I wear size M. Size up, as they are very fitted. Our kids love them, too!
7. It is not YOU. It is the CLOTHES.
This was something I learned long ago from Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear, and I can still see its effects on my mindset and relationship with clothes to this day. I’ve said this before, and I say this when teaching how to dress your body shape and find clothes that work for you in Simply Put Together: if clothes don’t fit you, or if it’s hard to find clothes that work for you, it is not because anything is wrong with YOU or your body. It’s because something is wrong with the clothes. So, you don’t need to change anything about yourself. You just need to learn which clothes work well for you and how to find them. (Which I teach in Simply Put Together.)
This is an important perspective to have. It helps you not go down the dark road of blaming your body and forming self-hatred. It helps you not give up on trying to feel good in your clothes and feel put-together because rather than thinking you need to change your body first, you recognize that you just have to learn which clothes to look for instead.
Those are some of the things that came to mind recently that I wanted you all to know about. In addition, I had some 🤯 moments that I wrote all about at length in my Building a Remixable Wardrobe Series!
What have been some game-changing things for you when it comes to making style easier? Whether it’s a specific article of clothing, a style tip you learned, a mindset shift you had, or something else, I’d love to hear!
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