How to Be Chic


Being chic is as much about attitude and developing your own style as it is about being trendy. In fact, being chic often means picking sophisticated clothing that never goes out of fashion, rather than keeping up with the latest trends. Define your style, then find comfortable clothing that fits into your personal aesthetic. Once you have a couple of timeless, well-fitting pieces, work on putting together the best outfits you can to be truly chic.

Part 1
Defining Your Unique Style

Defining Your Unique Style on How to Be Chic

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Bodies come in lots of different shapes and sizes, and each one is beautifully unique! Though you shouldn't feel like you need to categorize your body, there are a couple of general types that you can use as guidelines while finding clothes that feel and look good. If you want to, consider the following body types, and think about whether you identify with one of them. If you do, you can use this information to help guide you while buying clothes. If you're pear-shaped, your hips are wider than your shoulders. If you're apple-shaped, you tend to hold your weight right above your hips. If you have a wedge-shaped body, you have a broader chest and wider shoulders, while your waist and hips are narrow.[1] If you're hourglass-shaped, it means your waist and shoulders are similar in width, but you have a slender waist. If you have a rectangularly shaped body, your upper body tends to be similar in width from your shoulders through your hips. You may be on the slimmer side.

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Some people consider certain styles of clothing to be more flattering on certain body types than on others. If you identify with one of the above body types, consider the following recommendations while looking for clothes to add to your wardrobe. However, keep in mind that these are only guidelines for what you might wear– ultimately, it's totally up to you to decide what fits well and makes you feel good![2] If you're pear-shaped, go for A-line skirts, as well as pants and skirts that flare out to balance out your lovely proportions. Try out different necklines and decorative accessories, too. If you're apple-shaped, try wide-leg pants and skirts to balance your shape. In addition, opt for v-necks and belts, which help cut down on volume on top. The empire cut is a great look for you! If you're wedge-shaped, opt for choices that show off your legs. Also, try full skirts, high-waisted styles, and thick belts. If you have an hourglass shape, choose fitted dresses, wrap dresses, and belts over shirts, all of which are good for showing off your waist and your curves! If you have a rectangularly shaped body, try wearing scoop necks and sweetheart tops to emphasize your chest area. In addition, long jackets are great for emphasizing your lean look.

Defining Your Unique Style on How to Be Chic

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" If you have an idea of what kind of clothing suits you, build your wardrobe around that. For example, if you look really great in long skirts, try to buy a few that you like, and then base your daily outfits on these pieces. Just make sure to get slight variations in colors and styles so you don't look like you're wearing the exact same thing every day.[3] As another example, your uniform might be jeans and a shirt. You could cycle through jeans and a nice button-down shirt, jeans and a flowy blouse, or jeans and a simple, crisp T-shirt. You could roll up your cuffs or wear flats or heels, but your general uniform will stay mostly the same. Having a "uniform" doesn't mean that you can't mix it up whenever you feel like it. It just means that you know what works for you and what you like, and you tend to stick to it most of the time.

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While tailoring isn't in everyone's budget, it can be cheaper than you'd expect. Getting an item tailored will help garments fit perfectly, which is ideal for looking chic and put-together. A little tuck here and there can make a garment look like it's made for you![4]7 Check with your local laundromat, as many of them do simple alterations.

Part 2
Finding Chic Clothing and Accessories

Finding Chic Clothing and Accessories on How to Be Chic

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Keeping up with trends can make you seem fashionable, but you can be chic without shelling out money every season. Choose clothing that doesn't go out of style and that always looks sophisticated, and you won't have to keep buying new clothes! Buying these kinds of pieces will help you create a timeless look that is very chic.[5]For instance, instead of buying into a current kitschy trend, opt for a leather jacket, a little black dress, or a trench coat, all of which always stay in style.

Finding Chic Clothing and Accessories on How to Be Chic

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When you enter a clothing store, you're likely to see many pieces that you find acceptable, and you may even decide to purchase something just because it fits well. However, to keep your wardrobe under control and to help define your style, only buy pieces that really speak to you. If it doesn't make you happy or excited, leave it behind.[6]

Finding Chic Clothing and Accessories on How to Be Chic

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Thrift stores are a great way to find fashionable pieces for cheap. The trick is you have to dig a little. Look for upscale fabrics like silk or cashmere, and opt for older or vintage clothes, which tend to be better made.[7] If you find a piece you love that has a stain or needs a hem, try taking it to the dry cleaners. While you don't need to wear skin-tight clothing to be chic, clothing that fits well will make you look more chic. Clothes don't have to be expensive to be chic! However, if you spend a little more on your clothing staples, they do tend to last longer.

Finding Chic Clothing and Accessories on How to Be Chic

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These sites are basically upscale thrift stores, but they cut out the legwork of visiting stores in person. Plus, you can narrow down your search to just what you're looking for, making it easier to find what you need.[8]Try Poshmark or ThredUp, for instance.

Finding Chic Clothing and Accessories on How to Be Chic

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Not everyone has fashionable parents, but you may be surprised what hidden gems are tucked away back there. Often, your parents may have forgotten about many items themselves and are happy to pass them on to you. Plus, older clothes tend to be better made![9]

Finding Chic Clothing and Accessories on How to Be Chic

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You don't have to give up comfort to be chic! Garments like leggings and even silk pajama pants can look chic with the right top and accessories. The key is to pair the look with a bit of glam, such as a long button-down shirt and fancy flats.[10]Similarly, add layers in winter to keep yourself warm. A large blanket scarf or a long robe coat can look chic and help you stay warm.[11]

Part 3
Putting Outfits Together

Putting Outfits Together on How to Be Chic

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If you have too many colors in your look, it can be a bit overwhelming. Instead, limit your color choices; in this case, a pattern can count as 1 of your colors, but be sure to match the rest of your outfit to the pattern.[12] For instance, try using black, gray, and red. Alternatively, try blue, green, and tan. If you have a pattern with red and green in it, make sure those are the other colors you choose for your outfit. White doesn't count as a color, but black does.

Putting Outfits Together on How to Be Chic

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Check out pictures of celebrities online to see how they put together an outfit! Of course, you probably don't want to copy outfits exactly, but you can put together similar looks based on what your favorite celebrities are wearing.[13]Try looking for pictures in magazines or just searching for your favorite celebrity online. The British royals are a great example of chic!

Putting Outfits Together on How to Be Chic

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No matter what kind of layers you choose, creating long lines gives your outfit an instant bump. Try a long coat in the fall, for instance, or a breezy, long scarf in the spring. Aim to layer different pieces of clothing that come down below your knees.[14]You could also layer a simple, long shift over leggings.

Putting Outfits Together on How to Be Chic

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Through a belt over longer layers, and you have a great way to show off your waist. You can wear it at your natural waist or up under your chest for more definition. Plus, a belt can add that final touch that takes your outfit from plain to chic, as it can add just a bit of glam.[15]Alternatively, try a belt with a tucked-in shirt.

Putting Outfits Together on How to Be Chic

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You don't need dramatic high heels that are uncomfortable for every outfit. In fact, flats and low, wide heels can be just as chic. The key is to tie your shoe into your outfit, either with a color or a material. That way, it fits into your overall look.[16]On the other hand, you can use your shoes to add a pop of color if the rest of your outfit is fairly monotone. For instance, if you're wearing mostly grays and blacks, bright red flats can add interest.

Putting Outfits Together on How to Be Chic

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Try adding a pair of stylish sunglasses, a leather bag, or a fancy watch. You could also try a pair of statement earrings or a glamorous necklace. The key to keeping it chic is to not go overboard– aim for 1-2 statement pieces and leave it at that.[17] Try to make sure your accessories tie in to the rest of your outfit. For example, if you're wearing a jewel-toned dress, you could wear a cocktail ring or other costume jewelry in a similar color to emphasize the hue of your clothes. You could also try a fancy tie or cuff links. Your accessories don't have to be expensive. If you like them, put them on! Just don't go overboard.

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You can wear the same short black dress on a Sunday walk or for a night on the town. The key is to pick accessories and layers that make sense for the occasion.[18] For instance, to style your black dress for a Sunday walk, opt for some comfy boots, a long, loose sweater-shawl, and a fancy pair of sunglasses. For a night out on the town, opt for low heels, a statement necklace, and a fun little purse. If you have a favorite sweater, throw a blazer over it for a more formal event or pair it with slim jeans for a less formal event.

Part 4
Acting Chic

Acting Chic on How to Be Chic

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Chic is at least in part about being confident in who you are. Once you figure out what your style is, hold your head high and wear it with pride. Confidence goes a long way to take an outfit from just okay to chic.[19]Stand up straight with your shoulders back. Don't act like you're trying to hide what you're wearing!

Acting Chic on How to Be Chic

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Being rude may seem like a way to be aloof, but a truly chic person knows that politeness is always key. Don't forget your "Pleases" and "Thank yous" when you're out and about, and hold the door open for others. Give up your seat when the train is full. These little details will help you seem more chic.[20]Similarly, practice good manners when you're out to eat with someone. Treat the server with respect, and do your best to practice all those little rules your parents taught you!

Acting Chic on How to Be Chic

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A neat and tidy appearance is key to looking chic. It's important to keep your nails clean and groomed, opt for a tidy hairdo, keep your facial hair neatly plucked or trimmed, and avoid wearing stained or ill-fitting clothing.[21]Also, make sure your shoes always look fresh and polished, not scuffed and in need of a good cleaning!

Acting Chic on How to Be Chic

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That is, don't save up your favorite jewelry or clothing for special occasions. Enjoy wearing a fancy piece of jewelry in the middle of the week or putting on that cashmere scarf just because it feels good on a Thursday. Besides making you feel good, it will add class to your day-to-day outfits.[22]Similarly, don't save that fancy tie for once-a-year occasions. Pull it out just because you feel like looking extra special today!