Non-Basic Styling Tricks For That Next-Level Look

We don't fish for compliments, but when someone with a clear sense of style tells us they really like the way we belted our jacket/layered our shirts/brought back overalls, we can't help but glow a little brighter. Not to mention, snaps from a fellow fashion fanatic can wipe out a week's worth of "Oh, well that's different" we fielded from the coworkers and acquaintances that can't tell Marni from Maytag. Yes, we know our shirt's not tucked in all the way, and — yes — it is indeed interesting.
They say that variety is the spice of life, and in that spirit, it's time to crack open the proverbial Sriracha for your outfits, and start wearing your trusty basics in entirely new ways. Employed in the pages of fashion editorials, by your favorite Instagram #ootd masters, and yours truly, these are the styling tricks that separate those who like to have fun with their outfits from those who simply wear them. We've got eight ways to elicit appreciative oohs and ahhs. And, before we move on, here's one to start: You look #flawless today.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEREDITH JENKS.
The Bustier-Over-Shirt Move
A loose-fit, crew-neck, plain-Jane T-shirt sometimes feels a little too tabula rasa. But, cinching it with a strapless bustier provides some structure and adds sex appeal, while still keeping you covered.

Skagen watch.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEREDITH JENKS.
The Miniskirt-Over-Dress Move
What to do with those super-short skirts that are remnants of your club-kid days? Layer them over a dress with a more voluminous hem. The extra lengths of fabric peeking out underneath will create a pretty ruffle, not to mention this is a great way to pull off a DIY colorblocking effect (try solid-colored pieces for that look).

Brute rings.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEREDITH JENKS.
The Shirtdress-As-Vest Move
Don't have a long, sleeveless blazer? It's okay — you don't really need one to pull of that boss-lady silhouette. Wear an unbuttoned shirtdress with your regular tee-and-shorts outfit for a multi-layered look that's a lot more interesting than your average denim vest.

Zara T-shirt, DKNY bag, Brute rings.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEREDITH JENKS.
The Cuffs-With-Character Move
Go figure; you've managed to turn cuffing your jeans into an art form. These days, instead of the sloppy multi-cuff, you've started employing a crisp fold into your too-long jeans to achieve that right-above-the-ankle crop.

Levi's jeans.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEREDITH JENKS.
The Shirt-As-Peplum Move
Sure, people have been tying shirts around their waists for hands-free carrying for decades. But, you know that with the right combination of outfits, a shirt-tie can accentuate your waist, exaggerate your curves, and create a girly-gone-grunge shape. Oh, plus, you've got something warm for later when the temperature drops: win-win.

Zara shirt, Levi's button-up, Topshop skirt, Frey Willie ear cuff.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEREDITH JENKS.
The Buttoned-On-Top Move
Whether it's your jean jacket, an athletic windbreaker, or a plain button-up, clasping just the top-most button is the new way to layer. Not only is this a practical approach to avoiding chronic bunching, but the high collar frames your face, and the splayed-open sides show off your curated layers.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEREDITH JENKS.
The Obvious-Bra Move
We'd avoid the office for this one and pull it out for dressier occasions. Wear an outfit that's on the more risqué side, and then wear a sheer dress over it all to act as an in-real-life filter. Whether your dress is bodycon or loose (like this!), it's a clever way to take things to the next level.

Nike sports bra.
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PHOTOGRAPHED BY MEREDITH JENKS.
The Mismatched-Jewelry Move
Though we're all about the matching set these days, we aren't too keen on coordinating our jewelry. The more incongruous the better — a philosophy we'd extend all the way from the studs in our lobes to the rings on our fingers.
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