How To Make Effortless Style Actually Effortless

If there’s one thing almost every fashion brand and fashion person tries to exude, it’s “effortless style.” Even if an outfit is clearly not an accident and required serious coordination, the goal is for it to seem thrown together on a whim — not too precious, heaven forbid contrived.
The “effortless” trope has long been the way to distinguish cool style from style that tries too hard. But finding that balance — especially for those who love a good head-to-toe masterpiece — can be challenging. At least it was until “statement staples” (looking at you, big-ass sleeves!) introduced a fresh approach to dressing over the past few seasons. Marked by creative yet simple shapes like feminine, voluminous shirting; unique denim silhouettes; and oversized earrings; these pieces have a confidence about them that says "I'm here," without screaming it from the rooftops. At their core, these styles are basics — white shirts, jeans, hoops — but their subtle design tweaks add that something, alleviating their wearer from the print- and texture-mixing puzzle previously required to look interesting.
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So in an effort to be truly effortless (see what we did there?), we partnered with PAIGE to create four modern looks that walk that fine line of fashion and DGAF. Check them out below, then celebrate the fact that you now don't have to try to look like you didn't try.
Photographed by Emman Montalvan
Photographed by Emman Montalvan
An easy way to keep an eye-catching, feminine piece from looking too sweet is to start with a laid-back denim foundation. In this outfit, a hybrid OTS-spaghetti-strap top — an evolution of the OG off-the-shoulder style that kick-started the unique shirting wave we're still riding today — is taken down a notch with a loose tuck into a pair of relaxed flares.
Photographed by Emman Montalvan
If there's one silhouette that really epitomizes effortless dressing, it's a jumpsuit. With 90% of your outfit knocked out in one fell swoop, all that's left to decide on are the details. This faded-black-denim one-piece keeps it casual, as opposed to clubby, making it easy to layer over a white tee-like top. Plot twist: Those flared sleeves.
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Photographed by Emman Montalvan
Like perfume or lipstick, extra-large earrings have become an essential that fashion girls don't leave home without. These linked hoops are simple in design, but their size gives them enough oomph that they can (and should) be worn without any other frills.
Though peasant blouses have a tendency to look costumey or super boho, this modern version has more chill than its predecessors. With minimal ruffles around the neckline and wrists, this top can easily be dressed up or down. To keep it simple but still interesting, pair it with contrasting crop-flare pants in white and chunky patent heels.
Photographed by Emman Montalvan
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Then add oversized drop earrings, because obviously.
Photographed by Emman Montalvan
Photographed by Emman Montalvan
We bet you're wearing raw-hem denim right now. And it's cool if you are. Indeed, the trend is everywhere, but there are ways to differentiate your frayed selvage from the rest of the fashionably astute. Take, for example, this pair with an uneven mullet hem and a seam down the center. They're simple and au courant yet also stand apart. Pair with an '80s, blazer-inspired white top and matching kitten heels for that jeans-and-white-tee ease — just way chicer.
Photographed by Emman Montalvan; Styled by Sue Choi; Hair by Whitney Schield at Atelier Management; Makeup by Michelle Mungcal at Jed Root; Modeled by Khadijha Red Thunder at Photogenics; Art Directed by Ida Hariri.