10 Secrets To Creating Amazing Outfits Every. Single. Day.

Photographed by Bobby Whigham
Some of us wake up in the morning, grab the nearest pair of boyfriend jeans off the floor, and preserve our creative juices for deciding what to eat for breakfast (guilty). Others, however, get out of bed, pull together a leopard coat, orange pants, and metallic clogs, and saunter out the door like it ain't no thang. We'd be lying if we said we weren't a little envious of the second group. Who are these women, and how do they casually breeze into the day looking like that — all before the first cup of coffee?

Today, we meet them. Artist Camilla Engstrom, stylist Kamaryn Potter, and designer Mengly Hernandez have the effortless élan thing so down pat, you'd think it must be something in their genes or drinking water. But, there is hope for those of us who fall victim to the easy-peasy allure of boyfriend jeans: Behind their innate creativity and spot-on instincts, there is a method to their outfit madness, and we're extracting that dressing strategy ahead. From layering dresses over wide-legged pajama pants to amping up a white T-shirt with a Muppet-like jacket to tying a scarf around a colorful Coach Swagger Bag, these women know a thing or 10 about the easiest ways to make sure your everyday look is always on. Soak up their style smarts, right this way.
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Photographed by Bobby Whigham
Paint The Town In Pastels
Sure, you know about the power of color. But, instead of reaching for an obvious bold or bright, try out a combination of pastels. Although pastels may seem too sweet, the right mixture can give these hues edge. Go for more-daring pastel combos, like periwinkle and sherbet orange or spearmint and cream. "I'm super into '70s colors right now," says Potter (right). "Baby blues and mints are all I want to wear."
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Photographed by Bobby Whigham
Go Big Or Go Home
Always wanted to wear your pajamas outside? Us, too! The key is to go to extremes, like with a super-wide, long silhouette paired with a short, cropped sweater. "My number-one priority is comfort," says Engstrom. Bring the look together with a lean, long-line trench and a structured bag in a complementary color palette — it'll add a touch of sophistication to an otherwise cozy ensemble.
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Photographed by Bobby Whigham
Snag A Scene-Stealing Topper
The great thing about epic outerwear? You can fudge it a little on the rest of the outfit. "The trick to pulling off oversized sweaters and coats is to keep what's underneath simple and streamlined," says Potter. Here, she lets her mint-colored shag coat take center stage, throwing it over a basic white tee and cream miniskirt. She finishes off the quirky look with leopard-print flatforms but keeps it casual by adding ankle socks.
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Photographed by Bobby Whigham
Don't Ditch The Classics
If you're a recovering color-phobe but eager to dip your toe in spring's sherbet shades, stick with classic, well-fitting pieces, like an A-line skirt, cropped jacket, and structured purse. "Since I'm petite, super-loose clothes or an all-over pattern can overwhelm me," says Hernandez. "Mind proportions with a more-fitted jacket with a sleeve that hits above the wrist. Then, you can focus on playing up the color."
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Photographed by Bobby Whigham
Put A Scarf On It
It's not just for your neck anymore. "Even in my downtime, I always have a scarf on," says Hernandez (left), whose grandmother's love of handkerchiefs inspired her to create a line of scarves. "I tie them around my bag, but I also wear them as sashes and around my waist and head — they're great for bad hair days."
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Photographed by Bobby Whigham
Layer, Layer, & Layer Some More
Right about now, morning temps can drop as low as 40 degrees, while afternoons turn downright balmy. That means it's layering season. Have fun with jackets over jackets, prints over embellished pieces, and dresses over pants. "My style is pretty simple, but I never want to be generic," says Engstrom (right). "A dress with pants is perfect because it's comfortable and different."
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Photographed by Bobby Whigham
Wear One Color Head To Toe
To keep layers looking cohesive, stick to a single color palette — like Engstrom's all-over pink hues and candy-apple-red bag — and throw in a few whimsical touches. "I always wear at least one thing that feels unique and special to me," says Engstrom. "I believe what you wear is a reflection of how you feel inside. I like to give away a little bit of my self through my clothes."
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Photographed by Bobby Whigham
Make The Small Stuff Count
A printed coat, a denim jacket, and jeans may sound like your everyday basics, but as Potter says: "It's all about the details." Leopard print gets an unexpected twist when found in a peacoat, while metallic studs and a frayed hem take her denim basics to the next level.
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Photographed by Bobby Whigham
Streamline Crazy Colors With Structure
"I usually combine earth tones with brighter colors, like this burnt-sienna jacket and Kelly-green bag." And, while a quilted orange-and-lilac topper sounds crazy, a structured shape keeps it looking polished. Hernandez shows how layering in other sharp pieces — a starched white shirt, ladylike satchel, and sturdy clogs — helps keep the look streamlined and put-together.
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Photographed by Bobby Whigham
Don't Overthink It
"I've always loved clothes," says Potter. "As a kid, I would steal my brothers' baggy jeans and T-shirts, then cut them up and use them in fashion shows." Point is, you don't always have to be on-trend to dress well. "Just try stuff on, and if it feels good, go for it!" adds Potter. "If it feels like you're trying too hard, you probably are." Wiser words were never spoken.
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