How to Dress Classy
Is it time for you to change up your style? Add a bit of sophistication and class to your everyday outfits? Maybe you have a new job and need some new classy business casual attire, perhaps you’ve moved to a new city, or maybe you just need a change to represent who you have become. Are you wondering how to make that transition and how to dress classy? I’ll walk you through the ins and outs of styling yourself with a more sophisticated, chic, and classy style that you can wear for years to come (or the rest of your life!).
Classy styling is timeless. The navy shift dress and camel-colored pumps you buy today will still be wearable ten years from now. Buying one good pair of pearl stud earrings outweighs the 10 pairs of trendy statement earrings that will be passé a year after you buy them. Having a sophisticated and classy style means that you can wear your outfits to work, Sunday brunch, a city shopping trip, or traveling the world. You can even go sailing while rocking a classy look!
Creating classy outfits is about putting together crucial elements and making sure your style and confidence also shines through. So if you are ready to delve into a new classy look and answer the question of how to dress classy, let’s get started.
Define and Know Your Personal Style
Personal style is something that each of us has; we just have to identify it, understand it, and then live it. It projects your mood, personality and you as a whole, reflecting your interests, lifestyle, inspirations, and your past.
When you find your personal style you know you look great and feel confident when you leave your home. Whether you prefer bohemian, street, high fashion, minimal or classic, you can make your style look classy when the occasion calls for it.
I hear many women say that they don’t have a personal style or they don’t know what their own style is. Whenever I hear this, I recommend that they take a look at their closet. If you’re trying to find your personal style here is a quick tip that you can do right now. Take out your favorite pieces from your wardrobe. Lay on your bed the clothing you wear over and over again and look for patterns. Is it mainly solids or patterns, bright or neutral colors, dresses or pants, flirty or conservative?
Which category do you see your clothing fitting into? Is your clothing learning towards more free-spirited, maybe bohemian? Or is it filled with solids in black, white, and navy in sleek lines and perfect fits? Then it could be minimalistic.
Typically, classic and minimalist styles will look classy all the time. Classic and minimalist styles usually learn towards neutral color palettes, shapes, fabrics which make it easier to put together classy outfits. But don’t think just because you prefer bohemian or street style that dressing classy is out of the question.
Let’s see what it takes to elevate your style to a more sophisticated level.
The 7 Basics of Classy Style
#1 Wear Items that are Made of Classic Fabrics
Classic, timeless clothing made of materials that will last well into the next decade is what you should be looking to add to your essential wardrobe. Think cotton, wool, linen, and silk. These four basic fabrics will stand the test of time if cared for properly. Cleaned and pressed, items made of these fabrics tend to give off a classy vibe all on their own.
These fabrics also have variations that allow you to expand on your wardrobe. Denim is one example of a cotton fabric that cuts across all style lines, from street to boho to minimalist. Similarly, chino cotton works excellent in pants, blazers and even moto jackets (for the street style in you!). Then there is cashmere, a type of wool that feels heavenly against the skin and doesn’t pill with age. Cashmere sweaters, whether they are cardigans, V-necks, or crewneck pullovers pair perfectly with those denim jeans, as well as tailored pants and skirts.
A word to the wise with these fabrics: Read the labels and care for them properly to make them last. While wrinkle-free cotton has become more available, most cotton items will need to be ironed. (Classy outfits are not wrinkly!) Wool, linen, and silk often have to be dry-cleaned or hand-washed. Make a mistake, and you may have to give your 6-year-old-niece that wool cardigan that was a staple in your wardrobe but shrunk in half thanks to your dryer.
#2 If in Doubt Wear Solid Neutrals
Bold patterns and prints can definitely work in a sophisticated and classy look, but you may not be comfortable with such patterns if you are just beginning on your classy style journal. Neutrals are your friend in this case. Solids are plentiful in the stores (and probably your closet), easily combined, and help to stretch your wardrobe.
Typical neutrals are white/beige/cream, navy blue, black, and gray. Now, don’t think you have to dress head-to-toe in black (or other neutral). Monochromatic (different shades or tints of the same color) allow you to vary a color but remain classy. Or you can add small accents that can transform a solid into something eye-catching, like a skinny burgundy alligator belt, a paisley scarf, or a pair of red pumps. Want to know more about monochromatic dressing? Make sure to read What is Monochromatic and How to Wear a Monochromatic Outfit.
#3 Fit is Key
Classy and sophisticated clothing is typically tailored and form-fitting (not too tight, but you can show off your figure). Skirts should hit just above or below the knee, as should your classy dresses. Classic trousers are straight, slightly wide, faintly bootcut, or menswear-inspired and should be ½-inch off the floor in the back. Wide-leg pants and skinny pants in classic fabrics are also acceptable, as are ankle pants (shades of Audrey Hepburn!). Blazers, blouses, and sweaters should follow the curve of your waist.
Do not hesitate to take items to a local…