Stylist Shares How to Improve Outfits to Make Me Cooler, More Stylish

  • I asked a stylist to improve 5 of my go-to outfits to help me feel more confident and fashionable.
  • The stylist said I should work more accessories into my looks.
  • They suggested I add a blazer to my wardrobe and wear warmer tones to compliment my skin tone.

I’m a 26-year-old writer living in Los Angeles — and my laid-back location has translated heavily in my closet.

These days, I mostly wear loose-fitting clothes in neutral tones, with a handful of leopard-printed items mixed in. I used to be much more stylish, even earning the coveted best-dressed superlative as a high schooler.

But over the years, I’ve spent more time worrying about what others might think of me. So I stopped buying trendy items covered in sequins or bold colors in favor of more simplistic outfits that don’t attract much attention.

As someone who works from home and for myself, my top priority these days is comfort. But I also want to feel put together, so if my partner and I want to grab drinks after work, I’m already ready to go instead of needing to change out of sweatpants.

Even though I like that just about everything in my current wardrobe goes together, I wouldn’t mind reverting back to my younger self with some more online choices.

I asked stylist Janet “Jane” Igah, founder of The Doe Online, to help me upgrade my outfits and feel more confident in my daily looks.

For look one, Igah suggested a new hairstyle and dark-green accessories

The writer on a balcony wearing Patterned button-down dress, rust-colored heels.

Look one: Patterned button-down dress, rust-colored heels.

Paige Bennett

I started the style clinic with one of my favorite dressier outfits. It’s something I’ve worn to wine tastings in Northern California and nice date nights in Downtown LA.

Still, it always feels like something is missing when I put this look together, especially because I rarely fuss with accessories.

A flatlay of a rust-colored dress with a green animal print and rust-colored heels

I love the pattern of this dress.

Paige Bennett

Igah said that adding a dainty necklace or some dangling earrings and pulling my hair into a bun would elevate the look.

“This would also have felt more polished with a clutch back in the same hue as the dress and shoes,” Igah said. “I also think the olive would have been a beautiful color to pull from for accessories, such as your shoes and bag for more of an evening look.”

She loved the colors of the dress so I hope to find more accessories that complement the dark-green spots.

I’m a casual dresser, and Igah suggested sticking to a color palette for my layered looks

The writer wearing a Beige cadigan, black-and-white striped shirt, jeans, and brown boots on a balcony

Outfit two: Beige cardigan, black-and-white striped shirt, jeans, and brown boots

Paige Bennett

This is a common outfit for me. I’ll usually pair a plain or striped tank top with a long, loose cardigan, jeans, and a pair of ankle boots if I need to run errands or want to grab coffee.

Beige cadigan, black-and-white striped shirt, jeans, and brown boots on a hardwood floor

This is one of my go-to outfit formulas.

Paige Bennett

Igah noted this look is more of a mix-match situation, which is fine, but would look more tailored if I stuck with the colors of the tank top.

For example, she suggested adding a white or black sweater instead of beige and swapping the brown boots for black. Igah said if I wanted to stick with my beige sweater, it’d look better with boots in a similar color.

My classic outfit was missing something, so the stylist said to bring in another layer and jewels

the writer on a balcony wearing white button down, dark pants, and snakeskin boots on a hardwood floor

Outfit three: A white button-down shirt, dark jeans, and snakeskin boots.

Paige Bennett

I own a lot of button-down tops, which I think look great with jeans or tucked into skirts. I’ll typically pair one of these tops with jeans and boots.

Igah said this look is practical but feels unfinished.

white button down, dark pants, and snakeskin boots on a hardwood floor

I love the patterned shoes.

Paige Bennett

“This is like classic J. Crew Era, except you’re missing a third-piece, which is really just a layering piece that ties the entire look together,” Igah explained.

She suggested I pair this with a navy or black blazer and statement necklace, which could take this look “up a notch.”

“The snakeskin boots were a really great touch, it added an edge,” she added. “To emphasize that edge, the statement necklace and a nice watch or stacked arm candy would be ideal.”

The plain T-shirt is great for running errands, but a light jacket would complete the look

The writer on a balcony wearing a gray T-shirt, blue jeans, and leopard slip-on shoes.

Outfit three: Gray T-shirt, blue jeans, and leopard slip-on shoes.

Paige Bennett

Plain T-shirts and jeans are comfy and functional, so I tend to wear a variation of this outfit a lot. I’ll sometimes add a small necklace or ring to feel a little more put together.

gray T-shirt, blue jeans, and leopard slip-on shoes on a hardwood floor

Leopard print is one of my favorites.

Paige Bennett

Although I wasn’t aiming for anything fancy here, Igah offered great suggestions to make even my most casual outfits look cool.

She suggested adding graphic high socks for a pop, then pairing the top with a zipper hoodie in black or the same color gray for a cozy, at-home look,

If I’m leaving the house and want a more polished look, she suggested adding a blazer and swapping out my slip-on shoes for black boots.

For my final look, Igah suggested I commit to an all-formal or all-casual look for more cohesion

The writer on a balcony wearing a striped T-shirt, paper-bag pants, and loafers.

Outfit five: Striped T-shirt, paper-bag pants, and loafers.

Paige Bennett

These orange paper-bag pants are one of the more online options in my closet, but I’m never quite sure what to pair with them.

I have worn them with a sweater in the same tone of orange and cream, but more recently, I’ve been pairing them with an orange-and-cream striped T-shirt.

striped T-shirt, paper-bag pants, and loafers on a wood floor

I struggle to style these paper-bag pants.

Paige Bennett

Igah said my white button-down top tucked into these pants would be a better match, especially if worn with a statement necklace.

She said the striped top would be a better match with some soft joggers and sneakers.

“This look’s classy and casual vibes are competing, and you either take it all the way classy or all the way casual,” Igah said. “If you would like to take it all the way casual, I would swap out the high-waisted pants for joggers in an oatmeal or off-white and layer that with a medium to light blue denim jacket and slip on sneakers in the hue of the pants.”

Igah praised my general sense of style, but offered great tips for making every outfit look and feel complete

Although my outfits are pretty comfortable and practical for my day-to-day life as a person who works from home, Igah said I’m missing out on key elements that can help my outfits look finished even though I’m wearing “what works “for my body.

She suggested I gravitate toward warmer tones to complement my skin tone, and, of course, really bump up the accessories.

“Accessories are the mother of rounding out an outfit,” she shared. “Stacked arm candy, layered necklaces or even a small necklace and bracelet, or visible-style earrings would make all the difference.”

So far, I’ve been taking Igah’s advice, slowly and thoughtfully adding jewelry and warmer-toned sweaters to my wardrobe. I also found a blazer that looks elevated but feels super soft and suitable for working from home.

I’m looking forward to putting her tips to practice, whether I’m going to buy groceries or heading out for drinks with friends.

Click to keep reading more style breakdowns from Insider’s Fashion Clinic.