August 3, 2009

Ask ThinkThru: How to Toughen Up a Generic Wardrobe

How To Toughen Up a Basic Outfit

I am a college student who has dressed fairly generically her whole life.  I have always been drawn, however, to a more “tough” look, i.e boots, leather jackets, leather cuffs and jeans. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t wear all of this all at once, but I would like to incorporate touches of it into my wardrobe. How does one go about incorporating a new look into their life in an un-awkward manner? Do you have any suggestions on some good starter outfits/looks?
—Rachel D.

The easiest way to incorporate a new look into your life is with accessories. Start with one accessory at a time and slowly build the tougher look you desire. I head to Forever 21 when I try something new. That way, if I end up feeling ridiculous at least I only spent $15 on a necklace and $30 on a pair of shoes I’ll probably never wear again.

As for starter outfits, a motorcycle jacket is a great item to begin with. It doesn’t need to be leather. Mine is actually a black jean material. The jacket toughens up everything from a basic denim skirt to a flirty summer dress. As you get more adventurous, you can pair it with leather pants or ripped jeans. Another easy way to add some edge is with a chain necklace. It goes with t-shirts, blouses, dresses, basically everything you have in your closet. Later on, you can work your way up to booties and studded accessories. And don’t be afraid of color! Black obviously looks tougher than hot pink, but that doesn’t mean you can pop your basics with brights.

And remember, confidence is key. If you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, it won’t look as good. And good luck!

Earl Jeans jacket, Citizen of Humanity denim skirt, Forever 21 tee, Dani Black gladiator sandals

American Apparel dress, lia sophia cuff, vintage belt worn as a necklace, Forever 21 clutch, Alice + Olivia for Payless booties

Do you have a fashion question? Ask me in the comments below or just fill out this form.

Leave a Comment


  1. Sal commented:

    What a fabulous video, lady! I lurve it! And you’re so right, accessories and accents are the way to go. Just did a post on toughening up a girly piece earlier this week and touched on a few of the same points.

    Published 8.4.09 Reply
    • Sydne commented:

      I clearly am way behind on my blog reading. Great options! Love those boots.

      Published 8.4.09 Reply
  2. pinktulip commented:

    love the video! the chainmail necklace you’re wearing hot!

    Published 8.4.09 Reply

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