5 Ways to Make a Basic Outfit Look Amazing

merricksart.com how to make jeans and a tshirt look amazing

Outfit Details:

Choker Cutout Tee (under $30!), BlankNYC Jeans, Soludos Striped Espadrille Sneakers, Madewell Tote, Mirror Aviators,


Last night on my instagram post, you guys threw a ton of good styling questions at me. One question that kept coming up was about basics. How do we make those basics feel less basic? Today I want to share five ideas to take those basics up a notch so your look feels amazing but not overdone.

Before we add anything to the basics, we have to make sure we’re getting the right basics. That will make all the difference.

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merricksart.com basics
merricksart.com black and brown striped madewell tote
Merrick's Art Choker Tee
merricksart.com madewell striped tote
merricksart.com mirror aviators
merricksart.com ways to make your basics look amazing
merricksart.com blank nyc jeans

Get the right fit.

“Slightly Oversized” often creates an effortless look, but depending on your body type, sometimes oversized isn’t right and it just looks frumpy. I want to talk more about choosing clothes for body type in a future blog post, but basically you need to take a good look at your body type and use clothing to accentuate the best parts of your figure.

If you have an hour glass figure, play up your small waist with high waisted jeans and a tucked in tee. If your tee is untucked, you lose your waist and the bottom of your tee hits at the widest part of your body which makes you look wider. Make sense?

So play around with different fits, looser or more fitted, and see what flatters you the most. The right fit is the best foundation for a great basic outfit.

Choose the right fabric.

Not all basics are created equally. Some t-shirt fabric clings, some stretches out, some are sturdy and smooth out any lumpy areas. Test out the fabric and see how it hangs on your body and choose the one that’s the right for your body needs.

Add Accessories.

Ok, now the fun part. These are the special touches that make an outfit for me. The best option, in my opinion, is delicate gold jewelry. You can mix and match with rings, jewelry, and layered necklaces, and any combination looks amazing because it adds just a little richness and sparkle to your basics. My current favorite necklace combo is this double chain choker necklace paired with a longer pendant necklace like this one or this one. And for bracelets, I like some simple delicate gold chains like this one because they’re easy to keep on and they’re comfortable.

Add Some Personality with Shoes.

Add a little pop to your basics with some fun shoes. Try embellished sandals in the summer, fun sneakers or cute flats in the spring, ankle boots or loafers in the fall, and tall boots in the winter. There are tons of possibilities to add your personality into a basic outfit. I paired my easy look with these cute striped espadrilles and I love the little boost they give to my basics.

Finishing Touches

This is probably pretty obvious, but hair and makeup go a long way to make an outfit look amazing. Honestly it doesn’t require much. Add a few curls to your hair, or toss it in a topknot, but whatever you do, make it look purposeful and not like an afterthought. A little effort goes a long way! Then put on a little makeup (you can find my daily makeup routine right here), and your basics are now anything but boring.

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  1. I’m looking forward to hearing more about dressing for your body type! I have an hourglass figure, and it took me a long time to figure out how to buy and style items that fit my shape. Learning to accentuate my waist has made a huge difference!

  2. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    I love this pink top! It’s so pretty!


  3. Natali says:

    I like your style and I love effortlessly stylish and cute outfits like this one!


  4. Misty says:

    You are absolutely right about hair/makeup not looking like an after thought. A 5 minute primp can go a long way. 😉


  5. Adding personality with your shoes is such a great tip! Thanks for this really foundational post!

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