How To Look Good Without Really Trying

Style. Shit is tricky, no?

I’ve always *wanted * to look like a cross between 70s Patti Smith and a 1994 Tori Amos/PJ Harvey hybrid, but I’ve never been that lean or lithe or, you know… talented.

Oh, HI, everything I wanted to be for years and years and years (and maybe still sometimes?). Image Source + quiz I totally won.

I mean, most of us want to look well put together, and many of us also want to look… less tired than we are? Because let’s be real here. We’re parents. WE’RE EXHAUSTED ALL THE LIVELONG DAY. And I will never look as good in a dirty tee and old jeans as Patti Smith did. (Hell, still does.)

I mean. Come on. (Image Source)

So, as easy as it used to be in my 20's to look good with coordinating outfits and great shoes, it’s harder now at almost 38 for multiple reasons.

  1. I’m a freelance writer who works from home. I only leave the house like every other day. Which means I spend an inordinate amount of time in inside pants without even washing my face. So. Um.

  2. I don’t have a lot of money, which means that I can’t buy clothes very often which means they have to last me through seasons and trends and kids leaving gross mystery smears on my thighs.

  3. I’m lazy. I am not going to spend a lot of time layering and coordinating and thinking hard about my clothes. I’m just not.

  4. I have broken old lady feet, and my former great, sexy shoes have turned into sensible (read: orthopedic) shoes.

  5. I will never not ever dry clean anything because $ and fuck that shit. Also the planet or whatever. (But f’real the planet.) Also see: Lazy.

SO. You see my conundrum. Want to look good. Refuse to work too hard at it.

Also, my hair is now getting really REALLY gray (as in, one of the nursing assistants at my grandmother’s assisted living home thought I was my mother’s sister gray), so I feel like I need to counteract looking like a 60 year old and maybe can’t pull some stuff off anymore. AND. And. The world is a shithole right now and when I’m sad/angry/militant, all I want to wear is black and gray and maybe some dark blue. So, at this point, these are my clothes. Poorly folded on bookshelves because my youngest Smartling sleeps in our closet. I mean, attached nursery. (Yeah, no, it's a closet. But it's a large closet?)

You'll notice they're all dark and predictable with the periodic splash of color and lots of stripes. JUST LIKE ME.

Yet somehow, I’ve inexplicably fooled people into thinking that I sort of have it together when it comes to getting dressed, so after Christina’s post, I figured it was worthwhile to share my lazy person methods for looking like you tried even if you’re wearing all black and maybe (definitely) didn’t shower that day.

I want to look like I put in effort while exerting minimal effort. Like I said, LAZY. So all of these methods are lazy person methods. You can certainly try harder if you want. (But like… why. Most people want to look effortlessly put together, right? So don’t put in too much effort or it’ll look like you put in too much effort, you know?) Tip 1. Big earrings. I LURVE me some giant earrings. Christina regularly laughs at me about my giant earrings. She gave me her costume earrings. As in, earrings she purchased because she thought they were so ridiculous as to be costume worthy. I wear them on the regular and get comments on them all the time.

AREN'T THEY SO GREAT?!? Christina's shaking her head right now, but she's wrong. These are good. Do it. Join me in the giant earring movement.

These, for example, are giant, but light (because they're leather!), so it's pretty much impossible not to love them and wear them constantly.

Tip 2. Maxi or midi dresses. Easy. Throw one on. Done. And yet, people seem to think you did something special as soon as you put on a longer dress. No idea why. But try it. Also, SO COMFY. (Especially if you wear what we've dubbed Smundies... i.e. Spanx or Jockey Skimmers to keep your thighs from bursting into flames with the friction that comes from being human and not having thigh gap.)

A maxi like this will hide belly/hip/thigh lumps AND still gives you a waist AND still allows you to wear a bra. Perfection.

Tip 3. Red lipstick (or bright dark orange or pink). Again, takes 5 seconds, but people are instantly like, “OOOOOH YOU LOOOK SO FANCY!” Which… ha.

I love NYX. Inexpensive and good quality. This matte lip cream goes on easily and lasts well.

Tip 4. Giant gauzy scarf. Throw one of these babies on with your every day tee and jeans, and insta-chic.

Leopard is a classic pseudo-neutral that adds a teeny bit of edge AND will make Christina's littlest Smartling like you better. Win-win

Tip 5. Leather jacket. You can throw one of these bad girls on over a hoodie and sweats and still look chic. Jeans and a tee? Perfect. Femme dress? Even better. There are very few outfits that don’t benefit from a leather jacket. Invest in a good one (i.e. real leather) in a classic style (motorcycle, bomber, tab neck) and you’re set. You can often find great leather jackets at thrift stores, too, if you’re willing to dig.

Classic motorcycle jacket. Looks as good with a tee as it does with your date night dress and never goes out of style.

Tip 6. A pop of color. Red. Turquoise. Yellow. Purple. Grass green. Burnt orange. It can be your giant earrings, your lipstick, your scarf, your tee, your purse… it doesn’t matter. Just a little color goes a long way, even if you're wearing all black.

Or some red Frye motorcycle boots because omg red Frye motorcycle boots! Yum.

Now, one of these tips is great all on its own, but if you throw TWO of them together? BOOM. Extra super fancy. Maxi + Big earrings? Amazing. Leather jacket + Red lipstick. Damn. Giant scarf + midi dress. I mean.

See? Leather jacket and scarf. I look like I tried. And yet... my hair gives away the fact that I definitely did not shower that day.

Now, I think my old lady shoes that don’t look like old lady shoes will be a whole separate post (because UGH the searching), but suffice it to say that if you look long and hard and try lots and lots and lots of things on… you will find them. (Clarks. They're Clarks. And Uggs. Ughs.) And that’s it, Smarties! Start with a good base of basics (for me that’s jeans & tees that fit me well, don’t fall apart, and are comfy enough that I actually wear them), throw these tips in the mix, and you’re set. Seriously. Not hard. Welcome to Lazy Town, friends. Slap on some lipstick and let's pretend like we worked at this.

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