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How to Look Put Together

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

* Short note before we begin: there are many different ways to look put together. This is just one example; I will write about others in the future.

As I walk down the street, my eyes are constantly scanning everyone I walk by. I'm always on the lookout for beauty and inspiration. When I don't find it, my eyes immediately jump to the next person.

But when I do - joy! - I analyze what it is that has so enchanted me. Is it the clothes themselves? The way the colours are combined? Is it one particular accessory?

Walking down the streets of Jerusalem, what has really stood out to me, of late, is the following very specific look:

Young, modern Orthodox women, in a relatively simple outfit (sadly, I don't have a picture to illustrate, but read on):

- oversized, tiered, peasant dress (such as the one pictured)

- funky head covering, often in a bright colour, tied meticulously

- simple flats (ballerinas, sneakers, sandals)

- glam sunglasses

- red lipstick

That's it.

It's simple, but it works for them, and they look GLAM.

It's not a look that would work for me (in fact, my personal conviction is that these dresses should be outlawed for crimes against the feminine form). But these women absolutely POP in this outfit and it works for them.

So here's what I love about this look and what makes it work:

1) It's simple to pull off. The outfit is based on just one dress that, even though it's oversized, fits as it should. There is enough material so that it is oversized everywhere (it shouldn't be tight or restrictive anywhere!), the sleeves end at the elbows (the narrowest part of their arm, and therefore a very flattering sleeve length) and the hem hits at the knees (the smallest part of the leg, hence the most flattering length for a dress or skirt). It's not a look that works on everyone or on every style personality. But if you love it, try it!

woman in glamorous sunglasses
Image by Sara Dabaghian

2) If the dress is plain, the head scarf is patterned. If the dress is patterned, the head scarf is plain. It's all about harmony and balance, and the colours in the pattern of the patterned item must include the colour of the plain item. STYLE RULE THAT MUST NOT EVER BE BROKEN: When you're looking to combine a patterned item with other items, the key is identical colours.

3) Sleek, statement sunglasses. Need I say more?

red Chanel lipstick
Picture courtesy of Laura Chouette

4) Red lipstick. Every single time my gaze has been captured by one of these women, they've had a perfectly applied red lip.

And this is one of the key "How to Look Put Together" style secrets, and the cherry on top of this look.

This particular look remains incomplete until the lipstick is applied. Not everyone can (or wants to) wear red lipstick - but if it's something that suits you, it's worth investing the time to apply it. It will finish a look like nothing else.

Bottom line...

Looking put together is all about the little details. It's about making sure your accessories complement the rest of your outfit, both in style and colour. It's about making sure that your dress fits as it should, that the bow is tied correctly (and I have a tip for that!), that nothing is showing that should not be showing, and that whatever is applied - is applied well.

woman in red lipstick
Image courtesy of Unsplash

It may sound like a lot of effort, but it's not really. It requires some experimentation in front of the mirror to see what works with what, as well as some creativity and attention to detail. And it requires giving yourself a few extra minutes (just in case!) and one last look in the mirror before leaving your home, to fix anything that needs fixing.

And if all else fails, and you feel like your outfit has fallen flat, put on some lipstick or lipgloss. It will elevate your entire outfit by miles in the two minutes required to apply it.

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