how to look stylish in simple clothes

10 Easy Ways to Make Cute Outfits with Simple Clothes

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Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough clothes in your wardrobe to create stylish outfits? If so, you’re not alone! Many of us have felt that we’ve needed to have a floor-to-ceiling fancy wardrobe packed with high-end brands at one point or another, but don’t worry – it is more than possible to make cute outfits with simple clothes. In fact, sometimes you can even create the best looks. Read on for the top tips for creating cute outfits with simple clothes!

blazer | dress | bag

​1. Pair a Casual Item With Something Dressy

If you’re trying to create cute outfits with simple clothes, your best bet (well, one of them) is to pair a casual item with something dressy. For example, you can wear a simple t-shirt with a sequin skirt, a pair of jeans with a blazer, or a white t-shirt with distressed denim shorts and a pair of strappy sandals. By mixing and matching different pieces, you can create a range of different outfits that all look stylish and put together.

The key is to find the balance between casual and dressy items. You don’t want to look too overdressed or underdressed, so choose pieces that complement each other well. Mastering this practice is also a great way to get more use out of your formal clothes. If you have a fancy dress that you only wear for special occasions, try pairing it with a denim jacket and sneakers for a more casual look.

2. Tuck a Top Into a High-Waisted Skirt

Tucking a top into a high-waisted skirt is a simple yet effective easy way to create a chic and stylish outfit! The high waistline of the skirt accentuates your curves, while the tucked-in top adds a polished and sophisticated touch.

When choosing a top to tuck into your high-waisted skirt, look for something that is fitted or has a slim silhouette. This will ensure that the top doesn’t bunch up or create an unflattering bulge around your waist. Because we don’t want that!

As for the skirt, opt for a high-waisted style that flatters your body shape. A pencil skirt is a classic option that looks great on almost everyone, while a flared or A-line skirt is a more playful and feminine choice.

3. Add a Layer to Your Outfit

It’s my classic advice for the perfect outfit – but it works! Layering your outfit not only adds an extra dimension to your look but also provides versatility to your wardrobe. Layers can transform simple outfits and add some depth and texture to your neutral colors too.

One of the primary reasons layering makes an outfit more stylish is that it allows you to mix and match pieces in creative ways. A basic outfit can be completely transformed by adding a blazer or a denim jacket on top of a plain t-shirt or dress. You can also layer a sweater over a collared shirt for a preppy look or add a vest to a sleeveless top for a casual yet chic style. This styling technique can be done all year long too – yes, you can even layer in summer!

Related: Stay Cool Yet Chic: How to Layer in the Summer Heat

4. Mix and Match Prints

The next time you go to wear a striped shirt, why not shake it up and pair another print with it? Bonus points if it’s leopard print or florals! This may seem daunting at first, but with the right technique and a little confidence, anyone can pull off print mixing.

When mixing prints, the key is to make sure there is at least one color that is shared between the two prints. This will tie the look together and make it seem intentional rather than chaotic. For example, try pairing a black and white polka dot blouse with a black and white striped skirt. Both prints have the same color scheme, which brings the look together.

Another important factor is to make sure the prints are different scales. If both prints are small and busy, it can be overwhelming to the eye. Instead, try pairing a larger print, such as a floral dress, with a smaller print, such as a striped cardigan.

It’s also important to consider the occasion and your own personal style when mixing prints. If you’re hesitant, start with more subtle prints, such as a striped top with a leopard print scarf. As you become more comfortable, you can try mixing bolder prints, like a plaid skirt with a polka dot blouse.

5. Highlight Your Best Features

Love your legs? Wear skinny jeans. Proud of your torso? Consider donning a crop top. We all have parts of our body that we love and parts that we feel less confident about. However, one way to make cute outfits with simple clothes is to highlight your best features. Have a small waist? Choose outfits that cinch at the waistline.

When it comes to highlighting your best features, it’s important to dress for your body type. Knowing your body shape can help you choose the right clothing items that accentuate your best assets. For example, if you have an hourglass figure, try wearing clothes that accentuate your waist and curves. Similarly, if you have a pear-shaped figure, choose clothes that flatter your hips and legs.

Another way to highlight your best features is to choose clothing items that draw attention to them. If you have beautiful shoulders, try wearing off-the-shoulder tops or dresses. If you have toned arms, try sleeveless tops or dresses. Sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone, but sometimes it works out even better if you lean into it!

6. Introduce a Pop of Color

If bold colors are usually not your thing, don’t be afraid to add a pop of color to your simple outfits. It can add some fun and excitement to your look!

The easiest way to do this is by incorporating brightly-colored accessories such as a scarf, bag, or jewelry. You can also add a colorful pair of shoes to your outfit. For a bolder approach, try adding a colorful top or pants to your outfit. Make sure to keep the rest of your outfit neutral so that the pop of color can stand out, hence, making it “pop”.

Related: How Do You Add a Pop of Color to a Neutral Outfit? Follow These 6 Tips

7. Belt it Up

Belts are a simple accessory that can instantly make any outfit more stylish. Whether you want to cinch in a flowy dress or add some shape to your oversized sweaters, belts can do the trick.

One of the easiest ways to use a belt is to cinch in your waistline. This trick can work on all body types, making it a universally flattering technique. Belts can also be used to add some structure to your layered outfits. Throw on a cardigan or jacket over a top and then add a belt to cinch in your waist and create a more flattering silhouette.

A simple belt can also add some interest to an otherwise plain outfit. Use a belt as a statement piece and choose one with unique hardware or an interesting pattern. Pair it with a simple dress or top and jeans and the belt will serve as a focal point and instantly elevate your look.

Related: 14 Creative Ways to Accessorize Your Outfit

8. Accessorize Wisely

You’ve heard it before, but we can’t talk about making simple clothes look stylish without mentioning accessories. After all, accessories can really make an outfit. But while they can add an extra dimension of style, they can also overwhelm an otherwise great outfit. Accessorizing wisely is key to pulling off a cute and put-together look with simple clothes!

Firstly, think about what kind of look you’re going for. If you want to look sleek and chic, opt for minimalistic jewelry and accessories. A dainty necklace and simple earrings will add just the right amount of sparkle without going overboard. If you’re going for an eye-catching vibe, feel free to add more statement pieces like layered necklaces and bold bracelets.

Secondly, consider the color scheme of your outfit when choosing accessories. If your outfit is mostly neutral, add a pop of color with your jewelry or a statement purse. Or if your outfit already has a bold color or print, stick to neutral accessories to avoid clashing.

Last but not least, choose accessories that complement your body shape and personal style. If you have a short neck, opt for longer necklaces that will elongate your neckline. If you have a strong jaw, choose statement earrings that will draw attention to your face and show off your beautiful jawline.

9. Keep Your Shoe Game Strong

To make cute outfits out of simple clothes, you need to have a strong shoe game. Investing in quality pairs of shoes is essential. These will be the foundation of your shoe collection and will serve you well for years to come! A good pair of shoes should not only look great but should also be comfortable and versatile.

One way to make your outfits cute and stylish is to pair them with statement shoes. Bold prints, unique designs, and bright colors can add an instant pop to any outfit. For example, if you’re wearing a simple white shirt and jeans, add a pair of leopard print flats to take your outfit to the next level.

Another way to elevate your shoe game is to pay attention to the little details. A small buckle or intricate design can add a lot of visual interest to your shoes. Don’t be afraid to mix and match textures and materials too. Leather and suede can look great together, and metallic accents can add a touch of glamour. (Plus, metallic is trending right now.)

Of course, you don’t always have to wear heels to make your shoe game strong. Flats, sneakers, and sandals can also be fashionable and stylish. It all depends on how you style them. Pairing your sneakers with a dress, for example, can be a fun and unexpected way to switch up your look.

10. Drape a Jacket Over Your Shoulders

The easiest way to make a cute outfit with simple clothes is by wearing your jacket over your shoulders. It might not make much sense to some, but it’s a cute look! This style is effortless and perfect for those cooler days when you don’t need a jacket, but want to add a bit of flair to your outfit.

To achieve this look, simply drape your jacket over your shoulders, ensuring that it falls evenly on both sides. You can use a blazer, a denim jacket, or even a leather jacket for a more edgy vibe. Most outerwear works, just make sure it has some structure so it’s not falling off and flopping around.

Pair your jacket with a simple top, like a white t-shirt or a basic blouse, and your favorite pair of jeans. You can also wear a skirt or dress to create a more sophisticated look. Overall, this look is versatile, easy to achieve, and adds an extra element of style to your outfit!

Following these simple tips can breathe new life into your “simple” clothes, whether that’s a black leather jacket, trench coat, plain little black dress, or ankle boots. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the best simple clothes to have in your closet! Want to know what the others are? I created a resource for you that will help you build a wardrobe from scratch – from a wardrobe checklist, to the best styles for your body, and more!

Want to keep reading? Here’s what’s next: What To Do When You Are in a Style Rut? These 15 Tips Will Get You Out in No Time


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.