Five Quick (And Easy) Ways To Dress Up Jeans and A T-Shirt

I inevitably feel the need to take things up a notch sartorially in December. Besides the festive attire required for all the holiday happenings that are, well, happening, there’s also the fact that city itself is all glittery and adorned. With boutiques, offices, and eateries all bedecked in their holiday best, it feels inappropriate to schlep around town in my requisite jeans and a t-shirt, yet going “full-blown fancy” in broad daylight just seems silly.

So in an attempt to find middle ground, I sussed out five foolproof ways to inject a little glam (just a smidge) into an otherwise basic ensemble. Do one or two of these to feel more festive during the day. Don all five and you’re set for all but the dressiest of evening events…no fussy frock required.

  1. Shrug On A Blazer — A simple, well-cut, black blazer makes any outfit look infinitely more pulled together. My trusty Zara blazer is the single most worn item in my closet, by far. And if I were to happen upon, say, a winning lottery ticket or a generous benefactor, this Stella McCartney beauty would be my new go-to. I wouldn’t even have to wear it, just knowing it was hanging in my closet would make me feel dressier.
  2. Throw Your Hair Up — Don’t worry, I’m not talking the shellacked updo synonymous with prom. This is a more insouciant affair. It should look effortless. That said, there is a science to the “perfectly imperfect” (isn’t there always?) Joanna Goddard’s excellent “messy french bun” tutorial will ensure that you get it just right.
  3. Downsize Your Bag — I don’t travel light. My everyday existence requires me to lug around a massive tote spilling over with all manner of work and school flotsam and jetsam. Nothing says footloose and fancy free like a small bag, preferably a vibrant cobalt blue clutch in a buttery pebbled leather à la this fetching Clare Vivier number.
  4. Swipe On Some Red Lipstick — Red lipstick might possibly be the most transforming of all cosmetics, especially if you rarely wear it. In fact, a red lip reads so “on the town” that the last time I sported one, my five year old started crying because she knew I was going out (I was, and yes, I felt bad). But this isn’t your grandmother’s red lip. You’re shooting for a dewy orangy red (think the models in the J. Crew catalog). Nars Heatwave is the gold standard in my book.
  5. Don A Sparkly Necklace — When all else fails, go for a shot of glitz. But resist the urge to pile it on…a single statement necklace (or bracelet) feels more modern than last season’s ubiquitous “arm party.”