This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
New season, new you, right? Maybe you’re running a mile farther, swapping out your sugary coffees for green juices in the morning, or committing to catching up on all those books you’ve been meaning to read instead of plunking down in front of the TV every evening. Good for you.
But then, why are you still wearing the same hoodie you’ve relied on since college? If you’ve got even an ounce of energy available, we’re here to convince you to spending it on doing better. We’re not talking about complete wardrobe overhauls or sacrificing comfort and practicality for trends that’ll die in six months — no. We’re just asking you to consider a few simple swaps that’ll make you look more polished, more confident, and more “together” in a flash.
Who knows? After you get used to dressing like the person you’ve always wanted to be, you might just be amped enough to tackle the rest of your “Do Better” list (next up, going after that dream job, retiling the bathrooms, and sending off grad school apps?). We’re rooting for you!
Instead of: Jorts
Try: Sophisticated Board Shorts — If you’re looking to retire your cut-offs, but aren’t quite yet to retire comfort, try a printed pair of board shorts. Whether in luxurious silks or durable nylons, a fun pair of board shorts pairs up with your soft tees for a casual summer outfit, or can be dressed up with heels and sleek tanks for a warm-weathered nighttime look.
Instead of: Flip Flops
Try: Strappy Leather Sandals — A strappy pair of leather sandals that’s easy to slip on and off is way chicer, safer, and — let’s be honest — way less stinky than a pair of rubber flip flops.
Instead of: Hair Elastics
Try: Embellished Ponytail Holders — Instead of relying on the same stretched-out, frayed hair elastics you’ve been using since you first learned how to tie up your own hair, upgrade to an embellished ponytail holder that turns your standardpony into something even more special.
Photo: Via Goody; Juicy Couture Beaded Leather Hair Tie, $35, available at Shopbop.
Instead of: Leggings
Try: Trousers — A loose, cropped pair of trousers go with everything (just like leggings) and are super-comfortable (just like leggings), but can be worn to all manner of events from a weekend brunch to a work outing (unlike leggings). Look for a pair in an easy-to-take-care-of fabric like twill so you don’t have to worry about upkeep!
Instead of: A Zip-Up Hoodie
Try: A Luxe Bomber Jacket — There’s nothing quite as cozy as a zip-up hoodie, but terry cloth never really projects “sophistication.” We’re loving all the chic little bomber jackets on the market right now, including ones in lovely prints, luxe fabrics, and ultra-flattering cuts.
Instead of: A Going Out Top
Try: A Bustier — If bar-hopping until the wee hours isn’t part of your routine anymore, don’t let the tops that used to go with it be part of your wardrobe anymore, either. For a cheeky nighttime separate, we like a printed bustier. It’s sexy without being in-your-face, and looks so sleek when paired with a high-waisted pencil skirt or a pair of tap shorts.
Instead of: A T-Shirt Dress
Try: A Drop-Waist Dress — A soft, drop-waist dress offers all the comfort and ease of a T-shirt dress but won’t get you confused for teenager. Wear it with heels and statement jewelry for a night out or flats and a crossbody bag for an everyday outfit you’ll find yourself going back to time and time again.
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