A beautiful trench coat is one of the best
investments you'll make on a simple and
timeless piece. ACNE Street Trench Coat,
$396 at Lagarconne.com.
It's a little presumptuous for me to be giving advice on how to dress elegantly, since I'm pretty sure elegant would be the last word anyone would ever use to describe me. I'm more brash, a little clumsy, sometimes I laugh at inappropriate things, and I once told a 5-year-old that the game she was playing was stupid, only to later find out that the person who taught her how to play that game was standing there the whole time. I'm not sure what's worse: making a little kid feel bad, or insulting her 50-year-old teacher.
I may not be a bundle of elegance, but I could totally dress the part if I had to. Acting the part, however might be a different story.
In general, the key to looking elegant on a day-to-day basis is to (surprisingly!) invest your time and money in your accessories. The right coat, handbag and shoes can go a long way because those are the things people will see when they meet you, and seeking out timeless designs in this department is well worth it. A classic high heel is always a good idea, and it doesn't have to be a stiletto. A one-inch heel on a pointed work shoe is perfectly fine. A coat that hits at your knee, or even mid-calf is also a great idea, and a sturdy leather bag works well. Pre-unemployment (way pre-unemployment) I made an investment in a quilted leather Chanel bag, and that little beauty is delicious. Though if I knew then what I know now maybe I would have saved that money for rent. Ah, yes, with knowledge comes wisdom, which reminds me, I should mail out my resume when we're done here if I ever want to buy myself another bag. What? Okay, fine. I'll give it to my sister.
Next, for everything under your coat, rich, neutral colors are always a great look. Colors like brown, ivory, black or camel are womanly and sophisticated, and the beauty of these colors it that you can pair them together tone on tone. Wear a pair of ivory pants with an ivory top and hijab, or a pair of black pants with a black top and shoes. Mixing textures can break up the monotony, and some lasting jewelry pieces like pearls, coral, turquoise, or even basic gold hoops add a great touch.