How does Olivia Palermo do it? The modern style icon has become a mainstay feature on many best dressed lists for years now—and somehow manages to look polished every day. At Who What Wear, we regularly document the brands she loves (it's not always Zara), the new places she's shopping and her latest outfit ideas. Such is our love and dedication to understanding Palermo's keen sense of style.
Scroll through older photos of Palermo (we're talking circa The City years), and even then it was clear she was a fashion star in the making. While she's definitely owned her look, there are many rules we've learnt (and continue to learn) from OP. Polished but never overtly Upper East Side, preppy but never prim, classic but always with a twist… She's the queen of fashion ratios.
So what are the precise tricks you can employ as your own? Without further ado, we've dedicated an entire gallery of Palermo's most effective style tricks and rules—the kind of subtle tweaks that immediately turn any basic outfit into a winner. From accessories to tailoring, we've analysed the lot. Click through our gallery for the best of Olivia Palermo's style tricks.
Style Notes: On paper, a white shirt with trousers and a jacket is a bit of a snooze-fest. However, opt for interesting details on your shirt (such as oversized cuffs or a unique collar), add a studded belt and pink lipstick, and you have yourself a winner.
Style Notes: A scarf or belt on its own can be nothing special, but when the two pieces are combined in alternative ways, they become the centrepiece of the outfit.
Style Notes: Not sure how to wear that brightly coloured dress, jacket or top? Make a statement by toning down everything else in your outfit (aka pair your look with neutral accessories).
Style Notes: You'll never see Palermo without a pair of chic sunglasses. Fact.
Style Notes: This sportif blue-and-white ensemble is very safe by Palermo's standard, but the lace-up heels make all the difference.
Style Notes: A black-and-white combo is always chic and makes for a great fallback outfit. Just add a few textural differences and you'll be OP'd up.
Style Notes: To make this work, OP sticks to a palette of blue and brown. If she had stepped outside of the tonal realm, it would have been confusing on the eyes. Bravo again!
Style Notes: Take away Palermo's coat and you'd have yourself a great casual outfit. With it, you have a more sophisticated ensemble that works for the office and for a night out.
Style Notes: Don't assume that sneakers instantly add scruffiness. Instead, make like Olivia and use them to relax a suit.
Style Notes: While athleisure isn't for everyone, you can still tap into the trend by adjusting it to suit your own style. OP does this by taking a pair of sporty trousers and adding her standard amount of polish: a white shirt, high heels and the all-important sunnies.
Style Notes: Hanging on to that threadbare chunky knit? Invest in jumpers or cardigans that keep you warm and can serve as the focal point of your outfit.
Style Notes: This is a classic OP move that she's been trailblazing for years. Simply put, a statement jacket does all the work for you.
Style Notes: Take a cue from Palermo and find new and interesting ways to dress your basics, such as tying your jumper horizontally across your body. (Hey, don't knock it until you've tried it.)
>This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Elinor Block.