16 Easy Ways to Make Your Look More Sophisticated

Fashion is meant to be fun, but sometimes the best way to put your seasoned style skills to use is by creating looks that feel smart and sophisticated. Here we break down the basics of sophisticated style, starting with how to style the classics—and work in fresh statement pieces so your ensemble appears effortlessly polished and put-together wherever you're going.

From paring back bold colors to smartly playing with proportions, these styling tricks ensure a sophisticated look without ever compromising your personal style. Whether you're assembling the perfect interview outfit or simply trying a more grown-up approach to dressing, these 16 tips are sure to help you step things up.

#1: Tuck In Your Shirt

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Vanessa Jackman

We know the half-tuck is a go-to for cool girls everywhere, but when push comes to shove, a tucked-in shirt is more sophisticated. 

#2: Go Beyond Your Denim Basics

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Adam Katz Sinding of Le 21ème

Instead of wearing a jean jacket, upgrade your look with a minimal denim top.

#3: Experiment With the Right Pieces

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Collage Vintage

No need to suppress your inner adventurist; just be sure you're not going overboard. Translation: No sheer tops at the office. We suggest a playful back with an understated silk suit and heels.

#4: Pick Structured Dresses

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Collage Vintage

Nothing feels more grown-up than a beautiful A-line skirt.

#5: Pare Back Color With Neutrals

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Collage Vintage

If you're working a bright, bold color, balance it with neutral pieces that elevate the outfit (and make the color pop).

#6: Button It Up

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Stockholm Street Style

Sometimes a fully buttoned shirt is all it takes to elevate your look.

#7: Wear Mature Colors

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Collage Vintage

If you love bright colors, you can skip to the next slide, but there's something about subdued hues that make us feel wise and confident.

#8: Match Your Accessories

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A Love Is Blind

Evenly distributing one color throughout your look reads polished.

#9: Have a Uniform

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Style Du Monde

Three words: Less is more.

#10: Play With Proportions

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Collage Vintage

If you prefer less-formfitting clothing, balance proportions by tucking in an oversize sweater to accentuate the waist or opting for a cropped version of wide-leg trousers.

#11: Own the Menswear-Inspired Look

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Collage Vintage

Though a killer pencil skirt is instrumental to the grown-up look, menswear-inspired pieces are equally empowering.

#12: Master the Art of Layering

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A Love Is Blind

A style savvy woman knows how to mix and match her favorite pieces.

#13: Spice Up Classic Pieces With Leather

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Collage Vintage

To add more attitude to a look, choose a classic piece—like a mid-length skirt—in a leather fabrication.

#14: Don't Be Afraid of Flats

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The Urban Spotter

The Olsens pair their long skirts with loafers, and so can you.

#15: When in Doubt, Go All Black

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We The People

Sure, it's a little somber, but it's chic, and it works.

#16: Don't Bare Your Midriff

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A Love Is Blind

Wear a crop top like a grown-up, and pair it with high-waisted trousers that only reveal a tiny sliver of skin.

Keep scrolling to shop our favorite grown-up pieces!

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.