We’ve long considered Andrea Linett, the co-founder of Lucky magazine and creator of the site I Want to Be Her, a kind of fashion oracle: she just knows. Her new book, The Cool Factor, reveals the secrets of real-life women, ages 24 to 76, with effortless style. So, what’s the big takeaway? “The most stylish women I know never dress in head-to-toe anything,” Andrea told us. “Great style is all about juxtapositions.” Here, Andrea takes us through five combinations that always look good…
1. Trench coat + hippie dress: “Bohemian dresses are a great look, but they can skew young and casual, which may not be what you’re going for. If you style one with a tailored trench, you’ve instantly created something sophisticated instead. When putting together an outfit, make sure you’re not creating a costume. A jean jacket over a hippie dress might look like you’re on your way to a festival, but a trench elevates the whole look.” (Try this and this.)
2. Silk blouse + beat-up jeans: “Dressing up jeans with a silk blouse has been a winning combination since the 70s — and it looks just as fresh today. If you do a baggy jean, then choose a more fitted blouse, and vice versa. Also, your blouse need not be fancy: silk is silk, and you can find a great inexpensive blouse that will make you feel dressy in two seconds.” (Try this and these.)
3. Striped shirt + suit jacket: “If you wear a blazer with a silk blouse, you’re doing fine, but it’s kind of traditional. If you go for a striped mariner’s shirt — or a white or grey tee — you’re mixing things up. Put on a pair of leather jeans and you’ve got a forever cool look that’s casual but still very polished. Go for a classic single- or double-breasted menswear style, shove up the sleeves and get comfortable.” (Try this and this. And maybe these.)
4. Pencil skirt + biker jacket: “I can imagine a woman considering a biker jacket and thinking it’s not for her, like, ‘I’m going to look like a character from Grease.’ But she might surprise herself because it’s actually one of the easiest pieces to wear. I like to use it to toughen up things that aren’t tough. A pencil skirt is the perfect partner in crime. It’s sexy but sensible. Pair it with a biker jacket and you’ve got just the right amount of edge.” (Try this and this.)
5. Baggy chinos + pointy-toe pumps: “If you wear chinos with loafers, you’ll look nice and preppy. But put on a great pair of pumps, and there’s instant sex appeal. You’ve basically unlocked the French girl’s je ne sais quoi. When I’m craving a chino pant, I look for one that’s slim, because I’m 5’3″. But if you’re a little taller, you could get away with a loose, vintage mens pair, rolled at the cuff, which looks amazing.” (Try these and these.)
Thanks for the tips, Andrea! We are loving your new book.
Thoughts? Which looks would you most want to wear? You can find many more style tips in The Cool Factor, if you’d like.