The 6 quick tricks you need to upgrade your look

Words: Modupe Oloruntoba | Photography: Luke Kuisis | Styling: Mandy Nash

We’ve all heard someone say some version of this – or, more likely, seen someone repost it on Instagram: It’s not what you’re wearing, it’s the way you wear it.

It’s funny how that quote is usually in the square right next to the lavish flatlay of their latest retail haul (“new vid is up guys, link in bio! xxx #subscribe”).

Let’s be real – most of us can’t splash out on 15 brand new items every month, no matter how much we love fashion. That's why you’d be surprised how many of your fellow fashion fans around the world are proving that quote true, without a no-limit credit card. I've studied (stalked?) these comrades in the name of research and uncovered a few ways to update your look with nothing but your smarts. These six proven, easy styling tricks will get you the look you’re after without breaking the bank.


Why on earth would you tuck your hair into your sweater? Easy. It frames your face in a modern shape and it makes layering easier by keeping your hair out of the way and sparing it some breakage.

Bonus tip: If the shape isn’t what you want, consider a ponytail lob – tie your hair back low and loose, then roll and tuck the ponytail until it has disappeared and pin it in place.


Why do capes look more elegant than coats? It could be because they look like casualised descendants of the cloaks and robes worn by European royals and aristocrats hundreds of years ago. Fake the effect by throwing your coat over your shoulders.

Bonus tip: The easiest way to make a coat look more expensive? Head to your nearest fabric store and find better buttons around the same size and shape.


The Kardashian-Jenner clan’s resident stylist Monica Rose started it, and it looks like Balenciaga has perfected it. Wearing your jacket like a lush fur stole is the new black.

Bonus tip: Zip it up just a few centimetres to keep it in place.


You're probably already using this trick, but are you doing it the same way every time? Play with proportion and technique to figure out what looks best on you with different types of shoes. Roll it in several small turns for a laid-back look to wear with sneakers, or opt for a wide, flat upturn for a cleaner look that pairs well with heels.

Bonus tip: Jeans too long? Cut them. Frayed hems are on-trend, and will give you better cuffs with less bulk.


Ever noticed how when something looks effortless, you immediately want it? No one wants to do something that looks difficult and laboured anymore – blame it on the pace of modern life. A shirt that’s only half tucked in is as effortless as it gets. Fair warning: this one doesn’t look great on high waist jeans.

Bonus tip: For shirts, undoing the last button usually gives you a neater effect. For T-shirts, gently tuck most of the front into your jeans, and tug at the rest until it looks like you did nothing at all.


Of all today’s tips, this one’s the most current. Designers have been redefining the shirt on the runway for the past two seasons, and it’s incredible what they’ve come up with. It’s also incredible how easy it is to get the look with just one buttoning trick: Put your shirt on, and then drop the collar below your shoulders. Pull the left and right side together and button just above the bust. Continue to the waist, and you’ve got yourself an off-shoulder blouse.

Bonus tip: Men’s shirts give you a little more room to play, and if you can get creative with your buttoning, the possibilities are endless.

* MUA - Roxanne Sayers, Model - Christina at DNA Models