We give you style rules that stand the test of time, so you never have to leave the house looking anything less than your best again.
Bright Bags For The Win – Chances are, you have every shade of black on heavy rotation. Not only does a boldly-hued bag bring more fun into a neutral wardrobe, it’s versatile even for offices with a strict dress code.
Bag, $1,850, from Salvatore Ferragamo
Scarf It Up – It’s the details that create personal style, and none is more sophisticated than a silk scarf. Transform a simple T-shirt with a simple knot, or tie one on your hair if you’re feeling brave.
Plan Ahead – Unless you’re Olivia Palermo, great outfits don’t happen daily. Spend weekends snapping pictures of your favourite outfits and make a digital lookbook with free apps like Pureple and StyleChat for uninspired mornings.
Pearly Whites – We don’t need Marilyn Monroe to tell us that a white shirt is a true classic. Whether you’re boxy or streamlined, it’s the perfect canvas for printed skirts and boyfriend denim.
Shirt, $99, from COS
Bling It On – Doesn’t matter if they’re not real diamonds you’re wearing, studs go with every outfit you can dream of. The best bit: They won’t compete with the other jewellery – or spectacles – you have on.
A Dude’s Duds – There’s something about a pair of well-cut trousers that make women feel powerful. Got a meeting? We suggest a pantsuit. Swipe on lipstick, sling on some heels and you’re ready to take charge.
Between The Lines – Stripes are season less, but can be unflattering. A universal trick is to go horizontal on top and vertical on the bottom. See your legs lengthen!
Stay True To You – but have fun with fashion. Don’t buy something that you’re not comfortable in, but try on something cute you see on the rack once in a while. Who knows, you might just find your new must-have!
Girl Meets Pearl – While pearls never really left the style scene, new designs make them less bourgeoisie. With chain-links and wide bands, they’re modern and chic, far from their conservative background.
Ring, $5,605, from Fred
What A Knockout – Keep eyes on you with one show-stopping accessory – it’s all you need. Tip: Earrings for high necklines, necklaces if you’re going low.
Shun The Blazer – For a sleek look without the sweat, say no to sleeves. Vests are just as professional. A long one gives you that winter look that’s usually unattainable in our year-round heat.
Vest from Karen Millen
Edit Your Closet – Does your closet look something like this? Tsk tsk. De-clutter your wardrobe once every few months to donate the clothes you haven’t worn in the past year. Clothes need breathing room too!
Hem Your Pants – There are very few things sloppier than floor-grazing pants. A good hemming job makes you look taller, and it only sets you back a few dollars.
When In Doubt, look to Chanel – Layered necklaces, timeless tweed and little black dresses. A century later, Coco’s fashion mantra from the 1920s is ever relevant and tres chic.
Mix Your Prints – Sure, it takes a bit of practice. You won’t go wrong with two prints of the same colour or prints of different sizes. For the wary, wear a dress that’s done the homework for you!
Conquer Colour – Start by wearing neutral colours (beige, navy) with something punchier (yellow, red or green). Beware of black though, as pairing intense colours with it may look dated. Once you master the basics, couple neighbouring shades on the colour wheel, like blue and purple.
Wonder Waist – Jewelled belts add a touch of luxury to your look. Cinch one over an untucked shirt and trousers. It’ll take your corporate uniform to the next level.
Belt, $49.90, from Zara
Beyond Flats – For those of us who are obsessed with heels, learn to love flats. Thankfully, they have come a long way since their comeback. See Kathy Chow’s metallic Tod’s.
Match point! There is really no easier way to dress. Understated and super classy, First Ladies of past and present have made matching separates their go-to uniform.
Say No To Sale – Yes, easier said than done, but remember – just because it’s 50 per cent off, doesn’t make it a good buy if you’re not going to get any wear out of it. If you can’t immediately think of three ways or occasions to wear it, put it back.
Update Your Basic – Even apps need an update these days, and so should your wardrobe staples. If you love nude pumps, look for one with sheer coverage. Fans of LBDs, this season’s picks come with tassels. Stay true to your signature style, but be opened to experimenting with the latest trends.
Splurge on little luxuries – While it may be out of your budget to buy a diamond necklace, don’t stop yourself from owning that beloved item you’re going to wear day in and day out. For us, it’s dainty cuffs.
Bracelets, from $585, from Georg Jensen
Show Off – If you got it, by all means flaunt it. But a real lady knows how to keep the mystery alive by choosing only one body part to bare – legs, décolletage, abs – and keeping the rest under wraps.
Wear Your Right Size – Very few of us are the size we want to be. Don’t buy something you have to squeeze yourself into. You may feel good in the fitting room, but you’ll regret it when you can barely breathe for the rest of the evening.
Trust Your Animal Instinct – We can’t remember a time when leopard print isn’t in. That’s because it always is. A tamer monochrome version is safe for all.
Dress, $869, from Max Mara
Inside Out – Bras with heavy padding put on bulk and weight, the wrong fit can cause pre-mature sagging. The new Triumph Forever Young bras offer the ultimate fit and lift.
Think of Laundry Day – Read the laundry tag. Don’t think you’ll have time to hand wash that embellished blouse or send the sweater to the dry cleaners? Don’t buy it. Spend that money on something you can take better care of.
Re-sole Your Shoes – Before they’re worn, says our trusty cobbler. They extend the life of your investments despite cruel sidewalks.
Heels, $320, from Kandee