Look Like a Fashionista in 15 Minutes: Here’s How

9 Apr

Great style doesn’t have to take hours. Here’s Robin Wallace’s top tips for looking like a highly detailed fashionista.

Photos by Adam Leach
{Look Like a Fashionista in 15 Minutes: Here’s How}

This outfit is a great example of what I intend this blog to exemplify: busy schedules and hip style can co-exist.

Literally, I pulled this outfit together and was out the door in 15 minutes — seriously. AND, to be clear, I had no forethought on what exactly I would be wearing.

But I am not saying this to brag, only to highlight the fact that we really can be busy moms, ambitious professionals and involved citizens, as well as fashionistas! But how? First, take a look at the details and then I’ll give you my tips on how to have your cake and eat it, too!

The grey scarf was the extra detail (and layer of warmth) needed to transition the cropped jacket into the tweed undercoat and grey ruffled blouse.

Consider switching to a new style of scarfing -- such as tying it like a tie!

Mixing styles and metals of jewelry is a fun, easy way to add layers of details.

The ruffled blouse brings depth & intrigue to this look.

The cut-away blazer slims the torso and accents the waist.

How Much for ‘Look Like a Fashionista in 15 Minutes’? $51.97

$0 Vintage Cameo Pin (Gifted from my Grandmother)

$0 Larkspur Pewter Cuff (Bday Gift, Salisbury Pewter Co: $20)
$0 Gun metal & Costume Gem Ring (Gifted)
$0 Vintage 3-strand Grey Necklace (Gifted)

$0 Tweed & Grey Heels (Gifted, Aerosoles: $20 clearance)

$2.99 Houndstooth Plaid Fedora (Goodwill, Thorndale, Pa.)
$5.99 Grey Ruffle Blouse (Express, Goodwill, NYC)
$7.99 Wool Blend Cut-away Blazer (H&M, Goodwill, NYC)
$10 Cashmere scarf (NYC street vendor)
$10 Tweed-Print Trousers (Gap clearance)
$15 Wool Cropped Coat (Gap clearance)

{So} What’s the Take-Away?

Let your clothing do the work for you!

You’ve heard the phrase: Work smart, not harder. So the same goes with fashion and style.

The reason this outfit took as much time to put together as actually putting it on my body — and, yet looks like I spent hours carefully planning it out — is all because the clothing is doing the work for me!

But what on earth does that mean? Well, the grey ruffled blouse because of the ruffles adds dimension and an element of intrigue to the look.

The houndstooth plaid blazer and the houndstooth plaid fedora bring matching and yet distinctly different colors and sizes to the look, which amps up the illusion of “carefully planned detail.”

The bonus element: the houndstooth plaid blazer is a straight forward and functional piece, yet it’s design with the cut-away immediately creates an attitude of high-brow sophistication and old-school romance.

So the next time you go shopping, look for clothing that is going to do the work for you, and keep these tips in mind:

  1. Look for a basic T-shirt or blouse that has added elements and details. It acts as a built-in accessory and cuts down on your time for needing to wear jewelry or layer with a scarf, etc.
  2. Repeat buying your favorite pattern in various clothing selections. Doing so, and in a couple of colors and sizes of print, will give you a natural and easy way to build a theme that matches as well as contrasts each other in one cohesive and complex-looking manner.
  3. Opt for distinctive designs that combine form and function. Extra-notched lapel, wider collar, reverse stitching and patch pockets are examples of great details to look for in wardrobe staples, but what really wins the style trophy are staples that take details to the next level with a twist to the design’s line: cut-aways, peplums, bustle, etc.

Remember, when it comes to fashion:
Dress smart, don’t be a slave!

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Visit Flickr to see more Thrifty Vintage Chic bonus photos of this look, and others!

All images on Thrifty Vintage Chic are shot in the context of real life. All images on Thrifty Vintage Chic are free from post-production “airbrushing” or touch-ups. All images and written copy on Thrifty Vintage Chic are copyright protected and may not be used without first gaining written permission.



7 Responses to “Look Like a Fashionista in 15 Minutes: Here’s How”

  1. Laurie April 11, 2011 at 8:49 AM #

    I am constantly on the lookout for ruffled blouses like you are wearing and they haven’t hit the Goodwill and Salvation Army in my area yet! They are still in peoples’ closets here! LOL! So I thought about creating my own by altering a blouse pattern to snap up the side so I can put ruffles in the front. I think the ruffles I make will be twice the size as the ones you have on this gray blouse because the fabric I chose is very light. Great post, Robin.


  2. kris April 11, 2011 at 11:22 AM #

    Love the ruffle blouse and tweed blazer – feminine meets corporate – great necklace, too. The wind blown shot of you is amazing. You are so beautiful and though I don’t know you personally, I’ sure you are just as beautiful on the inside. Have a wonderful week.


  3. Tricia A April 11, 2011 at 4:09 PM #

    Absolutely love this look! So chic and sophisticated. I sometimes feel the best outfits are the ones thrown on in minutes without much thought! : )


  4. Grunge Queen April 11, 2011 at 6:20 PM #

    Just found you through Thrifty LA Life – love this look; the combo of the feminine and masculine is spot on. I’m adding you to my blogroll tonight!


  5. jay June 17, 2011 at 4:07 PM #

    a job well done. you took my photo at the renegade fair. i’m a fashion illustrator for ralph lauren and i approve!


    • Robin S. Wallace June 19, 2011 at 6:38 AM #

      Jay, thanks for the approval!! That makes my day!! And, it’s double dose of awesomeness that you looked me up — I appreciate it greatly!



  1. NYC’s Fifth Avenue Easter Parade « Thrifty Vintage Chic - April 25, 2011

    […] modern items include my most recent Goodwill find, the charcoal Ann Taylor Loft blouse (I blogged about here), and a college roommate’s gifted Express wool a-line skirt, as well as the tweed wingtip […]


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