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Five Ways to 'Smarten Up'

Your style personality influences the items you choose and the way that you dress. Some people love to dress up, others dress down. But one thing we’re often asked by those who opt for a more casual style is, ‘how can I look smarter and more put together (without too much effort)’.

Well it’s easier than you think…

1. A Stretchy Blazer

A blazer is an easy win to smarten up any old outfit. But we get it, stiff, heavy cotton is some people’s worse nightmare. So look for a stretchy Ponte fabric. It’s much more comfortable especially across the back of your shoulders. And even better if it nips in at the waist.

2. A Sharp Cardigan

A cardigan is also a great option providing it has a little tailoring. An edge-to-edge design works on straighter body shapes and is much smarter than its slouchy counterpart. For curvy figures, opt for a fine knit that fits well, rather than something chunky and oversized.

3. One Tone Denim

One tone denim will always look smarter than washed and distressed denim. And don't just limit this to jeans. A denim jacket is a good wardrobe worker which you can wear with dresses, skirts and trousers. If the short boxy style doesn’t suit you, look for a softer belted version.

Deeps, Clears and Cools can pull off black or dark blue denim especially well. Lights, Warms and Softs, look for a mid blue. Stay away from excess detail, stone-wash and distressing.

Even the way that you turn up a sleeve can add a bit of slickness to your style. A nice deep turn at the wrist is better than something scrunched up mid-arm.

4. Add A Piece Of Jewellery

If you're very much a natural dresser, jewellery won't feature heavily in your wardrobe. However, a small piece can really elevate your outfit and pull it together. Choose something that you feel comfortable wearing; a neat necklace or small bangle that you can team with your watch.

5. Stick To Plain Pieces

We’re taking a leaf out of the well dressed French woman here, who opts for plain fabrics over prints. Good basic sweaters are worth their weight in gold. And there's nothing wrong with a t-shirt either. The key is to choose items that fit and flatter your body shape.

*Items featured are from a selection of concessions at John Lewis