Contrary to popular belief, style and fashion are two completely different things. Let me break them down for you. Fashion includes tanks, jeans, pants, coats, anything and everything clothing. It’s the designers who create beautiful pieces to buy. On the other hand, style is how you wear these pieces. Unlike fashion, you don’t have to have skills of making clothes or money to buy certain pieces. Style is working with what you have and making it something completely unique. Thus, it is perfect for the guy or gal on a budget.

You don’t need a wad of cash in your pocket to be a great stylist or have a unique style, just a keen eye for creativity. You have the ability to turn something very basic into a unique and fashion-forward look by just tweaking it a little bit.

Styling can be intimidating. Where do I come with ideas, you might ask. Today’s post is the first installation of my Style Guide series. Today I have 5 ways to make your basic pieces unique and make them your own.

Rips and Cuts


There’s a sort of lived in vibe that makes a piece unique. It’s like finding an old piece at a thrift store and realizing that you might be the only person that has something like it. Make any of your every-day clothes like that. Grab a pair of scissors, some tweezers, and a nail file. Pull out your basic jeans and go at it. Rip out the seams at the bottoms or add some holes at the knees. Regular jeans can turn basic very easy. The key is to turn your basics into unique and individual pieces.

Shift It


You see a shirt sitting on a hanger and that’s how you see it on yourself. Stretch your limits from a hanger. Take a basic flannel, button it up partially and slide it off one of your shoulders. It makes the look more grungy and relaxed. Take a jacket and throw it over your shoulders, but don’t put your arms in the sleeves. It can make in look seem classy and elegant.

Use Paint


Paint isn’t the first thing you might think of bringing near your clothes, but think again. Many beautiful art pieces are created with such a simple medium. Any Carrie Diaries fans? Remember when Carrie took nail polish and splattered it all over her purse to make it cute and unique (as well as to cover the mess her sister made)? Take note. Follow this trick or take a basic t-shirt, lay it outside on a trash bag and go bananas with paint or nail polish. Feel free to take any pieces you want to jazz up (thicker materials like denim or cotton will work best) and make some interesting designs. Just seal the color and incorporate it back into your wardrobe.

Soft and Hard

One of my favorite ways to mix up my outfits is to cross trends with each other. Pair a soft, feminine dress with a leather jacket or a collared shirt with biker boots. I love pairing denim shorts and a t-shirt with a boyfriend blazer. Don’t limit yourself to keeping your outfits to one style. Mixing many different styles is incredibly easy for any collection. Combine two things you don’t think would look right together. You might surprise yourself.

Oversize


A go to trend for this generation, buy it bigger. Mixing baggy shirts with fitted bottoms is a unique contrast. Grab your guy friend’s giant sweatshirt and pair it with tights and boots. Take inspiration from Rihanna who constantly rocks the oversize hoodies and shirts. Experiment with contrasting tight, fitted pieces and oversized pieces for a fun look.

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