Take one look at street style blogs or popular fashion social media, and you’ll quickly realize that Olivia Palermo is one of those street style stars that continue to amaze and inspire women with her seemingly endless trove of clever styling tricks and unexpected combinations.
Her style speaks to different types of women because her aesthetic is firmly planted in two worlds—the elegant and the classic. Combine this with impeccable grooming and her knack of skillfully combining seasonal and trendy designer pieces and the result is almost always sartorial splendor.
Like all other style icons Olivia Palermo is a testament that style isn’t just about the clothes on your back, but it’s all about the overall appearance. From her hairstyle to her makeup, and even the regal way she carries herself, everything contributes to her otherworldly aura yet persistently sensible style. She may wear couture a lot, but she balances it with pieces that make it somehow appropriate, down-to-earth and wearable.
Despite her penchant for designer goods, there’s a lot you can learn from Olivia Palermo.
Here are 10 tips that’ll give your closet and style that Olivia Palermo panache:
Don’t be afraid to use a pop of bold and bright color.
The lesson here, is to remember that when donning look-at-me colors, it requires an air of confidence; if you’re unsure -think fake it, til you make it. Stand tall and let your outfit speak for itself.
When it comes to coming up with ways to integrate a bright hue, try pairing it with neutrals, or link it to a color in a print. If you feel you just want to dip your toe into the pop-of-color pond, start with an accessory.
Make your basics pull double duty.
Get creative and see beyond the expected use and plainess of your basics by pairing them with riskier or trendier looks. This tried-and-true Olivia Palermo styling voodoo works especially well during evening affairs. Nothing takes a black-tiered evening frock to new sartorial heights like a crisp white shirt. You can use a basic black long-sleeved top and layer it underneath your brocade evening suit. You can also let an item like a statement coat do double duty by wearing it as a top and pairing it with jeans—simple, unexpected, and chic. And isn’t that the Olivia aesthetic?
Dress up your casual pieces.
Don’t let your casual pieces get lost in errand day outfits. Give them a new lease on life by taking a cue from Olivia, and sporting it with more tailored items that up its dressiness factor. A casual striped tee looks completely different with a double-breasted two-tone blazer and matching embellished heels. Upgrade your distressed denim with a floor-sweeping emerald colored coat. The laidback vibe of your casual pieces will serve as a great contrast to tailored pieces.
Make a statement with accessories.
Statement eyewear has been consistently one of Olivia’s go-to items that go a long, long way in making her look polished and put together. Aside from that, Olivia loves to accent her outfits with accessories that add and not retract from the overall stylishness of her look. The key to her accessorizing is she keeps a focal point. A statement neck piece or a singular cabochon cuff is usually enough. If she wears multiple accessories, it’s usually more minimalist and understated so that each piece doesn’t clash with another.
Show skin strategically.
Showing the right amount of skin is another Olivia Palermo style signature. You will never see her clad in a skimpy, incredibly revealing red carpet outfit, nor will she ever be caught dead in a short shorts and crop top combo. She flaunts her assets one at a time, and does so tastefully. If she is showing off her legs in a tailored pair of shorts, she keeps the rest of her look tailored and covered up. In knee-high boots and a poncho, she shows a bit of leg. She shows off a bit of shoulders in a boho top. It’s never all at once with Olivia, for she knows that the key to elegance is restraint and simplicity.
Grooming is everything.
Style isn’t merely about the clothes, shoes, and accessories. Your grooming is equally as important, whether it’s a bold red lip, glowing skin or tousled waves,
Olivia Palermo never steps out looking less than impeccable. Also, noteworthy is how each beauty look is crafted to match each outfit.
Casual can be polished.
Casual isn’t a dirty word for Olivia Palermo. Even during her most casual, daytime, or off duty looks, there is still a lot of elegance to get inspired by. A white eyelet sundress gets polished up and elevated with the addition of a waist-cinching belt and a trendy fringe belt. Peplum is a popular silhouette for casual wear tops; but when worn with leather leggings and embellished loafers the humble peplum top becomes something more. It’s all about pairing casual pieces with items with more edge. Lastly, it is noteworthy that Olivia pays keen attention to fit. She never wears casual clothes that are loose fitting or too tight.
Frock up in faux fur.
Olivia’s covetable easygoing glamour can be easily had as soon as you wear a faux fur piece within your look. Fur just gives lushness and an allure to any ensemble that other textures can’t duplicate. Fur is both classically old Hollywood while being a modern it-girl staple at the same time. Wear with leather, denim, a flowing maxi dress or tailored suit, the result is all the same: instant chicness.
Rethink your denim pieces.
Wearing a denim or chambray shirt with jeans is a tad played out. Olivia Palermo inspires us and makes us rethink the way we can and should wear denim. Level up your denim shirt and jean duo by layering it with a long sleeveless vest. By simply undoing more buttons on your denim top, you get a subtle hint of sexy. You can also go for contrast when pairing a denim button down with a floral midi skirt. Or you can throw the rulebook completely out the window, wear dark denim from head to toe. There are so many different washes and textures to denim that you can easily get creative with it, just like Olivia does.
When in doubt, pair a large print with a small one.
Ask any fashion obsessive and they’ll tell you that Olivia is an undisputed master of the print-on-print trend. You may not be as print-savvy or sartorially adventurous as her, but one simple tip can get you on the road to mastering the print-on-print trend. When you’re in doubt if your printed pieces work together, make sure that their scale complements each other. Don’t pair a bold and large polka dot print with a think, graphic stripe. Pair a large print with a smaller so as not to overwhelm the eye. If you’re more bottom heavy and want to emphasize your top more, wear the larger print on the top, and vise versa.
And just so we can all feel better, Olivia has had some style missteps too.