The Chic List: ‘My five rules for ‘effortless’ style’

Effortlessly chic is a lovely description. You know, those women who seem to tumble out of bed smouldering sexily, zilch time spent on clothes or make-up. Sadly, ‘effortless’ style is an illusion. But it’s easier to learn than you think – these are my golden rules…

This season I’m mixing and matching my spring greens with this dress and by Pleats Please Issey Miyake and Staud bag

1. Go easy on the bling 

When it comes to jewellery, remember that the smarter your look, the less you need. An overzealous entanglement with your jewellery box can kill an outfit. Elegant with edge is my kind of jewellery: a statement cocktail ring, a chunky gold chain necklace or bracelet, a pair of knockout earrings. If you prefer finer jewellery, the flash of a lone pinkie ring or a skinny gold bangle while you offer your champagne glass for a refill works wonders.

2. Buy now… wear later

Going-out wardrobes are infinitely tricky. However, rather than hitting the shops a few days before an important evening or event, it’s better to try to buy things you like when you see them and then dip into your collection of great outfits when needs are. After all, much like a bus, the perfect outfit never comes along just when you need it.

3. Don’t be too this season

New trends can be mind-boggling – take, for instance, spring’s midriff flossing (cutouts that reveal a flash of back or torso) or the bralette look. Yikes! I’m staying far away from those.

Thankfully, you only need to add one new trend to your wardrobe to keep it current. I’m loving this season’s spring greens: hence this dress I am wearing from Pleats Please Issey Miyake. Wear your greens in tonal form by mixing different shades, as I am here, or in flashes.

4. Always write a wish list

Making a note of things you want is a terrifically useful way of shopping. It prevents mistake buys, frantic last-minute searching and helps you define your style. If you are still thinking about something a week or two later, it’s meant to be. Currently on my hit list are these Hangisi embellished green satin mules from Manolo Blahnik (right).

5. Understand the basics

Jeans, T-shirts, shirts and blazers are the building blocks of your wardrobe. At this time of year, white jeans are a great asset as they are light and summery. For flattering cuts, check out APC’s styles at

For the humble tee, my favourite brands are Uniqlo and Lavender Hill; Saint James is my go-to for a classic Breton top, and With Nothing Underneath is brilliant for boyfriend shirts. Always check what your T-shirts and shirts are made of and opt for organic cotton and linen.

Top, £59,

Pair with high-waist trousers for a polished, bright look.

Dress, £238, Hannah Artwear,

Grab your heels and you’re all set for a big night out.

T-shirt, £40,

Great quality and perfect for layering.

Earrings, £115,

Everyday hoops for every outfit.

Shirt, £95,

Team with denim and a basket bag.

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