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Stylist’s secrets: How to mix and match pieces for a put-together look

Aly Walansky is a freelance writer and editor based in New York City. She lives with her two Shorkie-Tzus, Scarlette and Max, and a display of pink polka-dot-themed home decor -- not to mention a selection of flavored vodka. Check out he...

The art of the mix and match for an updated summer look

Summer gives us the perfect opportunity to stock our wardrobes with key fashion staples. This year’s palette is soft and neutral, showcasing blush tones, light tans, whites and other neutrals. Keep these things in mind as you hunt for items to add to your closet this season.

The art of the mix and match for an updated summer look

MAke room for new layers with A fresh start

Summer means new growth for flowers, plants...and your closet. "It's a great time to introduce new staples," says Sonya Cosentini, Marshalls and T.J.Maxx style expert. Look for handbags, blouses, cardigans and dresses in the neutral and blush summer hues that you can incorporate into your current wardrobe and take from season to season. These accessories can also be mixed and matched with each other creatively to create something unique. For example, buy a blush toned summer bag to match the blue cardigan that's been in your closet for ages.

Play with accessories to change your look

The best way to update any wardrobe with the latest trends while staying within budget is to start with accessories. A new handbag or pair of shoes that feature the key details of the season -- such as ruffles, studding or zipper details -- automatically updates the look of any outfit currently in your wardrobe. It saves you from having to buy a whole new look, says Cosentini. It can also help you stock away some money to splurge on a hot deisgner peice that you may be eyeing.

Add some edge to one up your style

You don't have to be a wild child to add some edge to your step. It's all in the details! An oversized leather handbag with studs, ruffles or chains works with any look, day or night, casual or dressy. A small, or large, studded detail will give your look the extra pizzaz it needs for certain occasions, especailly if it's not typically your style.

know how to use stand out fashion staples

We all have items in our closets that look great on their own but we don't know how to match them! A great trick is layering unexpected materials. Try tissue-weight t-shirts and cardigans with designer denim or a tulip skirt. Pair a cardigan embellished with rosettes or other details with a sundress or ruffled blouse. Wear cargo shorts with a floral blouse or solid, lightweight t-shirt. Embellished flat sandals are perfect with designer denim or a denim shirtdress.

Just be yourself

"Ultimately, the key to mixing and matching is to have a plan," says Shari Braendel, author of Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad. Decide how you spend most of your time and start there. At the beginning of each season, go through your closet and decide what to keep, what to give away to consignment. After deciding what stays, build a coordinated, flattering wardrobe based on what you have and what fashion filler items you still need.


The art of the mix and match for an updated summer look

Remember that updating your look doesn't have to mean spending your savings on a whole new wardrobe. All it takes a little mixing and matching of what's already in your closet and a few new staple peices of the season. Learn more about updating your look>>


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