Flamboyant and bold items of clothing are fantastic for occasions and for making a statement at a long-anticipated event, but for all their visual glory, they’re not versatile. A bright yellow blazer with an intricate paisley pattern is – no doubt – a fabulous piece, but it doesn’t compare to a humble white shirt or a classic navy block blazer. 

Staple items are underrated and underappreciated, mostly due to their simpleness. Many people make the mistake of assuming that basic clothes can’t create impactful outfits, but that isn’t true. With the correct accessories and styling, there are no limits on how flamboyant and eye-catching basic outfits can be. 

Here are five ways you can upgrade your basic outfit to a next level ensemble.

1. Pops of color

Neutral palettes are not to be underestimated. They go with absolutely everything, but you probably already knew that. In fact, your wardrobe is most likely comprised of mostly neutral shades like black, white, beige and gray. The good news is, these are all colors which provide an excellent base for a bright pop of color. There are numerous ways you can do this, but mostly through subtle accessories. If you’re wearing a blazer or a suit and want to show a bit more of your personality but in a professional capacity, it can be done, and it’s easier than you think. 

A bright tie or a contrasting pocket square can make all the difference to a white shirt or a dark blazer. You could even choose a patterned option if you want to be extra out there! 

Aside from suits, you can incorporate color through things like socks, jackets or even shoelaces.

2. Buy well-fitting clothes 

If you’re a fan of baggy t-shirts, loose trousers and sneakers, that’s absolutely fine, but you’d be surprised at how much you can upgrade your basic outfit by buying a few more fitted pieces. If you want to wear shorts and a t-shirt, awesome, but maybe consider buying some fitted options. A muscle-fit t-shirt and a pair of fitted jean shorts or chino shorts with sneakers can make you look all the more put together, but at its very core it’s a basic outfit that requires little to no thought.

3. Stick to classic styles 

It’s going to be fairly difficult to make a unique style using nothing but basic items. This is because staple pieces are designed to be just that. If you try and be ultra-original with basic items, you risk missing the mark entirely. This means your pieces will get lost and will have no impact. Avoid this by using basics for their purpose. Stick to classic style choices – there’s no shame in it! Save your unique look for something with a bit more punch rather than a plain t-shirt and jeans. Classic styles always look good and always make a positive impact.

4. Accessorize 

Women use accessories to upgrade their outfits all the time, and there’s no reason why men can’t do the same. If you’re wearing a classic shirt and trousers combo, draw attention to other areas such as the wrists. You can incorporate pops of color in this way, too. For example, brighten up a white and gray outfit with a blue leather bracelet, or make your neutral sports day outfit a bit cooler with a bright cap.

5. Think about the overall look

Outfits are about more than just style. You can have the most amazing outfit, but if the rest of you doesn’t look well-groomed, your clothes will lose impact. There’s a tendency to dress down when wearing basic clothes, but try to avoid falling into this trap. If there’s one way you can make a staple outfit look incredible, it’s by making sure you’re well presented. That means doing your hair, having a shave, washing your face and spraying a good scent. This will take a 3/10 outfit to an 8/10 outfit instantly. 

So there you have it, five ways to upgrade your basic outfit. Will you be trying any of these?