How to Dress up Like a Girl
Whether you get dolled up in a dress, heels and full makeup or go casual with jeans, cute flats and a comfy fitted t-shirt, the key to dressing up like a girl is to look fresh and confident. Get ready to dress up by styling your hair, trying different looks with makeup and finding your signature scent. Pick out a trendy outfit that shows off your personality and helps you look your best, then finish the look by adding matching shoes and fun accessories like jewelry or a scarf.
Trying Fun Looks
Go for a casual but feminine look. Most girls don’t get up every day and spend two hours dressing up. There are plenty of options for those casual days when you want to be comfortable but still look fresh and put together. Now’s the time to break out your layering skills and try out some of the trendy accessories you have in the back of your closet.
- A great basic look for everyday wear is a dressier take on your classic jeans and a t-shirt look. Put on some dark wash skinny jeans, a well-made top, and a leather jacket or blazer. Slip on some wedges, bangles and dangly earrings. If it’s a windy day, accent the look with a scarf.
- In a cold day, try the New York girl outfit. Let your hair down or curl it, put on a stylish fitted jacket, and wear a skirt with some brown or black boots.
Be girly and cute. For the days when you just want to look as girly as possible, nothing but pastel clothes and sparkly accessories will do. Pick out a dress or top in pastel tones, and accent with a pair of sparkly flats. Just remember not to go overboard by wearing all of the cute accessories you own at once. Choose a few items that will make you look feminine, but not babyish.
- Try a simple flower print or pastel or bright colored dress that falls just above the knee. Wear it with flats and a sunhat.
- Wearing hair accessories is a great way to add some girliness to your look. Try a barrette in the shape of a bow, or a headband with a flower accent on top.
Look modern and elegant. If your style is sleek and urban, look for muted colors that create a streamlined look. Look for comfortable fabrics in interesting cuts, and pair your clothes with sunglasses and simple, understated accessories. This style is perfect for the office or just walking around town with your girlfriends.
- You can’t go wrong with a little black dress, riding boots and a wool cardigan on chilly days that require an elegant look. A tunic over leggings is another great look that’s elegant but comfortable at the same time.
- In the summer, try maxi dresses and skirts paired with wayfarer-style sunglasses and hoop earrings.
Dress up for a fancy event. Girls have more options than guys when it comes to dressing to the nines for a big event like a wedding or cocktail party. Now’s the time to break out that dress with sequins you’ve been waiting to wear, spend extra time on your hair and makeup, and wear your classiest accessories. Go for a look that’s stunning, yet appropriate for the event you’re attending.
- For special occasions, you might consider getting your hair done at a salon. A classic updo is a nice touch for a wedding. In summertime, you might opt to decorate your hair with a flower as well.
- To accessorize for a special occasion, choose your best jewelry and make sure it matches. For example, you could wear diamond stud earrings and a diamond necklace.
Build a stylish wardrobe. There’s no one way to dress up like a girl - it’s all about finding the style that works best for you. Experiment with different cuts, colors, and combinations and start picking out clothes that make you look good and feel comfortable at the same time. If you need inspiration, look in fashion magazines and read style blogs. Decide which outfits speak to you, and work on recreating them in your own wardrobe.
- Start with a good set of basics. Fill your closet with dresses, skirts, pants and tops that you know you’ll enjoy wearing. Every item you buy should match at least three items in your closet.
- Make sure your clothes fit well. Buy clothes in your size, rather than aspirationally sizing down or getting baggy clothes to try to hide something. You’ll look your best if your clothes fit your figure. And don’t be afraid to buy clothes that show off your body, like a cute crop top or a pair of tight-fitting jeans.
- When you’re trying to decide what to wear, try picking just one item to be your muse, and work from there. For example, maybe you have a beautiful pencil skirt and you’re not sure what to do with it. Add a cotton tee and a set of pearls, and you have the perfect outfit for an afternoon lunch. Switch out the tee for a silk blouse and blazer, and you’re ready for a business meeting. Work with your favorite items in your closet to create amazing outfits.
- Wear outfits that make you feel confident. Take a look in the mirror and think about the occasion. What is best outfit in your closet to convey confidence for this occasion?
Learn how to layer. Layering clothes is a way to look chic and polished every time you dress up. You can mix and match different items from your wardrobe and come up with endless new outfits using just a few pieces. Layering adds interest and depth to an outfit, preventing it from looking too boring. Try these layering techniques to dress up your basic outfits:
- Wear a jacket or blazer over a t-shirt or blouse with jeans, or wear it over a dress.
- Wear a vest over a long-sleeved shirt, or wear it over a cap-sleeved blouse.
- Layer a miniskirt over tights or leggings.
- Layer a button-down shirt over a tank or t-shirt. Roll up the sleeves and knot the front.
Mix colors and prints. When you’re picking out colors to wear, go beyond the basic matching techniques you learned as a child. Sure, a red dress and red heels seem to go together, but there’s nothing very interesting about a basic matching outfit. Be a little bold and pick colors that heighten each other and make your outfit look interesting instead of bland.
- Wear colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, try wearing orange and blue together, or purple and yellow. These complementary colors will make your outfit pop.
- Wear colors that are on trend for the season. Every season, a new palette of colors hits the stores. If you’re not sure what they are, go to the mall and check out the new colors from this season’s clothing and see which colors are styled together. Incorporate a few trendy new colors in your wardrobe.
- Mix prints with like colors. For example, you could wear a lavender-striped top with a skirt that has a floral pattern including lavender and other colors. Use one print to play up the colors in another print.
- Go monochrome when you’re feeling bold. Wearing an all-black or all-red outfit will make a bold statement. When you do this, try wearing nude accessories, like camel-colored shoes and a nude lipstick.
Pick the right shoes. The shoes you wear can make or break your outfit, so put a little time into choosing the right pair. A girl can’t go wrong with heels to complement a dress or add extra style to a casual outfit like jeans and a t-shirt. But just because you want to dress up like a girl doesn’t mean you have to wear heels! Try wedges or classy flats, which go well with almost any outfit.
- Wear shoes that match the season, like close-toed suede pumps for winter and open-toed canvas wedges for summer. Cute wedges go with any outfit, especially if they're denim or floral print or a solid black or white color.
- If you prefer a more casual look, wear a cute pair of plain white tennis shoes with shorts, skirts and even dresses.
- Don’t sacrifice comfort for style. Practice walking in new shoes, especially heels, before you wear them out. If you can’t walk around in those four-inch heels, don’t wear them! You won’t look stylish if you’re falling down.
Add chic accessories. Accessorizing adds an important feminine touch to any outfit. Once you know what you’re going to wear, figure out how to make it look even more stylish by adding a few perfect accessories, like a pair of brilliant earrings or a thin belt around your waist. It’s a chance to show off your personality and have a little fun. Knowing a few basic rules for accessorizing will help you look your best:
- Don’t wear too many at once. Choose just a few pretty accessories that really enhance your outfit instead of making it look cluttered. If you're wearing a plain top, try wearing some flashy earrings, a big statement necklace, or bright bangles. Do not wear all three!
- Wear accessories that accent a color in your outfit. For example, if your dress has flecks of red in the pattern, wear red earrings or a red bracelet.
- Use accessories to add personality to a plain outfit. You could dress up a plain blouse with an interesting scarf, several loose necklaces, or long beaded earrings and a chunky bracelet.
- A belt around the midsection has a thinning effect that makes even the tiniest of girls look like they have some curve.
- Spend your money on classic accessories that never go out of style, like sterling silver hoops. Trendier accessories like cat-eye glasses or wide belts should be purchased on sale, since they might be out of style by next season.
- Nail polish, tattoos, an umbrella, glasses, bags and other items can all act as unexpected accessories.
Getting Dressed Up
Prep your skin. You’ll feel better in your clothes and more dressed up if you take time to make your skin look clean and fresh. Wash your face with the right cleanser for your skin type, be it oily or dry, first thing in the morning. A few times a week, do a deep-cleaning routine that will give your skin a healthy glow, an essential part of any girl’s dressed-up look. Here’s what to try:
- Exfoliate your skin. On your face, use a gentle exfoliating cleanser. You can use a body scrub on your arms and legs as well.
- Use a facial mask to give your skin a healthy glow before you even put makeup on. Masks draw oils from the skin and tighten pores.
- Moisturize your skin. Use a moisturizing cream on your face and slather lotion on the rest of your body to keep your skin smooth.
See if you want to shave or remove body hair. There’s no rule saying that girls have to remove hair from their bodies. Some girls do it, and others don’t; you can dress up like a girl either way. Hair removal gives a smooth appearance to legs, armpits and other parts of the body, but it takes time and the process isn’t always comfortable. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Lots of girls shave their legs, armpits, and other areas using a razor. Doing it several times a week makes upkeep easier than just doing it every once in a while, giving the hair a chance to fully grow back.
- You can remove hair from your face by plucking with tweezers, shaving, or bleach it instead so it doesn’t appear as dark.
- There are other options aside from shaving, like waxing or getting electrolysis.
Put on makeup. While plenty of girls go natural, preferring the look of bare skin, experimenting with makeup can be a fun part of dressing like a girl. Choose from a rainbow of colors to highlight your eyes, play up your cheekbones and add a pout to your lips. No matter what outfit you put on, you’ll look instantly dressed up with makeup on.
- Start with foundation that matches the tone of your skin. You can use it to hide blemishes and create a smooth appearance.
- Make your eyes pop with eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadow. If your color of eyes is a very electric blue or a chocolatey brown, try bringing out its color with the right shades of blush. For blue eyes, try a light shade of blue with gray and some blue on your water line. For brown eyes, try a warm smokey eye.
- Brighten your cheeks and lips with blush and lipstick that don’t clash.
- For a subtle, natural look, keep your makeup not-too-showy without eyeliner and wear a nude lipstick in a sophisticated shades.
- If your skin tends to look a little dull, try illuminator under the eyes to help it look less matte in appearance.
- If you do not know how to apply makeup, go to the makeup counter at a department store and let a makeup artist show you. They will speak with you about your skin type and coloring, as well as how to give yourself daytime, evening, extreme, and even "no makeup" looks, and the service is free.
Smell amazing. If you like to smell good wherever you go, like many girls do, pick out a few different perfumes or just one signature scent to put on when want to get dressed up. Dab it behind your ears, on your neck and on your wrists so it gently trails behind you as you go about your day, adding a little flair to your outfit. Just be careful not to use too much, since perfumes can be overpowering.
- Don’t wear too many different scents at once. If you have a strong-smelling deodorant, lotion, ‘’and’’ perfume on all at the same time, you might not smell as good as you think.
- Perfume can be really expensive, so try making your own by mixing a few essential oils such as rose, lily or cedarwood with water. Pour it into a spray bottle and you’ve got your own eau de toilette.
Do your hair. Whether your hair is long or short, curly or straight, spend some time styling it when you want to dress up. Use products that work well with your hair texture and make it look healthy and shiny. You can try a unique style or simple comb it, add a few curls and set the style with some hairspray. If you want to try something a little fancier, consider the following:
Braid it. Try a fishtail or French braid if you want a pretty updo you can wear to a special event.
Straighten it or curl it, depending on which look you like best.
- Use barrettes, headbands, ribbons, clips or bows to add some color and interest to your hair.
- Extensions and wigs are fun to try if you want a look completely different from your natural hair.
Pick out underwear to go with your outfit. When you’re getting dressed up, what you wear under your clothes can make your outfit look more pulled together. Comfort is important, but you should also pick out underwear that will enhance your shape and be invisible through your clothes. For example, if you’re wearing a strapless dress, you’ll need a bra without straps as well. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Wear a bra that fits well and helps your clothes look better, too. For example, if you want to wear a cute fitted t-shirt, pick out a bra made from smooth material so the seams won’t show through the t-shirt fabric.
- Wear underwear in a color that can’t be seen through your clothes. For example, if you’re wearing a white skirt, choose underwear in nude.
- Other undergarments can also enhance an outfit. Consider wearing panty hose, shapewear, fancy lingerie or anything else you want to feel more dressed up.
- Don't use too much makeup, or you will look tacky. Try to put on natural makeup.