To dress it up or to dress it down? That is the question.

I have had this cute embroidered top from J.Crew Factory for a while now and I just can’t seem to find ways to style it for summer. Today I tried a few different things and I liked some better than others.

withwhiteshorts

So here it is with white shorts above, and below I kept everything the same except I swapped the white chino shorts (also J.Crew Factory) for old denim cutoffs.

withcutoffs

I actually like the cutoffs with this top better for everyday summer wear. Somehow the white shorts just make it look less stylish – maybe because the cutoffs add just the right amount of edge to make the top a little more effortless? Not sure, but I like the cutoffs better with it.

Then here is another way I styled it for school in May. I do like this a lot, and I get the feeling the boyfriend jeans here are better than my white skinny jeans would have been for the same reason as above.

brightblazer2

I think — as far as my own personal style goes — I prefer to not go head-to-toe dressy. Ever. Adding one element that’s dressed down (like distressed jeans, white sneakers, or even a graphic tee) ramps up the style factor so much and makes the whole outfit look less “fussy.”

Lesson Learned Today: To keep it effortless and stylish, include a mix of at least two style levels (dressy, casual, businesslike, etc.) rather than dressing all down or all up.

I love it when a nugget of style truth reveals itself!

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