Three Tips To Lift Your Style Game That Won’t Break The Bank


Style GameIt happens every single time I visit France.

I am absolutely inspired to lift my style game.

It is as simple as that.

It starts as a little niggle soon after I arrive. And by the time I head for home it is a full blown commitment.

I return to Melbourne just wanting to look a little dressier. A little sharper, if you like.

It’s happened often enough now that I no longer need to analyse the phenomenon. I know the causes.

It could be something like the sighting of an impossibly chic French woman riding a bicycle while sporting a great checked blazer coupled with her white jeans. Sometimes it is an encounter with a perfectly put together sales assistant (or receptionist, for that matter). Occasionally, it is just a  glimpse of myself in my more casual travel attire.

Add all of this to the fact that my style personality is decidedly classic and by the time I get home I’m craving a change in how I’m feeling about my style.

Now don’t get me wrong. I do not, in any way, consider this as a problem,

It is easy to become complacent. Or to fall into the trap of wearing the same things over and over again. Or to stop caring quite as much. So I look at all of this inspiration as a timely reminder of all the benefits that come from when you are feeling at the top of your style game.

Thanks to my training, I know that the greatest of these benefits is increased confidence. Being comfortable with how you are looking can make such a difference to how you approach your day, and in turn, to the things you attract into your life.

Three Tips To Lift Your Style Game

  1. Dress Up A Little More Than You Normally Would. I’m not suggesting you wear a gown to go to the supermarket. But I am recommending you dress a shade more formally than usual. Pop on a blazer rather than a cardi. Wear the frock – you know, the one that gets you compliments every single time you wear it. I promise people notice – in a good way – when you make the extra effort and you’ll feel better too.
  2. Sharpen Up Your Accessories. Swap your everyday tote for a more structured handbag. Switch your sneakers for fancy flats or even a pair of heels (if you wear them). Sometimes it only takes a small tweak to make a big difference to your style and how you are feeling.
  3. Don’t Be Afraid To Head Into The Archives. Just like we forget our favourite recipes, sometimes we forget the stylish details that make us feel great. For me, that detail comes in the form of lipstick. Way back in my twenties, a make-up artist recommended a lipstick shade that really lit up my face. Not quite red, not quite pink and not too bright, it was just right for me. And even all these years later, when I remember to apply a similar shade, (the original lipstick was discontinued ages ago), I’m pleasantly surprised by the face staring back at me in mirror.

One Final Thought

You’ll note that my top three tips do not include going shopping for a whole new wardrobe. Or even shopping for a few new items.

Now if your budget allows it, and you are clear on what you want your wardrobe to look like, then the investment could absolutely be the best way to go about elevating your style game, as a friend of mine discovered.

However, if your style strategy is still a bit fuzzy (or it remains non-existent) then the advice I offered in this piece applies equally here. You are better off to wait until you have your style strategy sorted before you hit the shops.

I’d love to know – what inspires you to lift your style game? And do you have any tips on how to dress a little sharper? Please feel free to share your advice in the comments section below.

And, until next time – au revoir.


About Janelle

I believe that every woman can bring French style and joie de vivre to her life, no matter where she happens to live in the world. She only needs to know a secret or two to be on her way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll learn the style and grooming secrets that will help you to dress with the confidence so many French women seem to have.


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8 thoughts on “Three Tips To Lift Your Style Game That Won’t Break The Bank

  • Taste of France

    Even wearing the same thing all the time is fine if it’s an outfit that looks fantastic.
    Little things can lift the ordinary–a scarf, some jewelry. A French friend who is unfailingly chic (even when she’s digging in her garden!) was at the market recently dressed in immaculate dark jeans, with a navy-and-white checked shirt, a navy blazer, a navy-and-white polka dot scarf at her neck, bright yellow loafers and a bright yellow bag. Very simple, but the blazer and scarf made her outfit a little dressier than, say, a sportier jacket or sweater and no scarf. And the yellow was the ingredient that made it all very chic and not boring.

    • Janelle Post author

      Hi Catherine, yes it’s amazing how just a little tweak can make a difference. A spot of colour, the right scarf or a blazer can take a simple outfit to something really special. And you are right – if that becomes a bit of a uniform there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, as long as you are feeling great about what you are wearing.

  • Alisa

    Perfect timing as I stare blankly at my empty suitcase that needs to be filled for my trip to Paris tomorrow! I wish that I had your packing confidence, Janelle.
    I definitely dress differently in Paris than I do in Virginia. Part of that is just local style: my wide linen crops with a loose top and sandals that are locally fashionable just look baggy in Paris, for example. If the crops go to Paris with me I tuck in a closer fitting top and add a wide tied sash and ballerinas. I could do that here, too, of course but in Virginia the looser look is more fashionable. Some of that is big city vs. small city; in New York I would wear them as I do in Paris.
    In 2004 I kept a journal during my first trip to Paris in 30 years. I came across it the other day, and one entry applies perfectly to your post : I had gone out the door to the street and suddenly felt that something was missing and was uncomfortable enough to go back in. I grabbed a scarf and felt so much more comfortable when I rejoined the outer world, ready to face the day with confidence!
    Similarly, in Paris I will always choose a blazer or jacket over a cardigan.
    When I realized that a scarf or a different style of outer layer detracts not one bit from comfort, it was easy to adopt these things in everyday life back home as well.
    We just need a little push toward that realization – something that a trip to Paris accomplishes perfectly, as you point out!

    • Janelle Post author

      Hi Alisa, you raise a really good point about the fact that style is often influenced by the environment you are in. You will feel inspired to dress differently depending on what happens around you. Beachside holidays always make me feel different – and more casual – than when I travel to cities.

      I love too that you’ve picked up on the fact that smart outer layers are no less comfortable than more casual examples. So often I hear comfort as the excuse to dress down. I am all for comfort, but that doesn’t mean that people have to lower their style expectations.

      As for the packing….start with your shoes. And then build outfits to line up with your travel plans. I know you are very clear on what you are doing while you are away – think about how you want to feel and look as you go about your activities and then pack your case accordingly.

  • Sophie

    Thank you for all the fabulous tips. I will definitely be applying them. The lipstick you described sounds like the holy trail of lipsticks that I have been searching for. Not quite red, not quite pink and not too bright. Perfect! Are you able to share details on any that you’ve found and love in this category? Merci 💕

    • Janelle Post author

      Thank you so much for getting in touch Sophie. The short answer to your question is ‘absolutely, yes’. My recent call out for queries has sparked numerous beauty related questions, so I’ll pull together a post (or a mini-series) soon. Stay tuned!!!