1) Patterns are your friends! I know patterns can be intimidating, but they can really add interest to an outfit. I think the mistake most people make with patterns is wearing them the same way every time. For example, you have a great pair of pattern pants and you wear a solid matching color top every time. This is boring and repetitive. You can do a lot more than you think with patterns. A perfect example is my favorite pair of J.Crew minnie pants:
2) Layer on layers! Layers add instant depth and interest to an outfit. They are also a great way to mix pattern and color. But try to be creative in your layering, this will make the pieces you have more versatile. For example, a dress can easily be worn as a skirt or layered with a button-up shirt. Layers can transform one simple shift dress into three completely different looks:
3) Don't fear color! Color is an important wardrobe component. It can add interest and creativity to an outfit, while simultaneously coordinating your entire wardrobe. Case in point--my closet's central color is navy. By making sure most of what I buy includes navy or goes with navy, I can mix and match almost everything I own (click here for a great example of this!). And pops of bright color are the easiest way to transform simple pieces into stylish outfits!
4) Focus on key pieces! I think the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe are my J.Crew popovers. They come in great patterns and colors and are easily layered under sweaters, dresses, and vests, or paired with skirts and blazers for dressier looks. Figure out which pieces you wear the most and invest in them. But as mentioned above, look for bright colors and interesting patterns (all of which should coordinate with an overall color or color scheme).
5) Don't forget to accessorize! It is amazing how a statement necklace can transform any outfit (but I am sure you already knew that). I tend to buy either really neutral necklaces (like pearl or tortoise shell) or really colorful statement necklaces, both of which match basically everything. These are my current favorite and most versatile statement necklaces:
Add do you add interest and creativity into your wardrobe?