Coolgirl style is that hard to explain sort of look, that embodies sexy and messy pieces that mix and match from every end of the spectrum, from era pieces, to high and low brands, to textures and materials, and staple pieces that become mainstays. Hopefully this post will become your cheat sheet to mastering your version of what coolgirl style could be:
Your Celebrity Mentors:
Your new teachers are Nicole Richie, Kate Moss, Rachel Zoe, Rachel Bilson, Blake Lively, Carey Mulligan, The Olsens, and Leighton Meester. Study them. Stalk them. You’ll thank me later.
Rules to Live By:
- The key to to coolgirl style is to make every outfit look as if you just threw it on and it happened to look amazing—effortless and casual. Even when you dress up, there should be some relaxed and casual element that throws everyone off track, for example with Carey’s Oscar dress (2nd row, 2nd image from the left), she’s wearing a gown, but the gown embellishments are actually hardware nuts and bolts.
- You can never have too many layers! I know it’s hard here in Austin, when it’s the sun makes layering virtually impossible, but as the fall sweeps over, it’s time to put your cardigans and blazers to the test. Almost every look above is layered. If you choose not to layer a cardigan, then pile on necklaces, or tie a belt over your outfit. There’s always something else to add before you walk out the door.
- Keep it loose! Flowy tees, dresses, and cardigans are perfectly breezy and nail the coolgirl look. An exception to the rule is denim, which for the most part should be formfitting to your legs.
- Develop a signature item. You don’t have to wear it all the time, but take something you like and really make it your own. Rachel Bilson rocks more ankle boots than any other girl in Hollywood, and Rachel Zoe might as well have a trademark on the fur vest. Kate Moss does it big in black leather, while Nicole Richie has mastered boho dresses and caftans. Whether it’s a ring you always wear, or dark denim skinnies, or a huge leather carry-all tote, take an item and make it your new mainstay.
- MIX EVERYTHING! The best way to master this look is take items from totally opposite categories and put them together. Pull a menswear-inspired tuxedo jacket over a black lace dress to mix feminine and masculine. Rock Abercrombie jeggings with an James Pearse tee and vintage scarf to mix high-end and low-end brands. Mix gold and silver jewelry. Pair shredded boyfriend jeans with a sequin top for daytime, or dress up a burnout tee with a flouncy skirt for night, to redesign what nightwear and daywear really is.
Hair and Makeup:
SHOULD BE MINIMAL! Keep it easy, undone, not fussy, and lightweight. For hair, if you want those perfect coolgirl waves, curl your hair the night before and sleep it in, to muss them up by morning. Airdry your hair with a touch of Moroccan Oil to keep hair frizz-free. Ombré hair is a perfect match for this effortless look. For makeup, go for smudged eyeliner, a few coats of mascara, and matte lips. If you go for a bold lip, keep the eye makeup minimal with a lightly lined eye, and if you go for heavy eye makeup, keep the lip nude or subtle.
Examples of Makeup: (Olivia Palermo, Jessica Szohr, Leighton Meester)
Examples of Hair: (Whitney Port, Rachel Bilson, Drew Barrymore)