Quick Fixes: Instant Ways to Look Polished

Imagine this scenario: You wake up at 9:45, with just fifteen minutes to make yourself look presentable, find coffee, and run across campus to wherever you have to be by 10. You want to look polished – not like you just rolled out of bed! What do you choose to wear? WWHCD? What would HC do? 

You reach for: Your trusty black leggings and a Her Campus t-shirt

The problem: While leggings are a tempting choice, they are not an acceptable substitute for pants. HC writers Chase, Scott and I are all seriously annoyed by the pervasive trend of wearing leggings as pants. If your butt isn't entirely covered, you're conveying the message that you're not such a classy girl. (And because you're a Her Campus reader, we know that you're very classy. Don't dress in a manner that suggests otherwise!)

Your quick fix: Jeans! Pick a pair that flatters your body in a dark wash for a sleek and sophisticated look. And we all know it takes longer to squeeze into a pair of tight leggings than it does to pull on a pair of jeans, anyway!

You reach for: A worn-in pair of rubber flip-flops

The problem: Flip-flops are perfect for the beach...so they should stay on the beach! You wouldn't wear your bikini to class, would you? Remember what we said about staying classy?

Your quick fix: Swap your flip-flops for a more structured sandal, a chic pair of flats, or even a fun pair of wedges! These types of shoes convey a more pulled-together vibe than flip-flops, while still remaining casual, weather-appropriate, and easy to slip on in an instant.

You reach for: Your most comfortable dress, the one you lived in all summer!

The problem: It's shapeless – not so cute.

Your quick fix: Cinch your waist with a belt to create an hourglass figure. This technique tends to look best when done with A-line or shift silhouettes, as you can belt at your natural waist. Don't feel limited to just a basic black belt! Look for metallic or colorful styles and pieces with eye-catching detailing like cut-outs or braiding. Adding a belt gives your dress shape and structure (a figure-flattering plus).

You reach for: A basic tank top and gym shorts

The problem: Boring! This outfit is okay as is – but that's all. Why wear something that's just “okay” when you can look fabulously stylish?

Your quick fix: Forget diamonds, accessories are a girl's best friend. Combat frigid classrooms with a lightweight scarf; pile on stacks of bracelets; wear an eye-catching statement necklace; carry a colorful tote bag. Alternatively, pull on a cute romper to showcase your eye for style. This trendy piece is as easy to pull on as a tank and shorts, but looks twice as polished!

You reach for: A hair elastic to put your hair up in a ponytail

The problem: A basic ponytail doesn't add any interest to your look. Leave this style for the gym!

Your quick fix: Slip on a headband instead. It only takes five seconds, but adds instant sophistication to your look.

Looking polished doesn't require much extra effort. Any one of these quick tweaks could be accomplished in the same amount of time it would take to look sloppy, elevating your look from bedraggled to chic. Follow these tips and you'll make it to that class just in time. You'll be sure to impress your professor with both your punctuality and your style! 

Originally from Boston, Hannah is now a sophomore at New York University and loves life in the big city. Her favorite things include poking fun at celebrities on Twitter, yoga, leopard print shoes, Frank Sinatra, and her little sister Julia. Hannah was Her Campus's first editorial intern in Summer 2010 and has since continued her involvement with HC as the High School Editor and head of the High School Ambassador program. She is a former Seventeen and Huffington Post intern, where she researched and wrote about celebrities and once made lunch for Kylie Jenner. Read her short-form ramblings at @hannahorens.