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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

As a 19-year-old girl, something that I often struggle with is deciding what clothes to buy, wear, and style together. In today’s world, we are constantly seeing changing fashion trends and opinions left and right, and I find myself questioning my clothes and asking myself: am I basic?

The way I see it, the word “basic” when it comes to clothes means wearing outfits that “everyone else is wearing.” There’s nothing special or original about the way you dress if you’re “basic.” 

The issue is, “basicness” is a double-edged sword. If I’m not worrying about being too basic, I’m worried that my clothes are a little bit too out there. Finding a happy medium is impossible! 

To combat this daily struggle, I’ve come up with a little guide that helps me feel good about what I’m wearing. The truth is though, I only follow these rules if I really feel like putting the effort into an outfit.

But for those days when I’ve mustered up the effort (and time!) to put a cute outfit together, these are the three guidelines that I usually follow:

Aim for “Elevated Simplicity”

“Elevated Simplicity” pretty much just means wearing pieces that are a slightly more mature version of “basic.”

For example, instead of a plain white tank and jeans, maybe I’ll do some trousers instead, or I’ll put a little cardigan over the tank. When I want to look cute but not “basic,” I find that dressing more maturely helps me feel more chic. 

Accessories Make a Big Difference

Jeans, a plain black top, and sneakers is a pretty simple look, but… if you add some chunky gold jewelry and a fun-colored shoulder bag, all of a sudden it’s an outfit.

Accessories can totally elevate clothes that might otherwise be “basic.” 

Also, accessories do not have to be expensive. I love finding mine at thrift stores because the jewelry and bags are always pretty cheap and unique.

Fit is Everything

One thing that always helps any outfit look better is wearing items that genuinely fit you.

The difference between a pair of jeans that hug you in all the right places and a pair that don’t fit you quite as perfectly is huge. I’ve spent a lot of time, with pants especially, finding styles and cuts that I find most flattering.

Even if an outfit is “basic,” having it fit correctly makes you look a lot more polished.

Honestly, as long as you’re comfortable and feel like your clothes are “you” (apologies for the corniness), it doesn’t really matter if you look “basic” or not. If you want to dress more uniquely, take risks. If you want to tone it down a bit, invest in some good basics. 

The great thing about style is that it’s subjective and personalized to be whatever you want it to be.

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Lauren Jordanich is a sophomore at Boston University studying English. She is a biweekly contributing writer for Her Campus and most enjoys writing lifestyle pieces, specifically about both mental health and fashion. Lauren is a transfer student who has previously written for Gen-Z online publication, Trill Mag. She is also currently a contributor to editorial lifestyle magazine, The BU Buzz. Lauren's hobbies include shopping, reading sappy romance novels, going out with friends, and listening to true crime podcasts. As a Midwesterner, her favorite place in the world is Lake Michigan and she loves tailgating and fall football games.