How To Look Effortlessly Elegant All The Time

Is is true? Are some people just born with elegance? Or is it all just an act?

Elegance is more of a mindset and I truly believe that it’s a work in progress. If you want to portray yourself as an elegant and confident person, you can!

The biggest tip I have is to fake it until you make it and here’s how you can look effortlessly elegant all the time.

How To Look Effortlessly Elegant All The Time | The Petite Bijou


Standing tall and with confidence is probably the easiest way to covey elegance to everyone you meet. A good posture is standing straight, shoulders back, and head held straightforward. It may be uncomfortable at first (let’s face it, we’re generally hunched over on our phones), but it gets easier with practice.

Tip from my chiropractor: Try a standing desk! They help you create better posture because when you look down or up at computers, you hunch over or over extend. Keep devices eye level. This is the standing desk that I use right now and it’s amazing!

You may not know it, but faking confidence is the best way to GET CONFIDENCE. Seriously, it’s the secret that all those who have confidence know and still rely on. Confidence is elegance – always. Standing tall gives you confidence!





Elegance essentially radiates from within but can be shown on the outside as well. The more well put together you look the more people will take note of your appearance. Take a trip to the salon and trim those split ends, get yourself a flattering haircut, and take care of your hair.

For haircare, you certainly don’t need a professional blow out. Just keep it nice and healthy! Use heat protectant and brush through with a detangling brush daily (this one is under $20).

For nails, make sure you keep them short or mid-lenght. Use any nail polish color you want. But for a more elegant look use neutrals such as beige, pink (these are my favorite), or keep them clear. Remember, you want to put together a cohesive overall look. Having black nail polish and chipped nails while wearing a beautiful soft dress doesn’t exactly scream elegant. (not dissing black nail polish, which I actually love sometimes)

For your skin, keep it healthy and blemish free using my favorite peel pads everyday (yes, you can do peels daily! But you need to use a soft peel like these). So far, this has helped me any time I have a zit or sun spots.





The key to looking elegant at all times is wearing simple accessories and wearing them as a statement everyday. Have a favorite pair of earrings? Wear them all the time. Have a simple pearl necklace? Wear that. Rings? Wear one. The best accessory I have found to look put together is a simple pair of stud earrings. You will always look very polished with those in! For a budget friendly pair of stud, use these earrings from Nordstrom

Do as Chanel did: before you leave the house take one accessory off. Less is more. Less is elegance.





Invest in classic wardrobe pieces that resonate with your style or desired style. If you want to go for a specially elegant look: get pieces in black, white, pink, and grey. Stick to a neutral palette and get those pieces tailored.

My favorite stores to find elegant pieces are: Ann Taylor, LOFT, Express, and Nordstrom

A great fitting wardrobe shows style and elegance. And to be honest, once you get pieces that fit, you won’t have to keep buying the same pieces over and over. Well tailored pieces can be kept for years. Your wardrobe and wallet will be happy.

For a whole list of elegant capsule wardrobe pieces, sign up for the capsule wardrobe guide below!



For more elegant outfit inspiration, check out my Outfit of the Week series which features multiple shoppable outfits that are all very elegant and within a good budget! Check some of the most popular ones below:

Outfit of the Week: Chic Weekend

Outfit of the Week: Duchess Style

Outfit of the Week: Simply Sophisticated

Outfit of the Week: Urban Market Explorer

Outfit of the Week: Springtime Elegance

Outfit of the Week: A Garden Stroll

Outfit of the Week: The Sophisticate



If you want an elegant makeup look, opt for red lips (best lipstick brand right here) or neutral shades. Keep makeup simple and minimal. White or skin colored eyeshadow, black or brown eyeliner (drawn thinly – here’s a good one I use), and minimal contouring and blush. That overdone contoured look does slim your face and bring out your cheekbones, but being too hallowed out can make you look malnourished. This is especially true for already petite women (like me).

Instead of contouring, use some pink blush for that polished Kate Middleton look. C’mon, you know you love it too!





Elegance is also how you make others feel and the secret to making others think “elegance” when they think of you is to be kind and helpful. I never approach others with an attitude. I smile, even if my day isn’t going too well. I open doors for others, because it’s a kindness.

You can never be too kind or have too many manners. Communicate your elegance and people will notice. Always be kind!


In essence, Elegance stems for a cohesive look of your choice, as well as maintaining grooming and great posture/manners. The more you practice putting together an elegant look – the more natural it becomes. When you constantly put an effort into looking and feeling your best, others will notice.


For more communications tips, check out my latest post about how to sound like an elegant woman!

How to Sound Like An Elegant Woman



Want to start an elegant capsule wardrobe? Sign up below to get my free capsule wardrobe guide! It’s a PDF with 5 essential steps to starting your own elegant capsule wardrobe, plus you’ll get shopping recommendations. Sign up below!


How to look effortlessly elegant all the time! If you want to look like royalty (think Duchess of Cambridge on a casual day), then check out this blog post! You'll get great tips on how to achieve and elegant look in no time | The Petite Bijou

Behind The Blog

The Petite Bijou is an online destination featuring wholesome yet sophisticated living and styling tips for women. The site is run by the family and friends of survivor, lifestyle influencer, and writer Mariam, who passed away in the summer of 2020.  Mariam also hosted The Bijou Show, a self help podcast.

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  1. Indra wrote:

    Whenever I hit a link to go see a color of nail or lip color that was at Nordstrom, I received an “access denied” message. It was frustrating!! Love your blog!! Can’t wait to see more😁

    Posted 5.5.20 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:

      Hey there!

      So glad you enjoyed all the posts. I’m not sure what seems to be the issue with the links, but try clearing your cache and browser and restarting on whatever program you are using. Sorry about that! Technology eh?

      Many thanks,

      Posted 5.6.20 Reply
  2. Nice post and exactly where my life has taken me. I’ve always believed that putting time into my basic health, diet, exercise, sleep and positive thought made the rest of my process of being easier. Less is more.

    Posted 2.3.20 Reply
  3. Jeanne wrote:

    Just found you on pinterest

    Posted 12.27.19 Reply
  4. Faye Lundberg wrote:

    Just found you on Pinterest. Love the post 🙂

    Posted 11.2.19 Reply
  5. I think it is so awesome that you talked about how if you wear simple accessories, you can make a statement and look elegant at the same time. The other day someone mentioned to me that I have a great neck, and that I should take advantage of that when I dress up. Now I am trying to find accessories that will compliment my looks without being too distracting.

    Posted 9.6.19 Reply
  6. Helen wrote:

    Elegance is also a smiling, happy face. Bubbly personalities go far! Next, I wear earrings no matter where I am. Neat hair and clothes. Earrings to match clothes is my voice.

    Thanks for all your tips!

    Posted 6.21.19 Reply
    • Linda wrote:

      Hello, it is everything you say in thos article. Spot on! Bravo

      Posted 8.13.19 Reply
  7. Marie wrote:

    Love your article! I was taught growing up to stand straight and hold my shoulders back. It used to drive me crazy, but I’m so thankful for that nagging now! You have given some very good tips on facing the sometimes scary world as our best selves! Just like anything else we want to master, being elegant and confident takes practice! Being elegant also means being present to people so please leave your phones in your purse on silent. 😊

    Posted 5.26.19 Reply
    • Cimmie wrote:

      I too recall ‘Stand straight. No shoulder hunching.’ Today I remind myself.
      And neat, clean, pale pink nails…elegant.

      Posted 5.28.19 Reply
      • Angie wrote:

        Would a clean silver nail polish work?

        Posted 8.9.19 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:

      Hi Marie!

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment. I am so thankful for that nagging too! It’s really helped with my posture and thank goodness I don’t have too many posture problems now. I do love your advice: being present to people is most important and shows great respect. Thank you for adding that!

      Many thanks,

      Posted 5.29.19 Reply
  8. Adedoyin wrote:

    Hi Mariam,

    These are great tips to live by. The blog is very helpful. I like the part “less is more”.
    Shoes are also an important part of dressing as they speak a whole lot about one’s elegance. We are usually judged by the type of shoes we wear. The little cut in our shoes might not go unnoticed. Also, we should learn to stitch or give away rent or torn wears.

    Posted 5.23.19 Reply
  9. Isabel wrote:

    Lovely website. Thank you for your kindness.

    Posted 5.19.19 Reply
  10. Masarat wrote:

    Well said…one can never be too kind…Kindness lights up a face like no makeup can!
    Kudos for the simple but effective tips!!!

    Posted 5.14.19 Reply
  11. Attending a society wedding in NYC mid-June. It is to be a formal affair at Botanical Gardens. One of the top ten venues in the country. Bride and groom just graduated from Yale. I am not in the one percent club. I married into it and we are never going to be at that level. We need direction regarding approprite attire for a 4 day affair. Any help would be greatly appreciated. L

    Posted 5.5.19 Reply
    • Suzanne wrote:

      I have never shared anything on Pinterest until today. I managed a large NY bridal salon for years.
      The best advice I can give you is to keep it simple. Find a dress that you feel amazing in. Simple lines, flattering cut, something you put on and Know you look your best in. Find great shoes and make sure you walk well in them. Break them in a bit. If you can do a strappy or sexier shoe, go for it! If you can’t for whatever reason then find a Good, basic pump or wedge that has some sparkle or would allow you to add some creatively. You don’t have to spend a fortune and if you’re not opposed, find a great consignment shop in the most expensive part of your town, bring your most stylish friend and try things on. Try on everything you can. Simple, elegant dresses really often have NO hanger appeal and you could overlook something amazing by prejudging a garment.
      Pull this together with accessories. My go to, after years of ridiculously high end weddings, are my own wedding rings and an amazing pair of longer earrings with lots of sparkle. I wear black as do many NYs regardless of the occasion so if you’re coming from the south, keep that in mind, although a daytime summer wedding will be sprinkled with color. A beautiful shawl with color and sparkle can bring a simple dress alive. Good luck and remember, as my mother always told me, they won’t be looking at you. We’re all so self involved we really don’t pay much attention to others. It will be your confidence, kindness, and smile that will draw people in. Have fun and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience!

      Posted 5.21.19 Reply
    • Catherine wrote:


      May I suggest you watch a movie called “The Wedding Date” from 2005. The styles worn by Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney would be very appropriate for what you are describing and are still relevant today. I hope this points you in the right direction and that you have a lovely time at the wedding.

      ~Catherine L.~

      Posted 5.23.19 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:


      Hope all is well!

      I would absolutely suggest you wear something you are comfortable in and that you already own. Simple dress cuts in pastel or muted neutral colors will be just fine. I don’t have a dress budget for every event I am invited to. Keep it simple: dresses you already own, minimal accessories, and neutral shoes. The nice thing is, people won’t remember what you wear anyways. They’ll be too busy enjoying themselves and celebrating the bride and groom.

      When in doubt, always ask a good friend or family member – even the bride! Most are happy to help with feedback.

      Let me know if you have any other questions and feel free to also email me if you need further assistance.

      Posted 5.23.19 Reply
  12. Cheryl chamberlin wrote:

    Elegance and kindness are a lost art in these fast paced days we are living in. Being grateful is essential to being content and elegant in our hearts. Gratitude looks good on any one. It makes you happy and your smile makes you radiant.

    Posted 4.6.19 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:

      Hi Cheryl,

      Thank you for your comment! I agree. It’s so hard to find elegance and good manners these days. Gratitude and humbleness are the core foundations of an elegant person. Thank you for this wonderful and kind insight.

      Many thanks,

      Posted 4.19.19 Reply
  13. Elizebeth Kilgore wrote:

    I love everything you said about grooming and wardrobe. I especially like what you have to say about kindness. There is not enough of it these days.

    Can’t wait to see what’s next on your blog.

    Elizebeth Kilgore

    Posted 3.27.19 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:

      Hi Elizebeth!

      Thank you so much for your comment. It’s sad that not too many people remember kindness is a form of elegance.I appreciate that you can resonate with that. Make sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss new blog post notifications!

      Many thanks,

      Posted 3.27.19 Reply
  14. Your blog is great, inspirational! I have just started mine and hope to use it as a place to inspire others as you have inspired me!

    Posted 3.24.19 Reply
    • Mariam wrote:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I hope that you enjoy the process and can inspire many many people!

      Have a great day,


      Posted 3.24.19 Reply
  15. Judi wrote:

    One must never forget that no matter how you feel, always get dressed and groomed. You’ll always feel better and be prepared for a visitor. It’s how you are faking it until you make it, you can and must put that positive attitude forward so that you are known as the: ‘one who smiles, rolls with it, never skips a beat and plesant under pressure.’ I substitute teach with speacial education students, one of the girls accidently scratched her chin with a pencil and had a slim band-aid on it. She kept playing with it and I showed her different ways she could use the band-aid to her advantage. She loved it, hey…take the half empty glass, make it full!

    Posted 3.21.19 Reply
  16. Yvonne Andazola wrote:

    Excellent advice, kindness is key. Smile and love life, it is beautiful like the sunshine in your face if you enjoy the sun. Thank you for words. Enjoy every moment of life and let others see it as well. It is contagious.

    Posted 3.8.19 Reply
  17. wrote:

    Great tips, I especially liked the communication one. I’d never thought about it like this before

    Posted 10.22.18 Reply