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How to re-energize your signature style

If your style is retro or vintange, add a modern twist to keep your look fresh.

Story highlights

  • Add texture to minimalist looks or structure to your Bohemian style for a quick makeover
  • Mixing up modern and retro makes for a fun, updated look
  • Simply changing up your accessories is a cheap and quick way to shift your style

No extreme makeover. No extravagant shopping spree. Just a few simple twists to spark your tried-and-true look, whether it's classic, trendy, or somewhere in between.

Real Simple: Old Clothing Gets a Second Life

If Your Style Is Bohemian . . .

add a little structure.

You love long, flowy skirts, ethnic jewelry, fringy bags, and chunky sandals. But sometimes too much of that sort of thing goes too far... out. Slip on a tailored blazer and a straightforward tee and your beloved hippie style fast-forwards to the 21st century, looking completely fresh and smart.

Real Simple: Anti-aging style secrets

    Suggestions: Alice + Olivia polyester skirt, $484, bloomingdales.com. Iro acetate-and-polyester blazer, $496, 877-726-6777. Twenty Tees raw-silk--jersey T-shirt, $95, twentytees.com for stores. Alexis Bittar 18-karat-gold--plated earrings, $185, 877-680-9017. Elizabeth and James leather-and-wood heels, $295, neimanmarcus.com. Megan Odabash ebony necklace, $195, Lola, 914-921-3162. Jérôme Dreyfuss lambskin bag, $710, 212-334-6920.

    If Your Style Is Minimalist . . .

    add some texture.

    There are still plenty of clean lines and graphic shapes here to keep a less-is-more fanatic happy. Yet the tactile quality of these sleek and simple silhouettes gives the outfit new depth: Note the tweedy zigzag overlay on the bottom half of the dress, the blocky necklace, and the contrasting bangles (one matte, one shiny).

    Real Simple: 10 Style Upgrades Under $50

    Suggestions: Maisonette 1977 viscose dress, $375, 323-655-2142. Tory Burch beaded necklace, $365, toryburch.com. Ben-Amun rubberized-resin cuff, $195, 212-944-6480. Max Mara resin-and-metal cuff, $235, 212-879-6100. Banana Republic leather pumps, $98, 888-277-8953. Raoul leather bag, $395, raoul.com.

    If Your Style Is Preppy . . .

    add edgy accessories.

    Penny loafers and ribbon belts used to be par for the course. But replace them with accents that aren't Preppy Handbook-approved, like a slick black bag, kittenish pumps, a studded belt, and spiky earrings, and your nautical peacoat and Cape Cod-bright cords take on a cool, citified feel.

    Real Simple: Pretty smart

    Suggestions: Raoul silk top, $215, raoul.com. Keds at Opening Ceremony boiled-wool jacket, $425, openingceremony.us. Topshop cotton-corduroy pants, $80, topshop.com. Kara Ross metal-alloy belt, $470, 855-888-5769. Alexandre Birman pony-hair heels, $550, Zabayon, 732-761-1303. J.Crew leather bag, $348, jcrew.com. Ray-Ban sunglasses, $160, iloristyle.com for stores. Alexis Bittar gold-plated earrings with Swarovski crystals, $245, alexisbittar.com.

    If Your Style Is Vintage . . .

    add some modern to the retro.

    The trick is not to be so literal -- you don't want to look as if you just walked off the set of Mad Men. Contrast "old" (estate jewelry, a Peter Pan collar shirt, and Mary Janes) with "new" (a glitzy loose dress, a cross-body bag, and a wraparound belt).

    Real Simple: Dress to flatter your figure

    Suggestions: Adam silk dress with sequins, $358, shopadam.com. Keds at Opening Ceremony silk top with cotton collar, $150, openingceremony.us. Marais USA patent-leather flats, $98, maraisusa.com. C. Wonder bag in calf hair and pebbled leather, $198, cwonder.com for stores. Raoul leather belt, $110, 212-206-8264. Samantha Wills ring of sterling silver and crystal, $220, samanthawills.com. Lulu Frost vintage Deco earrings, $360, 212-965-0075.

    Real Simple: New Uses for Things in Your Closet

    If Your Style Is Ladylike . . .

    add neon accents.

    The quickest way to recharge that closet of classics is with color -- Day-Glo color. Just a couple of tiny touches, such as a high-voltage layering piece and vibrantly trimmed heels, are enough to create a major impact without losing an ounce of refinement.

    Real Simple: Avoiding Wardrobe Blunders

    Suggestions: J.Crew wool jacket, $250, 800-562-0258. Old Navy rayon top, $30, oldnavy.com. R. J. Graziano metal-and-resin earrings, $65, 212-685-1248. Robert Rodriguez silk skirt, $285, robertrodriguezcollection.com for stores. Charles David leather heels, $250, 310-659-7110 for stores. Fantas-Eyes sunglasses, $18, 212-997-4433. Pedre leather watch, $100, 800-969-215. Kotur snakeskin bag, $336, shopkotur.com.

    Real Simple: The Essentials of a Well-Balanced Wardrobe