The Styling Tip That Instagram Fashion Influencers Follow

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There’s one thing about effortlessly looking outfits seen on Instagram accounts of fashion influencers that defines today’s street style. Take Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Chiarra Ferragni, Alexa Chung for example. Their street outfits look effortlessly cool and edgy. What’s the secret behind their street style? A styling tip that I’m about to share with you today, that will help you re-invent your own wardrobe capsule to look and feel comfortable, stylish, trendy and super cool! 😉 It’s all about mixing “high” and “low” key staples, creating contrasts and achieving a perfect balance.

A young girl wearing a black sweat with a colorful print that reads #labels are for clothes, paired with a pair of denim shorts. Image by River Island.
Original image by River Island. Two low key staples (a sweatshirt and denim shorts) that can look fabulously street styled if paired with a pair of high heel sandals.
A young woman wearing a bright blue with a pink floral print dress over a pair of jeans paired with red pumps. Image by Debenhams.
Image by Debenhams. A high key dress over a low key pair of jeans gives the right balance. Both hair and make-up are kept as low key elements.

Stylists have been mixing highs and lows for years and undoubtedly, fashion influencers have nailed this with the aid of their stylists. (Yes, most of them if not all of them use stylists). There’s a lot of work input in all those Instagram perfect photos.

But, the good news are that so can you, because you already have high and low key staples. The aim is to create a laid-back, casual dressing code, because if you’re comfortable with what you wear, then you act comfortable. So how do you mix the highs and lows the right way? Think slouchy vs structured pieces.

Next head for the denims. They are the best tools for a high/low mix. They can dress down just about any outfit. For example, add a denim jacket over a floral print dress. Wear a ruffled shirt or a shirt with lace over a wide leg pair of jeans. Respectively, a denim shirt can look so fabulous over a tulle skirt paired with sneakers. Pairing some crazy statement heels or fancy pearl jewelry with jeans is definitely on the list, just like wearing a satin blazer over a pair of denim shorts with a logo print tee on the inside. The main thing to keep in mind, is to mix high key with some low key elements to keep it balanced. Simple as that!

A beautiful stylish woman wearing a white blazer with a blue satin cami underneath it (both high key staples) and black linen shorts under (low key element). Image by Marks and Spencer.
Image by Marks and Spencer. A high key blazer and satin cami paired with low key linen shorts.
Image by Dorothy Perkins. A flower print shirt (high key element) over a pair of denims (low key element) and some high heels (high key staple) can look so fashionably cool.
A young woman wearing a denim jacket on top of a maxi dress with a floral print. Image by River Island.
Image by River Island. A denim jacket is a low key staple. A dress with a floral print is a high key element. Mix them, and you get a well balanced cool outfit!
A denim jacket (low key element) paired with a dress and statement shoes in a sage green color (both high key elements). Image by Betty Barclay.
Image by Betty Barclay. Again a denim jacket (low key element) is paired with a dress and statement shoes in a sage green color (both high key elements).
A cool total black outfit paired with black sneakers ideal for an outdoor field trip, paired with a high key element yet subtle, a coat with a leopard print inside. Image by Betty Barclay.
Image by Betty Barclay. The total black outfit is a low key outfit. The black patent sneakers and jacket with the leopard animal print though, are both high key elements. However, there’re still subtle enough to look great during an outdoor field trip.
A stylish athleisure wear. A tee worn by a young woman over a pair of black track pants and red sneakers. Image by Betty and Co.
Image by Betty & Co. In this case, the tee is the low key staple. The track pants and red sneakers are the high key elements. The low key hair style balances it out.
A woman dressed in style with a high key blouse, yellow low key pants and high key flat sandals with tassels. Image by Betty & Co.
Image by Betty & Co. This time, the top and sandals are the high key elements and the pants are the low key element.

Next, I’ve included a couple of examples with high and low key elements “using” Elisabeth and her outfits followed by a guideline that identifies the high and low key staples.

Elisabeth wearing a black sweater, a green leather bag, a gray maxi pleat skirt and white sneakers.
The rear view of Elisabeth whose wearing a black sweater with a statement cut at the back, a green bag, a gray maxi plea skirt and white sneakers.
Elisabeth in a sage green tee shirt, wide leg jeans, holding a suede sage green bag with a fringe and sneakers with a leopard print. The tee is a low key staple. The fringed bag is high key staple.
Elisabeth’s tee and jeans are both low key elements. Her bag because of the fringe and leopard print shoes are high key elements.
Elisabeth wearing a black mini shear dress, a round straw basket for a bag, both high key staples, and Birkenstock sandals as a low key staple with a garden in the background.
Flat sandals (low key element) paired with a short sheer black dress and a textured straw bag (both high key elements).
Elisabeth sitting on a swing, wearing a black mini shear dress, a round straw basket for a bag, both high key staples, and Birkenstock sandals as a low key staple with a garden in the background.

Low key staples:

  • Denims (jeans, jackets, shorts, shirts)
  • Tee-shirts
  • Sweatshirts
  • Flannel shirt
  • Turtlenecks
  • Cardigans
  • Sneakers
  • Backpacks

Natural make-up, low pony tails and 70’s styled straight long hair (flat with a mid-hairline) are considered low key elements in overall.

High key staples:

  • Ruffled tops and tops with statement sleeves
  • Floral dresses
  • Polished skirts and jackets
  • Gowns and ultra femme dresses
  • Evening bags
  • Satin blazers
  • High heels – statement shoes
  • Statement jewelry (pearls and rhinestone)

Furthermore, red lips, fancy hairdos and “big” hair are also high key elements to consider when you think of the balance equation.


Instagram and Pinterest are both great resources for street style inspiration. Countless images of stylish women have flooded these media, shaping our perception and ultimately the way we dress. All it takes is a little wardrobe re-inventing starting with a different mindset. New diversified combos with a casual vibe that can ultimately bring out our most fashionable and trendy side.

So what do you think of this styling tip? Did it not decode all these style images for you?

Love, xx

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