10 Styles That Instantly Date You and What to Wear Instead

A celebrity stylist shares how you can modernize your look with 10 easy wardrobe swaps.

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Keeping up with fashion trends can be challenging. While we’re not proponents of jumping onto every single micro trend that comes along, maintaining an updated wardrobe is the easiest way to look current and fashionable.

The occasional wardrobe update is a must. We talked to Emma Trask, celebrity stylist and founder of The Chrysalis Lab, about the key style mistakes to avoid.

First and foremost, Trask is a big proponent of wearing what looks good on you, whether it’s a hair color or your favorite dress—because style trends come and go. She also advises accentuating your silhouette when choosing an outfit and not hesitating to be adventurous. “Playing with textures and different mediums looks more elevated, luxurious, and expensive,” Trask says, so don’t be shy when it comes to pairing texture with your favorite pieces.

It’s almost 2022 and high time to leave these 10 style choices in the last decade where they belong. Don’t worry: We also have easy ideas on what to swap for an updated look. So long, skinny jeans! Hello, new style!

1. Swap super skinny jeans for straight or flared jeans

skinny jeans and flared jeans side by sideGetty Images, via whitehouseblackmarket.com

We didn’t expect anyone to take Gen Z’s attack on skinny jeans seriously, but (sigh) much to our dismay, they did. Sort of. According to Trask, you can keep your jeans skinny on the top if you add some flare at the bottom. She adds that a high waisted, flare jean is both elongating and figure flattering. These jeans update your look, plus they’re comfy enough to wear all day long.

Another alternative to skinny jeans are baggier, jogger style jeans with a fitted ankle. If you decide to try this trend, Trask advises you pair them with something fitted on top. She says, “a bodysuit and a cropped cardigan or a great belt can help pull off this look.” Instead of skinny jeans and other styles that date you, check out our list of the season’s most flattering denim for more options.

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2. Swap no-show socks for eye-catching socks

no show socks and bombas socks side by sideGetty Images, via bombas.com

Remember when showing a little bit of sock was absolutely outlawed? No-show socks are no longer in style. Trask suggests treating your socks like an accessory. Flash a bit of color or go matching with a monochromatic look, but let your socks shine to look current. This eight-pack of Bombas socks is available in a variety of color combinations as well as fun and festive patterns.

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Psst! Speaking of what’s in style, the ’90s chunky sneakers trend is back and better than ever.

3. Swap shapeless sweaters for statement sleeves

oversized sweater on a hanger and puff sleeve sweater side by sideGetty Images, via nordstrom.com

If you’ve grown tired of boxy, shapeless sweaters that make it look like you’re wearing a potato sack, you’re not alone. According to Trask, knitwear has had a big resurgence. There are plenty of sweater options out there that will allow you to feel cozy while still looking put together, like this $50 cashmere sweater that sells out every year. Trask suggests trying a sweater with oversized sleeves for an updated modern look. Also check out these best sweaters for fall.

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4. Swap round-toe boots for a lug sole loafer

Boots in closet and cole hann Loafer side by sideGetty Images, via nordstrom.com

Pull-on round-toe boots and booties should stay in the back of your closet. When it comes to footwear, “chunky loafers and lug sole boots can go really far,” says Trask. Not sure what to wear them with? She adds, “they look really cool with a jumpsuit.” Pair your new flared jeans with these lug sole loafers for a serious style update. And in case you were wondering, here’s what your favorite shoes say about your personality.

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5. Swap skater-style skirts for tailored shorts

skater skirt and jcrew chino shorts side by sideGetty Images, via jcrew.com

Skater-style skirts were a popular style in the early aughts, and that’s where they should stay. When it comes to finding the perfect skirt, it’s all about what’s flattering on you. And sure, midi-skirts are trending right now, but Trask warns that they can look frumpy if not styled properly. For a more put-together look, she suggests tailored shorts and a blazer. Investing in a great blazer is also a must if your workplace is business casual.

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6. Swap tracksuits for joggers with a blazer

tracksuit and cozy earth joggers side by sideGetty Images, via cozyearth.com

There are few things in this world that we love more than some great loungewear. But donning your favorite tracksuit can start to look sloppy as you get older, says Trask. The good news, however, is that rather than toss your beloved sweatsuits, there are ways to take it up a notch. She suggests pairing a good pair of pants, like these ultra-soft bamboo joggers from Cozy Earth, with an oversized blazer and a chunky boot or loafer. And yes, Cozy Earth also makes some of our favorite throw blankets.

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7. Swap a baseball cap for a bucket hat

Baseball Hat Vs Bucket HatGetty Images, via madewell.com

Hats are easily one of the greatest accessories you can have in your closet. They protect you from the elements, cover up a bad hair day, and complete a killer outfit. Trusty baseball caps have been a wardrobe staple forever, and one that’s not likely to disappear completely. But Trask suggests modernizing your hat collection with a bucket hat. We’ll be adding this corduroy bucket hat to our own collection in light pink or neutral nude.

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8. Swap chunky earrings for smaller hoops

chunky earrings and small hoop earring side by sideGetty Images, via onequince.com

With the rise of Zoom meetings during the pandemic, women started wearing bigger chunky earrings to elevate their look. But bigger isn’t always better, and now that things are getting back to normal, this is one trend that you can leave back in 2020. Try a smaller pair of hoops like these 14 carat gold mini hoops for under $50.

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9. Swap mom jeans for butt-lifting leggings

mom jeans and lululemon leggings side by sideGetty Images, via lululemon.com

Mom jeans had their five minutes of fame, but now it’s time to send them back to the Friends episodes from whence they came. Permanently. Instead of a droopy backside on casual days, rock a pair of leggings designed to lift your butt. The Lululemon All The Right Places leggings feature a four-way stretch and added Lycra fibers for shape retention all over, but most noticeably in the booty. And the lack of a front seam prevents uncomfortable and unsightly ride-up. Goodbye mom jeans, hello shapely butt without added squats.

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10. Swap a thin coat for a shirt jacket

lightweight jacket and plaid shirt jacket side by sideGetty Images, via loft.com

Don’t get us wrong. When the temperatures drop, you’re going to need a proper winter coat. But for those days when the weather is too warm for a down puffer but too cold for no jacket at all, a shirt jacket (or shacket) is the modern layering piece you need. These shirt jackets are meant to be oversized, and worn over a turtleneck or sweater. This shirt jacket plays with color while still giving a neutral look that pairs with everything in your closet. Match it with one of the best fall nail colors.

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Marisa Hillman
Marisa is a freelance writer and product expert covering product reviews, gift guides, and sales for RD.com. She is a former educator turned professional shopper dedicated to finding the best sales and products on the market. When she's not on deadline, she can be found exploring the East Coast or curled up at home with her nose in a book. She lives in New England with her husband, three children, and two dogs.