15 Ways to Look Edgy

15 Ways to Look Edgy

Feeling like your style has lost its edge? Need a few ideas for how to look a little cooler without also looking like you’re trying too hard? What does it even mean to look edgy?

To me, an edgy style is creative, unfussy and effortless (even though it often requires effort). It’s usually casual or has casual elements, and gives off a modern, urban vibe.

Making a look edgy doesn’t have to be complicated. A little unexpected tweak can turn an ordinary look into something cool, chic and even a bit mysterious and sexy.


There are lots of options for making your style more edgy and can apply to any age, body type or bank account. Here are my 15 tips for how to look edgy:

1.  Wear Leather or Faux Leather Clothes:

Malia of Style by Malia picked this faux leather Calvin Klein dress out for me when she helped me spend my gift cards last month. Edgy yet feminine, this dress is sexy and great for a date night out. Try leather or faux leather leggings, A-line skirts, trousers and even tops for more edge in your wardrobe. Leather panels add edge too if you want something less heavy.


2. Wear Short Dark Nails:

Deep burgundy, navy, charcoal gray, and even black nails say modern and edgy, as long as you keep them on the short side and free of chips.


3. Do the Half-Tuck:

The half-tuck look that you can do with a tee shirt, a blouse or a button-down. I am a big fan of the half-tuck. It’s easy, it hides mid-section bulges and it cuts down on tucked-in bulk. Plus, it gives your outfit a relaxed feel.


4. Wear a cool hat:

Who doesn’t look edgier in a fedora, Australian Outback or Panama hat? No one, that’s who! I love to wear hats, especially since I discovered Montecristi Panama Hats, a wonderful hat shop in Napa Valley. I find the unisex style hats the most edgy and wearable.


5. Aviator Sunglasses:

Most sunglasses, unless they are heart-shaped or have feathers and rhinestones plastered all over them, make the wearer automatically look edgier. But the edgiest of the edgy is the aviator, the classic unisex style that’s been cool since the 1960’s and shows no sign of being dated. And aviators look cool on just about anyone from 10 to 100!


6. Head-to-Toe Black:

Black will always be the edgiest color. It’s mysterious and so easy to wear. I often look back on my “all black stage” in the 1980’s with fondness. It was so easy to look cool! These days, I add a little touch color even if it’s neutral or metallic, to my all black daytime looks.


7. Boots:

Whether you wear tall boots, booties, motorcycle, over the knee or combat, boots always up the edge factor. Wear them with dresses, skirts, leggings, jeans and even shorts, if you dare! And look for extra detailing like buckles, studs or lacing for added interest.


8. Messy hair:

Coifed hairdos covered in curls and hairspray are not edgy. But beachy waves and barely brushed tresses not look not only edgy but sexy, too. Or throw you hair in a messy pony tail for a sportier edge. For short hair, try a messy spikes.


9. Sneaker Chic:

Casual, comfortable, unfussy style is one of the hottest trends right now. And you can’t get much more comfortable and casual than a look that includes sneakers. Read more about this edgy style in my Sneaker Chic post.


10. Big Bold Jewelry:

Statement pieces that are more bold than blingy add a tough edge. Try wearing wide cuffs, rows of bangles or big rings like this Metal Pointus ring I bought in Paris last year. Add extra edge with dark short nails!


11. Distressed Denim:

Some may say distressed denim is for the young but I disagree. I wear distressed denim all the time and find the style really works with my casual lifestyle. It’s current as well as edgy.


12. Wear High-Low or Asymmetrical Clothes: 

Modern, flattering, sexy and edgy, asymmetrical hemlines on dresses, skirts and tops add that extra something special to your overall look.


13. Moto jacket or vest:

I think most people would agree that the biker/moto look is all kinds of edgy. Soften a hard biker look by wearing ivory or pastel faux leather or leather and add some big chunky jewelry (necklace by Tamera Beardsley).


14. Add Animal Print Touches:

Just a small amount of animal print can turn an outfit headed for ladylike back to edginess. Imagine this same cuff with a black or ivory clutch. Not very edgy. Add some leopard and suddenly it’s cool!


15. Mix it up:

Dressy and casual don’t have to be separated. Wear your dressiest pumps with distressed jeans or your best pearl necklace with a tee shirt. Or how about sparkly gold and black pumps with denim shorts? Get creative and try new things.


Do you like to look edgy?

How do you achieve an edgy look?




  1. Mary Alice Stanford
    March 16, 2014 / 2:38 pm

    Hi Adrienne,
    I love this post, and love you blog. It really is the details that count when adding edgy to over 40 style, and you covered it beautifully here. I would like more specific information on your aviators. Ray Ban has so many to offer, and I love the way yours look. Thanks for an awesome post!
    Mary Alice

    • Adrienne Shubin
      March 16, 2014 / 4:12 pm

      Hi Mary Alice,

      Thank you for the kind comment!
      I looked on Ray-Ban’s site and can’t find the exact pair I have but I did find them on other sunglass sites, none that I am familiar with. Try searching for RB 3386. I have the burgundy color. My guess is that Ray-Ban doesn’t make this style anymore and these sites carry its extra stock. The prices are actually pretty good so it might be worth checking the sites out!

  2. March 16, 2014 / 4:01 pm

    I love all your tips! The older I get the more I need to make sure there’s some edginess to my outfits. I love all the touches of faux leather that are around this spring. Having some “edge” makes me feel more visible and current. If I find myself feeling frumpy it’s usually because I’ve gone too far down that ladylike path and not added a dash of edge!! Wonderful post!! Enjoy your Sunday. xoJennifer

    • Adrienne Shubin
      March 16, 2014 / 4:18 pm


      Thank you, my friend!
      I think it’s easy to lose your style edge when you age. I like to look edgy but not too trendy. And dressing in a revealing way (crop tops, cut-outs, short shorts, etc.) is really not my thing anymore at 46 years old.
      I think anyone can be a little edgy if they want to. Even adding an edgy vibe to a ladylike look can be a fantastic look!
      Enjoy your Sunday as well! I spent the day at home in some not-so-edgy yoga pants and a floral sweatshirt 😉

  3. March 16, 2014 / 4:36 pm

    Fabulous ideas and looks, A. Just the boost I needed for a little wardrobe shakeup. May I say, you look *smoking* hot in the black leather dress! xox

  4. March 16, 2014 / 4:43 pm

    I don’t feel like myself without at least a little edge to my look. Great suggestions! I still love wearing black, and will never give it up. 🙂

  5. March 16, 2014 / 5:43 pm

    This is a spectacular post. Great way to demystify “edginess,” with both the list and wonderful modeling, as always.

  6. March 16, 2014 / 6:41 pm

    I loved the tips, especially 2, 6, 7.

    Have a nice week <3


  7. March 16, 2014 / 6:48 pm

    Great post! I am love to mix edgier pieces with feminine touches to make it more me. I have never used a dark polish and may need to give it a try.


  8. March 16, 2014 / 7:44 pm

    Very good tips Adrienne. Love all of them.

  9. March 16, 2014 / 9:08 pm

    What a great list Adrienne. I really love 2, 3, 5, 7, and eleven. I do like to wear dark polish, and you’re right, it really does add a bit of edginess!

  10. March 16, 2014 / 9:22 pm

    Great site…brilliant post! I just did one on destroyed denim…and I agree! I like/wear it a lot, and I’m over 50!
    Love all your ideas and I’m looking forward to incorporating some more edge into my style.
    Another little edgy thing that comes to mind is sloppily rolling up jeans and jacket cuffs…simple, yet casually cool!

  11. March 16, 2014 / 10:26 pm

    I think that edgy is essential when we are over 50….you are way ahead of yourself!
    I wore fishnet stockings today with cowboy booties and a serious skirt and sweater to Mother’s Family afternoon tea….felt like a rebel, not James Dean but kind of close to it!

  12. March 17, 2014 / 12:27 am

    very useful and easy to follow post! thanks! tips for being edgy are so handy!

  13. March 17, 2014 / 7:06 am

    What a great post, so creative! I love all these ideas to add a little edge to an outfit, another favorite of mine is studs – I love a studded shoe or bag. Happy St. Patty’s Day!

  14. Kathy
    March 17, 2014 / 7:22 am

    Brilliant post, and so nice to see “edginess” broken down with real examples and great photos.
    I do think it’s a great way to look younger, or maybe better – more “current” as you age. Thanks for this really informative post.

  15. March 17, 2014 / 7:35 am

    Great post! The dark nails one is great. I usually don’t paint my nails because they seem to chip immediately. But I may have to give this a try. And… I just got a pair of faux-leather leggings/pants. I’m kind of nervous to wear them, but I might start out wearing them like bona fide leggins under a dress so it’s not too much… 🙂

  16. Susan
    March 17, 2014 / 8:39 am

    Great suggestions and pictures, thank you! I live in the casual, tropical Florida Keys and so enjoy your posts from the California Wine Country. And I LOVE your cuff bracelet in #14, where can I get one?

  17. March 17, 2014 / 11:22 am

    Love all these looks! My current favorites are distressed denim, moto jackets and aviator glasses. Although aviator glasses will always be my go-to item for an edgy look and the all-black look, it’s a classic.


  18. March 17, 2014 / 11:28 am

    Hi: I just came over from leigh’s blog Hinesight…
    Love some of your ideas and suggestions here! The short dark nails always appeal to me. I go to France and/or Paris at least once a year and always, without fail, notice the dark red nails (both hands and feet) there. And large jewelry. Well, what can I say. I love large jewelry. Paris is such a great souce. And then Anthropologie has wonderful things too.
    I miss Northern California and all my friends out there and the wonderful weather; maybe a trip is due soon? Anyway, love the blog and and I’ll be back.

  19. March 17, 2014 / 11:32 am

    Just noticed you’re in Kenwood: one of my oldest and best friends lives next to Kenwood Vineyards! Know it well.

  20. March 18, 2014 / 6:38 am

    Fantastic post! I was just thinking about this very subject last night. I am going to dinner tonight with a group of friends who know how to dress a bit on the edge. Great shots, great outfits.

  21. March 18, 2014 / 7:45 am

    WoW. Love the 1st dress. I am actually edgier than I thought! I did have to laugh silently to myself when I had a look that was recently described as edgy! I suppose I don’t see myself that way. In music school, college, I wore alot of black, was probably more edgy then. I do, however, wear distressed boyfriend jeans, all black sometimes, I wore dark burdandy or black nail polish in the winter, a hat//so good to know! I love the outfits, you look so lovely in a hat as well 🙂

  22. March 18, 2014 / 9:45 am

    Adrienne! I think this is by far my favorite post. I am 48 and dress mostly classic/conservative and always trying to be a bit edgy avoiding trendy as much as possible. I was just trying to do the “half-tuck” over the weekend and I’m just not confident with it and feel like an idiot. I would love to see an entire post just spotlighting the “half-tuck”.
    Also, would love to know where to find the perfect white-tee to wear exactly as you do in #11. I can’t seem to find one that isn’t shapeless or too old lady. Thank you for all the great ideas.

  23. Linda Salazar
    March 18, 2014 / 9:45 pm

    Love all the looks here Adrienne! Yes, as we get older I think we all need a little “edge” and looking in my closet I do have a few pieces I guess I could put in that category. My most recent purchase is a pair of black Tahari sandals. They do not have too high of a heel, and lace up on the top of the shoe from the toe all the way up to my ankle.

    Technically I know I’m supposed to be too old for distressed denim but I love my Joe’s. So much I bought 2 pairs. 😉

    Have a good week!


  24. March 19, 2014 / 7:08 am

    Good morning Adrienne! I caught this post earlier and wanted to come back and comment. Your tips for adding a touch of edgy are right on. This is a well thought out, comprehensive list and I enjoyed reading it. Black is always my quick trick for adding an edgy vibe to my outfit or attitude. I’m working on mixing up edgy and feminine elements for an edgy look. You always mix it up so beautifully my friend.
    xx, H

  25. Kerry
    March 20, 2014 / 3:43 am

    Great article, you are a sweet lady an I enjoy reading your blog down under . Well done from tasmania !


  26. March 20, 2014 / 2:43 pm

    This is such a great post, Adrienne. Thanks for all the info and ideas.

  27. March 21, 2014 / 12:56 pm

    Edgy is one of my things, probably carried over since my teens. I’ve always had a moto jacket and boots. I’m huge on leather and cool jewelry pieces too. Another easy way is to have unexpected metal accents for instant edge. My favorite pair of black pumps has hammered metal on the heel, they elevate the classic cap toe look in the front.

  28. March 21, 2014 / 1:21 pm

    What a fun post! Yes, I like to add a little edge to my looks! Great ideas!


  29. March 22, 2014 / 2:49 pm

    Had some needed down time and the first place I came was one of my favorite blogs. Oh how do I love this post. So cool. You can effortlessly pull off so many looks. Thanks for sharing.

  30. March 25, 2014 / 8:41 pm

    Great tutorial! I try for a little edge, but it ALWAYS works better on tall thin women. Not really going for the Beth Ditto look, so it’s a challenge for me. I recently splurged on a pair of black lens, black wire rimmed Ray-Ban aviators, and with even my dignified little leather jackets, I have to admit they made me feel more than a little badass! You are quite right. And it matters only that I “feel” tough-enough, right!?
    You demonstrate edge with your typical smooth and gorgeous personal style! Thanks, it was fun!

    • April 1, 2014 / 6:43 am

      Hi Adrienne, I found you on Visible Mondays. Really enjoying your outfits! Best, cherie

  31. June 6, 2014 / 5:58 pm

    Fun post! I just discovered it as a result of one too many guys calling me sexy but “edgy” …(can you tell I’m gett’n fed up with that adjective.).

    Have to agree with each of the points mentioned, fashion-wise. That said the foundation to being “edgy” …is attitude; a sublime balance between not giving a damn what others think and having a good fashion sense (e.g. less about knowing whats “in style”, and more about knowing what works on your particular body type, with your personality, and YOUR style, AND know quality fit, design and fabric vs all the genero crap out there.) An other essential to edgyness is knowing how the hell to be in your body, and move well. too often women in this country without any sense of sensuality, grace or presence. We’re looking at our iPhones or worried about how we look or mentally focused on something on our to do list. If you took a breath, recentered on how flipp’n good you feel in your body (hint: take a dance class to remember how awesome it is to be a woman and be able to move with power and grace), and walked as if you not only know the secrets of the world. you own them … i guarantee, you’ll find your own fabulous and unique brand of edgey.

    Go forth.

  32. July 24, 2014 / 7:56 am

    This is such a great post! Fun to read and stunning photos. I’m going to go paint my nails. 😉

  33. February 26, 2015 / 1:35 am

    Hi Adrienne,
    Love this post so much. Edgy look reaaly suits you. You look young, pretty,….and edgy. I love edgy look, too. But since I wear hijab (head scarf) I’m still trying to figure out how to make myself look edgy without looking weird. Hahaha. Your post really helps me a lot. Nice ideas (^^). Thank you

  34. Ruth UK
    March 4, 2015 / 2:39 am

    Hi Adrienne, I came across your blog as I was searching for low key ways to add some edge to my style – I’m so glad I found you! Other than not being able to rock shorts like you can, I really relate to your all-round style and I’ll be a regular here taking inspiration as I rebuild my wardrobe to take me into my mid 40’s!
    I’m a devotee of short dark nails and I’ve got the Nails Inc leather look polish on order, plus a very subtle sleek ear pin for my head-to-toe black days. Great blog, thank you!

  35. October 19, 2015 / 11:01 pm

    I just love edgy looks. I like all your ideas and I’ll definitely try to go through this. Thanks for sharing.

  36. Becky Duncan
    October 2, 2016 / 6:10 pm

    Great Blog. I’m 78 and still like to have a tiny edgy look. Not trying to look 50 again; you know 50 is
    the new 30, but not matronly either. I wear the mojo jackets, boots, and all black. Not all together. lol Can’t seem to get the tucked in shirt right. It always looks to bunchy or not straight. Keep up the good work. When are you going to update your blog? I don’t see many current replies. Good luck.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      October 3, 2016 / 12:02 pm

      Hi Becky,

      Thanks for stopping by! So glad to hear you’re dressing edgy. I love to add a little edge to my look too.
      I have been updating my blog regularly – never stopped! You can see it at www.therichlifeinwinecountry.com
      Hope you will visit again! Adrienne

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