How to Wear Sequins and Shine Without Feeling So Extra

The chill way to add a little sparkle to your winter wardrobe, according to stylists who do this for a living.

How to Wear Sequins

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Sequins for the holidays sure isn’t groundbreaking. (Hello, Mariah Carey’s many disco-ball glam New Year’s Eve outfits!) But you know what is? Incorporating glitter into everyday outfits without feeling like ‘too much.’ 

Sure, sequins have long been associated with seasonal parties, and when they catch the light just so they do mimic holiday decorations. But there are a number of ways to style sparkly pieces for everyday wear that adds a bit of fun.

Celebrity and editorial stylist Ryan Young, who has Tell Me Lies’s Grace van Patten on his roster, tells InStyle that it has everything to do with mixing and matching “unexpected separates.” “Having sequins in your wardrobe for everyday wear is a great way to show flair and personality,” says Young. 

Owning the trend is the real secret to pulling them off. “The key to nailing sequins year round is wearing them with confidence,” says Ohad Seroya, creative director and founder of Retrofête and SER.O.YA. “I always suggest a look that showcases your personality — where you can add a fun pop of color or sparkle for any occasion. Or accent your outfit with a crystal accessory.”

Read on for more tips to make the most of your sparkliest pieces, through holiday season and beyond.

Sequin Skirt

How to Wear Sequins

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“The key is that you shouldn’t pair a sequin bottom with anything too prim or polished,” explains celebrity stylist Emily Sanchez (Broadway darling Sutton Foster is a client.). “You want to give an easy vibe rather than something that reads fussy.”

  • Dressy: Pair it with a mohair turtleneck in the winter for “a little glam punk,” advises Young.
  • Casual: Dress it down with a white, ribbed tank top.

“I think it all depends on the season,” says Young. “In fall or winter, a texture clash could be chic. For spring and summer, a tank top and strappy heels would be an effortless cool vibe.”

Metallic Shoes

How to Wear Sequins

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Sanchez suggests keeping things on the less-dressy side even when dressing up a jazzy shoe. “It might be best to choose a more casual feeling voluminous dress or a more demure shirtdress that could use a fun hint of sparkle.”

  • Dressy: Try sparkly shoes with a voluminous dress.
  • Casual: Pair your shoes with a boiler suit or loose-cut jeans.

Sanchez explains that “denim is truly the great equalizer. I love to mix pieces that feel more evening with denim.” She loves dressing down a glitzy heel with a boiler suit (like this ASOS one) or a utility jumpsuit for a day at the office. 

Sparkly Accessories

How to Wear Sequins

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If you’re looking to add a little bling to any outfit without overdoing it, accessories are a great place to start. “Wearing your sparkle in color can be one way to make crystal feel more playful and everyday,” says Jennifer Behr, jewelry designer and founder of her eponymous jewelry brand. 

  • Dressy: Wear chandelier earrings with an off-the-shoulder dress or sweater.
  • Casual: Add a blingy headband to a crisp, white button-down, jeans, and slides.

“Our Mimi Headband, for instance, is one of my favorites because it’s sprinkled with lots of color which gives a bunch of different options on ways to wear.” The company’s Cosmos Earrings will elevate and add sparkle to any look. Behr recommends pairing them with something off the shoulder to allow them a moment to (literally and figuratively) shine.

Sequin Top

How to Wear Sequins

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Seroya prefers an understated shirt that's punched up with beaded cuffs, like Retrofête’s Katie shirt. “I think it's the perfect way to welcome some sparkle to your year-round wardrobe,” he says. 

  • Dressy: Find a shirt or button-down with bedazzled embellishments and pair with a skirt.
  • Casual: Style it with denim.

Add more sparkle with a sequin skirt or style with silk pants and heels. For a day-to-day option, Seroya suggests pairing sparkles with jeans. “I always recommend styling our sequins with edgy denim [for] an effortless, model-off-duty look.”

Shiny Pants

How to Wear Sequins

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“Fit is key. Aim for looser, elegant silhouettes,” Sanchez says.

  • Dressy: Style them with a poplin top and pointy-toe heels.
  • Casual: Pair sequined pants with a tee or button-down and boots.

For a daytime look, Young advises looking to Dries Van Noten’s Fall/Winter 2022 runway — littered with sequin trousers and button-downs — for inspiration. Sanchez suggests cotton or poplin on top and strappy heels to bring a fancier look together. 

Flashy Jackets

How to Wear Sequins

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“People always go for the sequined blazer, and it's a dead giveaway that you wanted something blingy, but didn't really put any thought into it,” says Young. Here’s how to make the rest of your look feel considered.

  • Dressy: Layer it over lingerie (here's how to do that) and style with strappy heels.
  • Casual: Pair it with jeans or cargo pants and Nike Air Force 1s.

Young suggests thinking of unexpected combinations like a sequin jacket (try this Khaite bomber) paired with joggers or a bra top.

Bedazzled Dress

How to Wear Sequins

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This may take some mental deprogramming, but sequin dresses are always acceptable, no matter the event or time of the year. 

  • Dressy: Pair a robe dress (like this Retrôfete one) with funky platform heels or boots.
  • Casual: Dress it down by layering over a button-down or T-shirt or under a blazer. 

For an evening look, try some platform heels to freshen up the classic, and for a more casual moment, Sanchez says to pair it with “a white top knotted at the waist or a casual blazer or jacket thrown over the shoulders to tone down the glitz.”

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