Want To Look Hip and Funky?

From the way you like your Starbucks to how you decorate your home, we’re all looking for unique ways to express our true selves. If you’d like to dress more creatively but don’t know where to begin, here are some simple style tips for how to look hip and funky.

1. Build Your Funky Outfit Around a Quirky Piece


veronica beard military jacket

Hip and funky style is all about thinking outside of the box. Pick an unusual piece that speaks to you and let it inspire an outfit. A regal marching band blazer, an earthy tiered gypsy skirt, a Japanese inspired kimono-style belt.

Take your clues from around the globe (ethnic-inspired), the past (vintage), the future ( mod), or just anything that excites and delights you.

2. Don’t Be Matchy-Matchy

Too perfect, too precious, is not hip or funky. Eclectic equals creativity. If you find it too difficult to style in a non-matchy way, search out naturally funky brands like Veronica Beard, Topshop, and Betsey Johnson, to name a few.

3. Extreme is Good

Iris Arpel

A giant brooch, an extra-wide belt, a super furry top,  or a pair of conversation-starting shoes is the way to look hip and funky. Nobody does it better than Iris Apfel, the queen of accessories, or the ladies at Advanced Style.

4. Mix Up Prints to Look Funky

funky look from top shop

The more, the merrier. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a variety of prints ranging from global-inspired to nostalgic, super modern and earthy. If too much print makes you nervous, stick to two mixed prints instead of three, and keep everything in the same color family.


5. Wear Unusual Color Combinations

Spin the color wheel and turn traditional color combos on their heads. instead of red and blue,  try unique mixes like red and purple or blue and brown. Also, don’t be afraid of bright colors which broadcast hip and funky.


6. Don’ t Worry About Balance

asymmetrical dresses

Off-kilter and asymmetrical tops and dresses are hip. High-low and handkerchief hem skirts add an artsy, edgy vibe. Even deconstructed classic pieces such as a deconstructed trench coat or pinstripe shirt dress can be transformed to look funky.

7. Layer, Lots

Layer and drape pieces of clothing without so much worry about creating the perfect body shape. You are creating art, not dressing a doll. The same applies to jewelry; more is more when it comes to funky dressing.

Still not sure how to pull a  together a hip, funky look? Here are three tamer versions to get you started.

Feather Fringe Jeans

Funky Dressing - White Feather Hem Pants

These days there are all kinds of hip jeans out there. These white feather jeans are a great anchor for a very creative casual look. Topped with this Haute hippie print blouse and wild tassel earrings, you have a classy way to look cool.

Patchwork Palazzo Pants

Funky Dressing - Printed Palazzo Pants

If mixing patterns top and bottom is a bit much for you, then another way to get the funky mixed print look is with a pair of silky, wide-leg pants in a patchwork print. These flowy palazzo pants are a nod to the ’60s. Worn with a simple, colorful tee, a most unusual bag, and unique laced slides, this makes one very funky outfit.

Asymmetrical Blouse and Circle Bag

Funky Dressing - Polka Dot Blouse

I talked about how a classic deconstructed piece can turn a formal look into a funky look, and this is a good example. This asymmetrical polka dot blouse looks more like an origami sculpture than something you would throw on for dinner. The circle purse is also a statement in geometry. Definitely unique, and definitely hip and funky.

Join the Conversation

13 thoughts on “Want To Look Hip and Funky?

  1. Trying too hard to look hip and funky often results in a look that says “trying too hard”.

    Proceed with caution. There is only one Iris Apfel in this world. Notice how she breaks all the rules, including being all matchy-matchy under the headline that says not to be matchy-matchy. The rest of us might come off looking like Edina from Absolutely Fabulous. Oh yes, she did matchy-matchy and it was…memorable.

    1. Hi Anon,
      I must agree with you. Funky is a difficult look to pull off. You really have to work at it. I find that funky can often just come across as confused. But for those who really are committed to that look and do it well, it is unique and interesting to see. I hope some of these tips help.

  2. Help! After years of being a stay-at-home mom I I suddenly realized I am 50, at least 15 pounds overweight, and own nothing but sweats and sneakers. I am only 5′ tall, which makes those extra pounds look even worse. I am so depressed. I feel worse than invisible. How can someone as short (and not thin) as I am start to look and dress fun and funky again? i especially worry about the summertime, when I can’t hide fat arms and back under a sweatshirt. Is there any hope?

    1. Hi Teri,
      Yes, of course there is hope!! Please don’t let those extra pounds drag you down and make you give up. It happens to all of us.
      There are a few things you can do to make yourself look and feel better. Since you are short, try dressing in all one color to make you look taller and thinner. For example, cobalt blue is popular at the moment. How about a pair of cobalt blue jeans and a blue top and blue shoes? This monochromatic look creates a nice lean look and the color will perk you up and make you feel fresh and happy. Mix up the texture of your pieces a little to keep the blue on blue from looking too ordinary.If you are worried about your arms try a 3/4 length style top which still looks summery but covers your arms, and is sporty and youthful.

      If you wear a jacket that nips in at the waist with this outfit this will also help to hide the pounds and make you look shapely. For example, you could wear a red, black, or white jacket with this outfit.
      Jackets give structure to rounded bodies making you look shapelier and the all-one-color peeking out from underneath the open jacket creates a column of color that slims you. Since you are short make sure jacket is not too long or it will drown you. It should not go below your hipbone.

      Another trick- of you don’t want to wear a jacket wear a top with some embellishment up top by your face to draw the eye upward and away from the problem spot. It could be a top with some pretty detail like beading at the neckline or you could wear a simple v-neck top with a chunky necklace. A v-neck or scoop neck is preferable over a high neck sweatshirt because showing some skin at your neckline makes you look slimmer too. Put on a bit of lipstick and mascara too to feel better!!

      You know Teri the funny thing is that when you start dressing better, you feel better and with that new confidence amazing things happen. I think you will find you’ll be more motivated to get the weight off and it will be much easier to do too.

      I hope this helps you get out of the style rut you are in. Teri, you are fabulous!! Get going now because Life is too short to be frumpy. I’m cheering you on! Cheers Deborah

  3. I am so inspired by her… I absolutely love this and would wear it slightly less funky-more “me”- maybe dark denim and a 3 inch platform shoe/boot? Sometimes I just need the confidence and to stop thinking I look overdressed for running errands!

  4. Are you kidding with the boots? Spike heels AND platforms? Horrible. They might be “hip” (in Europe and elsewhere), but they are ankle and back breakers. Ridiculous. Otherwise, she looks good and even pretty age-appropriate.

    1. It’s fun to hear other’s reaction to “fashion”. The good thing is that I have fun showing all types of looks, classic, funky, romantic ect… Not all looks are good for everyone! Thanks for piping in!! One note, believe it or not, platform shoes can be comfortable!

  5. The boots AGGGGGGGGHHHHH, Even David Bowie and Ziggy Stardust got rid of theirs. These are not hip. They look dated but the rest of the outfit is cool.

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