When not one, not two, but three celebrities all own the same affordable bag, you know it has to be good. And you can bet that Madewell’s Small Transport Crossbody Bag ($128) definitely is. Lea Michele, Jessica Alba, and Billie Lourd are all fans of the versatile style, and we can definitely see why. Available in four different perfect colors, you can carry the bag with either top handles or the long crossbody strap, making it the ultimate everyday bag.

Michele styled hers with the ultimate classic combo: all-black pieces with jeans. Alba, who’s currently expecting her third child, opted for the light pink version and chose coordinating pastel pieces, while Lourd finished off her casual Gucci-and-leggings look with the same bag in black. Thanks to this trio of celebs, we’re tempted to buy one in every color.

We’ve all been there: You opened that perfectly wrapped gift box with high hopes, only to be slightly underwhelmed by its contents. Did you unwrap a not-so-cute jacket? Receive a pair of shoes you’d rather swap for the Nike Cortez you’ve been eyeing? Get a kitschy dress you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing? Don’t fret. (Your BFF/mom/dad/brother/sister did their best!) Of course, you don’t need to pretend you love the item—you can return your gift and get something you really like.

To help you replace your so-so gift, we’ve compiled some pointers on returning like a pro. From the apps to download to the best post-holiday sales to hit up, we’ve rounded up tips to help you out. Plus, since we know you’ll be searching for better items to buy with your store credit, we rounded up our favorite fail-safe picks to get yourself. Happy shopping!

 

Let Your Phone Do All the Work

Returns—there’s an app for that. If you’re interested in returning a gift that was purchased for you online, consider downloading the Shyp app. In certain cities, Shyp will pick up, package, and ship your returns for you so you don’t need to make the trek to the post office. Easy as pie!

Another cool app to know is Slice. If you were sent e-receipts for your gifts, Slice will keep them all organized in one place so you don’t have to sift through multiple emails for your order and tracking numbers. (Plus, this app is also super helpful for purchases you’ve made yourself: It will notify you if the price of an item dropped after you bought it and help you score a refund.)

Hit Up After-Christmas Sales

Exchanging your gift for store credit? You’ll be able to get the most bang for your buck during post-holiday sales, when everything will be deeply discounted. Procrastinators, be weary: That means you can’t let your gift sit in your room for weeks on end. For instance, Nordstrom‘s Half-Yearly Sale will begin on December 26, 2017, and run through through January 2, 2018, so you have a limited window of opportunity. Make the most of it!

Other end-of-year sale destinations include Need Supply Co., which is offering 20% off sitewide from now through December 29, and H&M, where items are slashed up to 70% through December 29.

AVOID THE BUSIEST MALL TIMES

Save yourself parking headaches and avoid the mall at peak hours. According to data collected by Google for Black Friday specifically, foot traffic at clothing stores peaks from 1 to 4 p.m., which also rings true during the post-holiday season. You’d be wise to make your returns during the mornings or evenings to avoid the biggest rush.

Statement outerwear is a requisite part of the season, but sometimes it doesn’t get enough love in any given outfit. Functionally, you throw on a coat before you head out the door, and you remove it when you get to your destination. But who says you can’t just wear it as your entire look, and get more mileage out of a great piece?

Zendaya recently sported a belted trench that essentially serves as a dress, and is totally worthy of outfit status. The notched collar and A-line shape feel overtly glamorous, and when paired with over-the-knee leather boots, give it a sultry edge that’s perfect for a date, a party, you name it. If you don’t own a similar piece, you can still employ a key styling element to your own wardrobe: belting a longline coat to create an hourglass silhouette. This season, stay warm outdoors and indoors with a look like Zendaya’s

Knowing what to do to be more stylish can be a bit elusive. Sometimes you just need to hear tangible advice that can help you reach your full style potential. With the end of the year quickly approaching, we got to thinking about the steps a fashion-loving girl can take to reach her full style potential in the New Year. And while we’re all for advice on what to wear to look more stylish, sometimes it’s helpful to get a little guidance pertaining to what not to wear.

With this in mind, we compiled a constructive list of seven things that can easily be achieved to dress better next season. While it’s most important to wear what you love and feel most confident in, just a few subtle wardrobe tweaks can give your wardrobe a boost that will make your outfits even better, thus improving your confidence and satisfaction with said outfits. From the shoe styles to toss out to the type of skinny jeans to avoid, these are the seven things to give up to be more stylish (and what to swap them for).

 

Cheap-Looking Skinny Jeans

A denim expert gave us the scoop on the type of skinny jeans that looks the cheapest (and those that look the most expensive).

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Plain Black Outerwear

If you want to stand out, swap your old black coat for something a little more vibrant and interesting. Because in the colder months, your outerwear is sometimes the only way to show the world just how stylish you are.

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Sloppy, Ill-Fitting Sweats

With so many stylish athleisure options on the market these days, there’s no reason to rely on your old sweats when you want to be comfortable. Instead, invest in polished activewear-like track pants, leggings, and cropped hoodies.

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Outdated Footwear

Still reaching for rubber flip-flops, wedge sneakers, and boots on occasion? It’s time to swap them out for more forward options, like sock boots, kitten-heel mules, backless loafers, and white boots and heels.

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Fast-Fashion Pieces Everyone Has

While the draw of a popular item can be hard to resist, do a little legwork and seek out more under-the-radar pieces that express your individuality.

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Anything That’s Too Short or Too Tight

Fashion girls have abandoned “sexy” outfits in favor of more modest and even oversize styles. For example, instead of wearing a body-con minidress for a night out, try a silky midi dress or a midi skirt.

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Chunky Costume Jewelry

If you love oversize jewelry that makes a statement, opt for pieces that are more sculptural and modern for the most of-the-moment vibe, or stick to delicate layered pieces for something a bit subtler.

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Sometimes, the best pieces can be found tucked away in the men’s section of a store (or site). And with the oversize and menswear-inspired trends skyrocketing onto the street style scene this season, it comes as no surprise that many of our favorite celebs have turned directly to the source and have shopped men’s pieces in lieu of womenswear.

Models Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Hailey Baldwin have all been spotted recently sporting loose-fitting oversize men’s pieces. However, as the girls prove, the items (whether it’s Bella’s jean jacket or Kendall’s T-shirt) can just as easily be reworked into our wardrobes. The result? A borrowed-from-the-boys ensemble that looks as cool as it is comfortable. Now that’s a wardrobe win-win.

With each new season, trends ebb and flow in popularity. The pieces that fashion insiders are wearing right now bear no resemblance to those from the year before. To prepare you for this new stock of winter trends, we’ve curated a list of 11 winter fashion pieces that everyone should own.

From the new sneaker style that’s blowing up our Instagram feeds to the practical puffer-coat trend, we’re giving you the lowdown on what fashion pieces you’ll need to make it through the winter months. Who knows? Winter might just become your favorite style season.

You must approach your packing strategy for holiday travel with the same precision and attention to detail as you would putting together the perfect ensemble for your dream job interview. Sure, that may seem extreme—but you probably don’t want to overpack and pay those fees for extra bags. Come on: The bills you’ve racked up from gift shopping are enough, right?

Well, to ensure you’re only bringing the most crucial items with you for a visit home with your family, we’re breaking down our ultimate travel packing guide. But because we’re aware that everyone heads somewhere different for the holidays—some may head to a cold location while others may ditch the snow for a warmer destination—we’re showcasing what to pack whether you’re heading somewhere cool or warm.

Keep scrolling for our ultimate packing guide featuring the fashion items totally worth bringing. (And note that to keep this consistent, we’re planning this around a three-day trip).Follow what’s coming your way and you’ll even have extra room in case you get that dream gift that’s been on your list.

When you’re not wearing your go-to skinny jeans with statement heels, odds are you opt for a pair of ankle boots. The jean-and-shoe combination is a staple in every girl’s outfit rotation, so how does one keep the look fresh season after season? It’s simple: Update your ankle boot selection. The silhouette of skinny jeans only slightly changes over time (a higher rise, a cropped ankle, a slight flare, etc.), so the easiest way to keep the combination looking cool is to swap your boot selection.

This season, one of our favorite shoe styles to pair with skinnies is a good pair of sock boots. The trend not only lends an elevated vibe, but also secretly elongates your legs. Since the boots are form-fitting around your ankles, they perfectly slip under a pair of skinny jeans, enhancing your legs with a long, lean line. See the proof in Chrissy Teigen’s latest denim look below.

After fashion week ended and all our favorite street style stars went back to their respective cities, they brought back a certain trend we can’t get enough of: Metallic pieces that make us all feel like the shining stars we are. A hint of metallic gold, silver, or even blue gives an outfit more interest and style points like no other. And while this eye-catching style may seem intimidating, we’re here to tell you that anyone can wear these high-fashion pieces.

The key is to go for a luxe look and keep the fabric from looking like that cheap old New Year’s Eve dress hidden in the back of all our closets. Pair a metallic skirt with a casual button-down or cozy turtleneck sweater for a day in the office, or go bold with statement-making knee-high boots and your favorite plaid miniskirt. Whatever you choose, when looking to freshen up your style for the New Year, you can never go wrong with metallics.

 

It’s no secret that denim hits high on our list of must-have pieces. I tend to slip into a pair of jeans nearly every day of the week. In the last year alone, I’ve put a number of silhouettes to the test. Cropped flares? Yep. Vintage-inspired straight-leg jeans? They were pretty much the only thing I wore all summer. And with a brand-new season on the horizon, what denim trends can we expect to see in 2018?

After looking to the spring runways and cool street style girls, I’ve got a few predictions to make. One style quickly gaining popularity is jeans with exposed stitching—making for a bold design that feels fresh and cool. The shift from light-wash to slimming dark-wash denim is also becoming more prominent. And with ’90s-inspired baggy styles popping up everywhere, skinny jeans just might lose their spot on the list of staple denim.