‘Style is very different from fashion. Once you find something that works, keep it’ says fashion designer, Tom Ford. This is true. Style is something that can be created, interpreted, shaped, changed and re-created. In a world where trends are constantly changing, here are 5 style tips to help stay one step ahead of the fashion pack.
1. Find ‘Your’ Style: it’s easy to copy others, imitate looks from magazines or your favourite celebrity. There’s nothing wrong with this; in fact, we take our inspiration from all forms of media. But rather than let an image or window mannequin determine your look, work out firstly what you like for yourself. Take an element of a look and make it your own. Personal style is not about having fancy designer clothes or only dressing in the latest looks, it’s about the way you put outfits together. No matter how high or low your budget, if you have a true sense of style, you can be fashionable.
2. Dress for your body shape: being dictated by what’s in fashion rather than what works for your shape is a real style no-no. Just because your favourite celebrity wears skinny jeans doesn’t mean you can. Recognise your assets and choose clothes which flatter these parts of your body. Not sure how to dress for your body shape? You can enlist the advice of a personal stylist or refer to guides such as ‘The Body Shape Bible’ and ‘The Rules’ by Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine , or ‘Style Clinic’ by Paula Reed. My motto is ‘know the rules for your body shape and stick to them’.
3. Organise your wardrobe space: if an untidy, unorganised, cluttered and over-stuffed wardrobe faces you every morning then chances are getting dressed is a real chore. Take the time to organise your wardrobe into categories so that you immediately know where to look for things. For example: jeans/pants (one per hanger)/skirts/shirts/long sleeve tops/short sleeve tops/sleeveless tops/dresses (progressing from casual to evening)/casual jackets/coats etc. Try and be organised about putting things back where they belong. If you have the room, put the out-of-season pieces away. Having an organised wardrobe space will better enable you to see what you’ve got, make those daily choices quicker and easier and also make you a better shopper because you can see what you’ve got and what’s missing.
4. Invest in wardrobe staples: much like building a house, it’s important to give your wardrobe a strong, and stylish, foundation. If you invest in thoughtfully considered, classic pieces, you’ll have a great wardrobe base to work with and build on. What are the classics to invest in? A great pair of jeans, coat, boots, handbag and smart casual jacket, like a blazer. Of course, choosing the style of jeans, jacket and coat will depend on your body shape, so again, know what suits you. The great thing about fashion is that as quickly as it comes and goes, so are the chain stores at coming up with affordable interpretations of on-trend pieces. So once you have the classics, you can build on them with cheaper, fashionable pieces that will instantly update your look without blowing the budget.
5. The colour connection: the simple rule is that white adds weight, black reduces. Yellow, orange, lime and almost all shades of pink are instant weight gaining colours (even more so if shiny, think satin) whereas darker colours like black, navy, charcoal and chocolate brown are slimming. Any colour worn head to toe has a slimming and lengthening effect.