When a beautiful woman enters a room you take notice, then return to what you are doing. When a stylish woman makes an entrance, you ponder who she is and where she got that amazing waist dotted mini skirt and chiffon white top.
Let's talk about style for women.
This article will not list where the best clothing shops are or what are current fashion trends.
It is a common misconception that style consists of buying branded clothing. This concept is wrong. Majority wouldn’t take initiative on being resourceful to find quality non-branded clothing alternatives or be fashionably practical.
Style means changing the items in your closet and improving your attitude. It may sound cliché, but knowing core basics of style will bring various play of compositions in your wardrobe and make you feel better about yourself.
Confidence is the one thing that can instantly turn the volume up on a woman’s beauty. ~ Nina Garcia, Book of Style
Remember, there is elegance in simplicity. It’s all about the confidence, finding what works for you, how to edit your closet, style dos and don’ts, fashion tricks, etc.
It’s not money that makes you well-dressed. It’s understanding ~ Christian Dior
Below are necessary knowledge on how to become a style icon.
1. Be a smart wardrobe editor
You must buy what you like and not what is currently trending. Your closet must only contain amazing choices because it is easier to be inspired when you see 5 remarkable pieces than 20 mediocre ones.
Select key items you can match and style together. Get rid of the rest. Easy way to figure which closet items to rid of is to follow this thought, if it doesn't look good on you, it should not be your closet.
Don't keep clothes purely for sentimental reasons. If you absolutely can't get rid of an item, put them in storage and revisit a few years later. A fashion trend can come back in a few years or you can use it in a costume party. If you haven't worn an item for years, throw them out or give it to someone else. Your closet should be full of items that looks good on you and make you feel self-assured. When you have sustained this mindset, you won't miss those discarded items.
Do not buy clothing smaller than your actual size. Do you think wearing too-tight jeans will make you look sexy when your posture is compromised and you walk awkward? Did you buy those jeans because you thought you'd get thin soon? It is better to be realistic and be comfortable at the moment.
Don't be seduced by sales tags. Paying 60% off is a steal but if the item sits too long at the back of your closet, it's useless. You can use that money instead to purchase a quality piece you can use regularly.
2. Understand it's not about the money
There is always a diamond in the rough. You can wear an item from the flea market the same way you would wear a Chanel jacket. Sometimes it's a matter of jazzing up a jacket or doing DIY to an old shirt. There are many ways to stay stylish without filling your closet only with branded clothes.
Fashion is expensive but style is not. Know the difference.
3. Invest in "essentials" of style
These timeless, reliable essentials serve as canvas you can layer on and make you remarkably chic.
- The little black dress represents comfort, practicality, and self-assured sexiness. It's understated, provocative and makes you effortlessly stylish. It flatters you with its slimming effect and lets your hair, accessories and personality shine.
- A classic men's white shirt is stylish and can be paired with jeans, black pants, a long skirt, a gown, etc. It's very versatile and unpretentious with its crisp modesty. Some find it sensual seeing a woman in a man's white shirt.
- A cashmere cardigan or turtle neck can be worn over anything in any weather or occasion and make you feel luxurious.
- A trench coat makes you look mysterious, glamorous and alluring. It speaks authority and independence. When you wear big sunglasses you can channel your inner spy.
- Denims are the most functional, practical and perfect clothing item. It can dress anything down and make even the most uptight items look relaxed. Depending on what ensembles you wear it with jeans can emphasize sexiness and casualness in one go, a powerful style combination.
- A classic man's watch is timeless and looks great on a woman's wrist. It's a great item to borrow from your boyfriend/husband/father/friend.
- Diamonds are a girl's best friend after all. They are perfect to wear for day or night, casual or otherwise, for any season, and with other jewels. Even if it's fake, it's fine. They still look fabulous.
- Ballet flats are loved for their practicality. They are extremely useful when making a run in the airport, make mad dashes during a mall sale, when walking on sand or when driving. They are a necessary staple in any woman's closet to take on tricky terrain challenges.
- A classic high-heel pump can work on any ensemble. It lets other pieces of your outfit speak and you'll feel taller and sexy.
- A great bag also serves as an accessory and can come in various colours, shapes and textures.
4. Discover the power of accessories
Done just the right way, simple clothes become runway look.
Your miniskirts and skinny jeans will betray you when you gain ten pounds. Your accessories on the other hand – your shoes, belts, bags, necklaces, earrings, etc., will remain your best friends and hang on to you longer. Accessories pull your outfit together and update your wardrobe without spending too much.
The secret to accessorizing is to keep it personal and tasteful. To make it personal, wear something that means to you like a necklace from your sister or an antique gold bracelet from Grandma. To make it tasteful is to not go overboard. You don't need to wear a big necklace, big hoops of earrings and a big bracelet in one ensemble. Limit it to one huge accessory.
5. Buy drama
Buy what is fantastic. A decadent ornament, a knock-them-dead dress, a quality shawl, etc. You'll fall in love immediately when you see it. Make sure it is a timeless piece. Make it a rule to shop for an item you consider wearing for three, five, and maybe even ten years from now and it must reflect your personal style.
Best time to buy dramatic pieces is during your travels. Bring home something exotic and wear it proud.
Here are some dramatic pieces to choose from:
- A gorgeous evening or cocktail dress: It can be a vintage dress, a hand-beaded dress, a dress that fits you perfectly.
- An oversized cocktail ring: A great statement and conversation opener.
- A cuff: You can wear one or two cuffs. They add sophistication to your outfit.
- A piece of fur: This adds dramatic, fabulous flair to your outfit in a winter evening.
- Killer shoes: Get one of those high-heeled strappy sandals in metallic gold or silver. You'll look and feel like a sexy Greek goddess.
- An exotic bag: A croc bag will have the same appeal ten years from now. Beautiful and practical to have.
6. Invest in good shoes
As a female character in a popular asian series said, “Have a girl wear beautiful shoes, and she will go to beautiful places.”
Even if it's only one pair, invest in a designer shoe even when they're expensive because they are perfect, quality shoes that could last a lifetime. Only few designers make really good ones. Some of highly-reputed shoe designers are the following:
- Manolo Blahnik
- Christian Louboutin
- Roger Vivier
- Jimmy Choo
- Azzedine Alaia
Always wear your shoe size because squeezing your feet into smaller sizes and with toes spilling out of strappy sandals is a painful and horrid sight.
Love your feet and get pedicures. Chipped toe polish, cracked heels, etc. are not acceptable.
Though it may look sexy to wear very high heels (over four inches), it is recommended to do otherwise. Going over four inches will shift your posture and will give you trouble walking making you look ridiculous.
7. Find your "guardian angel" tailor
A good tailor, who knows you well, will do their best to bring out the best in you. Similar to how Hubert de Givenchy, a designer from the 1950’s, became responsible for many outfits worn by the famous fashion icon, Audrey Hepburn.
Having a good relationship with a tailor can help you make any piece of clothing look expensive, revive older items, fit clothes to your body without changing the look or shape, turn your vintage items into one-of-a-kind keepsakes and make anything you want.
8. Don't be a fashion victim
A true style icon never carries an “it” bag and doesn’t fall victim to trends.
The “it” bag is an expensive white flag of spending too much for items you may not use later on. A stylish woman doesn't put on clear display the brand of her clothing. She also does not combine too much trends in one ensemble together. She knows how to present herself to the world without trying too hard and solely depending on what works for her.
9. Have fun mixing it up
Fun and creativity is important to maximize the use of each wardrobe item you have and to have different looks using the same items. It’s budget friendly and amusing to do.
Style is about imperfect mixes and unusual compositions. Sometimes anything that sounds like it won't make sense usually ends up amazing. Being unpredictable is more interesting than otherwise. It is what can make you look different and interesting, which is the implication of a stylish woman.
10. Be imperfect
A style icon understands that every day is not a photo shoot. Besides, perfection can be overrated. Attempting to look pristine all the time will take too much time and effort to enjoy being you. Being imperfect, knowing how to have fun and letting their hair down while still looking presentable are the women who know the most about style.
Style is being confident and finding the image you want to convey to the world.
“Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess.” ~ Edna Woolman Chase, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Magazine from 1914-1952