This subject applies to both sexes. It has much to do with culture, as fashion or being fashionable has to do with the custom of a culture, and in today’s world cross cultural fashion is highly acceptable. History tells us who the enduring fashionable and classy people are that we can take a good look at to see if they would be good role models for us or not.

One common thread of being fashionable and classy is the mixing of social classes. One should definitely invest in self; know that attitude, presence, and grooming (being clean and fresh in appearance), is very important. First impressions do count. I mention the mixing of social classes because of two enduring fashionable, classy people that come to mind. Both of them definitely mixed with other social classes, and that is partly what made them, to this day, icons in the public image presented about them.

Che Guevara
The first is Che Guevara. He had a distinctive manner of expression as well as his custom of conducting himself. He was vastly popular, indeed, he became synonymous with the word revolution. His trademark look was army fatigues, a slight beard, and most notably his beret. He was considered handsome as well, and that helped. The ideas he fought for live on and so does his fashion. Check out over a million websites with his look on t-shirts, backpacks, hoodies, etc. He had a mission to accomplish, and became a legend early on. His real first name is Ernesto. The Cubans he hung out with nicknamed him, Che. It translates as friend, pal, dude or man. He was an Argentinian with a cause, and he was surrounded by intrigue. He was very much into living with equality as far as the rich and poor classes. He was a medical doctor, and treated the poor as he was able to. One interesting aside about him is this. In 1959 in Cuba he was made head of the Cuban National Bank (which he reportedly refused to take a salary for), and he signed the country’s currency, “Che.”

The other is Cleopatra. She could certainly hold her own among men, and became a larger than life figure even in her own lifetime. She is so very famous still: there is a mysterious and hypnotic fascination with her looks, fashion, and lifestyle. Most modern depictions of her portray her as being an exotic beauty, but, really, one can only surmise at her looks. She did glam it up so her public image was projected favorably. Although she was treated royally with the finest foods, education, Dr.’s clothes, jewels, and other objects, she had considerable social graces, and no problem mixing with the common Egyptian people. She is reputed to have been fluent in many languages - Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Syriac, and most notably, Egyptian. Remember, she was Greek, not Egyptian, so to lower herself to learn the Egyptian language was actually quite classy! There is multiple myths about her romances and reconstructed herstory. Her fashion or costume has endured in literature and art. She has become a woman of interest in modern times for her examples of truly running a country, her intellect, her mastery of staying power - she was Egypt’s last pharaoh, and remains unconquered in curiosity about her.

These examples aren’t meant for you to have to be a revolutionary or a royal to be fashionable and classy.They are merely examples of historic people who fit the bill. So, you could look to history to find role models, or even an idea for an accessory, or fashionable dress to use in your classy self creation. Detail (like the star on Che’s beret), shouldn’t be trendy, but selective, something that suits you.

Dressing and Budget
Fashionable clothing should be classy too. Classy is how it suits you, can you pull off wearing an old fashioned wedding dress or tuxedo, or does a high fashion designer outfit work better? What you wear should look natural for you. Quality over quantity is a good rule of thumb for your personal brand. You may not need a signature style, but you need to “own” a style that fits you well, and complements your looks.

To begin, study your historic favorites, then organize your closet. Do try on your clothes, your body image may have changed, and what was fashionable and classy for you 3 months ago, or last season may not suit you at all anymore. Get rid of, preferably re-cycle (donate or consign) those outfits that you need to let go. You will find that the classic stylish clothes you have will remain in your closet. Sometimes they may have been purchased in a foreign country, and they still look great on you. If they are out of current fashion, you can alter them or spice them up with the right accessories. Creativity figures in the classy, fashionable equation. That’s why looking at historic figures entices and inspires designers. Recently I donated a beautiful wool cardigan that I had purchased in the Cotswolds, England, in 2002. I loved it and wore it almost daily during cold Fall and Winter seasons. It was a true classic, and I never failed to get compliments on it. Alas, it just looked too large on me this season, and I thanked it for serving me well for so many years, and let it go.

So your clothes budget remains generous, you may want to shop at second hand or consignment stores. Give yourself enough time to try on whatever you fancy. Scarves, jewelry, shoes and gloves are usually available too. I have to admit that I have found thee best quality garments at consignment stores. Of course it helps if you live near a wealthy suburb or town because many men and women consign there clothes or donate them, and even shop at those places. Let’s face it, they are the stores making an income presently!

It isn’t a huge effort to put some time into staying well groomed, balancing how you carry yourself, paying attention to detail, and purchasing items that you will wear more than once. Your self confidence will grow and permeate your personal flair for how to be fashionable and classy.