If dressing were the only thing you did, what is your style philosophy?
I have SO MUCH to say, but I’ve broken it down into 10 points.
1. DRESS IN CONTRASTS
- Menswear / Hyperfemininity (e.g. silk white shirt and a fancy glittery necklace as above)
- Short / Long
- Leather / Lace or Chiffon
- Leather / Pinstripes (Rock & Roll versus Corporate)
- Black / Pastel (looks more chic than bold on bold sometimes)
2. KEEP IT SIMPLE OR PILE IT ON
I really like the idea of keeping it sleek and simple with only one accessory, and neutral or monochromatic dressing…
….or just going for it and piling on a whole armful of bracelets (see below), or mixing prints with other prints.
3. DON’T MATCH EVERYTHING
Even though I’m a fan of monochromatic dressing, I don’t mean that you need to match that EXACT shade of blue with a purse and shoes.
It really kind of drives me mad when I see women do this.
I like matching to adjacent colours, like:
- Black / Navy
- Black / Charcoal
- Red / Pink
- Blue / Green
- Yellow / Orange
- White / Ivory / Cream
- Mixing leathers – black, cognac, browns
- Mixing metals – gold, silver, gunmetal, rose gold
4. WEAR YOUR STYLE UNIFORM(S)
You know what you like to wear the most.
My style uniforms for work and play are simple. I always wear a base outfit then build on it.
I don’t really deviate from these two uniforms, but I particularly like these style uniforms:
- Jeans / Tank / Blazer
- Ankle Pants / Blouse / Topper
- Wrap dress
- Pencil Skirt / Blouse / Topper
- A-Line Skirt / Blouse / Topper
For some reason, I only really like wearing structured blazers with pants like below:
5. TAKE INSPIRATION FROM EVERYTHING
Nature makes the best colour combinations for instance.
Just look at any flower.
You’ll see all the beautiful colours in there that just go together and would make a beautiful outfit. Illustrator Grace Ciao knows this best with her wonderful work:
I also take inspiration from movies, TV show characters, women and men I see, blogs…
Some really beautiful ones mix grey, gold and copper and that’s a new colour combination I never thought of, so I file it away at the back of my mind as an idea.
6. KEEP AN OPEN MIND & TRY NEW THINGS
There are some things I will never wear like harem pants, but generally speaking I give things a try.
Lace-up flats for instance, was something I bought to try, but can’t really get into.
Ankle booties like these ones below, I bought on a whim for instance and now I love wearing them.
7. FIT AND TAILORING ARE KEY
Your items have to FIT you (not what you think, ignore the size tags); I have worn every size from Extra-Small to Large, and I haven’t changed.
If they DON’T fit, it is OK to buy a size up and then have it tailored in to fit, or hemmed up, or taken in the sides.
Tailoring is really key to looking great.
8. KEEP YOUR ITEMS IN GOOD SHAPE
Take care of them and get them repaired, not replaced.
Condition your leather goods, put boot shapers into your boots, take in your items for dry cleaning, and don’t ruin your bags or heels by piling things on top of them, stuff them nicely to keep their shape.
I bring in my heels once the minute I see that they need to be repaired and reconditioned.
9. KNOW YOUR LIFESTYLE
Don’t keep or buy suits for a lifestyle that doesn’t need them.
I love the look of suits but no longer wear them, so I have limited myself to just wearing blazers with bottoms like pants or skirts instead.
I don’t have a lot of black-tie events either, so I don’t really need many cocktail dresses (if at all), and I don’t go to the beach or pool that often, therefore I only have one bathing suit and one really fancy gown for just in case events:
I of course am prepared for such events, but I don’t have a wardrobe full of things I don’t wear for the lifestyle I don’t lead.
That said, I’m a mother of a rambunctious toddler but I refuse to wear stretchy sweatpants and yogawear.
I feel terrible in that clothing in public and I want it to be an at-home lounging thing only, rather than something I slip and slide into as my normal everyday wear.
10. WEAR YOUR FAVOURITE COLOURS
You instinctively know what will look good on you. I read this somewhere once, and it is true.
I gravitate towards colours mentally that look the best on me. I have never liked pastels, and true to form, they look terrible on me.
All greens look bad on me except army surplus green, I hate yellows except if they are deep and vibrant, and I love all shades of grey, whites, etc.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
The entire series can be found here: Women in Clothes Style & Fashion Survey