In surveys a lack of knowledge is one of the main reasons
for not taking enough care of their appearance (lack of money and lack
of time are 2 other reasons).
This article is intended to give you an overview of the knowledge required to create and maintain a great appearance and to help you fill in any gaps in your knowledge.
The style tips below identify the key elements for achieving the look you want. They will allow you to create a wardrobe that will work for any occasion. These style tips will also help you achieve style on a budget and ensure you get the best value from every purchase (think cost per wear).
Style is not about weight, age, or even fashion. It's all about finding a contemporary look that suits you, your personality and your lifestyle. It should reflect where you're at in your life and how you want to be seen by others.
If you feel overwhelmed when you look at this list of style tips remember you don't have to understand and do everything at once! One step at a time will work best -- assuming you have your grooming under control, master your colors and dressing for your body shape first then start to learn more about the other aspects of style and start incorporating those into your wardrobe choices.
I believe the 6 main elements for becoming and staying stylish are...
Good grooming -- this is the most important aspect of a good appearance and is the area that is neglected first when a person is in a bad space. It includes good personal hygiene, neat and tidy hair, appropriate makeup, well manicured nails and clean and well maintained clothing
Understand the colors that suit you best -- some people look best in cool, blue-based colors, some people look best in warm, yellow-based colors, others can wear some of each. For more on colors see my flow seasonal color analysis article
Understand your style personality -- do you favor a natural, sporty look? An elegant, feminine look? Or some other look? Even if a style suits your body shape and lifestyle it may not suit your personality. Cut pictures out of magazines and print pictures from the internet to help understand the look you'd like to create for yourself
Build a wardrobe appropriate for all aspects of your lifestyle --
I recommend 2 ebooks by Diana Pemberton-Sikes to learn about levels of dress and dressing appropriately for the occasion...
Shop wisely and productively -- take your shopping list with you when you go clothes shopping and think carefully about each purchase (more on this below)
Find out once and for all what really suits you! Invest in a color and style consultation
Shop your own wardrobe before buying new pieces! Try to style outfits in new ways to create updated looks.
Stop buying on impulse! Every $10 bargain mistake you make would be better put towards a carefully thought out wardrobe. And you don't need yet another item the same as the 4 you already have! If you don't love it madly or need it badly put it back!
Shop with a plan -- think carefully about every purchase you make (I know I've said that before, but it's worth repeating!). Does the piece you are about to buy work with a majority of your other garments or is it a look that will be out-of-date in a few weeks or months)? Is it on your prioritized shopping list?
Leave enough time to find what you need -- if you know you have a special event coming up, such as a wedding or a special dinner, don't buy something in a panic at the last minute! This is a recipe for ending up with an outfit you wear only once. ou'd be better off finding an outfit you can wear within your current wardrobe
Don't buy too many trendy items -- (trend items are garments with an exaggerated style element that will most likely only be trendy for a short time, such as extra-wide lapels or top stitching in a stand-out color) and don't spend too much on them
Spend most of your budget on good quality key items -- such as jackets, coats, pants and skirts. The more classical these are and the fewer exagerated design elements, the longer they will last without looking dated. Buy most items in trans-seasonal fabrics, such as wool crepe, jersey and silk. This way you'll get more wear out of each item
Don't spend too much on basics -- shop around for good deals on items such as t-shirts, camisoles and tank tops. These items have a limited life and are available from many shops, so there is no need to spend a lot of money on each item
Update your look with accessories. Rather than buying whole new outfits each season, update your look with new shoes, jewellery, scarves and a handbag. This is also a way to add color and trendiness
Never compromise on fit -- if an item can't be altered or you're not prepared to spend the money on an alteration don't buy it
Continually replace key items -- just before they wear out, so you are never caught without a necessary item. These items are good ones to buy at end of season sales
Plan where you need to look to find what you need. With your shopping list in hand, work out the priority items and where you will find them. And remember quality doesn't necessarily mean price, shop around for good buys. Some places to consider are...