Great style isn’t about buying designer labels or even following the trends. It’s about picking flattering clothes that look like they were made for you—your body shape, your personality, your lifestyle. By doing this, consistently, you build wardrobe that will always make you feel good about yourself. You will love everything you own, and be able to use each piece for years (even as you find new combinations and add new items that update your style for the season). Read on for these essential style tips.
Be true to yourself
Before you memorize the style rules in fashion magazines, memorize your body shape and understand you skin tone. What shapes and colors flatter you most? And consider your lifestyle, too. Will you really, really wear those heels to work? Consider your office dress code, and the type of jobs you usually do.
Edit the trends
Once you know what works for you, stick to them. If all common sense tells you that high waists don’t work with your silhouette, then don’t buy them—even if they’re the hot trend of the season. There are enough trends in every year for you to pick one (or appropriate them) for your shape and lifestyle. (Read our tips on fashion tricks that make you look slimmer and how to find jeans for your body type.)
Consider your budget
Your credit card is your business, but consider that unpaid interest payments could make that dress that you found ‘on sale’ worth thousands of dollars before you even know it. And you don’t always have to buy designer brands. If you know what colors and styles work for you, that $30 dress will look like a million dollars on you. And, if you know the most flattering and practical pieces for you, then every item you buy will get years of good use. What’s more expensive, in the long run: a $800 investment bag that you use practically every day for five years, or a $200 dress that you wear, say, twice?
Get good basics
The truly chic set have go-to pieces that they build on every year. This could be the timeless suit, the beautiful basic black dress, the black leggings, the tailored white shirt. Or, they know a particular silhouette is very flattering for them, and they simply choose different patterns and prints to keep it interesting and updated every year.
Update the basics
Which brings us to another point. You may have found your ‘uniform’ but don’t get stuck in it. Incorporate one or two new trends to keep it modern. For example, 2011 spring trends are all about color, color color. So, update your classic khaki suit by pairing it with a lavender tank, or a fun twist like a wide, red belt. (Read our tips on updating your look for 2011.)
Find a good tailor
Some pieces are worth being tailored to your silhouette, since no two bodies are alike. You can also have pieces altered (just make sure the item has enough material for the tailor to make adjustments). Read our article on tips for altering clothes to get a perfect fit.
Photo from accessorywhore.com