Have you ever wondered what having “great style” means? …having great taste in clothing? If yes, know you are not the only one. “Great style” like “good taste” is a fairly relative concept, and yet, we can usually agree that some people just have it. They have that je ne sais quoi that we cannot help but admire.
So, what does it take to obtain great style? Here is a basic list on what we think is absolutely necessary.
1.. Always wear clothing that fit you. It doesn’t matter your size, shape, or coloring. What matters most of all is that you wear clothing that properly fits. Seriously! Contrary to popular belief, your body shape really does not matter.
Now what does fitting entail? Avoid clothing that is too tight or too lose on you. For example, do not wear a dress that is so tight the zipper bulges out; pants that are so loose they sag without a belt holding them up; a skirt that is so tight it bunches in front as you walk; a blouse so loose, the neckline sags, showing your bra underneath; a shirt that is so tight it smashes your breasts down like a bandage; and jeans that are so wide around the waist, it leaves a gaping hole in your back.
Also, avoid clothing that fit your size but don’t fit your body. This means say no to gaps that appear underneath the arm, shorts that ride up between your thighs, crotches that hang too low, waists that rise as you walk.
2.. Always wear clothing that are properly made. Even if an outfit fits you perfectly, the look can still be ruined by clothing that malfunctions or just looks off by its poor workmanship.
For example, avoid wearing skirts with zippers that unzip themselves while you walk, blouses that un-button themselves, tops with straps that un-strap themselves, and materials so thin they reveal your cellulite, hip dips, or the shape of your panty.
3.. Always wear the styles that fit your body shape the best. A skirt can fit your shape perfectly, can be of the best of materials, sewn by the best seamstress – and yet still not have the “perfect” look you are searching for. Why? Because no matter the fit or the quality, the shape of the apparel is the most important for giving that final touch of perfection.
When we say shape of the apparel, we mean the style – ex. wrap dress, capri pants, mermaid dress, boyfriend jeans, A-line skirt, bateau neck top, pencil skirt, sheath dress…
Each style has a body shape it fits the best. Yes, if an item is made with quality and care, it can fit every body shape. However, there is still a body shape for which it will do the best and most work.
For example, a mermaid dress will always look better on a lady with small to medium sized hips. Why? Because of the shape of the skirt. That hip hugging shape is meant to accentuate and enlarge the hips. If you are a lady who already has large hips, you shouldn’t wear a skirt that will make it look larger.
So, what styles fit your body shape the most?
4.. Always have a tailor in your contact list. Let’s face it. When it comes to our current selection of ready-made clothing and the multitude of body shapes out there, it’s hard to find clothing that fits each one of us perfectly. You can buy clothes from the most expensive designers and still find issues.
There’s nothing like having an outfit sewn onto your body. There’s no fit better than that. But if you don’t have the money to do that, the next best thing is to take your clothing to a qualified tailor. This way, you can get your clothing tailored to your own unique shape at a much more affordable cost.
If you shop every month, you should add your tailor to your monthly budget. Go ahead and get it out of the way so you won’t make any excuses.
Also, you’d be surprised what a raised hem, tightened waist, shortened sleeve, removed strip of lace, or an added layer of ruffle can do to an outfit. It can take an outfit from ordinary and ill-fitting to chic perfection.
5.. Always wear colors that fit your skin and hair coloring well. Colors can either enhance or dull your own unique skin color. You never want to choose colors that dull you, turn your skin sallow, or make you look like a zombie. Instead, choose colors that brighten your face, bring a glow to your eyes, make your hair color pop, and/or provide a striking contrast to your skin color.
The right color can turn an ordinary dress into a smashing hit on you.
6.. Try to keep your colors to a minimum. You should not wear more than two large item colors at a time. Meaning do not wear pink pants, white top, and black shoes. Your outfit would look much better if you wore pink or white shoes, decreasing the colors from 3 down to 2.
An even better look would be: white top paired with white pants and shoes, finished with a color contrast purse. It is a lot easier to look uber chic and elegant if you wear solid colored outfits or matching solid separates. There are of course exceptions, but that’s for another article.
For now, please understand, the more large colors you wear, the more it will cut your body into sections. You should avoid that. Instead, go for that long, uninterrupted look as much as possible.
7.. Pay close attention to your accessories. They are so often over-looked. And yet, it is another major factor in style. The right accessories can tie everything together to enhance that look. For example, you can ruin the perfect pink sheath dress by pairing it with leopard print flip-flops.
How to choose the right accessories is so complex, it deserves its own article. So, for this article, we’d like to keep it simple and say: try to match your shoes to your outfit or your purse. If you have an outfit with a color that is hard to match, pair it with an accent color shoe and matching purse or nude shoes.
Nude shoes can also help tone down a bright color like red, royal purple, and emerald.
As for jewelry, keep it simple and appropriate to the time and event. For more tips, please read our article on how to wear jewelry.
8.. Do not focus on trends. If you are not the thin-sized models the fashion industry uses and if you do not work in an environment that eats, sleeps and breathes fashion – do not follow trends.
Let’s face it… most fashion trends look better on TV and in photos than on regular people, in the real world. Trends also have a way of making people bypass what they see in the mirror. It blinds people to the obvious impracticality and incompatibility of an outfit.
So, if you desire to obtain “great style”, we advise you to avoid trends as much as possible. Instead focus on you. What does your body need to enhance its beauty. Try out different clothing shapes and styles. Take pictures at home or in a fitting room. Let your eyes determine what is best for you.
9.. Match your make-up to your outfit and event. You don’t want the wrong make-up choice to take away from the look. For example, if you are wearing a pink dress with a blue undertone, you should not wear lipstick that has an orange tint. If you are dressing for an outdoor day affair, you don’t want to ruin your cute summer dress with heavy night-time make-up.
10.. If you do not already have one, buy yourself a full-length mirror. It doesn’t matter if you get a skinny one to hang on the back of a door, a raw unframed piece from Home Depot, or one placed in an ornate gold frame. All that matters is that you are able to see your entire body – from your toes to the top of your head.
How can you determine what looks good on you, if you can’t see your entire body? And if you can’t see what looks good on you, how can you ever obtain “great style”?
Please remember, every shape, every color, and every size is beautiful.
You are beautiful the way you are. Style should never be used as a tool to gain self-worth. Instead, style should be used to enhance and better display that self-worth you already possess.