Trendy vs. Chic: How to be Stylish
Anyone can be a slave to new trends, it doesn’t take creativity or style to dress in a runway look head to toe. So what is style? What does it mean to be chic and stylish rather than a fashion victim?
Style is a very personal concept, it can be different for everyone. It’s about knowing you body type, knowing what looks good on you and knowing what you’ll be comfortable wearing. You can ignore every trend that ever graces a magazine cover and still be a fashion icon.
Good style is eternal.
Whether you consider Jane Birkin, Audrey Hepburn, Diana Vreeland or Lauren Hutton to be your ultimate style icon, there is something that each of these women possess. She is true to herself and has created a style that is inherently “her.”
What are the basic guidelines that every lady must follow in order to be stylish?
[1.] Know thy self – Take a good, hard look in the mirror and understand your assets & limitations. What are your best characteristics – Great shoulders? Long, lean legs? Christina Hendricks curves? Find a style that plays up your assets. Yes, you can mix up your style each season and incorporate great new looks to keep things fresh, but you need to first have a good understanding of what you can, can’t and shouldn’t bother trying to pull off. Do you have short legs? Stay away from skinny jeans and don’t even think about wearing mid-calf boots, both will make your legs look truncated. On the curvier side? Stay away from ruffles and busy tops, they will make you look top-heavy. You don’t need to look like Gisele to look polished and put together, you just need to know how to work with what you have!
[2.] Find your sweet spot – Once you know what works best for you, the next step is to create a style that is totally your own, a home base of sorts that you can always start with or go back to. Whether you love Twiggy-style shift dresses, sexy menswear, a darker pallet, retro ladylike silhouettes or Alexa Chung-inspired hipster looks, make the look yours by adding personal flares. If you’re comfortable and confident in your clothes, you’ll have every eye on you as soon as you step into a room. Wear your clothes, don’t let them wear you! My personal look is very classic and a little formal, I love dresses and skirts, but with a bit of an edge. My favorite looks are traditional with a modern twist, like a chic LBD with funky pearls and patent leather booties.
[3.] Invest! It’s always fun to try new trends – if you’re careful with them – but a large portion of your clothing/accessories budget should be devoted to classic, long-term pieces. High quality basics that you will be able to use season after season, which can easily be spiced up with the newest handbag or sunglasses. A trench coat, great jeans, a button down shirt, a Little Black Dress, (see Real Girls Need Real Closets & Real Girls Need Real Closets – Accessories Edition) these are the building blocks to a great wardrobe, regardless of your style. When you see pictures of Jane Birkin’s bangs and little tunic dresses, Audrey’s trenches, Coco’s pearls or Bianca Jagger’s suits they still all look chic and modern. Why? Because they were stylish women, not slaves to trends.
Some words of wisdom to think about when you’re considering you personal look:
- “Style isn’t about change; that’s fashion’s job. Style is about knowing yourself, knowing the image you want to project, and finding the look that suits you the best for your goals.” TLo from Tom & Lorenzo: Fabulous & Opinionated
- “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” Coco Chanel
- “Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” Yves Saint Laurent
- “Attitude is everything.” Diane von Furstenberg
Have you seen the Audrey Hepburn movie Funny Face?
There’s this phenomenal dance number with Kay Thompson, who is one of the highlights of the film, called How To Be Lovely. Whenever I think of being stylish and chic, I think of this scene and it makes me laugh. This is a great reminder that fashion is supposed to be fun!