Finding The Right Fit

I have always spent a lot of time trying to create a signature style..(I am still working on it) but one thing to keep in mind as you are creating (and maybe get influence from) is to look at the things you wear that fit you really well and make your body look good.

I know that because I am petite (lil’ ol’ 5″2 me!) I can’t get away with everything. The bouffant jacket trend?…nah, or  boyfriend blazers? (Well..to be honest they could work but it don’t think they suit me…I just don’t have the level of cool for it! So nah..). I know that tea dresses look good on my frame (actually, dresses in general) and skater skirts. But how do I know? From honestly scrutinising pictures and because those are the times I get the most compliments. Always take note of these times!

There was a trend a few years ago of the ‘tulip skirt’. That trend was made. for. me.! I snapped up loads like crazy because they really fit my shape and gave me a gorgeous hour-glass figure. When the military trend came around I found that I look good in military style coats (proportion of the shoulders perhaps?) and the same with the tapered chino trend. On the other hand I look really young in A-line prom dresses (although I do love them) but sophisticated in pencil skirts. I am highly unlikely to wear capri pants or turn ups  as they make me look short and the 70’s flared anything trend is “Look but don’t touch!” for me.

Knowing what is a right fit for you and your shape is the best way to shop. It’s strange and it’s hard to do because you see the item of clothing on a model and you think “oooh that looks so nice! I want that!” but really you actually should stop, pause for a minute and ask yourself : “Do I like it because the item is nice and will suit/fit me or Do I like it because it looks nice on her? It suits and fits her”. After my year of online shopping last year, I think I am back to the good old in store browse. There is nothing quite like, trying on the item and seeing if they suit you and will go with what you already have.

I’ve found that a lot of the regular sized skirts I buy that comes just past the knee on the model actually comes just above my ankle…I have to ask myself, “Will this skirt look good at that length? Am  will ing to pay extra and get it altered?” If the answer is no, I’ll have to put it back and search for something similar that actually fits me, my height and my shape.

Some people subscribe to the ‘wear whatever you want‘ philosophy and truly you can…however wearing whatever you want doesn’t equal looking good whenever you want.  Some people are able to look really good whatever they wear so they seem to look good all the time. Most other people however, don’t and if you are honest with yourself do you? If you don’t, what things do you know DO look good on you? Having an idea of what suits you and what doesn’t will go a long way to building a wardrobe and style that is “just so you!”. You can shop with these styles, shapes and colours in mind and make sure that most of what is in your wardrobe makes you look fantastic!

In another post I will talk about finding your colours – how to work out the best colours for you.

How do you go about finding the right things for you? Do you stick to what you know looks good or do you just wear everything?

xXx

What Men Taught Me Part 1: Style

I recently stumbled upon this Men’s Fashion blog Kinowear.com and have now become quite a fan! I love their posts on style and aim of just helping men to dress better and express themselves.

Although they are targeting men, I think their words of wisdom are useful for everybody. They understand that style and fashion are different and that a lot of people can get caught up or overwhelmed with fashion leaving them at a loss on how to really develop their style. So, they have put together a few tips and trick to help men (and women shhhh!)  get started.

These are their most popular post and they are so useful I wanted to share them here:

How to Find Your Own Sense of Style

The Basics You Need to Know About Color Coordinating Your Outfit

What is Style? (A Deeper Analysis)

5 Tips To Dramatically Improve Your Style

5 Steps to Mastering Your Own Style

How to Shop on a Budget (the right one!)

40 Common Men’s Fashion Mistakes to Avoid

It’s worth a read!

xXx

In Search of a Signature

I remember when I was little and I would watch movies and see all the glamorous actors and actresses signing autographs on the red carpet. I use to practise writing my signature until I perfected it. Your signature was something that was consistent but represented you.  All the style icons we know of have a signature style – whether it was alluring, classy, glamorous, sexy or classic.

knoHaving looked at the difference between fashion and style and now understanding the difference, I can confirm that for me, I want to and have always wanted to develop my style. Not only in my clothing but I want to express my individuality through all aspects of my life and my aim this year will be to do just that (or start at least).

In terms of my wardrobe, my goal is to buy very little and create more. I want to experiment with what I already have and save the cash for only what I need, or for purchasing specific items that I think will be important for my style. No more throwing money at the stores to make the owners and their kids richer (have you ever thought about it? Every time you shop at Topshop you keep The Green family who own it, very rich – your money probably helped fund Chloe Green’s shoe line! Not that it’s bad but it’s something to keep in mind).

I also want to think about what the other things I do in life say about me, from my food choices and travel destinations to the way I interact with people. It’s never too late to develop in character and/or improve yourself.

So how does one find ones style?

I think that style is developed and is a combination of the things you’re drawn to, the things that suit you, the things you are most comfortable with and the issues that are important to you.

I’ve always loved old Hollywood there’s just something about it to me that seems perfect and when I look back, I have always loved things that were glamorous. The image in the picture above is an example of the look I love – feminine, bold,vintage and glamorous all at the same time. There is a quality to it.

You probably already have a style but you’re either not sure what it is or haven’t yet uncovered it. The best way is to first get a visual overall view of the things you are drawn to, your style inspirations and aspirations. You can cut out images from magazines or the internet or use something like Pinterest which has been really useful tool in helping me to do this. I would recommend creating a few boards of the looks you like – fashion images, home images, food, places, art and any other interests you have – and seeing if there is a recurring theme amongst them. It can also be useful in helping you to know what to change about your style if you want to change or update it.

sty

 From my Pinterest boards I can see that my style inspirations are:

Glamour – old holly wood, Italian,

My culture – African print

The 1950’s.

Ballet.

Colour. Richness. Quality.

Feminine.

I can see that all of this is reflected in the clothes I choose, hair styles I like, décor of my room, the way I talk to people and what I talk about. I love film, music and so Hollywood glamour comes from there. I want to travel the world and love experiencing new cultures and customs, food and fashion. I love stories, tradition and durability as well as quality, excellence and creativity.

In developing your style you want things to look effortless – like “It was made for you dahrling!”. The more you fine tune it the more it will start to become easy to recognise things that fit  i.e. “That’s sooo you” and things that don’t.

colour

With clothes this fit usually happens when you wear items that suit your body shape as well as expresses your personality.

I know for example,  that I look good and have been complimented in V-necked tops and dresses.  I also look good in tulip skirts, chinos, military style jackets, A-line skirts/full skirts, sweetheart neck line dresses, tea dresses, chiffon, bell sleeves, turned up cuff t-shirts and pencil skirts and you’ll notice from my outfit posts, that I have quite a few of these styles of clothing in my wardrobe. They suit my body shape and highlight the good about me. They also say feminine and classy – two things I love – you won’t find me in bomber jackets and jogging pants (i’m just not cool enough to pull that off and it’s not my style). The patterns and prints that I choose to purchases them in, are then determined by my personality – I love bubbly, bright things so I have many chiffon skirts in bright colours .

Another great tip is to watch out for the times when people compliment you on your outfit  or a personal item– did they like it or did they like it on you. If they liked it on you what exactly did they like – your shape?, did it bring out your colour?, did it keep you in proportion?, did it say something specific?

Practicality and comfort is also key. If your job means you are on your feet all day sky-high heels may not be your best option but it doesn’t mean you have to forfeit your style – find flats or comfortable wedges that you can incorporate that suit your personality for example my flats would usually all have bows on them or if not they are in the smoking slipper style because that shape suits my feet.

Some people also like to take things like ethics into consideration and this is a part of their style. They want things organically grown, produced responsibly and won’t shop in places where the owners go against this because this is important to them. It is in line with their values. Style permeates all aspects of life.

There isn’t a hard and fast rule to creating a signature and if you want to experiment, go ahead! That is what fashion is for – trying new trends! You observe a new trend and then you decide if it fits in with your style or doesn’t. You can always update and change your style completely, it’s up to you.

If the style you like doesn’t match what you currently have you can slowly start to incorporate it into your wardrobe and other parts of your life. Think: what are the key elements or staple pieces underlying the style I like. What do I have or do that fits that style and what do I have or do that doesn’t. What do I need to get to get started?  At times, you may need a full wardrobe, environmental and personal overhaul but that is ok  – just do it slowly according to your budget and time.

Knowing the difference between style and fashion is important and when considering your finances and lifestyle in the long-term, this knowledge can make all the difference.

xXx

What is Style?

So the basis of my financial woes and my new-found resolution has all stemmed from not really understanding that there is a difference between ‘Style’ and ‘Fashion’.

My aim this year, as it has been for many years, is to develop my style. For a long time I always interchanged that word with the word “Fashion” thinking that they were describing the same thing. I spent time buying various items every season, keeping on trend, thinking that, that was how to build your style until I found out that it both is and it isn’t.

Over the past year, in my bid to be more financially savvy, which started last year, I have been looking more into style and fashion and how I can approach it from a different perspective. Although I was learning new things I wasn’t putting them into practice, hence the mountain of shoes I acquired. In my bid to be more strict with myself this year, I aim to put what I have learnt through reading various blogs, articles and other great books into practice. 

The first thing I did was look at fashion a bit more closely. I have found that although style and fashion work together, they are in fact two entirely different things. Understanding the difference between the two can help you to decide which you want to focus on more and help you if you want to become more financially savvy. 

So in this post and the next I want share with you what I’ve learnt and hopefully it will help:

Style Vs Fashion

The words “Style” and “Fashion” are often used interchangeably but in reality they shouldn’t be. This is because style and fashion are two completely different things.

Style is defined as:  “A particular procedure by which something is done; a manner or way”

It is a manner or way of being and doing and is an outward expression of who you are. Style is the way you choose to do something – the way you choose to express yourself. This can be through your clothes, your interior décor choices, your travel destinations, your food preferences, the books you read, they way you interact with people and the relationships you have. Style through your clothing is just one aspect of your manner or way of being and a portable, obvious expression of your personality.  Some people take time to carefully craft and develop their style, whilst others just “go with the flow” and may not recognise they have one. True style permeates through all aspects of an individual’s life, showing the world their individuality, creativity and uniqueness or lack there of.

Style is not about impressing other people, it’s not about fashion or about wealth; it’s about how you live your life with what you can have…Hooman Majd.

Fashion on the other hand is defined as:

  • a popular or the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration, or behaviour:
  • a manner of doing something:
  • or to make into a particular form

Although fashion is also a way of doing something it is much more restricted. Instead of expressing individuality, keeping up with fashion means joining with the masses and in some ways conforming to a particular expression created by another person. In terms of the industry it has become a fast-moving world where something is created by somebody else season to season, the designs are copied and fed to the mass population. This can be in clothes, beauty, hairstyles and even. We can be overwhelmed as we try to buy every new thing that comes out so that we are “on trend” with what is popular.

When we all buy the newest items we think we are being stylish but the reality is the people we notice the most and who are revered the most in this industry are those who are great purveyors of style and not fashion. Style transcends fashion in that it doesn’t have to be in line with what is popular at the time. It stands on its own. Fashion can be overwhelming and sometimes overrated – instead of expressing individuality (which we think we are doing) we end up looking just like everyone else.

Having said this about fashion, it is not a bad thing. If we understand it and know how to use it to our advantage it is a very exciting industry to be a part of and have an interest in. Being aware of what is in fashion firstly helps us to see and appreciate the work and creativity of a designer. Secondly it is the place from which we can get pieces or inspiration to add to, freshen up or add a twist to our signature style. However, in order for this to happen we must understand and appreciate the difference between the two.

ralph lauren

So what makes someone stylish?

When we look at style icons, their style invades or did invade all aspects of their life. People like Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O and Marylin Monroe are known for their style – the way they dressed, talked, walked and even socialised with people whilst people like Rihanna and Lady Gaga are known for being Fashion icons – ever changing it up and wearing the latest thing, sparking a new trend.

Fashion loving people help sell clothes and are excited by the change. Style loving people help release creativity  but are still usually classic in some way – there is a core thread/theme running through.

Have a look at these blogs:

Style blogs:

http://www.songofstyle.com/

http://styleismything.blogspot.co.uk/

http://atlantic-pacific.blogspot.co.uk/

Fashion blogs:

http://www.annadellorusso.com/

http://www.bryanboy.com

http://www.shewearsfashion.com/

You will notice that the fashion blogs include a lot about what you can buy now and what is in season and whilst the styles blogs are mainly about how an outfit is put together and some other aspects of their life. Having said this, the fashion bloggers will and do also show their style through the way in which they combine the latest trend pieces with other items and each create something different with the same piece.  This is how style and fashion go hand in hand (but are not the same!).

Fashion changes, style lasts forever.

Next >> How can I find my signature style?