Style.. what is it and how do we attain it? Some definitions from dictionary.com …
1. a particular kind, sort, or type, as with reference to form, appearance, or character: the baroque style; The style of the house was too austere for their liking.
2. a particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode of action or manner of acting: They do these things in a grand style.
3. a mode of living, as with respect to expense or display.
4. an elegant, fashionable, or luxurious mode of living: to live in style.
5. a mode of fashion, as in dress, esp. good or approved fashion; elegance; smartness.
and the list did go on.
Many may think that to have good style your purse must produce copious amounts of money to possess expensive furniture, beautiful homewares and this season’s expensive fashion labels to produce the desired look for every occasion. I tend to disagree as I have seen and know many people who look incredibly stylish without spending their childs inheritance. Don’t get me wrong I think it is all relative to your income as to how much you can spend on fashion or your household decorating…but don’t feel you are disqualified from dressing and feeling stylish because your budget won’t allow you to spend as much as the person who can spend 5 times more than you.
Take my mum for example, who many in her circle would regard as style queen. She always looks very stylish and immaculate, but recently she commented to a shop assistant that her clothes were too expensive. The shop assistant replied, “But this top is only $30″. My mum’s reply, “Yes, exactly, too expensive”. So how does my mum manage to look so fantastic and give the impression she has spent alot of money.
For a couple of reasons I think.
1. Colour. She knows what colours suit her the best, and she knows how to co-ordinate them well. Many people make the mistake of trying to reproduce someone else’s look. They see someone dressed in a camel jacket teamed with a cream turtle neck sweater and they look amazing so they try the same thing, but it fails to deliver the same results as their friend. I have one such friend who has done this and it’s unfortunate because she looks amazing in black teamed with hot pink to match her dark shiny hair and fair skin. So recognize what colour best suits you.
2. Space. Know your body shape and what works for you. I have a long body and short legs so certain styles won’t work for me. I have to give the illusion of longer legs by wearing longer length skirts with a cropped jacket giving my body proportion if I want a really smart look. I also have narrow shoulders so I have to consider this when making purchases. I do break the rules at times because I love certain styles but I do have to consider the body I’m working with, otherwise the results will be dissappointing. Look at this as an anvantage, limiting your choices to what suits you makes decisions easier.
3. Style. Once you have basic colour and space elements right you can then build with style which is another firm foundation giving direction to your final choices. A classic look is one that is easy to build upon and will help with fabric choices and detail. Classic is always something that is easy and achievable to build on and this is really what my mothers sussess is based on. Classic choices that mix and match with her existing wardrobe. She may add certain items to swing the style to be up to date with existing fashion trends.
Accessories. This is what often takes a boring outfit to a new level. Personalizing your outfit with that extra hit of interest. I love accessories and I’m so glad that 2 of my girls are now earning and are gathering lots of gorgeous accessories that I can raid. This is the fun stuff, playing with a basic look and creating some wow with an armful of bangles or a beautiful scarf tied just right. Consider shoes, necklaces, handbags, earrings as accessories that can all make an outfit just right. The secret is to have fun! Don’t be afraid to try something different, and don’t overdo it. If you’re concerned it’s too much take something off. Your accessories should nail your outfit and create a style that is distinctly you.
Just as these principles apply to your wardrobe, they can flow through to any decorating project.
Below is a photo of my 2nd daughter Kiara wearing a ’Diane von Furstenberg’ dress she choose for her formal year 12 graduation last year. She wanted something unique, fun and wearable. I thought this was going to be incredibly difficult, it ended up taking us an hour and a half to find ‘the’ dress. We had previously been to Madison Integrity on Edward Street in Brisbane the year before looking for daughter Danica’s formal dress and new they carried a small but unique collection of dresses. Sure enough we found just what we were looking for, mission accomplished and it was a very pleasant experience. It was actually harder to find the right accessories but we were all very happy with the results and she felt very much herself on the night of her formal.