Be stylish not fashionable or trendy. The other day I was having a conversation with a friend who is a luxury fashion designer (her pieces are seriously amazing), and she said something that stuck with me. She is one of those people who always looks awesome even when she’s just walking her dog (who is extremely elegant himself) in the park. She said that she’s secretly happy when she picks up a magazine and sees that any given seasons trends are: wide leg trousers and skinny jeans, leather jackets and denim jackets, short sleeves and long sleeves and well, you get the picture. Pretty much everything. Her theory is that you need to dress for yourself, you need to run from whatever is trendy and look for pieces that make you happy.
All of her pieces are contemporary and modern and yet none of them are trendy. Instead, they are timeless and elegant and will make any woman feel confident when wearing them.
I personally have no problem with the idea of trends in general, they get people excited about clothing which is great, but I do have a problem when we start becoming slaves to them. We all know that not everything looks good on everyone but somehow a trend will capture our imagination and then we can’t resist buying into them. It parallels the idea of wearing boldly visible labels, many of us think they will elevate our style and instead they cheapen it.
BE STYLISH NOT FASHIONABLE OR TRENDY
Fashion: a popular or the latest style of clothing, hair, decoration, or behaviour.
Style: a distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed.
Trend: a general direction in which something is developing or changing.
The problem with trends is that while some do last, many are fleeting moments in time that are soon forgotten or hidden in the back of our closets. It’s a cycle that, unless you are in the industry, is near impossible to keep up with and you shouldn’t. The goal is to focus on your style rather than that on what’s in or not.
Being fashionable or trendy, but not stylish, will not only look cheap but can also make you look older.
HOW CAN YOU BE STYLISH WHILE LEAVING TRENDS TO THE SIDE?
Focus on your body. Your body type determines what looks good on you and not what some magazine says. Usually that on trend item will also be on a 6 foot model, who is in her early 20s or late teens and is being paid to show off the piece. Wearing clothing that doesn’t fit will only make you look frumpy and older. Stick with what works for you and what makes you happy.
Focus on being confident. The other day I went to meet some friends at a fairly high end restaurant. I wasn’t feeling my very best, so I put on an “easy go” to outfit: my skinny jeans with a pair of fabulous heels and a black tank with some gold detail around the neck. The ensemble showed off what I wanted it to and hid what I was uncomfortable with. As I sat down, my friend exclaimed how much she loved my top. Thank you! It was a whopping $10. There was no way for her to know. I walked in with my head held high, shoulders back and with a huge smile on my face. Confidence is always key.
Focus on the details. You know that saying, “it’s all in the details” well it’s dead on. You can put on the most beautiful dress, but if you aren’t polished (and no, I’m not saying that you have to be made up within an inch of your life) then you just won’t look good. So consider your personal hygiene and make sure that your clothing is clean and pressed, always.
Focus on the classics. If you are constantly chasing trends and buying highly embellished clothing or heavily logo-ed items then you’ll never achieve that chic effortless style. Instead, you’ll always look like you are trying too hard. One or two items that are fun and very fashionable (and inexpensive) will always look great with the classic that are already in your closet.
WHY SHOULD YOU EVEN CARE
Simply, because your clothing is a reflection of you.
First impressions count. For what it’s worth, first impressions really do count. We can sit here and say that we should all be above that and maybe we should, but you see with your eyes first, it’s as simple as that. So rather than trying to change people’s minds as you get to know them, why not make the best impression you can from the start.
Increases your confidence. I speak a lot about confidence and I don’t know about you, but if I feel like crap and am dressed in my baggiest sweats then there is no way I project confidence. There are, however, a few outfits I own that just make me stand a little taller and make me want to smile. They aren’t necessarily expensive or very complicated, but they show off my body the way I want it to be seen and I can project my confidence without even trying.
Note. If you absolutely have to follow trends then focus on colour rather than cut. You can always find a shade that works for you and it’s much easier to buy an inexpensive blue or red or purple tee than it is to find the perfect fitting blazer.
If you need more help finding your style then this is for you: HOW TO FIND YOUR STYLE