Do you have to be fashionable to be stylish?
I think you probably already know the answer to this question, and that answer is “no”, however there is a caveat to that, but we’ll get to that later!!
The fashion world is a constant merry-go-round – the biannual fashion weeks (not to mention the cruise / resort shows in between), the monthly glossy magazines and the daily trends featuring on your Instagram feed.
It’s easy to feel as if you are always “behind” and outdated – as if your wardrobe is forever missing those items that will make you look cutting-edge and, well, fashionable.
The rise of fast fashion (especially one store in particular – you know where I mean…) has resulted in instant access to all of these new trends – which in turn means that we’re constantly shopping and having overflowing wardrobes, but because styles are “in” one minute and “out” the next, we still regularly have those “I have nothing to wear” moments.
So what’s the solution?
Yves Saint Laurent said, “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” and I think that the answer lies there – step away from fashion and step into style.
When you think of “style”, your mind tends to go to a woman (Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe), rather than a particular dress or pair of trousers. To quote again, this time from Coco Chanel, “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; impeccably and they remember the woman”. When it comes to fashion and style only a fool would argue with the Grand Dame herself, therefore it seems as if true style is so much more than the latest hem length or a particular shade of blue.
And yet… Hem lines do go up and down, silhouettes change, colour palettes evolve - and not observing these little fashion details can make even the most innately stylish of women seem outmoded.
The key is it to develop your own signature style and add and subtract current fashions as you like, as what works for your colouring and body shape, and as what works with the clothes you already have.
(If you need a little help figuring out your body shape, take a look at my free Body Shape Guide – no measuring necessary!!)
Fashion is a little like chocolate – get the cheap sugary stuff and you need more and more to satisfy your cravings, but buy more expensive good quality chocolate and just a few squares are enough.
Instead of spending a couple of hundred pounds on the high street buying 10 different styles of tops, dresses and jeans, all of which you’ll only wear once or twice, if you spent the same amount on just two or three items that you really love and wore constantly for 6 or 12 months, your wardrobe, bank balance and the environment would thank you!
For example, this grey blouse with pleated back detail by SILVIAN HEACH could be worn with a pencil skirt to work (add a pair of killer heels; a pair of dark blue skinny jeans for a shopping and coffee date with your mum (add a statement necklace); or a pair of leather trousersfor a night out with the girls (add a fabulous bag, like this leather with croc effect tassel clutch / shoulder bag by NU DENMARK).
If you invest in classic pieces like these, you’ll never be short of something to wear and you’ll always look fabulous. After all, who wants to be the most fashionable woman in the room when you can be the most stylish?