I am sure every girl has her own style rules she lives by. I have my list, too, because I like making lists for everything, being in control of my life and breaking every rule from time to time whenever I experience a desperate need for a stylish and emotional escape beyond any common sensed boundary.
1. Never ever copy anyone. A beautiful outfit is always resulted from mindful thinking involving a person, situation and million other things and since we are all different, the only person who would pull off the outfit is the one who created it. Use your imagination, knowledge and life experience instead. It’s perfectly natural to be inspired by magazines and some stylish people out there – just don’t copy them… Instead, create a fantasy of your own. It’s also more fun this way.
2. Experiment with styles in your twenties. Make exciting discoveries, learn from your mistakes and have fun, so by the time you turn 30 you know exactly who you are and what works best for you.
2. Always sort our your basic wardrobe first. Unless you have a few pieces that would carry you through every single situation, there’s no point to go and spend all your cash on an evening gown just because it’s so pretty and sparkly and your inner Princess desires it badly. Tough, you must say to her.
3. Make sure you buy clothes that fit and alter those that don’t. Perfect fit is everything because it shows off your best assets and makes you feel comfortable. Fitted clothes also look more chic and expensive.
4. Know what shapes suit you. Every woman is totally different and every one of us comes with curves from miniature forms to total glamour as was intended by nature and so do the clothes, as intended by styles and demands.
5. Learn what colours make you look your best. There’s absolutely no point to wear a little black dress if black washes you out. Break the rule, wear blue and you may just create a new trend.
6. Every time you shop make sure that the new item completes the ones you already have and help you create several different looks. This is especially important if you are on a budget because an alienated piece of clothing will most likely require an alienated (and new) pair of shoes and a bag and… and… and…
7. Remember the cost per wear rule because sometimes it’s more cost effective to invest in a beautiful (slightly over budget) coat that you will be wearing more or less every day for several seasons, then a fancy frilly trench for a special event only. Often more expensive clothes are likely to be better quality (stitching, polyester free lining, natural fabrics) and last for a while whereas a less expensive something will look alright until the first wash – then you will be forced to go and purchase something else.
8. Be open-minded. Treasures and surprises can be found in every single shop, especially these days when high street is getting better and better. Plus there are always sales including designer ones.
9. Mix designer items with high street basics to create a unique high-end looking outfit.
10. If you can’t pay cash for something you want to buy, then there’s no point in buying it. I am a strong believer that credit cards are created to be used only for on-line shopping and paid off at the end of each month.
11. Just as the clothes, your footwear should suit your life style. Personally, I first got my classic pumps in tan colour (I have weirdly small feet (thanks to my mum and genetics) and don’t have the longest of legs, so tans and nudes help me lengthen my pins unlike blacks that cut off the vitally essential inches), followed by platform sandals, wedges and ballerinas for warmer weather and ankle and long boots for colder seasons, plus a pair of trainers (strictly for exercising), tennis shoes and combat boots for comfortable and enjoyable walks with my boy. The rest followed to indulge my inner stylista who loves her high heels, flowers and bows.
12. Only buy things that you love. You will always feel it somewhere in your stomach and head – that fuzzy happy feeling… When it comes to building your perfect wardrobe, “like” isn’t going to cut it.
Perfect style is always the result of a beautiful love affair between fashion and mind. At least that's how I feel about it.
Photo source: Natalia Vodianova in Vogue US February 2008 (photography: Craig McDean, styling: Grace Coddington)