When celebrities like Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham run out for a few things at the grocery store, they look like they’ve just stepped out of the pages of Vogue magazine. It’s easy to look fabulous all the time when you have personal stylists at your beck and call — not to mention a virtually unlimited budget at your disposal.
For those of us with limited bank accounts, however, looking fashionable can be more of a challenge. Yet fashion experts say that you can look fabulous, regardless of you much you spend. Part of the key to becoming a fashionista is figuring out your personal style — then finding specific wardrobe pieces that highlight it.
So, here are 10 ways to cultivate your own special look. You’ll find out how to buy clothes that accentuate your assets, learn tips for making the most of your existing wardrobe and discover how to look like a million bucks — without spending anywhere near that much.
10: Know Who You Are
How do you like to dress? Are you wild or more conservative? Do you prefer business formal or casual comfort? Is your current wardrobe classically elegant or fashion forward? Consider the persona you want to present to the world.
- Your age. Clothing should always be age-appropriate. If you’ve got grandchildren and you’re dressing like them, there’s a problem. It’s OK to want to look youthful — just make sure your outfits suit your stage of life.
- Your occupation. You wouldn’t wear jeans and a cut-off T-shirt to work at a law firm, and you wouldn’t wear super-high heels and a short skirt to teach kindergarteners. Use your profession as your guide when you shop. Once you’ve got an appropriate ensemble for your job, jazz it up with a few accessories to add your own personal flair.
- Your lifestyle. Stiletto heels are just fine for the city, but they’ll make you stick out like a sore thumb if you live way out in the country. Fashion should combine form and function, and it should fit well with your surroundings.
Remember that you don’t need to buy designer duds to express your personal style. Even jeans and T-shirts can be stylish if you feel comfortable in them and choose the right ones.
9: Look for Inspiration
Find a celebrity or model (or a few) who best captures the style you want to emulate. Flip through the pages of leading fashion and entertainment magazines to find pictures of your style icons. Cut out those pictures and paste them into a binder or hang them up around your room to inspire you. Don’t copycat –just use elements of that celebrity’s look as a springboard to create your own style.
Take your own pictures. Carry along a camera or sketchpad as you window shop.
Inspiration can come from a variety of sources. Don’t just look at what’s hot today. Scour vintage clothing stores and flip through the pages of old magazines and history books so you can see the origins of the latest styles. Look to both modern and classic fashion icons, like Jackie Onassis or Grace Kelly. You might find that your personal style combines elements from both your grandmother’s era and your own.
8: Know What You Want to Accomplish
Do you want to get a new, high-powered job? Are you trying to meet the guy of your dreams?
Take out a notebook or journal and write down your goals — in life and in fashion. Then start to think about which design elements and accessories can help you accomplish those goals. If you want to get a better job, think about adding a few pieces to your suit collection. If you’re headed back to school, you’ll want to trade in a few of the suits you already have for some casual knits and jeans.
Once you have your list in hand, take it with you when you shop. It can also help to bring along some pictures or descriptions of what you already have in your closet. Ask the salesperson to help you pick out pieces that will enhance your current wardrobe and help you accomplish your goals.
7: Accentuate Your Assets
What are the best parts of your body? Focus on the areas that you like best; choose clothing and accessories to highlight them.
For example, if you have gorgeous blue eyes, show them off with eye shadow and liner colors that really make them pop. Endless legs deserve to be seen in short shorts and mini-skirts.
Know your measurements so you can find clothing that fits well. Write down your measurements and bring them with you when you shop.
Try to dress to your body shape. For example:
- Most women’s bodies are pear-shaped, which means they have a narrow waist and wider hips. If you’re pear-shaped, buy clothing that draws attention to your slim upper body. Brightly colored shirts, scarves and modern-looking shoulder pads should work well. Wear tailored pants and skirts, as well as hip-length long jackets. Avoid pleats and stripes, which will further accentuate broader areas.
- If you’re rounder and more apple-shaped all around, you’ll want to draw attention away from your waist. Go for flat-fronted skirts, empire-waisted dresses and tailored, wide-legged pants.
- Don’t accentuate a flat chest with a deep v-neck. Instead, choose rounded-neck tops, and add a layered necklace to add dimension.
- If you’re busty, accentuate your curves by wearing a scooped neckline that hugs your chest appropriately.
- If you’re extra curvy, you don’t have to wear baggy, saggy clothes. You can still find fashionable, tailored clothes that comfortably compliment your body. Shop in stores that can accommodate your shape and buy clothes that fit well.
6: Take a Style Lesson
Don’t know your Armani from your Kmart casuals? Do you have to twist around and check the label to know what you’re wearing? Time to brush up — fashion illiteracy can stop your personal style quest dead in its tracks.
You don’t need a degree in fashion to understand clothing. You just need to be more aware when you shop. Look at different fabrics. See how polyester feels compared to silk. Learn the difference between plaids and houndstooth prints. Figure out how to see differences in an outfit’s stitching and cut.
Look for a variety of fabrics when you shop. Choose some cotton pieces for everyday, silk ones for dressing up, wool for the winter and linen for spring and summer. Learn how to care for your fabrics too: Cotton/polyester blends are great for everyday because they barely wrinkle, but you’ll need to keep your linens carefully pressed if you don’t want to walk around looking rumpled. Silks are more delicate, so be extra careful about spills.
Know which fabrics and textures are most flattering. Shiny, bulky, or stiff textures can make you appear bigger than you really are. Smooth, matte surfaces, like cashmere and jersey, can really slim you down.
As a student of fashion, your “textbooks” should be the big magazines, like Vogue, Marie Claire and Elle. Study the ads and articles, including the picture captions, to see what fabrics and colors are “in” this season. Look to the masters — Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and the like — to see what elements they use in their designs. Use those designs as inspiration to create your own fashionable looks more affordably.
5: Assess Your Current Wardrobe
Get to know the contents of your closet. Looking through your wardrobe will help you identify your current style — what you like about it and what you wish you could change.
A walk through your closet will help you get a sense of what you feel most comfortable wearing — short skirts or long flowing dresses, business suits or track suits. Look at your clothing styles and colors, as well as your shoe and accessory collections.
Also use this opportunity to do some spring cleaning. Pull out each piece in your wardrobe and ask yourself:
- Is it worn out, ripped or stained?
- Is it more than three years old?
- Is it out of style?
- Does it fit?
- Does it match anything else in your wardrobe?
- Has it been hanging in your closet unworn for more than a season?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, put that item into a bag. When the bag is full, give it to charity and take the tax write-off, or sell it at a consignment store and make some extra cash that you can use to fill your wardrobe gaps.
4: Make a Few Changes
You don’t need to reinvent your entire wardrobe. That would cost a fortune. Instead, update it. Start by introducing a few up-to-date pieces that reflect your style — some earrings, a new pair of shoes or a scarf.
Don’t be afraid to experiment a little, but take baby steps. If you’ve been very conservative your whole life, buy one “out there” piece. Shop in places you wouldn’t normally go, like an antique clothing store or (if you can afford it) a high-end designer boutique. You might find that you like taking a few risks with your wardrobe.
To save money, try updating what you already have. Do you have an old pair of jeans that’s starting to look ratty? Crop or roll them up into Capri pants or shorts. Have a pair of pants that no longer fits? Have them tailored to look like new. Re-invent an old boring dress with a new belt.
Although change is good, it’s also important to maintain a core wardrobe composed of a few well-designed and constructed pieces. Keep some classic staples in your closet that you can mix and match to give you more bang for your fashion buck. Head to the next page for some pointers.
3: Stock Up on Wardrobe Essentials
Now matter what your personal style, every spectacular wardrobe has to start with a few basic pieces. You can incorporate these classics into a variety of looks.
Here are the must-haves for every wardrobe:
Black pants. The quickest way to dress up any shirt is to put on a pair of black pants. Pick a versatile fabric that will take you through the seasons.
Black tank top. Wear it solo during the day, or throw a blazer over it to dress it up for nighttime.
Black turtleneck. Unless you live in Miami, you need this winter wardrobe staple in your closet. Just like the tank top, it can stand on its own or be used for layering.
White blouse. A plain white blouse never gets old, and you’ll never run out of ways to incorporate it into your wardrobe.
Jeans. Have a couple pairs of everyday blue jeans and a pair of black jeans for going out. Just make sure they fit you well, and don’t forget your skinny jeans — they’re real lifesavers on those “I feel fat” days.
Little black dress. This isn’t a cliché. Every woman looks great in her little black dress. It’s slimming, sexy and versatile.
Pencil skirt. Perfect for interviews or elegant dinners, this classic piece looks best hovering about two inches above the knee.
Trench coat. It looks stylish, and it will keep you dry and warm when the seasons change.
Cardigan sweater. Throw this over a tank top to transition an outfit from fall to winter.
Black high heels. Nothing shows off a great pair of legs better than a set of high heels. Black is the most versatile color. When you’re looking at heel height, go for both design and function. You can’t look good if you’re stumbling.
Once you have these essentials hanging in your closet, you can keep them updated with trendy jewelry, belts and shoes.
2: Stay in Your Comfort Zone
Don’t suffer in stiletto heels when you’d rather wear flats. And don’t suck in your stomach to squeeze into a skin-tight pair of designer jeans. Wear what makes you comfortable.
If you’re not sure what makes you comfortable, look to your closet for inspiration. Sift through your clothes and pull out your favorites. Ask yourself why you love them. Do the fabrics feel good on your skin? Do you like the way the clothes make you look? Do you get a lot of compliments when you wear them? Use those favorite pieces as a springboard when you shop for new looks.
Speaking of shopping, don’t just rush in and out of stores — take time when you’re trying on clothes. Consider the ease of putting on the article of clothing, how good you look in it, and how well it fits in with your current wardrobe and needs.
1: Trust Your Instincts
No matter what the hottest designers, celebrities and stylists are saying on the pages of the fashion magazines, ultimately the only person you have to please is yourself. Buying an article of clothing that you hate just because it’s trendy is never a good idea. It’s going to hang idly in your closet until you finally decide to throw it out or give it away.
Similarly, don’t give in to pushy salespeople who are trying to convince you that they know what looks best on you. If don’t like what you see in the dressing room mirror, you won’t like that outfit any better once you get it home. Thank the salesperson for his or her time, and make your exit.
At the same time, if your instincts are telling you to put on the same ratty sweat suit you’ve been wearing for ten years, that’s the time to ignore them. Turn to the people you trust to help you weed out items in your wardrobe that didn’t showcase your best judgment.
For more fashion tips, take a look at the links on the next page.
Written By: Stephanie Watson Publish Site: tlc.howstuffworks.com/style/10-ways-to-develop-personal-style.htm
The right earrings can create the perfect finishing touches to your hair. The wrong earrings, on the other hand, can either get lost in the depths of your tresses or stand out so much that they are the only thing people notice about your outfit.
There are a few simple guidelines you can follow to create the perfect balance between hairdo and earrings. This will help your favourite jewelry to give the maximum impact and ensure that your earrings enhance your look without distracting from it, making the most of your best features.
There are two ways to decide which earrings to wear. If you have a particular pair that you want to show off, choose the right hairstyle to go with your earrings. Alternatively, if you have decided that you want to wear your hair in a certain style, you need to select the appropriate earrings to show off your locks at their best.
Earrings for short hair and up-do’s
The great thing about short hair and up-do’s is that when it comes to earrings anything goes, to a certain extent. You can wear small studs or massive drop earrings if you want. However, it can be helpful to bear your face shape in mind if you want to create a look that’s balanced and makes the most of your assets.
When you have short hair your facial features become much more prominent, so you’ll want to choose earrings that complement your best features rather than drawing attention to your imperfections.
As a general rule of thumb, if you’ve got a long or oblong face, a pair of long earrings will accentuate this when your hair is worn up. Similarly, women with round faces will make their faces seem even rounder when they choose a large pair of hoops. This is generally true when you are wearing your hair up. However, women with short hair will find that this visual trick is even more noticeable.
Earrings for long and shoulder length hair
If you are wearing your long hair down, you will find that small earrings such as studs can get lost in your hair. A good way to make sure that your earrings get noticed is to go for a pair of long drop style earrings, even if your face is long. They will provide tantalizing flashes through your flowing hair and will add a hint of texture and sparkle to your finished look.
If you have shoulder length hair, you can really play around with your look to get the right balance of earrings, necklace and hairstyle. Chunky necklaces look great with shoulder length hair, but you’ll want to keep it balanced with a smaller pair of earrings if you opt for a statement necklace.
The colour of your jewelry can really enhance your best features, so you need to make sure you’ve got it right. Jewelry should complement the colour of your outfit first and foremost, but if you’re wearing something like a little black dress, you’ll want to choose jewelry to complement your hair and skin tone instead.
Blondes tend to suit really bright colours such as sapphire blues and lighter coloured silver whereas darker hair can look great with gold jewelry and the deeper coloured stones. Redheads and jade or emerald green are a match made in heaven; there is nothing quite like it for showing off those auburn locks.
Written By: Dangerous Lee Publish Date: Publish Site: dangerouslee.biz/2012/06/08/the-best-earrings-to-compliment-your-hairstyle/
Getting the Right Fit
The sunglass size should be in proportion with the face size. This means that smaller sunglasses are best for smaller faces; larger sunglasses for larger faces.
The frame shape should contrast with, that is, be the opposite of, the shape of the face.
These tips must not be taken as rules but they can help you to choose your right frame.
Almost any style works for oval face. Experiment with the latest looks, such as wraparounds or shields. Square shaped frames with gently rounded edges
Frame suggestions : Any frame shape
Frames should make the face appear longer and thinner. In general, look for frames equal to or slightly wider than the broadest part of the face. Minimize the curves and add definition with soft, angular, rectangular styles or double brow styles. Higher temples will create a longer profile. Sunglasses with brow bars also pull the eye upward, making the face appear longer.
Frame suggestions : Wider frames with angular / rectangular styles
This face shape has wide or high cheekbones with a narrow forehead and chin. Oval sunglasses will soften the contour of the face, although softly curved square frames will work as well. Make sure the styles are no wider than the top of the cheekbones.
Frame suggestions : Oval, Square
This face shape consists of a strong jawline, a broad forehead and wide cheekbones. Reduce the angles with soft, curvy styles that will give the face some definition such as cat-eye styles. The classic ovals also works well for this face shape.
Frame suggestions : Oval or Round, Oval, Cat Eyes
Widen and shorten the face with sunglass styles that do not extend beyond the widest part of the face. Round or square shapes will look great on this face. Frames with short horizontal and long vertical lines also work. Decorative or contrasting temples add width to the face.
Frame suggestions : Round, Square
This face has a narrow jaw and a wide forehead. Soften the lower portion of the face by accenting the eye area. Styles such as cat-eyes should angle outward at the top corner and be wide enough to balance the jawline. You can also try metal frames with rimless bottom.
Frame suggestions : Frames with a traight top line, Cat-eyes
Try lightweight frames or those with a touch of colour such as rose or amber. Tortoiseshell frames suit fair complexions (avoid darker versions) but clear, blue or green tinged frames tend to drain colour from cheeks.
Olive, Mediterranean, Golden or Asian skin and dark hair can look stunning in silver, gold or clear frames – but avoid black which can be too heavy.
All metallic frames suit black skins and amber often works well – be very careful with black frames, which can look spectacular or awful!
Soft & curly
Enhanced by delicate shapes, rimless frames and translucent colours.
Choose a frame that follows your hairline. Classic small frames are advisable.
Geometric frames, or rounder frames look best.
Bold colours and designs, as well as decorative styles.
Try the frames with both your hair up and down, as the change in style may alter the look of the frames.
Publish Site: www.unitedshades.com/en/choosing.htm
What Mothers Want
Your mom gave you the world growing up — and while you may not be able to repay her gift in kind, you can make her day with something more tactile.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Think of it as payback for all those nights she stayed up taking care of you. Homemade teas in lemon, lavender, peppermint, and chamomile will help her relax, while a dreamy sleep mask ensures that night ends when she says it does.
A Movie Night with Mom
Cuddle up with a classic film (we like anything starring Audrey Hepburn) or cheesy mother-daughter flick (“Mamma Mia!,” anyone?). Give a cozy night in theatrical cache with custom popcorn and a movie card to act as an adorable save-the-date.
Breakfast in Bed
A classic Mother’s Day move — but for good reason. Tissue-paper posies and hand-painted china will add festive flair to eggs Benedict and fresh-squeezed OJ. See more Mother’s Day brunch ideas here.
A Spa Day
Sure, Mom would love a fancy weekend retreat, but we bet she’ll be just as touched by a basket of DIY home-spa goodies. Body scrub will leave her skin feeling soft and smelling sweet, while heart-shaped soaps help drive the “I love you” message home.
A Mini Home Makeover
An extreme home makeover might be out of the question, so how about a face-lift instead? Pressed-pansy coasters will ensure that her table is fit for entertaining, while teacup lights lend a lovely, ethereal glow.
A Fresh Load of Laundry
She certainly did enough of yours over the years! Give her the next-best thing (plus a load or two, distance allowing) with sachets that will keep her drawers smelling as though they’re straight from the dryer.
Memories as Good as Yours
Say it with pictures: Supplement your card with a Mother’s Day scrapbox or journal filled with meaningful photos and trinkets.