Recently I came across a particular quote I’ve been turning over in my mind: “Good style is good manners.” At first it pissed me off — sounded elitist + snobby. Good manners is about empathy, compassion and kindness, right? But I couldn’t get the statement out of my mind, and knew the brain gum was rooted in truth.
So after a lot of thought, dissection and time turning the in-your-face-statement over, I bring you the best thought out, researched and tested style tips. If you disagree (especially with no. 3) more power to you.
But after all, good style is good manners, isn’t it?
1. It’s all in the hair and the shoes
The first step is just about narrowing in on shoes and hair. Simply focusing on the top and bottom will always tie the ribbon together on an outfit. Your hair doesn’t have to be fancy, just clean. YOUR HAIR IS FINE and beautiful. A friend of mine who owns a natural beauty line says hair products are their best sellers because women are always unsatisfied and overly judgmental about our hair. Hair holds so much personality, let it sing. Also remember the wise words of Baz Lurhmann: “Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you are 40, it will look 85.” And the shoes. Aah, shoes. Shoes take us places. Invest in shoes you love and repair them. Truly what’s in between doesn’t matter, as long as it corresponds to Rule no. 2, you are good to go!
2. Clean and neat
This gem style mantra I found years ago in the most unlikely of places. Listening to an interview with John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach, about leadership. He always told his team they had to dress ‘neat and clean.’ He was so determined to hold his team to these standards that even if his most valuable player came to practice or showed up before game day ‘untidy’ — uniform out, whatever — he would send them home and they’d sit out the game. Neat and clean.
3. Too tight, not right
Tight expressive cleavage, suction cup spandex pants and the likes is just plain vulgar. Sexy is an aire, not an outfit.
4. Matchy matchy
Shoes that match your skin tone will make your legs appear to longer; the good old trompe d’oiel. Boom.
5. Comfortable is
“Over the years I have learned what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” – Yves Saint Laurent. Enough said; It isn’t about the clothing you wear, it is about how you carry yourself, how you feel about yourself, and how you feel about the world around you. And that is always more important than the outfit itself.
6. Texture it up
It is all in the details. Interesting combinations of textures adds umph to your style. Turn any monotone outfit into something interesting by mixing textures. Denim + lace. Lace + leather. Leather + wool. Go for it and have fun.
7. Your style is the only style
Forget magazines or news articles that tell you what to wear — even these tips are a roadmap for how to bring out your own personal style. The important part is being comfortable in your own skin. Find the liberation in dressing for you without someone else in the back of your head. Fashion allows us to put on our second skin as we feel fit. Honor that by dressing from within.
And, as always, remember to have fun.
Is there a style tip that resonates with you?[up next: absurdly amazing closet cleaning tips]