It’s a journey that you progress through your entire life. What is stylish on an 10 year old is not stylish on a 20 year old. Your personality develops and changes. You grow, learn and evolve, as should your style too.
There are many, many stylish women in the world. Commonly named style icons include Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Onassis, Jennifer Aniston, Iris Apfel, Jane Birkin and the list goes on and on. These women all have their own interpretation of style. It relates to them, and that’s why they are stylish.
Style is about you, your personality, body, colouring, lifestyle. It’s not a prescription that can be given to you by a stylist. Sure a stylist can help you discover your style, but it should be an inside-out process not an outside-in one. This is why so many ‘makeovers’ don’t work, as they are someone else’s vision expressed on that person, rather than a discovery of who the person is and how that can be reflected authentically through their appearance.
There is no “list” of clothing that will make you stylish.
Style requires you take into consideration:
- Your unique body shape, proportions and variations.
- Your colouring
- Your personality
- Your lifestyle
- Your grooming
- The fit, fabric and construction of your clothing.
Fashion, clothing, accessories, shoes, makeup, hairstyles are the tools to help you have style. You choose the tools that work for you and express who you are. Remember, inside-out.
Developing your style takes time and it’s like a river that changes direction, meanders and moves all the time. It’s not static, and neither should your style be. When we become static we become dated and stuck. A style that may have worked a decade ago may not work today. Just as an 18 year old doesn’t want to wear the clothes of an 8 year old, we need to reassess our style as each year passes to notice what is still working and what should be let go of.
I adore watching women discover their style. I love seeing them discover for themselves what does and doesn’t work. I love noticing how much more confident they become and how they metamorphose as they rediscover who they are, often forgotten as years slip by and they subjugate their style for practicality or parenting, or fitting in a skin that may or may not be relevant now.
A good stylist can help you discover what works (give you advice on your body-shape, proportions and variations, how to flatter your body and colouring, how to camouflage and create distractions with clothing and accessories), they can steer you in directions and expand your fashion horizons, but they can’t do it all for you, as you are the one who makes the decisions each day of what to put on your body. They should ask you lots of questions to understand what it is that you want to achieve, how you want to express yourself, how you want to be perceived and what will work for your lifestyle and the best ways of working with you. My clients are often surprised at just how much work they have to do in a style consultation. They assume I’ll just tell them what to wear. But if I don’t understand who they are, and this requires some though and consideration on their part, I can’t give them advice.
I can teach you how to be a magician with your clothes and accessories, how to focus, how to deflect and how to create illusions. The right colours will take a few years off your complexion. Using some illusion tools can make you look a little taller, shorter, curvier or more slender, whatever it is that you desire. But I can’t turn a middle aged petite woman with voluptuous thighs into a twenty year old supermodel, and nor should you want that. Style is not about being young and tall.
Style is not just for the young and slim, every woman can have style.
Accepting who you are today, the body you have today, the age you are today and what is available in fashion today will help you feel and look more confident and radiant, rather than mourning for a lost youth, body, life or style from another era. Love yourself today. Remember that you should embrace those wrinkles, you’ve earned them. Love your current body, look after it and dress it with kindness, thought and care that reflects who you are today. When you do this, you will have style.
I loved reading this Imogen!
although as you say, Style is a journey and not a destination I feel my journey is taking a lot longer than expected 🙂
There is no time limit on the journey – and in many ways I think it’s something we go on our whole lives as we grow and change from when we are born til we die. Static is not something to strive for!
I really loved the comments and point of view you offered in this article, “What is Style?”, Imogen. I started on the latest part of my style journey a bit longer than a year ago, and without your guidance I would so have missed the many sights and side trips I have taken this past year. I often read women’s comments about how they miss their younger bodies, but through Evolve Your Style and 7 Steps to Style I’ve discovered colors I never thought to wear before that now make my wardrobe – and me – just sing a happy tune. I’ve learned the clothing styles that make the body I inhabit today work beautifully, and I never have a wish for yesterday. And most importantly, I’ve found the happy confidant ME that was buried in yesterday’s closet. It was a journey with self-imposed detours down several side streets, not always an easy one, but overall one filled with joy that has the most beautiful landscape surrounding it – and in the company of many new and lovely friends from around the world.
Thanks Rita for your very thoughtful comments and I love that you appreciate and love the you that you are today! Wishing for the past is never going to change the fact that we are all moving ahead into the future, so your ability to embrace the new you is wonderful and inspiring!
Fashion is what you buy. Style is what you do with it. – my favourite fashion quote 🙂
Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style. Great post. I like the style is a journey not a destination. It is the difference to Fairbanks, which is a destination. LOL.