It’s a lie that to be stylish you have to be born with an innate talent for it. Sure some people are naturally more stylish, but I know plenty of people who have learned how to become more stylish using much of the information I share on this blog.
Do you feel that you should just be able to “get dressed” and you’ll look stylish but it’s not happening for you?
Do you want to become more stylish?
Learning to become stylish is a skill
Style is both a science and an art. Fortunately, both aspects can be learned.
You can learn the science. There is an underlying base of rules from which to work from. Learn what works for you regarding colours, contrast and elements of dress and then you can start to build on this knowledge by using the information daily in a practical manner.
You can learn the art. There are still rules in art, principles of co-ordination (volume, refinement, related shapes and lines), colour mixing and choices. Again, you can practise putting together outfits that use these pieces of knowledge.
What won’t make you stylish? Wearing the latest fashion will not necessarily make you stylish. Dressing with an attitude that says “I don’t care about style or fashion” and lack of care will also not make you stylish.
Some women are lucky to have had women in their lives who had style and were taught from a young age how to put together outfits that are stylish. But many of us don’t experience this growing up, yet we can still learn to have more style.
Remember, personality is so important as when we dress to express our inner core, it makes us feel more confident and therefore we always look more stylish when we exude confidence.
Technical perfection is not important. Do not get stuck on trying to make every outfit ‘perfect’ for you. Learning the ‘guidelines’ of colour and style that work for you is important, but then it’s important to ensure that your personality is always included in the outfit.
Like any skill, we learned to walk as babies, then run, then jump, hurdle and even dance if we keep working on our physical abilities. Now, what is so different about learning to become more stylish?
The whole topic of style and putting it together is a skill that encompasses knowledge about colours, contrast, shapes and styles, the influence of body shape, proportions, scale, texture and sheen (just to name a few elements of style). And then think about adding accessories, how do you choose which ones with which outfit? I could go on and on. This is where the knowledge you gain here (and in more detail specifically for you in my 7 Steps to Style program) come in.
You find out your guidelines, then work with them, but also play within and just outside their parameters. Like art, we don’t have to always colour within the lines.
Trying things out is important – I always figure – what’s the worst thing that will happen if my outfit isn’t ideal? Will the sky fall in? Nope. Will I be laughed out of town? (I doubt it, in fact, likely nobody much will notice). What will happen is that I’ll learn something about my style, what does and doesn’t work and why, so that I can make better or different choices next time I get dressed (that’ll be tomorrow).
Learning the Guidelines Example – Mixing Patterns
How did I know to mix these two patterns and it would work? Mixing patterns is a more advanced skill in the style game and there are a few rules. Let’s break it down:
- One pattern is larger in scale the other is smaller (don’t mix two patterns that are the same size and scale)
- Both patterns have a geometric feel and play well together (principle of coordination – related shapes)
- The colours are similar in both patterns and harmonise beautifully
- A similar level of refinement of fabrics, they are both in the Smart Casual (Level 2) of refinement (another principle of coordination).
These four elements are the reason why these two patterns mix well. I’ve learned to do this over time, it certainly wasn’t the first thing I learned when I started my journey into learning about colour and style!
Exercise to Improve Your Style Muscles
Learn about your style by shopping, without buying. Try on lots of things, just to see how it works. Try the shapes you’ve never worn before. Analyse why it does or doesn’t look good on you. Is it the fabric, the style, the colour, the contrast, the feel, the scale, the texture (and on and on I go)…
This will help you put your style guidelines into practice and learn why they are advised for you.
Style recipes change over life, colour and bodies also change too. You are not a static being so style is something that you continue to develop your whole lifetime.
The Book Jill Mentions
and you can also get it here from The Book Depository
Learn More About the Art and Science of Style