Fashion rules in general can be very helpful in many ways, but also very confining and restrictive depending on how you choose to incorporate style into your life.
If you are someone who simply wears clothes for functional purposes, these rules are nice because they provide structure which eliminates thought. But if you’re someone who chooses to communicate with your clothing choices or someone who tends to allow how you appear to serve as a reflection of who you are, then you will most likely want to tweak these rules to best fit your lifestyle and personality.
A while ago I came across the idea of style commandments. After a certain amount of time shopping for your body type, getting comfortable with who you are and what life you want to live, you begin to hone in on what works and what doesn’t work for you when it comes to fashion.
So today, why not take 30 minutes or so and discern what fashion choices benefit you and which make you cringe. Eliminate the latter and dive deeper into the former investigating exactly what it is that made you feel your best.
Here are my 10 Style Commandments:
1. Dress to Flatter Your Figure & Your Personality
Dress the body you have now – not the body you had in high school and not the body that you wish you had. When you heed this advice, you will like how you appear in photographs much better and you will feel better in the clothes you choose which ultimately cause your confidence to rise and your days more fulfilling as you are focusing on what you are doing and not how you look (because you know you look great).
Accentuate the aspects of your figure that are fabulous (and yes, we all have fabulousness to flatter). Slim waist – cinch it with belts, beautiful décolletage – pay attention to your necklines and wear beautiful earrings and/or necklaces. Also, know your colors. What undertone does your skin have? (click here to find out) With this valuable information, you will know what colors look better on you when it comes to clothing, hair color and make-up.
2. Strive for Balance
As it is important in life, it is also something to always have in mind when pulling together an outfit. Balance should be paid attention to with regards to textures of fabrics (silk, wool, cotton, linen, etc), styles of clothing (masculine vs. feminine), proportions (remember never to cut yourself in half, but divide the body into thirds), slim-fitting vs. blousing and loose and revealing just enough, but not too much.
3. Quality Foundational Pieces
The basic items that create the foundation of your wardrobe should be as high quality as you can afford. Such as coats, handbags, sweaters, jeans, suits, dresses – items that will be expected to last. When you tend to purchase quality, you will find you need to go shopping less because the items you have last.
4. Keep it Simple
As many of you know, Jennifer L. Scott’s new book (which is being re-released in November) Lessons from Madame Chic has convinced me to down-size my closet for the peace of mind, the relief to my budget and to help create an even simpler way of living well. Scott suggests creating and adhering to a 10 item Capsule Wardrobe – one for each season (fall/winter and spring/summer), so I’d like to show you what mine now looks like (it’s not quite down to 10 yet, but it’s much closer).
~Remember, the capsule wardrobe does not include coats, dresses for special occasions, lingerie, accessories, shoes, blazers, and camisoles~
pencil skirts (beige, navy, gray)
white cropped jeans
navy cropped trousers
ivory lightweight cashmere sweater
silk blouses (striped/prints, solid)
shorts (cotton & linen)
jeans (boyfriend or cropped)
summer dresses (3)
wool and lined cotton pencil skirts (black, camel, grey, navy)
cashmere sweaters (navy, ivory, color)
silk blouses (long sleeve & capped)
straight leg jeans (dark denim)
black skinny jeans
DVF wrap dresses (3)
shift dresses (black, navy, gray)
As you can see, it’s simple – it includes items that will last – paying no mind to trends, and it’s very easy to mix and match, as it is the addition of the accessories you choose that can help change an entire outfit.
5. Only Shop Sales for What You Need
This time of year is ripe for sample sales and end of season sales, but the key is to keep in mind that just because they’re a sale, doesn’t mean you are saving money if you didn’t need the item in the first place.
What works for me is to always have a running list of what I need, and then I am always on the look out. By choosing to stick to a closet of fewer clothes, you will find you have more money to purchase high quality items when you find exactly what you want – sale or no sale.
For the past few years I have been shopping at consignment shops much more than any boutique or department store. Why?
- Most consignment shops rotate their clothing by season and trend, so you will be shown items that can work in your wardrobe for that particular season.
- Designer clothing at a fraction of the price. Here is my story that taught me a HUGE lesson on knowing when to buy something and when to let it go. I came across a Dolce & Gabbana black blazer (leopard lining – yes, you know the one I’m talking about). Marked at $250, I hemmed and hawed, slept on it for a night, and then decided I just couldn’t afford it, but knew I needed a black blazer. Then I got online to discover that the jacket at full retail price was close to $900. I quickly called up the store, but it (understandably so) had already found a new home. Lesson learned!
- You can often bring your own clothing in if it is in good condition and in season to help pay for your future purchases.
- A fashion treasure hunt. So always take your clothing list with you, so to not spend unnecessarily.
8. Stand up Straight
As a child, my father was always reminding me to stand up straight. Being a girl who was always taller than her peers and especially the boys going through elementary and junior high school, it was tempting to slouch, but at the same time why? Now, I always cringe when I see young girls who are hunching over due to their height, and I want to run up to them and say, you are beautiful! Stand proud!
Needless to say, your posture states a lot about your self-confidence and immediately makes the clothes you are wearing appear much more chic.
9. Navy – an often forgotten dependable classic
I am obsessed with this color. Whether it is a cashmere sweater, included in my favorite go-to nautical top or found in a dress or a skirt, I want to have it in my closet. It is such a flattering color on so many different types of skin tones and body types. And it is a choice to keep in mind all year round, a must-have in my wardrobe.
10. Heels & Flats – interchange accordingly
Ballet flats can be just as chic as a pair of luxuriously high Jimmy Choos when worn with the proper length of pant or skirt. But remember, there is something quite uplifting about heels as well. Wearing jeans with heels is one of my favorite ways to dress casually, but still remain stylish, but at the same time a nude patent leather flat is always a safe bet.