How to be effortlessly chic

17 Jun

1. Take care of yourself. If you bother to take the time to have a shower (this one should go without saying), do your nails and hair, it will show. As an added bonus, you’ll feel good about yourself, and that translates into confidence (see #5).

2. Find a style inspiration. This could range from someone really iconic (think: Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, Jackie O), someone with a particularly quirky sense of style that appeals to you (Gwen Stafani, Lady Gaga, Rihanna), or maybe you could use one of the many fashion blogs out there for inspiration (or motivation, as the case may be!) Some of my favorite fashionistas on the web are Lida from Fashionistatalk, Chiara from The Blonde Salad and Kelly from The Glamourai. Once you’ve found someone whose sense of style appeals to you, try to figure out what it is you like about it. Then, without replicating the entire outfit (or wardrobe!) try to find pieces in your closet that evoke that style, adding your own personal twist.

3. Invest in a few high-quality basics. (See my post on Basics every Woman needs to have in her wardrobe). This means no poly-fester, ladies! Once you do this, you’ll see why these kinds of garments tend to have the most mileage, since they never go out of style.

4. Find a friend who is brutally honest. Then try on some of the pieces in your closet that you know you shouldn’t be wearing (hint: if it’s made of terrycloth and you’re still wearing it out of the house, it has to go). Ask your friend (in advance) to help you throw out anything that isn’t:

  • age appropriate
  • figure-flattering
  • appropriate to your lifestyle (P.S. college tees and hoodies are only allowed at the gym)

Give these items to charity (better still, ask your friend to take them for you, in case you change your mind!) If you really must keep something, promise yourself you won’t wear it out of the house. You can always frame an old t-shirt that you really love, (see this frame made specifically for the purpose) or make a cushion cover out of it.

5. Make peace with your body. You’re born with the body/face/hair/etc. that you have, and short of crazy, expensive plastic surgery procedures, you can’t change very much about it. So declare a cease-fire, and start to love your body. You don’t have mile-long legs? No worries. You might have a killer smile, or a great sense of humor, or perfect-straight-out-of-the-shower-hair. Learn to love yourself, and you will exude confidence and self-assurance, which is the foremost step in looking effortlessly chic.

6. Dress for the body you have, not for the body you want. While there’s many a time that you’ll found adorable things in a size that you could fit into “if-you-went-to-the gym-everyday-for-a-month” – resist the temptation. If you dress for the body you have RIGHT NOW, you’ll look a lot more comfortable in your skin, and you won’t waste your money on something that may very well sit at the back of your closet for the next three years, silently mocking you.

7. Find a great hairstylist and never cheat. Find someone who knows what to do with YOUR hair, and stick with them. A good hairstylist may not come cheap, but a good haircut is the foundation for looking good. You need to find someone who can show you what to do with your hair with minimal upkeep. Another, cheaper option is to find a good salon that does student haircuts (and I mean haircuts BY, not necessarily FOR students). Toni and Guy in Paddington, Sydney, do a $25 haircut that is supervised by an Art Director. If you can’t afford the $$$, that might be the way to go. When going to the hairdresser’s, take along clippings of haircuts you like, and ask the stylist if any of them would work for your hair type/budget/lifestyle.

8. Don’t be afraid of fashion, but know what trends to avoid. There’s nothing wrong with being fashion forward, but beware of becoming a fashion victim. If you buy too many “trendy” clothes every season, chances are, you’ll be standing in front of your closet whining, “I have nothing to wear!” and it’ll probably be true. Some items are fashionable but will never go out of fashion: those should be what you gravitate towards.

9. This one’s easy: Play up your strengths, play down your weaknesses. If you have a tiny waist, wear a belt to accentuate it. If you have gorgeous legs, wear skirts rather than pants. If you have beautiful hair, don’t always tie it back in a ponytail. If you don’t know what your strengths and weaknesses are, ask your best friend or significant other.

10. You don’t have to be a millionaire to look like a million bucks. While a few quality classics are key to a chic wardrobe, you don’t have to spend your entire paycheck on it. Ebay is your friend, as are vintage shops and flea markets. Just don’t forget #9, and resist buying something just because it’s cheap.

Stay tuned on how to dress for your body shape!


Dr. Chiclove

PS. Please tell me in the comments section what other topics you’d be interested in!


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