Effortlessly chic vs. looking cool
There is a distinct difference between looking effortlessly chic and looking cool. The latter is about getting the je ne sais quoi? right, i.e. the one odd, weird out of context, but hard to define touch.
Effortlessly stylish is a contradiction in terms. You can’t look stylish without putting in the effort to look chic or stylish. If you don’t put in the effort, you will look like exactly that “effortless”, i.e. plain English like not trying at all. Thus, is looking effortlessly chic or stylish a bad thing? No, not at all. On the contrary, the term “effortlessly chic” or “effortlessly stylish” means that you try hard, but your look doesn’t look like being forced or like you tried too hard.
It’s all about dress your best
There is no need to worry about whether you want to look effortlessly chic/stylish or whether you want to look cool. Why? Because both have many things in common. In the end, it all nails down to dressing your best. Here are 41 of my secrets to dress for the best that I want to share with you.
- Have an inspiration board. This “board” can be an actual board in your closet or a folder on your digital device. Add things you like and visit the board for inspiration. Analyze what the non-outfit items tell you about your style preferences.
- Create a look book to have outfits ready that work when you are in a hurry in the morning.
- Dress for the life you live, not the life you dream of. #dress4success #stylesecrets Click To Tweet
- Layer strategically, e.g., a coat over a belted scarf, a oversize scarf belted over a coat.
- Add at least one unexpected or surprising accessory, e.g., killer heels, cool watch, bold bag.
- Buy only clothes that you can't wait to wear. #dress4success #styletip Click To Tweet
- Never buy an item just because it is a high-end brand and on sale. If it is not your style or doesn’t fit it will just take up real estate in your closet.
- Always buy for the body you have, not the body you want to have in half a year from now after loosing weight.
- Before you buy an item, think of at least three outfits that you can create with the potential item with what you have already in your closet.
- Know what works for you and stick to it. Click To Tweet
- Know which colors flatter you.
- Don’t wear a color just because it is the Pantone color of the year.
- Focus every outfit around one key item.
- Don’t wear too many trends at once.
- Be selective on which trends you adopt in a season. Ask yourself whether the trend will look plain ridiculous in a decade from now. If you would be embarrassed, skip the trend.
- Aim for a natural look.
- Pay attention to grooming: Nails, hair, roots, facial hair, armpits, legs, eyebrows, skin, makeup.
- Be unpredictable, i.e. never wear the same outfit twice.
- Go for functional cuts and designs that don’t add awkward bumps and bulks.
- Wear skirts slightly above the knee when you have great legs, around the knees otherwise.
- Know where your hems should end, i.e. no cap sleeves for heavy arms, no midi skirt hem or boots ending at the widest part of your calves.
- Invest in cashmere turtlenecks, shirt dresses, trench coats, car or pea coats.
- Have a crisp tailored white button-down shirt.
- Finish every outfit with a great pair of shoes. #secretsofstyle Click To Tweet
- Make sure your shoes are polished and have intact heels.
- Think of your outerwear as an outfit as well and style it.
- Go for fit, not for the smaller size tag.
- Have a great tailor on speed dial.
- Be befriended with a sales person to know when new merchandise comes in that you may like.
- Avoid over-bling with jewelry. There is no need to compete with the Christmas tree.
- Take a look at my style recipe book for inspiration.
- Mix silver and gold in one outfit.
- Mix expansive with cheap items. #stylesecrets Click To Tweet
- Never wear one designer head-to-toe.
- Wear black with brown, navy with black, so chic.
- Add a pop of color to an all neutral outfit with a silk scarf, statement necklace, large watch, statement belt or the shoes.
- Stay away from neon colors.
- Don’t be a copy cat. It is great practice to adopt outfit and styling ideas, but wear it your way, not one to one. Every copy machine can do that better. An outfit that looks great on your friend may be so wrong for you for various reasons: It is not so you, you have a different body shape, skin undertone, lifestyle, character, etc. Only adopt what works for you and add your own twist.
- Have the right attitude. Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. #attitude #personalstyle Click To Tweet
- Master the proportions: Try long-over-short, or short-over-long.
- Take a selfie before you leave the door. When you don’t like what you see, adjust the look.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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