What gives an outfit its je ne sais quoi?
It is hard to define, as it is an ensemble of things, plus one odd, weird out of place twist. And of course, there is not just one recipe to great style. There are many ways to dress for success. Here are 71 tips to get started including tips for additional help. Of course, not every outfit has all these elements, but all great looks have a combination of them. And the one that you have to always follow isTake care of yourself to look your best no matter what you wear. #agelessstyle Click To Tweet
In other words, the most expensive and/or most beautiful clothes accessories, bag and shoes won’t give you a great look when you are not groomed. Groomed includes that your shoes are brushed, your clothes fit and are clean, your hair, fingernails and skin look neat.
There is a big difference between the secrets to look effortlessly chic and the secrets of great personal style. Just think about models on and off duty, for instance, Kate Moss. Or what about Jackie Kennedy? She looked effortlessly chic as First Lady, but later as Jackie O. she donned great personal style. You get the idea.
- 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. #agelessstyle Click To Tweet
- Layer strategically, e.g., a coat over a scarf, an oversize scarf belted over a coat.
- Accessorize with scarves in different ways. For a how-to see the post at the link.
- Add at least one unexpected or surprising accessory, e.g., killer heels, cool watch, bold bag, statement necklace.
- Buy only items that you can't wait to wear. #personalstyle 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. In other words, these will be some of the pieces in your closet you will never wear. Learn more in the post at the link.
- Know your body shape and choose your clothes accordingly.
- Always buy for the body you have, not the body you want to have in half a year from now after loosing weight. #budgettip #styletip Click To Tweet
- 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. #personal style Click To Tweet Don’t know your primary style? Find it out with this free personal style finder app.
- Know which colors flatter you, and stick to them when buying clothes.
- Look to Phantome color palettes, great paintings, celebrities, etc. for great color combinations in you best colors.
- Embrace to wear color to be visible.
- 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. Too many trends in one outfit are the road to look like a fashion victim.
- 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. Recall facebook sometimes shows photos from years ago!
- Aim for a natural makeup look like the Duchess of Sussex.
- Pay attention to grooming: Nails, hair, roots, facial hair, armpits, legs, eyebrows, skin, makeup, … .
- When you are constantly unhappy with how you look, no matter what you wear, get professional help for a style makeover. Email me for inquiry of availability.
- Never buy complete outfits. They may work only that way.
- Be unpredictable, never wear the same outfit twice. #styleicon Click To Tweet
- Show skin strategically. #advancedstyle Click To Tweet
- 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 or arms with bingo wings, no midi skirt hem, capris or boots ending at the widest part of your calves. One of my favorite stores for great pieces to cover-up my mid-life body flaws is Perfectly Covered.
- Use colors strategically to flaunt a waist, downplay big boobs, or wide hips.
- Invest in cashmere turtlenecks, shirt dresses, trench coats, car or pea coats for ageless style.
- Know the 45 undeniable truths of wearing pants.
- Have a crisp tailored white button-down shirt and replace it each year.
- Finish every outfit with a great pair of shoes.
- 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. #styleadvice Click To Tweet
- Have a great tailor on speed dial.
- Befriend with a sales person to know when new merchandise comes in that you may like.
- Know what to wear at which dressing occasion.
- Avoid over-bling with jewelry. There is no need to compete with the Christmas tree.
- Mix silver and gold in one outfit. So chic.
- Mix expansive with cheap items. #styletip Click To Tweet
- Never wear one designer head-to-toe. #agelessstyle Click To Tweet
- Forget the old-fashioned rules: Wear black with brown, navy with black, so chic.
- Wear white in winter and black in summer. So chic.
- Add a pop of color to an all neutral outfit with a scarf, necklace, watch, belt or the shoes.
- Stay away from neon colors for clothes.
- 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. In other words, take great looks as inspirations and re-do them with your own clothes. Think of a great look as a recipe for great style and re-make it with your own clothes.
- Have the right attitude. Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. Click To Tweet
- Tie your shirt, cardigan, denim jacket around your waist or neck.
- Try an arm party.
- Roll up your sleeves, or boyfriend jeans.
- Try a half tuck.
- Untuck your shirt when you are short waisted. See the post at the link for more tips what to wear when you are short-waisted.
- Go for vertical lines to look slim and tall.
- Master the proportions: Try long-over-short, or short-over-long.
- Go for unexpected combinations like leather pants with a crisp white shirt, blazer and pumps, or an embroidered dress with a leather jacket like shown in this post.
- Think of your wardrobe as a collection. Curate your clothes, accessories, bags and shoes.
- Get a signature piece that you wear everyday.
- Learn to mix prints.
- Go for a monochromatic look to look lean and tall. See this post for a how to create an interesting monochromatic look.
- Learn how to turn fashion into style. #turningfashionintostyle Click To Tweet
- Get more wear out of your wardrobe by wearing pieces beyond their original purpose.
- Be up-to-date on the current trends to not look old.
- When shopping for clothes have someone take photos of you wearing the piece. Only this way you know how the piece looks from other sides. Selfies won’t work as you have to twist or raise your arms to make them. See this post for more clothes shopping tips.
- Commit to dress for success. This means only wear clothes you feel confident in and that make you feel great about how you look.
- Always buy the highest quality you can afford.
- Be aware that expensive doesn’t equal style. Recall how great the Duchess of Cambridge looks in a French Connection dress or in this cheap blue and white dress that I found at Shein.
- Never buy a statement piece, when you need a workhorse.
- Have some fool proof style recipes you can go-to when you are uninspired or in a hurry.
- Borrow from the guys: Oversize blazer, oversize cardigan/grandpa cardigan, boyfriend jeans, brogues, oxfords, tie, fedora, etc.
You want the fast track to great style? Then start with my outfit recipes for all kind of dressing situation in midlife. Buy my book.
Interested in online style advice? Check the link for information and/or to get in.
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Photos: G. Kramm
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