Does your personal style truly reflect your uniqueness? Do you feel comfortable in your own skin? Do you feel confident about what your look says about you? Do you gravitate toward just buying the fashion magazine’s latest look? Or are you constantly comparing how you look to others?
My life’s experience is that many women do not own their look. Many women do not embrace their uniqueness and instead create copycat, plain Jane or outlandish styles that aren’t reflective of whom they are.
I believe that any woman can evoke the look that simply confirms her being and uniqueness. She can look chic, feminine in accordance with her personality, lifestyle and very importantly, budget. Here are the steps I recommend you follow:
Step 1: Discover what your body type is and which styles look good on you. Kendall Starr in her book, Pocket Stylist, believes that regardless of whether a woman is average or plus sized, there is one of three basic silhouettes that apply to everyone. The three basic silhouettes are:
BODY TYPE A: The average version of a woman whose shoulders are narrower than the width of her hips. Regardless of whether she is flat- or full-chested, this torso proportion is defined by a definite visual difference between the width of those shoulders and the width of the hips.
BODY TYPE B: The traditional hourglass – although Farr herself isn’t in favor of geometry or fruit-derived monikers (“no hourglasses, apples, pears, celery or any of that stuff”) – this woman’s shoulder width is essentially the same as her hip width, and the waist is generally well defined. Bust size can be anywhere from flat-chested to full-breasted. (Again, simply a particular that refines her fit – not a starting point.)
BODY TYPE C: The shoulders are wider than the width of the hips. Broad-shouldered, narrow-hipped models fall into this category. Her waist is usually quite straight, and can be somewhat of a fitting challenge. Once you’ve determined your body type, go to a store with an honest friend. Try on various fabrics and cuts to see how the material and shape emphasize or detract from your basic body silhouette. Remember, window shopping is okay, no need to break the bank and immediately overhaul your wardrobe.
Step 2: Inventory your wardrobe and make sure you have these wardrobe basics, which complement your silhouette and lifestyle:
• Dark – Day Look In a simple, skimming cut and crisp high-quality fabric.
• Dark – Night Look Fuller leg in a lighter high-quality fabric.
Jeans or Chinos:
• To wear with a flat heel Hemmed shorter to wear with flats.
• To wear with heels Hemmed longer.
Skirts: • Pencil, Trouser or A-Line Cut In black or lightweight wool.
• A-line or Bias Cut In a flowy fabric for day or evening.
• Skirt in a neutral, mixable style A subtle pin stripe or tweed.
• White button down In a feminine cut.
• White T-shirts Just the basic T, a boat neck, or V-neck.
• Black That tonally matches your black pants.
• Neutral In a skin flattering tone, i.e. avoid stark white if you’re fair.
• Vivid Color Must emphasize your features and not detract.
• Tailored It should match your dark pants in color tone and style.
• Casual Bombers, motorcycle styles and windbreakers are good choices in fabrics like leather, suede, corduroy, soft wool or cotton twill.
• Trench Good for the rain and in-between seasons – choose a neutral or black.
• Knee-length For in-between seasons.
• Winter Coat Invest in the best fabric you can possibly afford.
Dress or matching separates that create a dress. Always have a little black dress on hand.
• Cherish four to five high-end fashion accessories (costume jewelry and scarves) that you wear all the time.
• Add one or two new trendy pieces each season and wear them out.
• Invest in high quality everyday leather handbags and shoes.
Become friends with a great tailor who can assure that these key clothing pieces flatter your uniqueness.
Step 3: Find a great hair stylist who is skilled at working with your hair type. Then get a fuss-free hairstyle and maintain it. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely dread having to use several hairstyling tools and products. It’s all about simplicity to manage my hair (flat crown and wavy length). I could be using tons of root lifter, hair serums, along with a blow dryer, flat iron, three brushes and then finishing products. However, I made a decision some time ago to embrace my hair texture and found a hair stylist who knows exactly how I “operate” and created a style accordingly.
Step 4: Treat your skin as the treasure it is. Get a facial every month or just give yourself a weekly facial. Maintain, protect and nourish your skin daily. If you have great skin, you radiate and barely need any make-up. The time spent on your daily skin care routine is also a wonderful time to dedicate to yourself and regeneration. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water to hydrate it.
Step 5: Use make-up as an aid to emphasize your beautiful features, not hide them under layers and layers of coating. I firmly believe in the principle applied by French women: less is more. Your basics include: tinted moisturizer with SPF, a light powder, blush, a great mascara and a lipstick or lip gloss. Select colors that are complementary to your skin tone, hair color and eye color. Heavy smoky eye make-up or bright red lips may look great in a magazine. However, if they don’t reflect your uniqueness – leave them in the store!
Let your imagination and creativity take its power to truly reflect your uniqueness. So, when someone asks you: Does Your Personal Style Reflect Your Uniqueness? You’ll answer confidently: Absolutely!
Copyright (c) 2007 MMC Lifestyles, LLC, dba MMC Style
About The Author
Marion Chamberlain is founder of MMC Style (http://www.mmcstyle.com ), an Internet store for European fashion accessories sourced from unique and highly-talented small design shops in Europe. The online store offers high-quality European fashion jewelry and leather handbags to those women who want to be unique. MMC Style (http://www.mmcstyle.com ) European fashion accessories are truly unique and can’t be found in department or chain stores.