Elevating your style isn’t about being on trend particularly, it’s about being you and wearing what syncs with your personality throughout your life.
If the latest trend is something you are oohing and ahhing over, it might be for you. But if your first response is “good grief,” that’s just as credible a sign you know yourself pretty well. Go with it.
Still, combining trends with changing body shapes, sizes and age can be a challenge. Perhaps it’s time to reexamine how you present yourself and create and curate your best style — your best you.
Here are several principles to use while defining, redefining or refining your look:
Learn what you like. Look for inspiration from your friends, family, influencers, films, video games or wherever ideas present themselves. Simply copying someone almost never works, but choosing elements from one or two figures who have caught your eye can give you a great head start.
Fill in the blanks with items you already have or did have that always get compliments.
Know what looks good on you. If you haven’t settled on the styles and silhouettes that fit and flatter your figure, it’s time to find out!
Find and befriend a good tailor who will turn not-quite-perfect pieces into flawless outfits, whether an inch or two tighter or looser.
Cover your bases. Do you have staple pieces that fit you perfectly and can be dressed up or down with accessories for whatever occasion might present itself?
This can vary seasonally and regionally, but in general you can look for:
- Women — Midi dresses, white or off-white shirts, dependable dressy jeans, white sneakers, midsize heels, a black dress (little or long), black boots, blazers, trench coats and a selection of beautiful handbags.
- Men — White T-shirts and dress shirts, white and blue button-down shirts, dark blue jeans, khaki pants, black and brown lace-up shoes, casual and dressy jackets, a charcoal or navy suit.
- And don’t forget the most fundamental building block of all — a good selection of well-sewn underwear so you’ll always have something that works with, not against, whatever outfit you wear
Put quality first — Once you get started shopping, focus on the quality of the merchandise you’re considering, ahead of designer labels or current trends.
Choose substantial fabrics that will still be superior after more than a handful of washes, and shoes that will hold their shape and texture through the beating they will inevitably take.
Treat them well — Follow the care instructions for any garments, and don’t allow them to wad up even while they’re in the hamper.
Air-dry as many clothes as you can and fold them carefully, keeping clothes that must be hung on wood or padded hangers in the closet.