3 Surefire Style Statements

February 9, 2009

Elena Miro – S09 – Huffington PostTelegraph.co.uk – Hilary Alexander


It is interesting that during our massive consumer consumption phase many women still felt they had ‘nothing to wear’ when they looked inside their closets. Wouldn’t it be ironic if during this time of financial constraint and restraint women might actually be able to regularly and happily find ‘something to wear’? It would and easily could be a refreshing and worthy goal for 2009. A quick way to achieve this aspiration is to habitually create outfits that make an instant personal statement. There is a multitude of ways to make this happen. Here are three surefire tactics:

PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO FIT

One of the most impactful ways to instantly enhance your personal style and make a positive statement is to wear clothes that fit your body and fit your lifestyle. Many consumers have heard this a million times over and are well aware of these suggestions but so many still don’t act on them! It is undoubtedly difficult to objectively ‘see’ ourselves and the way in which our clothes actually fit us. Get your camera, even if it’s only your cell phone and take a photograph of yourself from all angles – front, side profile and backside. It will allow you the perspective to get a clear visual of the actual shape of your body, the way specific shapes of clothing look on you and the impartiality to figure out effective solutions. Once this personal detachment is really ingrained in your psyche, you will instinctually block out those items of clothing that will not best suit your body, making it much easier to put together a successful and cohesive outfit.

What about lifestyle fit? How many items do you have remaining in your closet that you have never worn or seldom wear because you don’t have any place to wear them? Or how often do you feel less than appropriately dressed for a business meeting or networking function; a celebratory event or even at the office? Our lives are so busy, active and often complicated with a multitude of activities that demand our participation. Conscious buying habits (that Corporate Fashionista is attempting to grow in you!) combined with frequent consideration towards the people you will be seeing and meeting each day will encourage you to put together outfits that fit into your lifestyle.

MAKE IT UNIQUELY YOURS

Another quick method of making a positive stand-out statement with your personal style is to put together an outfit that is unique. There is a whole host of ways to make this happen. Accessorizing is a simple and fun approach to creating individuality in an outfit. Perhaps you are known for choosing ‘just the right’ piece of jewelry with every outfit. And everyone wonders just how you do it. That skill is making your outfits unique because not everyone has that talent. Or more specifically, you may have an admirable reputation for successfully layering your necklaces or for always wearing gorgeous handcrafted jewelry or antique brooches or loads of lush gold bangle bracelets. Possibly you have a knack for spicing up your outfits with fabulous well-constructed shoes or you have an aptitude for selecting a few high-quality handbags that can go anywhere and with everything. These are all style statement techniques.

If there is a particular woman’s personal style that you admire, most likely she has an explicit formula behind the magic she creates. She accurately discovered what works best for her and primarily sticks with it. Making an outfit uniquely yours can also be attributed to frequently wearing a particular genre. Perhaps wearing all vintage pieces best suit your personality or mixing them with more contemporary apparel is your style statement. Blending less expensive items with a few costly pieces is a much desired fashionable art form. When done well, admirers are unable to distinguish between the more expensive pieces and the less costly pieces in this high-low form of dressing. Frequently wearing a few flattering, more timeless and classic investment pieces and finding ways to interchange them to consistently create different, but still appropriate outfits, is another way to distinctively dress. All of these personal style approaches will not only make an outfit uniquely yours, but when done well can produce a cohesive and reliable style statement.

OWN IT!

Whatever you opt to wear own it! If you do, you are guaranteed to make a style statement. Paying close attention to fit and making an outfit uniquely yours will make little difference if you don’t elect to own your style decisions. How does “owning it” look? First Lady Michelle Obama is a superb role model at owning it! Her prominent profile and well documented personal presentation (Mrs-O) gives us plenty of opportunity to learn from her. Although the public or fashion insiders may at times prefer other attire options, Mrs. Obama has an innate self-assurance in herself and her personal style. She is confidently unafraid. Her confidence in knowing herself and having developed a personal style makes her comfortable enough to make style decisions that supersede the opinions of others. The clothes then become secondary to her mission and so, primarily, we are able to see and appreciate the woman. On January 20th, the day of President Obama’s inauguration, the young American designer Jason Wu who created Mrs. Obama’s Inaugural Ball gown called Campbell Brown at CNN to discuss this union and he enthusiastically shared that “Michelle is inspiring, versatile. She can do it all. She is amazing. She has her own sense of style and I think there is nothing better than that”. The fact is that all women are amazing. The idea in terms of style is to make informed decisions when you are putting together an outfit and to be confident with those choices. Educate yourself, release the insecurities and move forward with confidence and style. In short, own it!

This is the year to finally choose to have faith in your personal style. No more waste. No more waiting to lose those extra pounds or for the ‘right’ occasion. No more feeling unworthy. No more feeling dissatisfied. If you simply start with paying close attention to the way in which your clothes fit your body and the functionality of each piece in your wardrobe, favor techniques that make your outfits unique, and emit the confidence to actually make a statement with your personal style, then you are off to a great start!

What are some specific ways that you make a statement with your personal style?

Feel free to share some of your experiments vis a vis personal style with Corporate Fashionista and our readers. We would love to hear them!

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  • Thanks for the great article on finding a personal style. As a woman in my 40’s I’ve discovered that I gravitate towards “classic fashions”. I like to keep getting ready in the morning quick and easy.