being the best you can be, sartorially and generally speaking

If you’re looking on how to stand out from the crowd, or look fantastic according to a set of prescribed rules, you’ve come to the wrong place. But I think you’re on the right track, so read on.

…Have I drawn you in with my self-assuredness?

To me, standing out sounds like you want to look better than the people around you. I don’t like comparing people with each other. I like “shining”, because everyone can shine.

Prepare yourself: I’m about to tell you a lot of what I’m not going to tell you. Here goes.

I am not going to tell you what colors go best with your skin tone.

Pantone-SkinTone-3

You like the colors you like. I don’t have to tell you that. You will probably end up wearing colors that you find look good on you and will end up liking those colors, and vice versa. Apparently I’m not allowed to wear black per my skin tone, but I mean…

I am not going to tell you what clothes go best with your body shape.

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Know your body, love your body. Eat well and get active for the sake of taking care of your body, and not to appear a certain way. The rest will fall into place.

I also think the given body shapes (the various shapes and fruits and vegetables and objects that are used to define women’s body types) are ridiculous. I’ve wasted so much time trying to find out what I am, and all I can conclusively state is that I’m 5″6 and lopsided. I can’t fit into one of these body-type boxes, and that’s finally fine with me.

I am not going to tell you to go with/against trends.

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If you despise Birkenstocks, don’t wear them just because everyone else is. If you love off-the-shoulder tops, wear them regardless of the fact everyone is. If you truly love something, you will wear it past its expiration date (woah, euphemism for relationships much?).

I am not going to tell you to dress like a style icon.

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Ah, Rihanna. Even though she’s a total goddess, we can’t all wear what she’s wearing, because her fashion choices are what makes her unique… Alexa Chung is no exception and my soul is cracking as I type this. How you choose to present yourself makes your unique self even more so. I’ve often seen someone wear some pair of shoes or bag or what have you, went out and bought a similar thing, and ended up hating it. Be able to separate what you would wear and what you admire on others.

I am not going to tell you how to dress for your age.

Roc+Nation+Pre+Grammy+Brunch+kOX-AYCaHZjx

If you’re 13 and wearing a black shirt and black pants, you are stylish. When you turn 40, you don’t have to burn your cut-offs. As Alexandra Macon of Vogue recently put it, “if you can wear a shorter cutoff with sophistication and confidence, then all the power to you—no matter what your age!” I think that can apply to anything, though.

I am not going to tell you who to dress for (except for yourself).

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I guess I am kinda telling you to dress for… but it’s not for any third-party. This reminds me of googling “how to get a guy to like you”. Basically if you’re not dressing for yourself, you will run yourself dry. Doing anything to appeal to anyone else, whether it be a potential partner or your friends or strangers, is unsustainable.


Now then… before you rage-close this window not having learned anything new, let me actually tell you some things.

Great hair can take you far.

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As the man who cuts my hair tells me (I don’t want to type “hair stylist” for fear of being the most pretentious person on the planet), having an excellently done hair cut will get you out of dressing up. You could wear a white tee and jeans (which is some people’s idea of dressing down, but is often my go-to), and you will blow people away. Should I have said that? Is there any point to this blog anymore? Have great hair, that’s that I guess.

Nice underthings are self-confidence in material form…

…as nobody can see it*, and it can make you feel super good about yourself. Obviously real self-confidence trumps everything here, but a matching black bra and undies (or panties? underwear? I don’t even) can do wonders.

* a wonderful exception: main.original.585x0

Some pieces go better with others…

…but it is ultimately your choice to put things together. For example, I wore a gray graphic tee with a cream and red floral midi skirt. In retrospect I will probably never do that again, because the colors didn’t work as well as I thought they would (as my mom kindly and gracefully pointed out to me). You will learn this in time as you cultivate your personal style (more on that later).


 

As the observant reader will notice, there are no straight forward rules here. That’s because shining is based on our individuality, our uniqueness, our choices. The beauty in all of this is being able to appreciate what sets us apart.

… is this even about clothes anymore? #deep #reallifelessonsapplytoclothestoo

(sources: Design Milk, WhoWhatWearThe Learning Journey, USMagazine, Art Becomes You, WhoWhatWear again, Vogue, Huffington Post)

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