Have you noticed that some people look fabulous no matter what they are wearing? My inner circle contains a number of fab dressers to whom the statement “They’d look good, even wearing a sack” applies, so for a while now, I’ve been studying them at close quarters to see what the secrets of their sartorial success are. Here’s what I’ve learned:
They know what colours light them up
Even if they limit their colour palette to create a capsule wardrobe, they still choose colours that work with their skin tone, eyes and hair. If you’ve never had a colour consultation I urge you to do so. Along with being useful and a fun, girly kind of thing to do, it’s downright fascinating to see how various tones and hues of any given colour can change the way you look – from distinctly unwell to lit up from within.
They dress to enhance their assets and downplay their liabilities
Whether you choose to use a stylist or image consultant to create your own customised style guide and wardrobe plan, or have watched a gazillion episodes of Trinny and Susannah, decide what you want to play up or down. Then choose styles, necklines, lengths and patterns and watch them work their magic.
They have figured out what they like to wear
Some of my clotheshorse friends are rarely out of trousers and jackets; others wear dresses and boots all year around. Choosing your particular look and sticking with it makes buying clothes more efficient and dressing easier. A Beloved girlfriend has a small wardrobe by many people’s standards – just 7 skirts, 10 tops, 2 blazers, 1 jersey and 1 pair of jeans (plus exercise gear). She didn’t start off that way, but over the past ten years she’s whittled it down and now has only what she loves to wear. Her look is a voluminous skirt (she’s tall), with flat shoes in summer or boots in winter. All of her tops are statement pieces (no white collared blouses for her!). She adds a blazer if it’s chilly or she feels the urge to look more ‘corporate’. She looks effortlessly chic while remaining stylishly herself. She only shops when she needs to replace an item and then goes straight to her preferred suppliers. She loves opening her closet knowing that absolutely everything in it fits, mixes and matches and makes her feel her best.
They pay attention to the details
Stitching, plackets, pleats, hemlines, button placement, embellishments and pockets all merit attention because they can detract from the cut, lines or hang of a garment. Shoddy workmanship is a definite no-go. They will go over their clothes with a fine toothcomb looking for loose threads or buttons, for example, to repair before the next wear. Likewise with footwear and handbags – these well-dressed friends are on a first name basis with their cobbler!
They wear what works for their lifestyle
Part of wearing your clothes well is wearing what works. It’s a no brainer really, but thinking about what footwear will get you through the days activities and working your outfit from the floor up seems to be a common approach amongst these folk. As does adding, or changing, accessories during the day to dress up or down as the days events unfold. One friend tells of wearing the same Pashmina 7 different ways over 7 different days and being complimented each time.
They are comfortable in their clothes
While they don’t dress specifically for comfort, they tend not to have items that invoke fidgeting or fussing with fabrics, frills or fit because they choose garments which stretch, keep their shape, and somehow stay miraculously wrinkle-free regardless of what they are doing.
They put quality ahead of the label
Several of my Beloveds have ‘go to’ fashion labels and/or stores that they can reliably expect to meet their needs. These may or may not be expensive, or even particularly on trend, because that’s not the criteria for purchase. What matters more is the quality of fabric and the style being well executed – even if it’s boho!
They take pride in their appearance
Ultimately, the mark of a person whose outfit looks well put together comes from within. It’s the confidence that comes from knowing they are comfortable, wearing what suits them and their look reflects whatever statement they wish their clothing to make (even if it’s a very quiet one, just for them!).
Do tell – what are your tips for looking fabulous?