Thursday, 9 February 2012

Style identification

I've always envied people with a very definite sense of style, who seem to have picked a look that works for them and made it their own.
I'm natually a bit of a magpie when it comes to style.  Drawn automatically to anything chic and elegant, I nonetheless shy away from anything too classic when it comes to my own wardrobe.  Black trouser suits, beige trenchcoast, Kate Middleton style 'little dresses' all leave me cold and unmoved, whilst I am drawn to anything quirky or slighly unusual like a bear to honey!
I love vintage style, have a definite rock chick side, but also need to look smart, businesslike and together for many of my daily dealings.  It all gets a little confusing at times - and leads to a large wardrobe!

So recently, I've tried to define a bit more closely what my style really is.  Not what I'd like it to be in a parallel universe, nor what I love on other people.  Or what looks lovely in the shop.
After a great deal of thought, I've realised that really, I would like my look to combine a feel of that groomed, glossy, but hip NY chic, with Parisien style and quirkiness.
Olivia Palermo embodies the NY chic and always looks amazing
(source:  And I adore the unusual and very feminine look here:
(source: The Sartorialist)
And the relaxed chic of this image is exactly how I'd like to look in the office:
(source: The Sartorialist)
Based on this I've put together a list of 'rules' for myself, for shopping, for dressing, for wardrobe sorting.

1) When in doubt, go with black or navy. Particularly navy.  But black or navy suits, particularly trouser suits must be avoided at all costs.
2) Heels and skinny trousers/jeans always work
3) A blazer is an absolute essential
4) A black coat can often make the most chic outfit look simply boring.  Unless the outfit is all black and the coat is amazing.
5) Too tight is never a good look.  Neither is loose and baggy.
6) Dresses are fabulous for work to avoid looking like a corporate clone
7) A good belt can make the outfit
8) Don't follow the herd
9) The right shoes are essential.  And the right shoes are never sensible black leather courts.
10) Think age appropriate minus 10 years
11) If a winter outfit looks conservative, add shoe boots

It was supposed to be a list of 10, but I couldn't resist adding the last!

What do you think - any other 'commandments for dressing' that you swear by?

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