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My style has been the same since I was sixteen. I’m not someone who follows trends or keeps up with the fashion of the moment. I wear simple, basic lines, traditional cuts, neutral and muted colors, and soft, sheer fabrics with feminine details. Here are my rules for mastering classic style with a modern feminine touch.
#1 Stick with the Basics
A t-shirt, blazer, jeans, and nude heels is one of the sharpest outfits you can wear. So simple, yet so sexy. For tops I stick with pullovers and sweaters with a crew neck, blouses with v-necks, traditional button downs, and blazers. For bottoms I’m usually in jeans, skinny cargos, or a properly cropped trouser. When it comes to dresses they are always soft, often sheer with a slip underneath, and never tight.
If I’m wearing earrings and a bracelet I won’t wear a belt. If I’ve got on a colored top I’ll wear a neutral shoe. The key is to always have the pieces working in harmony rather than in competition.
#2 Wear Tones that Compliment your Complexion and Hair Color
Red looks great on blondes. I’ve tried red. It just doesn’t work for me. My skin is too rosy and when I wear red I look like a lobster. For me it’s creams, grays, neutrals, soft pinks, and baby blues all day long. An easy way to find out which colors work for you and which don’t is to do the no make-up test. Try clothes on when you aren’t wearing any make-up. If you look in the mirror and think, “this looks pretty,” then it’s a keeper. If you look in the mirror and say, “it’ll look better when my hair and make-up are done,” that’s a red flag.
#3 Collect Unique Statement Pieces
I own a pair of cheap gift shop earrings I’ve had since 2008. I have a simple cream clutch purse that was given to me as a gift fifteen years ago. I own a fifteen hundred dollar vintage Gucci bag and a pair of Frye boots that have seen more than a dozen winters. What do all these pieces have in common? They’ve become part of my signature collection. There’s something about pieces that have a history or a story that are worth tending to and caring for. When you pair them with a new dress or just purchased pair of heels it’s as if all the fresh energy makes them come alive all over again and they rise to the occasion.
#4 Choose Quality Pieces over a Packed Closet
Anyone who has seen my closet will tell you they are amazed at how few clothes I own. “Where are all your clothes?!” is a common refrain. I’ve always had a penchant for a small collection of quality pieces over a closet filled to the brim with inexpensive duds. When you stick with the basics you can dress them up or down a million ways just by wearing a flat instead of a heel or swapping out a trouser for a pair of jeans. I never think of my clothes as being outfits — certain things only worn in combination with other things. I view each piece as its own unique stand alone just waiting to be paired up with an exciting new date.
#5 Bags, Shoes, and Jewelry should be Timeless
I have two main purses that I swap out. Five pairs of heels. Five pairs of flats. Four sets of boots. Three pairs of earrings. Four bracelets. That’s it. For the most part all those pieces are from luxury brands (with the exception of my gift shop earrings). When you invest in handbags, shoes, and jewelry that are timeless you can wear them over and over again and they always look gorgeous. I can’t tell you how many compliments I’ve received on a pair of Sarah Flint flats I’ve worn simply with a t-shirt and jeans. They attract attention because they are handcrafted, classic shoes that have a spirit unto themselves.
#6 Cut is Essential
When an article of clothing is cut well all you see is the woman. When it’s cut poorly all you see are the clothes. Cut is essential. I’ve tossed back many pieces in a dressing room that I wanted so desperately to love just for the simple fact that the cut was horrible. There is no making up for a poor cut, it will haunt you forever so never entertain it.
#7 Own your Style
I’ve shown up to plenty of events and occasions a bit over or under dressed to the average observer but always feeling amazing. That’s because I own my style. Whatever I am wearing, wherever I am wearing it I feel comfortable in my own skin. When you establish your own signature style you will always fit in despite the trend of the moment.