I get a few requests from my readers on creating chic outfits, and I haven’t written a blog post yet because I don’t really know what to say. Even though I do like to look good and like I’ve made an effort, I’m not so much into fashion. I’m inspired more by an old photo of Coco Chanel than I am by the latest Vogue. I really don’t know if I am the best person to advise on style!
With one of my core values being ‘simplicity’, I love applying this to all aspects of my dress:
Simplicity of line (the cut) in my chosen clothing items
Simplicity in colour palette
Simplicity in my closet with not too many pieces
Simplicity in that most of my pieces are a solid or marle/melange colour and a few stripes; only one or two items have a print
Even with accessories I don’t like to have too many. My box of scarves was too much for me so I took a few out for the season and stored the rest. I haven’t quite decluttered them yet because I know I go through phases of wearing scarves more.
I think the most important thing in creating your own ‘brand’ of chic, is deciding what you love first and building on that. I’ve always been drawn to the classics. I admire Diane Keaton’s unique style of dress but wouldn’t necessarily wear it verbatim. I tend to the more casual side of dress.
If I did want to change, I think I’d like to sophisticate it up a little bit. And I do already have a few pieces that are more sophisticated such as a satin top instead of a more casual fabric. At this time of year with it almost the change of season, I’m feeling a little bored with my winter uniform, so it will be nice to transition into my ‘new’ season clothes.
Pinterest is a great way of seeing your style without consciously thinking about it. If you ‘pin’ outfits as you see them and they appeal, looking over your Pinterest board you will see a theme emerging. Seeing great images also inspires me to utilise the wardrobe I already have, for example, seeing a woman in a blazer over a Breton top and jeans reminds me that I have a couple of great blazers that I never wear (from sheer laziness)!
If I’ve found myself in a style slump (which may or may not be end-of-season malaise), there are a few ways I can become excited about dressing myself again:
Scrolling through Pinterest for a short time, with such searches as ‘chic classic style’, ‘soft summer clothing’ (soft summer is my colour palette) or ‘coco chanel’. In no time I am excited to put together outfits in a different way and recreate outfits from items I already own.
Reading one of the style books I have at home. Even though it’s older (published in 2004), I adore Ultimate Style by Bettina Zilkha. I’d borrowed it so many times from our public library that I eventually bought my own copy inexpensively second-hand (it’s out of print).
Having a session in my closet where I play around and make up new outfits (best done when I’m at home for the day, not when I have five minutes to get dressed for work).
Watching all or part of a fashion movie/documentary. I was quite entranced with Karl Lagerfeld in his documentary and then of course there is The September Issue. I read fashion magazines for a few months after watching that one!
I’ve written a few other posts on creating your own personal style here too.
One big bonus of getting more involved in creating my own personal style, is that I tend to snack less. When I’m researching Chanel or an elegant and classical way of dressing for example, nibbling junk foods seems less attractive. A crisp glass of Perrier or a steaming hot tea or coffee is much more civilised between meals. I’m sure Coco did not bolt down low-quality chocolate just because she was bored…
Are you a fashion girl or a style girl? Both? When you take more notice of what you’re wearing, do you notice benefits like I do with snacking? Please share in the comments below.
PS. I'd love you to enter my first ever giveaway where you can win a signed copy of my book Thirty Chic Days: Practical inspiration for a beautiful life. I'll post it to you anywhere in the world. You can enter here!