Why Not . . . Have Effortless Style?

Aug 18, 2010

Kate Moss, Lauren Hutton, Alexa Chung, that woman you saw at the cafe on your trip to Paris – they all seem to have pulled together their look without batting an eye. As though it was done by instinct. How does one achieve this appearance of effortless style? While in many of the instances involving magazines, a stylist is to thank, but you’ve seen them just as I have when you’re out shopping, dining, vacationing – women who look spectacular in for the most part classic styles, yet have pulled them together in a way that exhibits their own unique beauty.

Jennifer Alfano’s article “Secrets of Effortless Style” in this September’s issue of Harper’s Bazaar US (page 287) began to turn over in my mind again and again. Just what are the components, the skills, a woman must possess to appear fabulous, yet seemingly blasé? Here’s what I discovered.

Buy What You Love

As the fall fashions are being displayed in all of the stores and boutiques, it is imperative that a woman understand that fashion cannot fill a void. Putting together a wardrobe of depth takes a passion that only you can truly find within yourself.  If you’ve had a terrible day at work and feel that going on a shopping binge will make you feel better, if only for a moment, you really aren’t doing yourself any favors. In this instance, you are allowing shopping to suppress your feelings of frustration at work.  When you go shopping, make sure you are doing it with the sole intention of loving the process.  Don’t allow it to become stressful or emotional because that is when you will make decisions you will regret.

Know Your Body

Each season trends emerge, but a woman who is able to see through the trends and instead see what will work in her wardrobe for the long term is heads and tails above the majority of the shopping population.  If you have a curvy figure, you recognize immediately that a full  feminine skirt won’t show off the true beauty of your body like a sheath dress would.  Every woman has their assets that they need to focus on.  Make sure the purchases you make reflect your best physique.

Classy Over Trendy

Speaking of trends, think of them as you would a simple summer t-shirt. Most likely it will only last one season and while it will make a statement immediately, it will date you the next year, so don’t spend too much money on the creative trends that are perpetually changing and instead invest in classics that you are in need of to add depth to your wardrobe.

Invest

As long as you have the funds to support this decision, a purchase of quality is always the best idea if you are certain that you will wear it again and again.  I always look at it this way (keeping in mind my finances), if for example a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress I’ve had my eye on is $400, but I know I’ll be able to wear it four to six times a year, the price in my mind automatically drops.  Cost per wear.  If in the dress’s lifetime I wear it ten times, it is a $100 dress. What a deal!  And most likely, I’ll wear it much more than that which makes it a steal. Quality items are worth the investment because they do stand the test of time and continue to look fabulous.

Can’t Stop Thinking About

The best test that has no scientific proof to back it up what-so-ever is the last one I’m going to mention today.  If 24-hours after you’ve tried on a piece of clothing you are still thinking, dreaming, and imagining yourself wearing it to certain events, go back and get it.  It brings us back to the first point, you really need to love what you are wearing. Trust yourself on this one.
Ultimately, if you put all of these steps together, your increased confidence in how you look is the direct effect and when you feel confident, it shows.  Confidence cannot be faked, well, at least not very well.  But I think that is why those women we so admire with the camel coats, suede booties, boyfriend watch, ankle pants and classic clutch are so mesmerizing, they make it look easy.  And the reason it appears this way is because once they’ve decided what they’re going to wear, they know they look great because of how they shop and approach the idea of style. Because once the outfit is on, you should be able to relax and do whatever your day demands of you without having to worry about your outfit.
So here is to being that woman that you once only admired.  Before you know it (and for many of you, you have already reached this success), I have a very good feeling that people will be impressed with your effortless style.  Have a wonderful Wednesday.


22 thoughts on “Why Not . . . Have Effortless Style?

  1. I totally agree with these points, especially the last one. I am still lamenting the red Prada bag I saw in a consigment shop and gave myself a week to “think about.” Duh. Of course it was gone when I went back! And I am still looking for a bag, three months later!

  2. As always, totally agree with all the points….especially Invest and Classy over Trendy. Years ago I would go for trendy…later finding myself the following season with clothes that were “so last year”. So I now invest in classic pieces and look for bargains in trendy ones. Makes no sense investing when the cost per wear will put it at a bad financial investment.

    Happy Wednesday!

  3. These are the perfect rules to making a purchase and I couldn’t agree more! I’m trying to live by these rules when making my fall purchases this year!

    xx
    Nikki

  4. Very true. It seems that the real style icons are the ones who wear what suits them regardless or trends or what they like thereby setting the trends. If you’re true to yourself and comfortable in what you’re wearing you are likely to look much better than if you dress head-to-toe in a designer runaway look. Plus, there’s always something to be said for originality and personality.

  5. I couldn’t agree more with “know your body” also known as ‘know your body-type’. It is so important to dress your body-type rather then dress for trend. I choose ‘classy over trendy’, that is true style. xo Mish

  6. Yes yes and yes! I love all your points and find all of them true…except for the obsession one–I always find myself obsessed with some outrageous and expensive piece each season that I think about non-stop. I usually make myself wait on those. It’s always with a breath of relief that time passes and I realize it probably wasn’t the best investment…but that’s just me! Hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday Shannon {and yes, I did make it to the beach for a long & decadent day yesterday–thinking of a rinse and repeat today!}
    xo Mary Jo

  7. Thank you for this post! You hit the nail on the head with each of these tips for achieving effortless style. At the end of the day, all of these tips come back to KNOWING YOURSELF, and building a wardrobe accordingly!

    Fabulous!

    xoxo,
    Eboni Ife’
    The Fashionista Next Door

  8. Spot on as usual Shannon, thank you so much for putting this post together. I can’t wait to dig into my Bazaar (one of my favorite mags these days) and read the article. Have a wonderful day.

  9. All great points and worth reminding yourself of before heading out to the shops.

    I never allow myself to accidentally shop. I always make it a point to shop with purpose. I review what I already own, including pulling things out of the back of the closets and make a mental list of what I need. I find that keeps the impulse buys at bay.

    Cheers!
    J.

  10. Excellent tips. Every season as I’m donating all my inexpensive pieces, I say to myself: THAT’S IT! No more cheap stuff. But I really need to put this into practice. I buy too much of what I love. I think I’m going to avoid Forever 21 from now on, not that I shop there much. But when I do, I end up getting rid of nearly everything I’ve bought because it falls apart. Just not worth it.

    ♥ V
    http://www.gritandglamour.com

  11. The last one is crucial for me. I try to avoid impulse buying and prefer to ask the sales assistants to hold the item I’m interested in for a day or two before I come back to get it.

  12. The buy what you love paragraph is perfect. I find buying the best quality you can afford sometimes saves money in the long term. 3 fell apart after one wash sweaters can equal the cost of 1 good one.

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