I will never dare call myself a fashionista simply because… I am not. Besides, I’ve always thought it sounds cliche and narcassistic. Don’t get me wrong, I do love fashion, clothes and runways very very much. But I am no where near a fashion maven. Quite ironic right; since I’m writing this article and that this is somewhat of a fashion blog? You see, I’ve never exactly been a ‘trend follower’. Well, at least not anymore, you can read the whole story here. I’m quite safe with my style except for a hint of drama in my outfit. But the main reason behind why I never follow trends anymore is because I have come to a stage where I know what fits me and what I can and cannot pull off.
But despite me not being a fashion maven, I’ve had a ton of questions asking me how I wear certain clothes, where I shop, which lipstick colour matches an outfit and how to match pieces. I’ve even had people PM me to ask if I can help give them a style makeover (seriously, not kidding). I might consider being a personal stylist someday as (yet another) side hustle but for now, let me share with you 5 ways you can personalize your style.
1. Have a signature look.
Marilyn Monroe’s lip stain on a serviette after dinner at a restaurant.
Every iconic woman in history has a signature look. For Elizabeth Taylor, it was her eyes. Marilyn Monroe had the platinum blonde hair with red lips which she is still known for today while Audrey Hepburn had a pair of full eyebrows.
It takes a while to learn what makes your signature look. It took me years to realise that my eyebrow tools are my holy grail and it took quite a bit of practice to shape it to the way I like them to be. Your signature look may be your hairstyle or cat-eyeliner. It can even be a scent you cannot go a day without or a few of these combined, the key is to have fun with makeup and different hairstyles until you find one that you can’t let go of.
Tip: Pick something that you already cannot go out without. If you love using eyeliner, stick to it and keep perfecting it till you own it.
2. Design your own clothes.
Sketch by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.
You do not have to be couturier or hold a degree to design your own clothes. In fact, you don’t even need to design an outfit from scratch (or you could with more time and effort). You can simply take clothes you already have and change the buttons, cut up jeans to give them the tattered destressed look or send them to your local tailor to alter a dress to fit you perfectly. Its all about adding little touches to your clothes to make them unique to you.
Tip: The key to a fitted dress is a good tailor. So rather than looking for the perfect outfit, look for the perfect tailor.
Some of my statement earrings from my collection.
Accessories are my favourite part of dressing up. Putting on jewellery, a fedora and killer heels work like magic. No look is complete without accessories – shoes, scarves, bags, earrings, necklaces, shades, hats, watches, belts. I spend more time and money looking up and purchasing accessories than clothes. Accessories give character to that boring plain tank top and jeans and they make the same dress look different. Best thing about accessories – you almost never need to worry about getting fat.
Tip: Accessories from your travel adventures, hand me downs from your mother/grandmother are usually the most beautiful pieces and are so special, its unlikely you will find anyone else donning them.
4. Mix & Match.
Collage of some of my oufits from Instagram (follow me @lovebellavida).
I like mixing high end pieces with flea market finds. It makes the look less uptight. Besides, you should never put too many logos to an outfit unless you want to look like a walking advertisement. Go on and wear your $15 dress with your Prada sunglasses and flea market earrings. Or your Louis Vuitton clutch with your ripped jeans and your Grandmother’s pearls. Fashion is not about breaking the bank, its about being street smart with what you have and how you rock it. Example; some people can make a $12 top look like it costs $1200, whilst some can make a $1200 top look like it’s $12. Yup, ouch, but y’know it’s true.
Tip: Wear the outfit, never let the outfit wear you.
5. Be Yourself.
Fashion Stylist, Rachel Zoe’s famous quote.
But the most important of all is to always be yourself. If you love your quirky sequinced Mermaid print t-shirt but your classmates think its hideous, just wear it. If your boyfriend tells you to stop putting on too much make up, dump him. And if the neighbours stare at your shocking pink hair, screw them. Remember, you only live once, you can’t please everyone and you certainly shouldn’t allow anyone to dictate what you should and shouldn’t wear. There are billions of people in this world but there is only one you. So don’t blend in with the rest, be yourself.
Tip: If you can’t express who you are verbally, you can never be truly be happy with yourself, right? Same goes with your style. So wear that outfit with pride, sista!
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