So what exactly is style? We know it when we see it but how do we define style and more importantly, how do we acquire it? Well, like Oscar Wilde, I think being stylish owes very little to the latest fashion. You can be very fashionable without having any style and you can be stylish without ever being fashionable. Money does not buy you instant style. Kate Moss’ close friend, actress Sadie Frost says,
Creating the desired effect of nonchalance takes a somewhat determined effort, but it is an art form that can be learned. The first major investment you make should be a full-length mirror, positioned near lots of natural light and preferably where you can see yourself from all angles, including the back. This may seem brutal, but an honest, overall image of yourself is essential to eliminate the ‘in-denial’ size 10 obsession; the too-short trouser leg and the ‘God you can see my knickers through this fabric’ moment whilst catching your reflection in a shop window.
Trying too hard (TTH)
TTH is an abbreviation often used by stylists on fashion shoots where over-gilding the lily (unless ironic) is the enemy of cool and generally a far worse crime than not trying too hard (NTTH). Away from the camera, it’s virtually impossible to ever see a supermodel looking as though she’s TTH. The very nature of her work means she dresses down as a reaction to wearing countless garments for a living. Slipping on her tenth Gucci outfit of the day means nothing beyond the fact that it’s the last on the rack to be photographed before she can go home.
Those chic young women gliding down the road dressed head-to-toe in designer labels are never models, but the trophy wives of rich men, fashionistas, and women who make their living from fashion, such as stylists and fashion editors. Supermodels wear jeans, T-shirts and a comfortable, anonymous jacket and don’t look ‘on show’ when they are going about their business. They leave the dressing up for when they want to be photographed at ‘occasion’ bashes.
How to avoid trying too hard:
– Never buy the latest ugly designer handbag simply to be the first. You may as well have fashion victim tattooed on your forehead.
– Go easy on the jewelry. It’s amazing how cheap too much expensive gold can look.
– Never buy leather trousers in any color. They make your thighs, stomach and bottom look twice their size.
– Don’t even think about culottes, pinafore dresses, knickerbockers, batwing sleeves, circular skirts, pleats or anything ‘babydoll’ unless you’re under 18 or attempting a so-wrong-it’s-right look.
– Never sport a label top-to-toe. Mix high-street, designer and maybe vintage.
– Don’t wear an outfit where everything is completely new. Clothes need to have soul.
– Never look too groomed. Loosen up, dance around, shake your hair, undo a button.