5 Ultimate Lessons in Fashion
Technically, the only rule to follow in fashion is that there are no rules. As fashion evolves, so does our experience within. In addition to our own ways of experimenting, decades of style inspiration from classic fashion icons from Coco Chanel to Josephine Barker, over 50 years of two yearly fashion weeks in the world’s top 4 fashion capitals (Milano, Paris, NYC, and London), and a current global fashion industry worth $1.3 trillion, it is safe to so that a few fashion lessons have been picked up along the way. Here are my top 5 lessons in style inspired by all the above and much more.
1. Build a Lean Wardrobe
Before you head out to shop up a storm for the upcoming spring/summer season, have a good look into your closet first. The attempt to create and maintain a purposeful, lean, yet versatile wardrobe is not about narrowing it down to a handful of essential pieces and ruthlessly throwing out the rest (a.k.a. what feels like everything you’ve ever owned). Instead, start by defining your style and the look(s) that best match(es) your lifestyle and your personality. Now it is time to kick off the editing process, during wich you consider said fit with each and every piece your closet holds. Eliminate what you no longer wear, and, finally, have a think about what it is (certain shapes or fabrics) you need more of.
PS. If you feel like reading more about the lean closet movement, be sure to head over to its originator Cuyana and don’t forget to catch up with fellow Kiwi Vanisha and her progress from A Life Un-Styled.
2. Invest in Essentials
While I’m all about creating unique and unpredictable looks, any outfit starts with a couple of essentials that always come in handy. Wardrobe staples include your ideal white t-shirt, a well-fitted pair of denim, some leather pants, your go-to heels and flats for any occasion, a statement coat and anything else you find yourself reaching towards on most days. The quality of those garments is crucial, and natural fabrics tend to make you feel the best and last the longest. Look out for an upcoming Wardrobe Staples post in my fashion section for more detail.
3. Colour Theory
When mixing colours, think back to the colour wheel. Complimentary colours such as navy and orange work together perfectly, while colours positioned beside each other like blue and green make for another striking look. To build a more cohesive outfit, sticking to two main colours works best. Finally, follow the monochromatic trend in which you mix and match different shades of the same colour and create some of the most intriguing and eye-pleasing outfits yet.
4. Shape It
First, embrace the shapes that work best for you and work them in several different ways. You don’t necessarily need to go as far as creating your namesake looks such as Jackie O.’s sheath dress or Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress, but knowing what works for your body will make any shopping trip a whole lot easier. Also, a well thought-out outfit understands the shapes of the individual pieces, how they work together, and, most importantly how they complement and round off each other. Match a boho dress with a loose bucket bag and complement your geometric top with a boxy clutch.
5. It’s in the Details
Throwing a few amazing and flawless garments together does not always make for an equally flawless look. Fashion often comes down to the minor details, such as the choice of fabrics, accessories or patterns. Much like the extra secret spice you add to your favourite dish, finer details have the ability to pull together a look and bring your outfit to the next level. For instance, aspects such as the lining of your coat, the earring picking up the colour of your shoelaces, or the colour of your lipstick completing your handbag can all have a tremendous impact on your outfit as a whole.
To finish it off in the words of Anna Wintour:
“Fashion goes in only one direction – forward – and I am a firm believer in thinking that way too.”
Are there any fashion rules you live by? Share them in the comments below.