“It’s not money that makes you well-dressed, it’s understanding,” said Christian Dior, and at this time of the year, when we’re all feeling that post-Christmas pinch, if we can achieve anything without it costing us pounds and pence it’s a welcome bonus!
Fashion is like anything in life in that having money simply translates into having more choice, and as Monsieur Dior was alluding to, those with financial means are not immune from making questionable choices about what they wear, far from it. Simply put, money can’t buy style and being stylish comes down to having a clear understanding of what suits us. That said, how do we each figure out what works best?
We all know women who we think have great style, that special something that sets them apart. But what they wear won’t necessarily have the same effect when it’s hanging in our own wardrobes. This is not about comparing ourselves to others or wanting to be somebody else, it’s about finding our own signature style.
So, here’s my guide to great style and how to get it, with some images of fashion’s most photographed editors, who have each crafted their own unique look, for inspiration.
Editor-in-Chief of American Vogue, Anna Wintour, favours sleeveless, mid-length dresses styled with a statement necklace and dainty heels.
What is a signature style?
A signature style is a way of dressing that captures your personality and reflects what’s important to you, whether that’s comfort, performance, professionalism, feeling confident, making a statement or all of the above. Most importantly, it’s unique to you.
Emmanuelle Alt, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Paris, is almost always clad in tailored black separates, including her Topshop Baxter jeans.
Are there any benefits to having a signature style?
Having a consistent style that you love brings with it all sorts of benefits. From a practical point of view, it means you’ll have a wardrobe full of clothes that are easy to coordinate, you’ll always enjoy getting dressed, and by wearing your clothes more often you’ll reduce their cost per wear too. It will also save you minutes in front of the mirror each morning, reduce the time you spend shopping, and even make packing for trips and holidays much easier. But most importantly, you’ll feel confident and comfortable in your own skin.
The Global Fashion Director of Harper’s Bazaar and Editor of CR Fashion Book, Carine Roitfeld, is a fan of knee-length pencil skirts paired with sensually-styled silk shirts.
Is a signature style really for me?
Anyone and everyone can have a signature style. A sense of style keeps us looking relevant and in tune with the times. And looking modern isn’t the preserve of the young. The more engaged we are the younger we look, and I certainly don’t subscribe to the school of thought that certain items, such as short skirts, have age appropriate rules or an expiry date, only those rules that we set ourselves.
How we dress affects how we feel, and there are certain times in our lives when honing our style becomes crucial in terms of our general wellbeing. Whether you have had a change of lifestyle, feel that your current image no longer reflects who you are or how you want to be seen, or are simply stuck in a rut, it’s never too late (or too early) to find your signature style.
Sarah Harris, British Vogue’s Fashion Features Director, is the owner of some 50 white shirts, so it’s no surprise that they are her go-to when getting dressed.
How do I find my signature style?
The key to finding your signature style may already be hanging in your closet. Are there are any pieces that you find yourself reaching for again and again, that make you feel great whenever you wear them? Now compare them to those pieces that you rarely or never wear. Pinpointing what makes something a favourite versus a failure is the first step towards figuring out what works for you. Next you need to cast your net wider and consider who and what inspires you, and start building up a picture of your likes and dislikes. I’ve written a step-by-step guide on how to do this here.
A signature style is not set in stone, and will constantly evolve as you do, but I hope this post will inspire you to start to put your own stamp on your wardrobe. And remember, never be afraid of fashion. There are no rules to follow, just fun to be had!
If you would like some personal style advice, please contact me by phone on 07954 365320, via email at email@example.com or using the contact form here.
Author: Julie Hurst