Style Elements - An Overview



Purses, Bags and Everything else!

A commentary of acquiring elegance for the use of everything else but clothes!

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Handbags

While designer bags are an obsession by many women, choosing the right bag for your outfit still remains a skill to be honed.

It doesn't matter how expensive your bag is, the truth is, there is no such thing as a bag for 'everything'. Do not confuse that with the everyday bag. You needn't possess a large number of bags, but learning how to think about your lifestyle, your needs, and your wardrobe - is the first step to editing and building an effective elegant wardrobe.

For the morning - keep it very simpleFor the evening - a little dressier, a little shinier, and much smaller.

Like all things that you possess, the quality of the leather or fabric is very important. A 'fake leather' or 'pseudo leather' may completely cheapen your outfit (this applies to shoes as well).

Try to buy the best quality (note - not designer) that you can afford.

Take some time to study the finishing, the leather (and how it endures scratches) and also the insides of the bag, the zips, the lining.

I used to buy very cheap fashion bags and I got bored of them quickly. I assumed that because I was tired of the fashion but I soon realized why I've lost interest and discarded it quickly is because

1) I've failed to really fulfill what I needed. I've bought a bag that truly have not met my need.
2) The material and construction was so poor that sooner or later I was embarrassed to carry the bag.
3) It didn't cost me much, and so I didn't value the bag. If I added up all the 10 cheap fashion bags that I bought, I could have afforded a really nice one. Instead of buying a bag every month, I could buy a bag every 8 months and be perfectly satisfied for a long time.

Not to mention that having too many bags clutters up your wardrobe and frustrates your process of getting dressed.

Size of the bag matters. Put your usual things in it and stand at the mirror. Does it make you look a little silly? Does it make you look like you were going away for the weekend?

I'm all for de-cluttering and carrying only the essentials. Get rid of extra cards in your wallets, mints and gum, brochures, receipts etc. Clean out your bag everyday, if not every week!

To avoid too much digging into one's bag, group things together and place them in little cosmetic bags.

For instance, lip gloss, lipstick etc goes into one bag. Sanitary materials with tissue paper goes into another. You should only need one pen and a diary and they should probably be together. etc.

Scarves

There is something elegant about scarves. There are many ways to wear one. Experiment! Or search through older magazines to see how it was worn.

Perfume

I think its very subtly sexy to have a signature scent. Its wonderful to use perfume based on your mood. I know the old saying goes, "spray on the air and walk into it!", but I don't think we should do that anymore because perfume is not made as concentrated as it used to be.

Rather, hold the bottle at some distance from you, and spray! Spray some unto your wrists, and then on your fingers and dab behind your ears and neck. If you feel like it, spray a little on your hair!

You don't have confine the perfume to your body, spray it on in your purse, your pillows, your room!

Unfortunately, the way perfumes work these days is that they never last more than a couple of hours. If its possible, keep a miniature one in your purse and spritz a little throughout the day.

Hats

Too bad in modern society, we have neglected the use of hats - how elegant they are!

It has given way to trucker caps, baseball caps.

When I travel in some countries, I see the mature folk still hanging on to their hats, whenever they are in town. How I pay tribute to them!

If you can, do wear them! Wear them proud, and maybe we'll be leaders in making its comeback. They act as good protection for the hair, scalp and face!

Umbrellas

We can never stop the rain so this is a classic accessory! They are so cheap these days, we often find ourselves buying rather silly looking umbrellas.

If you only can buy one umbrella, buy a small portable one for modern conveniences in BLACK or BEIGE. Black will last longer because the beige will soon have rain water stains. Beige is a touch more feminine though.

Stay away from silly colorful umbrellas as they almost never match our outfits unless you are wearing a white top.

To take elegance to another level, get those with lace trimmings or embroidery. Pay attention to the quality of the end where you hold or the strap.

I was London and inspired by this very affecting vision. In the rain, there was this very elegant lady, who wore black low heel boots and a beige coat with a misty grey scarf. Her umbrella was beige & brown - very simple and there was no logo. She was huddling under her own umbrella, walking briskly the street, on her way to somewhere.

From there I told myself, never again will I buy silly looking umbrellas, cutesy, any umbrella with patterns, or with logos. I don't want any umbrella with brand names, store names, promotional messages.

I will also have umbrellas to match my outfit - though not too obviously. Simple colors or lines with Creme, Black, Navy blue will do well for me.

Jewelry

If you have the real thing, use it! Do not be too precious with it. Do not store them up at home and take them out once a year. If they are appropriate, wear them daily. Take care of them and remember to send them for cleaning daily. Get accustom to a little luxury that is rightfully yours.

If you are buying precious jewelry, buy the finest instead of the biggest.

To wear a big diamond on your finger is a statement telling everyone that you have a lot of money - it is almost vulgar.

I think its best to buy jewelry proportionate to your size of your finger, wrist, neck, torso etc.

Generally speaking, it is not wrong to wear a big expensive jewelry if it does reflect your taste and circumstances. This is also a reflection of your personality, lifestyle and daily activities.

Rings

They are outfits 'accents' so it is suggested to wear more than one ring on each hand unless it is the engagement ring and wedding ring in a set together.

Traditionally speaking, it is tasteful to wear diamonds only in the evening and at night time, because that is when it is the sparkliest - which was the basis of why diamonds are so precious.

The only diamond that is perfectly acceptable to wear all day is a diamond ring and that is usually assumed to be your engagement ring.

Since your wedding band and engagement ring are often worn together and with an expectation of wearing them for a lifetime, it is fundamental that you choose carefully and not compromise for anything!

There are some beautiful matching sets at good jewelers.

Necklaces

A staple in every wardrobe: - A silver pendant, classic length
- A silver necklace that is thicker and longer (to give that elongated neck impression)
- A single strand of pearls
- A double or triple strand of pearls

Lingerie

It used to include undergarments as well, but now when we mention lingerie, we think of something we wear to bed.

Invest in your lingerie. Good lingerie will hold your body well, make your clothes look good on you. You can always tell when someone is not wearing a good set, you'll see lines, weird body portions that do not move or look as stiff as an armor plate. Straps don't hold as they should, they keep slipping or the strapless ones cause the top to sag. The body suffers looking out of shape.

It is important to have different sets appropriate for your types of clothes.

The basics that you should have are lingerie of nude and black color, one to wear under tight fitting tops which should be seamless, a good strapless bra for evening wear, various cuts of your underwear to prevent VPL (visible panty lines)

Also, beware of the constructed brassiere that look as solid as egg cartons. It does not look natural and can be distasteful. While the Wonderbra can be used to correct your body proportions, it seems that elegant women are determined to not fake as much as possible, so use only if you really have to.

Perfume

It is very elegant to have a signature scent.

Scent is very powerful in evoking emotions, memories. The choice of perfume is often a reflection of a woman's personality. Sometimes it is also because of the way the perfume is presented, in a very alluring bottle, the way it is advertised, a nostalgic memory associated with the scent, or because it was a special gift.

The tradition of having your toilet water, perfume, hand-soap, bath salts, dusting powder, drawer liners, air diffusers and even sachets to make a room or cupboard smell nice all scented with the same perfume may be outmoded or impossible by the variety of complex scents, though I think it is a worthy elegant goal.

Perhaps it is a lot simpler to stick to one obvious scent instead of a blend. For instance, my mother loves the scent of lavender. She has lavender bath soap, air diffuser, perfume sachets for the car, lavender scented power and moisturizer.

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