Fundamentals of Good Dressing and Style
The fundamentals of good dressings begins by knowing your face shape, skin tone and your colours. It also includes learning about what type of clothing that fit you and flatter.
Today I will be exploring the fundamentals of Good Dressing and how to attain an elegant timeless style!
This begins with a couple of self-awareness exercises.
Imagine Your Life In a Movie
Imagine watching yourself in a movie. Stand back and observe your lifestyle. Where are the places that you go? Who do you meet? How do you get around? On bicycle? Train? Car? Foot? What kind of activities do you do the most?
Do you stay home and cook alot? Do you work in the office? Do you go to the gym alot? Are you taking care of children most of the day?
When you are more aware of the lifestyle you lead, you'll be more effective when doing a wardrobe edit, and properly plan and buy what you need.
Analysis and Study of Self
Do you know what is good for you?
The fundamentals of good dressings are fruits of self study: your face shape, skin tone, colours that you wear well, fits that flatter you and those that do not. Realize what you need, what you can afford. Then search and shop diligently.
If in doubt, stay close to simplicity. Ensure it is not too tight, that you can move, stand, sit without ruining the shape of the clothes.
Think about your wardrobe when you make purchases. Know what you need and what you already have too many of. As mentioned before, take note of your lifestyle and ensure you have an enough spread to dress well for every occasion, pay more attention to those occasions that happen on a regular basis.
Also avoid clothes that you cannot see yourself in. Ensure that the clothes you buy and pick out suits your personality.
Do a wardrobe edit. It is advisable to edit your wardrobe every three months.
Care for your clothes. As Christian Dior says, you cannot be well groomed if your clothes are not well cared for.
Personalize any dress that you buy or make.
Add a brooch, a pin of a satin rose. Add a matching coloured headband, wear a bangle, or simply rose coloured pearls. As we are all different, we are drawn to different accessories.
As long as they blend well with the general outfit, are kept simple and to a minimum, it will bear elegance.
Limit the size and colours of your accessories to keep it tasteful.
Colour - fill your wardrobe with basic colours first
Unless you can afford to have a large wardrobe, it is important that you fill them with colours you can wear everyday.
If you love the colour red or white and it fits your personality to wear those everyday, go right ahead. Otherwise, choose colours you can wear everyday. If you do not know your colours (those that are the most flattering to your skin), choose earth or neutral colours. You can always dress them up or down with accessories.
Dressing According to One's Age
I'm all for fighting aging, looking ten to twenty years younger and never revealing your age.
But I never truly agree with a popular style that has resurfaced in these couple of years where rather mature women returning back to jeans, or wearing the most youthful and inappropriate things. Just as it is silly to see very young girls strutting in high heels and wearing very ridiculous make up and adult clothes.
Also, there are some women who never really transit to womanhood.
They still dress as though they are teenagers, behave as those they are as well. They shop where teenagers shop (which doesn't really matter if you can pick up more conservative, quiet styles).
Depending on your stage in life, but I feel a girl should dress as a girl up till the ages of fifteen where she can start to experiment with slightly less 'childish' styles and perhaps start with a bit of lipstick and a higher heel.
At eighteen, she can learn to have a full face of make up and a few pairs of higher heels. She does not have to have make up all the time.
At twenty one, she is considered a young woman and fully adult.
From there up to the ages of twenty four, she may transit to be a bit of make up whenever she is out in public and she no longer have clothes that resembles a teenager.
She dresses like a woman no different from other women older than her.
Till she is fully adult, I recommend all girls to stay away from excessive luxury goods or looking too "rich". It is distasteful and makes you look old.
There is a difference to how a woman dresses when she is not yet married and when she is.
Also, when a woman gets past the age of fifty, her body changes, her hair and skin changes and the clothes change according to more covered up, concealed and comfortable.
Limit your wardrobe to a few colours first, if you are doing a major edit of your wardrobe or building it from scratch. Fill them up with staples.
The best fail-proof colours I recommend are : White, ivory, black, navy blue, grey, beige, khaki.
Next ones to have in limited quantities (and if those colours suit you) are: red, yellow, turquoise and pastel colours.
After that, you may indulge yourself in a couple of prints. And if you do, always buy "dots" first before any other print!
This is what I recommend for a basic, elegant wardrobe.
I always feel black is too harsh for the morning or early afternoon. Try to restrict them to the evening or night. They are never the first choice of colour but if it is in the evening, if you are in doubt and you do not have a big budget for several outfits, buy at least one very classic black dress. Dress it up with accessories! (shawls, brooches, necklaces, bracelets, the works.)
White is always a perfect colour for morning and early afternoon, even at night. It is also perfect with accessories because white goes with every thing. Pay attention to the fabric though because only some materials are good for only day (cotton) and some at night (silk).
As basic as colours might be, do take care to change. Change is important to beauty - that's why people spruce things up. I once knew a lady who wore yellow everyday. She looked ridiculous. Use colours which are not under 'basics' as accents to add a little chic to your outfit.
Do not forget the colour of your hair and the colour of your make up when putting an outfit together!
Elegant designers say one should never venture to wear more than two colours in an outfit.
Clothes should always be practical.
Outfits for different occasions
Separate your outfits (not necessarily clothes) the best you can for day time and night time. One should distinguish what is appropriate for day wear and night wear. Also, one should not neglect the housedress - which is what you wear at home. Make an effort, spend a few dollars more wearing a nice and comfortable thing for your husband and children to see a beautiful you. Pay attention to what you wear to bed as well - make it a beautiful chiffon slip.
As much as you can, do not buy a cheap coat. Invest well. They do not keep you warm, ruins your entire outfit no matter how expensive your shoes are. Ensure they fit you well, and have good stitchings and material.
A staple in every woman's wardrobe. Wear them with pants, skirts, under suits and at any season of the year. Mix and match them well. If you are time poor, buy blouses with soft material, like chiffon, those that are flowy and need no ironing. If you have the luxury, wear ironed blouses. They are very elegant and smart.
They are useful for accentuating the waist. They are useful for giving a very flattering hourglass figure.
I especially like them in coats and jackets.
Pay attention when you try them on such that their ends do not irk you. Those belts not well made will stick out and get in the way of your arms. The irritation will follow you for the rest of your day if you wear them!
Ensure they do not make you look short or fat. Stay away from thick belts unless you are tall.
Pay attention to armholes that they first of all do not reveal your innerwear.
If they do, adjust your innerwear or the armholes simply do not fit.
Bonings for a gown are a must.
Avoid dresses with elastic tube tops - they look cheap and inelegant. Ensure they have proper boning to hold your frame and give you a small waist, especially if you do not have the perfect figure.
Bonings were created to replace corsets, they help with our posture too.
Zips or buttons?
I prefer buttons. I think its prettier, though zips that are concealed are perfectly fine as well. When buying clothes, check the zips to be of high quality and that they do not look cheap. Whenever they are visible, they cheapen the outfit.
Elegant Fashion Notes
Know your dress code. Honour and respect your host by adhering to them. Know the difference between cocktail and smart casual. Do not appear at a dinner party in a cocktail outfit. Know the differences between black tie and white tie. Call and check if you are not sure and unable to find out.
The Importance of Framing
Understand that your hair, your hairstyle whether it is short, curls outwards, is in a pony tail or bun, that it frames your face. Your collars do the same thing, so when you shop, check that the collar is a strong one. Weak collars are distracting and unflattering.
Your belt, neckline (décolleté) and the shape of the dress frames your body. You can manipulate that to a certain extent by the height of your heel. Though I would recommend you to stay away from very high heels if you are very short or very tall, because it looks ridiculous. Very high heels should be worn only if you are of medium height or if you have a partner proportionate to your new extra height beside you.
Accessories like scarves, necklaces (the long and short of it like a choker) also has framing qualities. Take some time to study what is the most flattering on you. If you are rather short, long hair and long necklaces give an illusion of height etc. V-necks give those without broad shoulders some shoulders etc.
Bangles, sleeves, scarves round the wrists, bracelets, watches frame your wrists which can look very pretty. Since they will be looked at when you wear them, ensure that they are not dirty, scuffed, of poor quality.
Unless you pay attention to the details of your outfit, you can never be quite elegant.
Elegant Make up
Day make up - stick to natural colours, look natural as though you do not have any on, though it is perfectly acceptable to have a brighter lip colour. I personally prefer lip gloss and this is the effect of modern society.
Evening make up - emphasize more on the eyes. Dark eyes can give a very glamorizing effect.
Alright, I think that's enough for one page. Please feel free to browse my other pages for my elegant style tips!
Leave a comment
Thank you for reading 'Fundamentals of Good dressing and Timeless Style'!
Go back to Elegant Timeless Style.
Before You ReadHello and welcome! This site is something like a personal journal - it is neither an authority on elegance nor a professional site. FAQ.
Elegant LessonsPeriodically, I write about my latest discoveries about my study of elegance.
BooksThe Elegant Woman - elegantwoman.org in a book
The Elegant Woman
Advertising EnquiriesAdvertising Opportunities Advertisements keep the site free. It pays for the running and building costs of elegantwoman.org I have a monthly readership of 125,000 strong reading 200,000 pages and growing.
Our words reveal our refinements; they tell the discerning listener of the company we have kept; they are the hallmarks of education and culture. - Dale Carnegie
I recognize but one mental acquisition as a necessary part of the education of a lady or gentleman, namely, an accurate and refined use of the mother tongue. - Dr Charles W. Eliot
Distinctions of Class
Enjoy This Site?
Then why not use the button below, to add us to your favorite bookmarking service?
|Return to top|