What Defines Style?

How to Get the Look that Makes You Feel Like You’re On the Runway

You know the look. It is the one that woman has as she walks down the street and you take notice. Maybe you even think, Oh, I wish I could look like that. Confident. Put-together. Chic. Effortless. It isn’t necessarily about beauty – it is about style. So what defines style, and how can you achieve that same look and feel?

Take a Cue from the French

For decades women the world over have taken a cue from French women when it comes to style. Whether it is Coco Chanel or Catherine Deneuve, we seek the confidence and spirit of chic that French women seem to naturally exude. In fact, Coco Chanel reminds us that, “Fashion fades, style is eternal.” These women have an uncanny ability to embrace their physical flaws and turn them into characteristic beauty marks, and they have the attitudes worthy of their sleek styles. Take a look at how you can use the tricks of French women who carry effortless style:

·       Classic and clean lined jeans are a must.

·       Get at least one big, stylish bag to sling on your arm.

·       Don’t feel locked into heels – wear those ballet flats or even boyish sneakers.

·       Be sure to have at least one elegant scarf. It adds just the right touch of chic to even an ensemble of jeans and tee.

·       Invest in a sexy trench coat. It works over those comfy jeans or your most alluring evening dress.

·       Make sure you have a classic white shirt. It is simple, yet stylish and sleek.

·       Accessorize with oversized sunglasses and a favorite piece of jewelry.

Understand Style and Your Body

You don’t have to be French to have style – you just need to be able to understand your body – no matter where in the world you are. First and foremost, we need to make sure we don’t confuse beauty with style. A woman can be drop-dead beautiful, but lack style, but on the other hand a woman can have style, no matter her beauty. Style makes all the difference.

Because style is as much about attitude as it is about the clothing, it’s not something you’re going to find at the gym or on the racks. Start by understanding your body and bring that style out from within.

·       Forget about other people and their opinions of you. Ask yourself: What makes me feel accomplished and confident? Understanding who you are as a woman is your first step toward creating your individual style.

·       Hold your head high – literally. How we physically carry our bodies tells so much. If you walk into the room with shoulders slumped – whether you are a size 2 or 12 – you send a message of dejection. By the same token, if you walk in with shoulders back, head high, wearing a smile and making eye contact, you show off that confidence.

·       Let yourself be unique. If you feel most comfortable and confident wearing those chunky glasses with that scarf you found at an amazing boutique while on vacation, go with it.

·       Don’t be afraid to mix up your wardrobe. The goal isn’t to look like the mannequin in the window. Mix and match designers, fabrics, and tones to create a stylish look that is yours.

·       Pay attention to the fit of your clothing, and invest in tailoring when necessary. Clothes that fit well can make the difference between an outfit and a statement.

·       People watch. Take note of the women around you who show off confidence and style. Pay attention to what draws you to them. Then ask yourself how you can put your own chic foot forward.

At the end of the day – and the runway – style is a personal statement you can’t buy off the racks. It starts with confidence and an understanding of what clothing and accessories work on your body, and allows for your individuality.

Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess. ~ Edine Woolman Chase