Tis the season to be merry and wear all the party outfits you bought on that midnight sale!
But, putting the perfect outfit together is not as easy as slurping up spaghetti pomodoro. Ask a woman who is going on a job interview, a first date or out with friends who are taller and slimmer than her. It takes skill, practice and a whole lot of mumbling to oneself – ‘I really need new clothes‘.
And then comes the irrational fear of wasting a good outfit on an insignificant day! Or wearing the wrong colour altogether – like red to a funeral or white to a wedding, burgundy in summer or sky blue in winter, blush pink for a night out or ruby-red for a blind date! If your head isn’t reeling with confusion already, add to this the pressure of matching a bag, shoes and accessories to your OOTD! Well, one thing’s for sure, stress doesn’t really go with any outfit. So, let’s do a quick, basic run through on the know-hows of dressing on point.
Life is too short to dress boring. Great style emerges from taking risks, not from dressing in neutrals. You could wear blue jeans and a striped tee with a blazer, a pair of beige pumps and a black classic hand bag – and look fabulous. But how do you take it to the next level? From fabulous to flat-out fabulous? Think outside the box. In fact, think as if there is no box at all.
I want my outfit to match my mood. Real life scenario. When I’m trying to write a sassy post like this one, I’ll always pull my hair out of a ponytail, do a couple of hair flips, allow my fringe to cover one eye and feel the vibe. It helps the creativity ooze. Often, your mood will define your style, and rarely your outfit will uplift your mood. Either way, they’ve got to be in sync for the magic to happen. Dressing up is all about reflecting how you feel.
I plan my outfit based on how much food I plan on eating. You should too. Hold the skinny jeans for a disco night; embrace the shapeless boyfriend jeans for a pizza night. Adapt this idea laterally to all facets of dressing. Cobblestone pathways and kitten heels. No. Bustling streets and cross-body bags. Yes. Wild night kissing strangers and ruby woo. Well, this one swings both ways. Take your pick.
Note: When mom read a draft of this post, she was horrified that I was asking readers to wear their boyfriends’ jeans. So much for asking her for her inputs!
I layer after reading weather predictions. I hate it when I’m like ‘Hell, it’s so hot!’ and someone’s like ‘Why don’t you take your jacket off’; like bitch no, this is my outfit. You feel me? It is always wise to dress for rain if you see dark clouds or layer smart so you can adapt to small weather surprises without ruining your outfit. An umbrella for your thoughts.
Simplicity is the key-note of all true elegance – Coco Chanel says it best. Simple need not be boring. Simple could mean one statement accessory, or one bold lip or one standout dress – and not all three together. Wear the outfit; don’t let the outfit wear you.
Exercise? Oh! I thought you said accessorize. Yes, i could easily say something like that. Though I’m not the girl to accessorize too much (a watch, some earrings and a cross-body bag), I still think accessories can make or break an outfit. That definitely does not mean that you match your bag to your dress. NO. Match your bag to your shoes. Make one part of your outfit pop (smokey eyes, bold lip, hair up-do, dress, shoes, bag or jewellery), and keep the rest basic.
Always dress like you are going to bump into an ex-flame. This one is a good example of how life screws you over when you least expect it. Don’t we all remember that one instance in the ‘messy bun and getting stuff done’ mode, when our exes bumped into us with their flaming hot dates? That cringy feeling of wanting to be swallowed into the earth right then and there?! Always dress as if you are going somewhere better later. Keep him guessing.
Clothes mean nothing unless someone lives in them. Whatever you wear, you gotta feel it, own it. Get others to notice you in your outfit, rather than notice just your outfit. Whether your style is boho chic, tomboy, classy-girls-wear-pearls, or plain Jane – if looking at your OOTD in the mirror makes you happy, by all means, take a selfie and click send. Remember, your character is also a part of your outfit.
The serendipity of dress shopping. Serendipity (n.). Finding something good without looking for it. When you find the right outfit and you can’t stop thinking about it, buy it. It doesn’t happen all the time. In fact, when you go shopping for clothes with a mission to come home with 5 perfect outfits, you end with a paper bag full of veggies, a baguette and at best, a new M.A.C lipstick (because you were so depressed that you needed lip therapy!).
In a world full of trends, be a classic. Fashion is ever-changing, but classic fashion is a style that lasts several seasons, sometimes several years. Like Chanel No.5, white converse sneakers, trench coats, leather bomber jackets, the perfect fitting jeans, the sophisticated work flats, the chunky sweater, the striped tee, or the leather-strapped watch. As fun as it is to adopt a new fashion trend or go ga-ga over a new fad, classic wardrobe staples that are timeless, are the easiest to put together and to carry with poise.
Friends don’t let friends wear bad outfits. Unless you are both after the same man! When in doubt, always ask a friend to help choose your outfit, one who understands your style. Be open to criticism and experimentation. If you get a lot of compliments, thank your friend. If you get a lot of subtle eye rolls, raised brows and stifled giggles, choose better next time – both the outfit and the friend.
Dressing up for someone can inspire genius. Even if it involves wearing a nude lipstick and crushing on your gym instructor! Nothing is more intoxicating than looking good and feeling good. Sometimes you do it for yourself, sometimes for others. If all you need is a bit of motivation, what the hell, just think of him and poof! you’ve got yourself the perfect OOTD.
It’s funny how motivation can fuel innovation, expression and confidence (trying not to sound like the tagline of a multinational company!).
Lastly, I always prepare for a faux-pas. Overthinking it is better than landing up with a broken shoe or bird poo on your pants. Losing a shoe may have been swell for Cinderella, but the world is full of Cruellas who aren’t going to rescue you when you have an outfit faux-pas. Yes, if you fall, make it part of the dance and all. But, for all practical purposes, if you have a long day ahead, prepare to change into flats, comfortable pants or carry an extra safety-pin. Whatever it is, being prepared means being in charge.
Finally, everything is figureoutable. Now go ahead and turn some heads.
Merry Christmas! I’ll be back one last time before ringing in the new year. Until then, XOXO.