By Gillian Armour Have you always secretly envied some women’s ability to look effortlessly chic? Follow these 10 simple steps to help you and your clients achieve that look effortlessly!
1. Look behind you. It is very important to review how you look before leaving your house. You never know, you might have tucked your jacket into your waistband or there is a big bleach spot on the back of those jeans. And, as happens more commonly, your clothing fit from behind looks awful. Always double check by holding a hand mirror and looking to see how good (or bad) your rear appears!
2. Color-coordinate your outfits. One of the easiest ways to color coordinate your clothing is to choose clothes in the same color family. For instance, wear a cream blouse with a cream skirt or a white blouse with cream pants. Likewise a gray jacket with black pants. Learn to work with neutrals. If you know how to use neutral colors as the base of your wardrobe you can add color via accessories, bags, scarves, jewelry etc. Experts rely on color wheels to coordinate. If you do not own a color wheel go out and buy one. They save you time and money when learning to coordinate a chic wardrobe. To use effectively - choose neighboring colors on the wheel to coordinate outfits.
3. Find a signature piece. Pearls, scarves, hats, colors etc. these details can become your “signature”. Many celebrities and style icons are memorable for their signatures and creating your own doesn't have to be difficult. You can start with something as simple as a colorful necklace. Does this signature (symbol) define your colorful personality perhaps? Do you see your “self” as romantic? Conservative? Casual? Sexy? Or dramatic? For example, Sophia Loren’s style is dramatic. Her features are very prominent, her face distinctly Roman; her hourglass figure voluptuous and her personality passionate. Her signature look “dramatic” is a true reflection of who she is. Once you define your personality it's easy to find a signature to stamp your style.
4. Tailor your clothes. To create a chic look wear clothes that fit you perfectly. This requires you pay attention to detail. Sleeves need to be long enough, pants, not too short, jackets fitted at the shoulder and waist, blouses tailored to your body shape. But be warned -when you buy off-the-rack clothing you run the risk of improper fit. I’m not saying don’t buy off-the-rack, just that you’ll need a good tailor to fit them to your shape. Make sure the clothes you’re wearing are comfortable otherwise you project discomfort and restlessness.
5. Get a stylish hairstyle - a little bit of research and consultation with a great hairstylist will lead to the perfect haircut for your facial shape. Unless you’re a quick study, you do not know your facial shape and without knowing it you’ll never know which styles are flattering for you. Consulting with a pro is free. There are also on-line sites that help you determine your facial shape. You can try on virtual hairstyles suitable to your facial shape. As in clothing, your hairstyle should reflect your personality.
6. Pay attention to details - your hair, your smile, how you feel when you wear a beautiful dress, little, but important details help you feel confident, empowered and positive. Paying attention to details is not just about whether your buttons are buttoned, your snaps are snapped, or your belt is belted, it's about the relevancy of detail: from beautiful buttons, quality belts and fabrications, to excellent tailoring and fit. And, don’t forget accessory details - socks should match your shoes and pants, your handbag style should be congruent with your clothes etc.
7. Wear good jewels. I recently reviewed an international publication's best-dressed list. What caught my eye was that each of these best-dressed women wore important jewelry. Chic jewelry does not have to be a big investment but an investment in chic-ness is always great. Three strands of pearls or a gold cable chain necklace, an elegant watch or a pair of pearl (or gold) earrings are all you actually need to look chic. Costume jewelry is rarely chic (unless it’s vintage). Stick with the classics, and you cannot go wrong.
8. Speak Chic. Many chic women I know are multilingual. When they converse in English they throw in a few native words for effect. If English is your only language it's still easy to incorporate foreign words into your conversation. This will make you seem incredibly chic, worldly and accomplished. Compare how “ I love the way you look today” sounds to “J’adore how you look” and you’ll hear what I mean!
9. Manners and etiquette. These are at the heart of what chic is. If your manners and etiquette skills are impeccable you can get by with a relaxed appearance. However, for our purposes (creating a chic look) let's decide that manners, perfect etiquette and a chic appearance add up to one very chic woman. These days there are so many etiquette professionals and classes, both in person and online that no one can use the excuse that they never learned how to be socially appropriate. To me perfect manners transcend other imperfections. If your manners are perfect you are too!
10. Be Charming. Charm is one of the most important aspects of a woman's personality and one of the greatest contributors to being chic. When you can turn on the charm and incorporate it into your overall image then you will be chic. Even in this world of “all business, all the time” don’t fear using your feminine charms. Best dressed women always rely on charm as the path to chic-ness!
And if all else fails you can consult one of our professionals or train to become a professional consultant in style, fashion, etiquette or color style. Visit our campus courses online 24/7/365