Last week, I've received a nice email from an avid reader. The email says:
Hi The Beauty Junkee!
I love your blog! Your tips are awesome and you have such an extensive lifestyle database. I'm just wondering, do you have any fashion tips for me? I'm into fashion right now and I just thought of asking a very fashionable lady like you for useful tips! Hope you can reply despite your busy sched! (I suppose you're busy. :))
First and foremost, thank you for the kind words, especially the compliment "a very fashionable lady like you." I have never ever thought of myself as fashionable (nope, I'm not being humble here), and thank you for considering me as one. :D
Your question is very interesting so I thought of sharing my response via TBJ. It just brought out all of my sentiments about fashion. :)
Lemme describe my style in a nutshell: I go for pieces in classic cuts and plain colors. Why? Because they will never go out of style. Besides, you can wear 'em over and over again without your friend knowing it! Haha! Regarding my fashion idols, Chanel was and will always be my fashion hero because my fashion sense was deeply inspired by her. But right now, I'm digging Kate Middleton's elegant style. I also follow trends, but not to the point where I am already obsessing about them. I make sure I mix trends with classic pieces because I don't feel like me if I'm not wearing anything 'classic'.
You see, the Filipino fashion sense has greatly evolved---it has evolved so much that I think we can already be considered as one of the fashion capitals in Asia. Name it, I'm sure our malls and online boutiques have it: sky- high heels, candy- colored satchels, top-siders, trench coats, fabulous jackets, interesting tops and bottoms, and Forever 21. :D I'm sure your fashion venture will be a fun and exciting one, given the improvement of our fashion industry. But hold your horses---you are still very vulnerable to disillusionment.
I don't know who your fashion heroes are or what style you want to achieve. Just always bear in mind that you should be realistic with your choices. Go for whatever that looks good on you, and not what looks good on others. Wear something that flatters you (even if it doesn't look too hip), and not something that insults you. (even if it's popular right now) Choose your inspiration, but don't try so hard to look like them. Be selective of who you follow and what you adhere to, for you will unconsciously showcase them eventually. Lastly, the phrase 'Quality over Quantity' greatly counts in fashion, at least for me. I'd rather invest in a signature pair of jeans than buy cheap high- waist pants in a hundred colors. Because quality pieces are investments--you buy them for your confidence, and you put your money in something that will last you for generations.
I can't and will not advise you on how to mix and match prints, tell you where to find glittery and towering boots, and how to 'Excessorize'. I will tell you style rules--not fashion tips. Here's a more detailed list of the style rules I live by, and I know it will work for you. Actually I think it will work for anyone, even for those who are already good at fashion.
1. Know your personality
- And pattern your style after it. If you're demure and quiet, don't dress up like a coquette. The clashing of your personality and your outfit will show no matter how you conceal it and trust me, it's not cool.
2. Be a critical follower
-I would suggest that you read fashion blogs, as they really have a more extensive diary on clothes, accessories, bags, and what have you. You might also find your fashion inspiration from them. But always, always, always remember that whatever looks good on them may not look good on you. And don't consider them as standards. If you do, you only let them dictate your style.
3. Fashion Fades. Style is Eternal- Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
- I think this line already speaks for itself.
4. When in doubt, don't
- I've noticed that most people nowadays are sacrificing comfort and dignity for the sake of fashion. And to me, there is absolutely NOTHING FASHIONABLE when you're already limping in your pumps or if you feel silly wearing that hanging top. If you don't feel like wearing it, for the love of God, don't.
5. Dress up according to your environment
- This is my problem with most 'fashionable' teenagers nowadays. They love skimpy skirts but hate disrespectful comments. They wear heels but hate having to walk to the nearest jeepney stop for a ride. And to make matters worse, they wear fleece and leather jackets in a tropical country. Here in the Philippines, walking is a part of daily life, girls in p*kp*k shorts are still amazing to most Pinoy men, and Winter is not part of our seasons, unfortunately. Unless you have a car or a driver and a car, dress up decently, comfortably, and properly.
6. Invest in a good and classy pair of footwear
- I only have around 12-15 shoes. (flip flops counted) And these 15 pairs are either moderately expensive or really expensive. I rarely buy shoes. But if I buy one, I go for the branded ones. Because I can attest that expensive shoes are comfortable shoes. (Well, I can't deny that some are not) Case in point, my Nine West Bianca wedge. I had to commute with some bloggers after an event in Makati, and they were worrying if I could walk around the city to look for a cab with the wedge. To their surprise, I was able to walk for two blocks without limping and pausing. That's because my Bianca wedge was very comfortable and lightweight. It's totally worth my P6,000.00.
I also want to stress that a nude pair of pumps is a thousand times better than a fierce printed one. Why? Because a nude pair of pumps is classy and you can wear it with almost anything, whereas printed footwear can be too limiting. If you really want the bang for your buck, go for plain and classic pairs, and treat printed footwear as treats, not necessities.
7. Invest in a signature pair of jeans
- Aim to have at least a pair of branded or high- end jeans. I only have 6 pairs but they're the best. I've had my fair share of using cheap jeans. And if I'm going to compare them to my pairs right now, the signature ones are better by a huge lot! Apart from looking and feeling like a million bucks, branded and high- end jeans will also last you for as long as you want them. I have two pairs from 7 For All Mankind and they're my favorites! Roxanne is already two years old, and A-Cut is barely a year old. I use them at least 3 times a week, and their colors are still vivid, and fit is still puurrfect! Wearing something precious is good for the confidence too, ya know? :)
8. Invest in a few classic dresses
- Buy a little black dress, white dress, red dress, nude dress, and gray dress. They're easy to wear and accessorize. And like what I've said, timeless pieces will never go out of style.
9. Buy a useful bag
- Lately, I've noticed that bags have gotten smaller, thinner, and less useful. Envelope clutches and teeny weeny chain bags are nice, but honestly, what can you put in them? Go for something that's user- friendly, not fashion- friendly. But if you're only bringing a small tissue pack with you everyday, you could be an exception.
10. Buy what you like. Not what everybody likes
- Case in point: Fads. Fads will only remains as fads. Not worth the money.
There you have it. I was a bit carried away with my reply, but I hope you enjoyed it. And this goes to all my readers as well.
I only have one sentiment about fashion: Lately, people are trying to be more different, but they end up becoming common. Why? Because they don't know style. They only know fashion.
Always remember that you must have a good grounding first in every venture that you make so you won't be carried away by the current to a zone that's far from who you are and what you really want. You are what you wear, so dress up wisely. :)