Friday, January 22, 2016

5 General Rules of Dressing Up

In today's Information Age and especially with the rise of social media, so many fashion trends come and go and we are exposed to, and are inspired by, so many fashion styling ideas. But the best advice we can give about dressing up is that it is a matter of creating your own style based on who you are, what you do, and who you want to be.

In order not to be like everybody else, establishing your own fashion style is a must-have skill. In the long run, you will eventually hone these skills, spend wisely when it comes to shopping, and be more confident when it comes to your own unique fashion style.  As an owner of an online kid’s boutique, I curate my own merchandise typically based on my customers' lifestyle. A Chichi Mary girl can be an urban chic or a classic romantic dresser. In this post, I enumerate some of the rules when it comes to dressing up and embracing your inner stylist.

Fashion Quote | Chambray Dress | Tartaleta | Chichi Mary Blog
Chambray Dress by Tartaleta.

1. Don’t copy

Yes, it’s the number one rule, and I repeat it for emphasis -- don’t copy! You can get inspiration from magazines, online resources or even friends, but don’t totally copy somebody else’s style. Dressing up is a matter of creating your own identity and is a representation of your inner self. The colors, silhouettes and other design elements may look good on another person but it isn't necessarily the best suited for you. Instead, start discovering the colors that complement you, the silhouettes that are appropriate based on your body type or the accessories that suit your lifestyle and personality.

Party Knit Dress | Spanish Kids Fashion | Tartaleta | Chichi Mary
Party Knit Dress by Tartaleta.

2. Less is more

I had fun reading the book, 101 Things I Learned in Fashion School.  Here is the section of the book that best describes my point:  

Simple clothes aren’t simple to design.
 When superfluous design elements are eliminated from a garment, more subtle consideration – proportion, line, fit – are magnified.  This called for a refined understanding of anatomy (e.g. how the neckline sits in relation to the clavicle), geometry, balance, positive and negative space, and the harmony of part to whole.

This didn’t sound new to me because growing up, I always heard this from my grandfather, who is a fashion designer. A dress that is full of ruffles and bead work does not necessarily translate to a showstopper piece. A very simple dress with the right proportion, silhouette and great fabric is more elegant looking. 

Bleu Comme Gris| Girl's French Clothing | Chichi Mary Blog
One of the simplest collections we had at Chichi Mary is the French brand, Bleu Comme Gris.  The dress completely reflects a good fit, proportion, and most of all, the elegant weave of the fabric.

3. The fabric is as important as the design

I’ve been highlighting the importance of wearing clothes made of natural fibers especially during the summer season because it’s a big factor when it comes to the wearer’s comfort. Do you know why people love wearing the typical white cotton t-shirt?  It’s because the typical jersey shirt is made of 100% cotton and it makes us feel more comfortable because of the breathability of the fabric.  Natural fibers like cotton, wool, silk and linen are great.  Natural fibers never fail to create an elegant and sophisticated look.

Stella Cove | Summer Party Dress | Chichi Mary Blog
Stella Cove is known for its great fabric and long-lasting prints.

4. Check your lifestyle

During one my fashion styling courses at FIT, my professor asked us to list some of the questions we should be asking our clients to help them define their style. Of course, here are some of the more obvious questions:

  • What do you do?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What are you most comfortable wearing?
  • Where do you live?

But one question I asked that made my professor stop, think and then agree is “Where do you usually hang-out or where do you usually eat out?”  This is because I believe that the place where we choose to spend most of our spare time says a lot about our lifestyle.  And our lifestyle should absolutely influence our fashion style.

Imoga | Fur Collar | Chichi Mary Blog
Imoga truly reflects an urban chic style.

5. Shop wisely

It is not necessary to break the bank to be stylish or fashionable. It’s better to invest in big important pieces like a good pair of shoes, a great coat, and a piece of dress that can be styled and used during multiple occasions. And it’s definitely not unstylish to wait for the sale, if you really want to be financially prudent. Just be careful in choosing colors because you don’t want to invest too much on trendy colors that can be obviously out of trend by the next season like neon or bright colors.

And here at Chichi Mary, we always believe that it’s better to invest in good quality pieces that will be cherished for a long time. Instead of simply accumulating things that do not last long or doing an impulse buy because of the irresistible markdown, it's better to save or wait to get a good quality piece that can be worn many times.

Fashion Laydown | Bleu Comme Gris | Chichi Mary Blog
An example laydown of a Blue Comme Gris Gold Cody dress.  All the elements on this laydown can be mixed and matched  to create multiple outfits.  The dress can be worn even during  spring/summer days because it is sleeveless and can be worn with gold Oca Loca sandals.  The fur collar can also be paired with just a shirt and denim jeans during the winter season.  And of course, the cardigan can be worn all year round!

French Fashion Laydown | Bleu Comme Gris | Chichi Mary Blog
Another great example of a Bleu Comme Gris laydown.  The Tampa Powder dress can be worn all year round while the fur vest can be worn with dresses and shirts during the chilly months.

In a nutshell, the general rule of dressing up is knowing who you are.  Because knowing who you are should have a big influence in creating your own fashion style. It may take some trial and error, but when you finally establish your style and become comfortable listening to your inner stylist, you'll be a confident and content individual who doesn’t hurry to go to the store to get the latest fashion trends.



No comments:

Post a Comment