I believe the 6 main elements for becoming and staying stylish are…
- Good grooming — this is the most important aspect of a good appearance and is the area that is neglected first when a person is in a bad space. It includes good personal hygiene, neat and tidy hair, appropriate makeup, well manicured nails and clean and well maintained clothing
- Understand the colors that suit you best — some people look best in cool, blue-based colors, some people look best in warm, yellow-based colors, others can wear some of each. For more on colors see my flow seasonal color analysis article
- Dress to flatter your body shape — understand your body shape and proportions and the best styles for your shape
- Understand your style personality — do you favor a natural, sporty look? An elegant, feminine look? Or some other look? Even if a style suits your body shape and lifestyle it may not suit your personality. Cut pictures out of magazines and print pictures from the internet to help understand the look you’d like to create for yourself
- Build a wardrobe appropriate for all aspects of your lifestyle audit and plan your wardrobe at least twice yearly to work out your needs for the coming season. Make sure you have most clothes for the activities you do most often. However, it also pays to have at least one outfit suitable for the rarer occasions too. That way you won’t find yourself in a panic buying situation if you do get invited to a formal dinner or other special occasion at short notice. Identify the style you want to achieve (see the previous point). Create a shopping list of the gaps in your wardrobe and prioritze the list. An understanding of dress code levels is critical for this step.
- Shop wisely and productively — take your shopping list with you when you go clothes shopping and think carefully about each purchase (more on this below)