How to Style Yourself for Beginners
After spending my entire fashion career re-working and overhauling women’s wardrobes and fashion identities I’ve learned a thing or two about personal style and how it is intrinsically linked to our self expression and sometimes, self confidence.
A stylish practical outfit, one we can move in, run errands in and throw on for some instant chic (and a quick daily mood booster) means the world, especially in times like this.
Today we are going to build a beautiful, thoughtful, practical outfit step by step together. Welcome to how to style yourself for beginners and fashion novices.
This blog will also serve as a fun back to basics refresher for fashionistas in the know.
So let’s strip off and start styling your incredible outfit.
WHAT IS "STYLING YOURSELF" AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Style becomes an extension of our identity. Fashion, to me, means to wear art on the body.
In all the years I’ve been fashion styling I’ve witnessed the powerful transformative effects of a new wardrobe or outfit on a woman (myself included!). When your inner personality is expressed externally with accuracy and to your fullest potential it makes us stand taller, hold ourselves to our highest standard and feel like we’ve made it (and can continue to make it!) in future.
If you feel a little out of your depth and don’t know where to begin, listen to a stylist.
Yes, I am biased, but it’s true. It’s just like hiring a personal trainer when you don’t know what to do or where to start at the gym.
Try to be open minded, release old long held beliefs (e.g. I can’t wear X because last time I did it didn’t look good) and ignore advice regarding colour palettes. Because it’s not the nineties anymore, (sorry, but it’s not).
Once you get a taste for fashion and really start to wear beautiful pieces you start to internally feel better. Then you get addicted to it!
THE ULTIMATE CAMI Let's being with a gorgeous silk cami. When shopping for a beautiful cami look for adjustable straps. I love a cami with length (not cropped) because this way you can leave the back flowing. This is one item to invest in, go with imported silk if you can. It looks and feels beautiful on. It’s a piece you can have for years to come so don’t be afraid to indulge.
If you have a big bust a v-neck is so incredibly flattering. It slims the figure and visually draws the eye to the centre of the decolletage which gives us a nice line.
Tuck the silk cami in at the side (optional) or in the centre, then flounce it or fold it out. This creates a balance between top and bottom and gives a flattering little visual nod to the waist.
Once you have your first cami slowly diversify your collection.
I love coloured camisoles - royal blue looks stunning on blondes, emerald green always lifts an outfit and patterned camis are my favourite. Start with a black cami and go from there.
I’ve written another blog (yet to be released) about not ‘comfort-buying’ the same piece over and over so I want to go ahead and say that camis, blazers and jeans all get a fashion hall pass. These are strong staples you want to build on slowly.
A NEW TAKE ON DENIM
Let’s start with jeans. This can be a sore point for many of us so don’t click off yet you little minx. I’m here to help you look your denim finest.
Always make sure your jeans are fitted. You should have to do the jean jumping and pulling workout to get them on.
Tip: always look at the tag to see if there’s a little bit of elastane. If there is, the jeans will really stretch. So get yourself into the snug ones. Buy a darker pair of jeans if you can find them. Look for a pair with button detail and avoid the ripped/torn look.
NOW LET'S TALK ABOUT SHIRTS + HOW TO SHAPE THEM
Tuck your shirt in the front centre...
Then flounce or fold it softly out and around. You want movement around the sides and for it fall into a soft inverted 'v' shape. This will create a beautiful line at the centre of the body. Silk shirts - Why you should get them on your body
I love a beautiful shirt. Wear open over your cami or button up to form a chic ‘v neck’ neckline. Shirts are stunning because they hug the figure in the right places without being overbearing, bulky or boxy.
European silk shirts are my favourite. I’ve mentioned a lot of investment pieces here today. Build your wardrobe slowly, one beautiful piece at a time and one day it will all come together.
I’ve put on a black cami for this blog so I thought I’d choose a beautiful patterned shirt. I love this shirt because I can wear it on holidays, open over my one piece swimwear then walk up the beach to get lunch and drinks.
It’s literally ‘instant throw on chic’ perfect for busy women and ladies who lunch.
BELT IT UP
When you tuck your top at the front, your outfit looks so much better when you have that little bit of detail from a belt.
I put belts on my new clients when I am styling them for the first time. Everyone says, “I don’t wear belts” but then they see the detail, the elegant, the nice line it offers to an outfit and then it becomes, “what was I doing before I bought this belt?” and they wear it every single day. It becomes an easy, chic, throw on staple that really truly makes each outfit.
I love thick statement belts or gold hardware or studs on a belt. If you don’t want to invest in multiple belts invest in one with plain studs and it will match every outfit.
Have it so the tongue of the belt goes through the first and/or second loop. If the belt tongue is short this indicates it’s not the correct size for you.
If you like the look of thinner belts I love the Dylan Kain ‘Brooklyn’ belt. It’s great if you want something chic, fine and subtle.
In these shots I’m wearing a B Belt from Germany. Truth be told the imported belts have my heart. The HTC 5000 stud belt is the holy grail of belts - it feels great on and matches every single outfit.
So now, you’ve got your jeans and silk cami on. Now let’s add a little bit of understated glam.
It’s time to pick your perfect blazer! My favourite blazer style is black with one stunning button at the front and 5 gold buttons on each sleeve. It can get a bit busy with multiple buttons on the front which is why I like one chic button. A woman can never have too many blazers, once you own black go get them in every colour.
Pop you blazer over your shoulders for a little warmth and to add oomph to an outfit or layer up over you bralette and cami. The contrast between the structured style of the blazer and the soft femininity of the bralette and cami is subtle, gorgeous and you guess it, oh so stylish!
THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKIN’ Next is an ankle boot, you can do a simple small heel or flat boots, your choice. I personally like a little tiny bit of height. This can really add to the outfit because it makes you stand taller and gives your legs a longer line.
These are such an essential because you can wear them with almost everything. Ankle boots are such a good investment piece because you can wear them with a dress and a vest, or with jeans, or out to dinner all year round. I personally love ankle boots because they make the outfit look sophisticated.
If you want to dress your look up quickly, this is the best way. I love the Anine Bing Peggy boots. These are such a great first pair of boots. If you want the little bit of height I spoke about, the Ava boots (also Bing) are perfect.
BONUS STYLING ITEM: BRALETTE - GET SET To achieve our easy casual chic look feel free to be a rebel and start with a beautiful bralette. It always gives you a great line and looks beautiful when layering (which we are about to do).
"Bralettes", just saying the word makes me feel happy. I think they are so sexy. You put them on and you feel gorgeous. Whenever I wear one I feel like I am going to have a great day. They say that a good outfit starts with good underwear and I believe this wholeheartedly.
The right bralette will make you feel supported. If you like to wear a supportive bra or you have a larger bust wear a proper bra underneath. I love bralettes because they look amazing under a sheer shirt, under a cami or under a blazer. They are powerful yet feminine.
I love a black bralette but under a shirt you can go to town. Do an electric blue bralette or a white bralette or even do a full lace bra which looks gorgeous under everything. I have an entire drawer full of bralettes. I have one which has gold mesh at the top so it looks like you’re wearing a necklace at the top. So collect these, start simple and then go wherever the fashion wind takes you.
You’ll become a super fashion whiz over time because you’ll get good at picking and your eye for fashion will grow over time.
And a great pair of sunglasses - if you’re like me you can wear a bold pair or you can do a plain pair of rayban. Try on a pair which are black with gold edging or detail and make a decision from there.
THE OFFICIAL FASHION FOX CHECKLIST + SHOPPING TIPS CHECKLIST Questions to ask yourself before you go shopping:
Take inventory of your existing wardrobe. How many do you have of each piece? Where are the gaps?
What have you bought over and over again from a place of habit rather than a vision for your personal style?
Which pieces are you emotionally attached to? Put these pieces in a drawer all together, keep the memories but declutter your wardrobe.
Which garments are not a reflection of ‘future you’ and no longer resonate with your next step in life?
Mindset + Goals for Shopping Trips:
Only ever go shopping when you’re in a good mood
Go shopping with hairstyled and a little bit of makeup on so you feel good
Fake tan a few days before if you like yourself better tanned. It will make you feel confident and counteract any shop lighting which washes us out
Make sure you’ve taken personal inventory of your wardrobe
Love your body shape no matter what size it is. I was a size 4 my whole life and now I’m a size 8. I know that’s still a small size however there’s a definite size range between these. I’ve even had to learn to love my butt. THE FASHION FOX STYLE FOR BEGINNERS GUIDED SHOPPING CHECKLIST:
Pair of jeans
Silk cami with lace at the top
Blazer - a really great piece
Pair of studded boots
Thank you for spending another fun Tuesday evening with me. I hope that you've found this blog helpful whether you are a beginner or fashionista in the know. I have a lifetime of fashion knowledge in my mind so I thought these would get us all on the right foot, to a great start in styling ourselves each day. It's the details that count, and even though this might seem like a lot of information the whole styling yourself thing truly does become 'effortless' over time, I promise! This was one of my most highly requested topics. Feel free to comment, DM me or email me with topic ideas to create future blogs. I do this for you and for the love of fashion and life. We are all in this together. I'm so grateful that fashion has been the vessel and conduit that has connected me with you. With gratitude, Nicole aka The Fashion Fox