Everyone has a distinct style. We asked an editor, buyer, and influencer to share their personal style guidelines.
With our increasingly hectic schedules and a plethora of options, more and more of us are creating our own “fashion uniforms” – capsule wardrobes comprised of tried-and-true pieces we can wear again and again. Finding what works for you is the key to identifying your particular style and making the most of your clothes, whether you prefer bright colors or ladylike shapes. We invited three stylish ladies to open up their closets and reveal the secrets to their characteristic styles.
The print enthusiast
‘I’m a big fan of hanfu camisole print. I’d say that 70 percent of my wardrobe is patterned. I’ve even purchased upholstery fabric and had it turned into a dress. I like to layer prints with accessories and wear a mishmash of prints.
‘I’ve always been self-sufficient and have my own sense of style.’ I’ve learnt which forms make me feel good over time. I prefer a slash neckline and three-quarter length sleeves when I’m truly dressing up. I’ve learned that this is a shape that I like, therefore I’ve purchased several items in this style. I dress according to my instincts.
‘I have a lot of old clothing. I spent years traveling around the United States and Europe in search of old treasures, and it became an art form for me. I have a gut instinct about what will make me feel at ease, and if I’m at ease, I’m confident in any situation. Dropping the kids off in my pyjamas is not in my DNA. When I went to the store, I happened to run into my aunt. “Where are your earrings?” she asked, terrified, after taking a glance at what I was wearing. It’s the African manner of getting dressed up and putting up an effort.
‘My go-to outfit is a patterned dress.’ ‘What will I wear it with?’ is never an issue for me. I sometimes wear a pair of pants underneath. I adore how they look with my Dr. Martens boots, and my gold Gucci flats go with everything. The Marni necklace I’m wearing here is one of my favorites — it’s pretty old, but I like to layer it with other pieces – and earrings are my favorite piece of jewelry. I have a lot of piercings and want to experiment with different styles. I’m not a fan of delicate jewelry.’
The color enthusiast
‘I’ve polished my style over time. I always put up an effort because I don’t want to appear uninteresting. Wide-leg pants (which I find very versatile and which work from season to season) and high-waisted skirts and trousers are two of my go-to purchases. Last year, I went six months without buying anything, which helped me figure out what I liked to wear and what I didn’t.
‘It taught me that buying expensive shoes is worthwhile.’ Even if you wear the same dress every day, your shoes will give it a new look. Because I prefer flat shoes, I find that fascinating loafers and trainers work well for me. I got this antique shirt (shown) because I enjoy tie-neck tops and the wonderful blue tint. I prefer to pair feminine tops with masculine bottoms, and I prefer to buy larger sizes since I believe they fit better and look more sophisticated.
‘If I’m going to an event, I enjoy planning ahead.’ My husband warned me that Glastonbury was like camping the first time I went, so when I arrived in the wrong attire, I couldn’t relax until I’d gone to the nearby Oxfam and found a green leather/vinyl coat. I was able to unwind after putting that on and applying some bold lipstick. I felt like myself once more. If I’m going to a black-tie event, I want to wear something unique, like a dress with an asymmetric neckline. I’m going to style it with a vintage belt and a nice clutch, and I’m going to do my hair. I’ll also be wearing trainers because I enjoy dancing and want to be comfortable. I buy a lot of clothes, a lot of which are secondhand. It’s part of my work that I’m continuously on the lookout for new items. People who are bold with their style appeal to me.’
The ladylike appearance
‘I have a classic and feminine style.’ I prefer to dress like a lady, not a girl, with polished nails and styled hair. My mother is really glamorous, and I’ve always admired her. I’m a sucker for classic glamour, like Diane von Furstenberg in the 1970s. My signature outfit is a dress and heels, and I’m now wearing a belt. Because my shape is rather straight, I cinch everything in to make it appear more feminine. I have a large belt collection and am willing to spend money on them because they are well worth it.
‘I think it’s crucial to spend time with your wardrobe and try them on.’ That way, you’ll know what’s missing from your wardrobe and what upgrades you’ll need to make it more current. When I’m preparing for a trip, I try on every outfit and double-check that I have everything I need. I enjoy making plans ahead of time. Putting clothes together gives me a lot of pleasure.
‘For me, true style isn’t about always purchasing new items.’ I believe that experimenting with tonal palettes can help you create fantastic aesthetics. It’s an intriguing way of expressing one’s mood for the day. My place is small, and I only have one rail and a chest of drawers for clothes, so I have to adore each piece in order for it to stay. On the rail, everything is grouped. My heels are kept on racks in a broom cupboard, and my bags are kept beneath the bed in size order. All of my knits are folded (never hang a knit! ), so everything is Marie Kondo-esque.
‘Since university, I’ve been collecting cashmere.’ It’s worth taking care of it by hand-washing it and storing it with moth repellent. I’m hoping to be able to wear mine far into my fifties. I’m a big fan of jeans. I’m short — 5′ 2 – so I turn up the hems and snip them off myself. I adore a kick flare, especially when it reveals a little ankle, and I still prefer skinny jeans with a high rise since it flatters my figure. Coats are really significant in my wardrobe. Pair them with a long boot and you’re ready to go.
‘I don’t alter my jewelry often.’ I wear a lot of yellow gold since it complements my skin tone. I constantly wear my G necklace, which was a gift from my partner and is an old Céline. Grey is my little boy’s initial. I enjoy wearing a lot of earrings. I don’t believe in the concept of “less is more.” In my opinion, more is better.