In one of her most recent posts, Pam Lutrell of Over 50 Feeling 40, one of my favourite fashion blogs, presented her readers with a lengthy list of adjectives and asked us to choose the top three that we would like our wardrobes to say about us. I chose classy, confident, and comfortable.
In my mind, the first two go hand in hand. When I know I look good, I feel like I can conquer the world and to me looking good means dressing with class.
As I mentioned in last Friday’s post, now that I’m retired, I want my wardrobe to be what I would call classy casual.
So what makes an outfit classy? There are no one size fits all rules, but here are a few tips to help:
Learn how to dress your body type – What looks good on some of my curvy girlfriends might do nothing at all for my boyish figure and vice versa. Look for garments that highlight your best features and don’t draw attention to the ones that you’d rather conceal.
Fit – In the words of Stacy London and Clinton Kelly of What Not to Wear fame, “If you don’t have fit, you don’t have style.” The key is to try things on and look in the fitting-room mirror with a critical eye. Do shoulder seams lie in the right place? Are armholes sufficiently high without cutting into your armpits? Does the garment pull across your shoulder blades? Is the length appropriate? Is there puckering or wrinkling anywhere? If you’re unsure about fit, try on another size for comparison. Then, if you’re seriously considering buying an item, leave the dressing room and head for the three-way mirror! Don’t buy anything without first checking the fit from behind!
Know which colours look best with your complexion – Wearing the right colours can make your hair look radiant, your eyes pop, and your skin glow. On the other hand, the wrong colours, especially worn close to your face, will make you look tired or washed out.
Modesty – I’m not talking about hiding under a nun’s habit or a burqa here, but there’s nothing classy about overexposure! Unless you’re at the beach or beside the pool, keep your cleavage and your belly button covered. Underwear is meant to be worn under what you’re wearing, so keep your bra straps out of sight too and please, please remember that leggings are not pants! Make sure your butt and your crotch are covered. ‘Nuff said!
Accessorize, but don’t overdo it – Jewelry is meant to enhance an outfit, not overpower it. In my opinion, understated is better than garish or overly ostentatious. Scarves are a great way to add colour and visual interest to an outfit and don’t forget that your shoes are also an accessory. There’s nothing like a cute shoe to add a little class!
When it comes to classy, confident dressing, learn to trust your instincts. Wear what makes you feel like your best self. Think about the outfits that you feel happiest wearing and the ones that you receive the most compliments on. Chances are, they make you look classy. And don’t forget that dressing classy doesn’t have to cost a lot. Yes, you could spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on designer clothes, but you can also find comparable looks at reasonable prices, and if you’re like me, you might even find some wonderful buys in your local thrift stores! Check here for 18 tips to help you!
Comfortable is my final C word and to me, that’s a no brainer! Regardless of how well a garment fits and whether or not the colour suits you, if you don’t find it comfortable or you don’t like the texture of the fabric, you won’t enjoy wearing it.
What words would you choose to describe what you would like your wardrobe to say about you?