GETTING on the best dressed list, being adulated as a keen style leader comes with a lot of practice and laborious experiments.
Don’t listen to those who say style can’t be learned! They lie…thinking that some things can never be taught.
Even those lucky to be born into stylish families learn from their kith and kin.
You can learn to be very stylish, at whatever age, once you are ready to barter time, energy and resources for it.
Only genuine passion separates you from being stylish! Once you are interested, keen, willing and able, you can easily get on any best dressed list.
And here is how:
1 HAVE A WELL THOUGHT OUT PLAN AND ASK QUESTIONS – Dressing well and the desire to be listed as best dressed must begin with a plan. And a lot of questions.
You should ask yourself: why do I need to dress well; what are the clothes I like; what style suits me; what are the activities that occupy my time; what resources do I have to achieve my aims; why do I want to be on the best dressed list?
The answers will provide a platform to begin well, and stay focused as the months roll by.
2 BE VERY NEAT, GROOM YOURSELF WELL FROM HEAD TO TOE – No matter how finely tailored your clothes, how elegant your accessories, once you fail the neatness test, you can’t get anywhere.
Your apparels must be very clean, well laundered and ironed, spick and span. That’s the first rule.
Then, you must be well groomed from your hair to your toes. You must look as if you have just left a dedicated hair dresser or barber and had a thorough wash, with skin appropriately cared for, nails neat and flawless.
3 EVERYDAY IS IMPORTANT – You cannot take any day off. Every day, every engagement, every occasion is very important to stylish people.
They have an engaging wardrobe for all aspects of their lives – work, leisure, worship, parties…
And they invest their resources on clothes which best capture their activities and engagements.
If you spend five or six days at work, one day for events and another day in church/mosque/worship, you should plan your wardrobe to reflect these schedules.
If, on the other hand, you attend more than three events in a week, plan accordingly.
4 OBEY DRESS CODES – No matter how gifted you are, how lavish your wardrobe is, you should always be appropriately dressed for any occasion. And the starting point is to know the dress code of the event or understand what works at different occasions.
You can’t be casual, no matter how chic, to a formal event. Or adorn beach wear to a cocktail.
Once you familiarize yourself with different dress codes for any occasion, you are on the right track.
If you are in doubt, ask the host(ess) or those organizing the event.
5 DRESS YOUR AGE – Don’t listen to those who tell you age is in the mind. When it comes to style, age matters. Never attempt to dress as if you are younger or older (older can work when the items are classic!).
When you see older men and women adorning their children’s garbs, they look pitiable.
Stylish people dress their age, and are comfortable in their skin. There are appropriate clothes, for all lifestyle engagements for every age. From casual to corporate, evening to day wear.
Learn what is age appropriate.
6 TRAIN YOUR EYES FOR COLOURS AND PATTERNS –Mastering combining colours and patterns can take some time but once you train your eyes, and play safe, victory won’t be far off.
There are many rules about colours and patterns, and students should first know that light and dark colours go well together. (For example, white and dark blue, not dark blue and black).
And for patterns, it is wise to wear only one patterned item (either top or trousers/skirts), until you know the game well.
Once you train your eyes over the years, combining colours and patterns becomes easier.
7 ACCESSORISING WELL CHANGES EVERYTHING –You can wear one outfit many times, in different ways, when you know how to accessorise. One suit can be worn a thousand and one ways with different shirts or tops, shoes and bags, and jewels.
A dress can be dressed up or down, once you know how to add and subtract.
Learning how to accessorise is important for the well dressed lady and gentleman. You create excitement once you know how to jazz up plain apparels.
So, invest in good accessories.
8 CARRY YOURSELF GRACEFULLY, GAIT COUNTS – You cannot carry a beautiful ensemble off if you have not mastered gracefulness. Your gait complements your clothes, tell all whether you are a successful style student.
Whatever you adorn should be worn so well that it doesn’t look borrowed or far above your class.
Learn to walk well in different shoes, know how to pace majestically, and never hurry. Nothing should be exaggerated.
Walking well, like a well bred lady or gentleman, makes your clothes more appealing.
9 WINDOW SHOP, STUDY FASHION BOOKS AND MAGAZINES AND WEBSITES –There are ample information about style in books, magazines and websites, and you cannot stop learning once you are hooked.
Books, magazines and websites provide insights about how to be on top of the game, and what’s new.
And those who decorate mannequins and arrange boutiques and ateliers are trained to provide heart thumping results. Visit shops and window shop, pay attention to how clothes and accessories are co-ordinated.
10 SPEND MONEY ON QUALITY ITEMS – You can’t get far if you don’t see clothes and accessories as investment which should last for years and years. Good and quality items cost money but in the long run give you enormous value.
You wear good, quality items for many years, as long as they are not flamboyant and in vogue.
As your income improves, you should elevate your taste and acquire very good items. Stick to classic items which will be around for many years.
11 COMFORT IS ALMOST EVERYTHING – You must be so comfortable in whatever you adorn that your confidence oozes. Once you are comfortable and at ease, people can touch your courage and feel good in your company.
So, your togs and accessories must tell your story well. They must represent who you are or who you want to be.
Comfort cannot be faked. When something is not you, people can tell.
If you are not daring, adventurous and flirtatious, leave alone revealing attires.
12 ATTEND THE RIGHT EVENTS AND KNOW HOW TO POSE FOR PHOTOGRAPHS – Being well dressed and acknowledged are two different things. You can dress so well that your family and friends applaud and tell you so. Being acknowledged and planted on the best dressed list is done by the media.
And to be listed by the media as ‘best dressed’ means you are invited to the right events covered by the press and you pose well for photographs.
Over time, fashion and style reporters and editors will notice you. That’s the route…
13 BE SAVVY, BE COURTEOUS – Everyone loves ladies and gentlemen who are courteous and respectful, and know what to do.
So, you should cultivate the friendship of photographers, reporters and editors. Don’t forget to flash a smile and acknowledge them at events.
Be respectful, even when you are not in the mood. How people are treated is very important.
14 BE FRIENDS WITH YOUR TAILORS AND CLOTHIERS –You can get better value and much more quality items when you are friends with your tailors and clothiers. Being listed on the best dressed list means you pay particular attention to what you wear and those items are supplied by your tailors and clothiers.
Once you like a tailor or clothier, make extra efforts to cultivate their friendship because you will be spending a lot of time discussing clothes. And things work better when they are friends. Your demands become easily accommodated, and they can tell you what’s happening in fashion.