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Step One: Know Yourself
The first step in any move towards superb style is to make sure that you really know yourself, inside and out. Forget clothes for the moment and concentrate on working out who you truly are as a person and in your physicality. Start on the outside and work in, making sure that you know every inch of yourself, from the qualities of your skin, hair, eyes and other features, to your body's shape and size and, of course, to all the different elements of your character. Only when you really 'find' yourself can you begin to work out your own sense of style.
Step Two: Know Fashion
Anyone with real style knows cheap fashion inside out. They know what is in and what is out, keep abreast of trends and changes and yet are never slaves to them. A really stylish woman knows that it is important to know the rules in order to be able to break them.
Step Three: Observe
Part of knowing about style is being able to observe, take in and analyse what you see. Look at media, at people in the street, at friends and family. Take note of what works and what does not work quite so well. Observation and a good eye are important skills to hone if you want to improve your style know how. At this stage, it is also a good idea to observe yourself in the mirror in all your clothes and look with a truly objective eye.
Step Four: Refresh Your Wardrobe
Be ruthless. Anything that you would not give at least an 8 out of 10 for style (on you) should go to charity, sold or given away. Really look deep and analyse why you are keeping each individual item. Identify any gaps in your wardrobe and begin to slowly fill them. Make sure that anything you do choose to buy you would grade 10 out of 10, or can adapt to give it full marks.
Step Five: Style Your Own Signature Look
Once you feel that everything you own is really you, you can begin to work out the common strands and to work out outfit combinations that really reflect who you are as a person. It is only when you have developed your own signature look that you can really be said to have a superb sense of style.
Fortunately, we come in a range of different colours. Just think how boring the world would be if we all looked just the same! Diversity in society is, of course, something to be glad about and something that the fashion industry is often keen to celebrate. Unfortunately, all too often, lazy fashion writers end up talking about 'nude' as though it were just one peachy off-white shade! What is that all about? It is time to remind fashionistas, reporters and designers everywhere that 'nude' is not just one colour.
We all come in different shades of Birthday suit and the nude clothing, footwear or accessories we can choose should allow us to match with our own skin tone – not just one arbitrary one. If, for example, we want to extend the appearance of our legs by wearing nude shoes or boots, it should be easier for us all to find a colour that more closely approximates the colour of our bare skin.
Fortunately, for the most part things are moving in the right direction when it comes to diversity in the fashion industry. This year's London fashion week was the most diverse ever, though still only 25% of the models used in the runway shows were non-white. Brands such as Christian Louboutin and Nubian Skin are opening a dialogue about that word 'nude' and the assumptions that are often made.
Now, A blogger from the UK is making headlines with a range of hijabs in a range of different skin tones. The popularity of the lines show that there is much demand for 'nude' clothing that is able to reflect at least some of the diversity of skin tone we see every day in the real world. There is no need to stick to a colour close to your own skin tone but you should have the choice to do so if you wish.
Nude tights, dresses, shoes and accessories could all be handy and flattering in a range of different situations so why should we all have to compromise on some artificial mid-tone when most people's true 'nude' shade is nowhere near that tone or colour? Fashion is beginning to cater for diversity, but things still have quite a long way to go before we can all choose the perfect nude shade for us. Whatever your skin tone and colour, demand that you are recognised and never let anyone forget that 'nude' is not just one colour!
Autumn is here and the summer weather is rapidly becoming a distant memory. Though we have all been willing the Indian summer to go on forever, we know that the inevitable fact of the matter is that the colder weather is here and for the next few months, the sunshine and warmth of the summer will seem like a fading dream. However, all is not doom and gloom. There are actually plenty of wonderful things about the autumn, especially if you are a fashion lover. Here are just a few good reasons to be glad that autumn is here:
It Is Leather Weather:
Well, ideally it would be faux leather but the same thing still applies whether you have decided to go the ethical route or not. Now the weather has cooled enough you can don your leather jackets, leather skirt, leather trousers and other leather items without feeling like you are slowly being roasted alive. Faux-leather can look just as good as real leather but it will still feel just as hot too, so it really is best to wait until this time of year before you venture out in it.
Cashmere Sweaters (And Similar Soft Snuggly Items):
The soft sensation of your favourite sweater against your skin can really compensate you for the loss of the warmth and the sunshine. Snuggle up in your favourite soft sweater and enjoy the feel of it against your skin and the warmth it will help you to retain.
Getting out the beautiful boots for autumn is one of the pleasures of the season. When you find the perfect boots your feet will love you all season long. Whether they are warm and comfy flats or super trendy platform boots, beautiful boots can help put that smile back on your face.
These are just some of the compensations that your autumn/winter wardrobe can bring. You might not be seeing your favourite mini skirt or your favourite bikini for a while, but at least you do have some of your favourite fashion items close at hand. Don't forget, too, that you can still wear many of the items from your summer wardrobe – just layer up, pop on some tights and wrap up warm with cardigans and coats and that summer dress will see you right through to the spring and even beyond. MISSBELLA
There are many reasons why those with a conscience should choose not to buy real leather items but should instead say on the ethical side of fashion and say no to leather and to fur and choose man-made options instead. Here are just some of the reasons why you should opt for faux leather rather than real leather when choosing your shoes and clothes:
The Environmental Cost Of Real Leather:
While all materials come with some environmental cost, the cost of real leather is far higher than the cost to the planet of faux leather and that it just a fact. The cost of the agriculture, the processing and the tanning all add up. A simple analysis of the facts shows that the environment would be immeasurably better if we stopped eating and wearing dead animals.
The Ethical Cost of Real Leather:
It is not just the environment that suffers with the production of real leather. Unfortunately, animal welfare is not high on the priority list for many leather producers and what is more, millions of human lives are also put in extreme danger through toxic waste, pollution and water shortage. Why should millions of living creatures suffer for the sake of the vanity of the few, when there is an alternative that pretty much looks just as good? It really does seem ludicrous.
The Practicalities Of Man-Made Fabric:
Faux leather is not only the default position because real leather is so bad. It also has a number of practical benefits of its own. For one thing, since it is man-made it can have a far more uniform finish if that is what is wanted. For another thing, it can come in sizes that exceed the size of an animal, so you are less restricted as to what you can make and do. Faux leather looks almost exactly the same as leather, it is cheaper and, though it does not soften and age in the same way, that just means that it can last a lot longer.
There really is no reason why any ethical person in this day and age would be informed about the nasty things that go into making leather and would still want to wear it. Inform yourself and make the switch to the most ethical and environmentally friendly sorts of vegan leather today. No one but you will likely even be able to tell that you made that sensible switch. MISSBELLA
Kindness is a currency. It can take us a long way. A smile is infectious and by simply being kind, even by smiling at a stranger, you could really make their day. Here are five great ideas for how you can take the kindness of others and 'pay it forward', to help make the world a better place:
Pay A Genuine Compliment Out Of The Blue:
Paying a compliment is a bit of an art form. You have to make sure that the compliment you are paying is a genuine one and that you are choosing the right time and place to pay it. A well timed compliment however, could really cheer someone up and brighten their day. Why not tell your friend how lovely she looks in her new dress, or compliment a stranger on their hairstyle? Send out that kindness into the world.
Donate Some Of Your Favourite Old Clothes:
Another way to pay it forward is to pass on your old cheap clothes to other people by donating them to a charity shop or simply passing them on to friends or family who may have admired a certain item in the past. Why not give your sister that jumper she's had her eye on, or have a clear out to get rid of items in your wardrobe that no longer fit you or which you never wear. You could be holding onto something that could become a cherished part of someone else's wardrobe. What about having a swap meet with some friends? Not only might you clear space in your wardrobe for the perfect new items of clothing, you could also spread the kindness and the love.
Adopt A Patch Of Soil In Your Community:
Food can really make people happy and you can play your part in your local area by helping to grow food for your community on a neglected patch of soil. A small amount of effort poured into the soil could be a real boon to the people in the area where you live.
Volunteer For A Community Project:
There are a wide range of community projects out there, many of which help some of the most vulnerable people in our society and those most in need of kindness. Why not consider donating a small amount of your time to help those less fortunate than yourself? You never know what wonderful things could be achieved if more people just pitched in a little.
Teach Someone A New Skill:
Another great way to help and show kindness is to teach someone something that you know and they do not. No matter what your skills are and what you are good at, there will be something that you can teach to enrich the life of someone close to you. Do you know about cooking, cars, gardening, joinery, sewing, design, art, music? The list of potential skills is almost endless. Pay it forward by passing on some knowledge or practical skills today.
There is no point wearing a bomber jacket, in my opinion, unless you are going to do so authentically. I do not mean that you have to become a bomber, merely that you should embody the chic yet rebellious and counter-culture spirit of the piece and really use it to express your fashion aplomb and individualistic streak. Here are five ways to make your bomber jacket your own and the great news is, none of them cost the earth.
Beautiful badges can help you to show your beliefs and allegiances. Whether you want to show your political affiliations, your religion, your activism or your loves and hates, badges are a marker to show that you are an engaged, interested and interesting person. Just be genuine and that will always shine through.
Patches can also personalise a bomber jacket. These can be collected around the world and if you are a keen traveller, this could be an amazing and individualistic way to show your passion. Patches can show where you have been and also where you are going. They can show your sports teams or simply some of your favourite places. When it comes to personalising your bomber jacket, more is always more.
Punk is having something of a resurgence at the moment and popping a few safety pins at strategic positions on your bomber jacket could be a great way to plug into that anarchic spirit of rebellion and let the world know that you are not someone who will go down without a fight into the pits on anonymity and sheep-like following.
Transfers are an easy way to customise a bomber jacket and if you were to decide at some point in the future that you wanted to switch things up you could do so without too much hassle.
A more permanent and yet more beautiful solution to your non-conformist dreams would be to embroider a design onto your bomber jacket. The more idiosyncratic the design the more fashion kudos you will surely receive. Make the design something specific and personal to you and you will definitely increase the fashion cred of your bomber jacket.
A personalised bomber jacket is something that you will not want to part with no matter how the fashions twist and turn. It is something that you can hang on to and improve with every passing year. Do your best to be yourself and everyone will surely see you for the wonderful, creative person that you are. MISSBELLA
We can all sometimes be guilty of staying too rigidly and firmly within our comfort zones. They are, after all, called comfort zones for a reason – they are comfortable: safe, warm and cosy. Why would we want to take a leap when we can remain relaxed and keep things just the way they are? When it comes to fashion, many of use are comfort zone dwellers to the highest degree. Are you one of the many women who has become too safe in their cheap fashion choices?
You can tell if you have become too safe in your fashion choices by taking a good, hard look at the clothes in your wardrobe. If you look at your clothes are realise that you have a shocking number of clothes that look very similar then you are definitely falling into a safe holding pattern. If, for example, you have several pairs of almost identical skinny jeans, then it might be time to take a bit of a leap.
It is normal and common to get stuck in a bit of a fashion rut and to choose over and over again to buy clothes that we know to be comfortable and which we know look good on us. The problem is that those favoured clothes become a kind of uniform, and the look can get boring and stale. What was once fresh and stylish has become a problem area in your fashion life.
Take all the clothes out of your wardrobe so you can see them all, not just individually but as a whole collection. When you analyse your clothes in this way you will be able to really see where you have begun to be stuck in a rut. This will also help you to find core pieces that are really you, which you can use as the foundation stone for a newly rejuvenated and updated wardrobe.
If you are seeing the same shapes, colours or types of clothing over and over again in your collection of clothes, think about whether you really do suit this style. You may well find that you are doing yourself a disservice and that you have fallen into a style rut that perpetuates a look that never really suited you in the first place.
Even if your uniform style does suit you, it still comes across as too safe and so will eventually lose its stylish edge. By keeping things safe you are actually diminishing your clothes ability to show your style and personality. Just throw in something new and different every once in a while. You may not always get things spot on, but at least you are showing some fashion chutzpah.
Have you got a mental block when it comes to choosing the perfect accessories? Jewellery can be a tricky thing to get right but when you do, it can really tie a whole look together and be the lynch pin of your outfit. The right earrings, necklace, bangles, bracelet or rings can really elevate an cheap outfit and turn it from okay to exemplary. Jewellery can help you make the statement you want to make. If you are struggling to work out what jewellery to wear, here are a few trends that might just give you a few new ideas:
Whether it is earrings, a necklace, bracelet or hair piece, large, round statement pieces of jewellery are definitely in vogue. Whether models wore one large plate or a series of them, this trend cropped up all over the place in the Fall collections of a number of fashion houses.
This punky jewellery style was also everywhere. Chains were worn as belt-like accessories but also on a wide range of hardwear store type jewellery. Chains were not the only punk inspired element to jewellery on the fall catwalks. Safety pins, both normal sized and jumbo, were also a component common to several fashion houses.
Treasure Trove Jewellery
Much of the jewellery on display in the autumn 2016 collections looked as though it had been salvaged from a pirate's hoard of treasure. Earrings and necklaces made of, or make to look like, coins were commonly seen on the catwalk.
Dangling from many earrings of the autumn collections were tassels, like those you might expect to find on the thing that ties back your grandmother's curtains. Tassels have been updated and offer an edge and avant garde jewellery choice.
For many designers, it seemed, bigger was most definitely better. Necklaces on the catwalks threatened to pull their models off balance, so big and heavy were they. These huge, oversized statement pieces could be a real 'wow' factor for those looking to put together a great signature look for an important occasion.
These are just a few of the trends in jewellery for autumn 2016. Why not consider buying yourself a present of some new jewellery? It could be the perfect way to give yourself a little bit of a mood boost as the nights draw in and the days get colder and shorter.
Be More Natural
When you buy clothes, when you do your hair, when you choose a beauty regime, always go for a more natural approach. Yes, excessive make up and glam, OTT dress can make you attractive to a certain type of man but great guys, forever guys, guys who you won't be afraid to be ill in front of and who will take care of you even when you look your worst, they will always prefer the more natural look. You are beautiful just the way you are, as nature intended. The right guy will see that and love you for embracing your natural beauty.
Some of us have a quirky dress style, others may be classy, bohemian, rebellious, modest... in what you dress and in every way, you should always be yourself. Fakery may attract a man initially but false advertising is hardy going to buy you lasting love and men will not like it if your outer appearance does not reflect who you are within. Make sure your character shines through wherever you are and whatever you wear. Just be yourself and the right man will love you for it.
Be Independent Minded
The right man will always love the fact that you have your own mind. Most men do not like women to be subservient and follow like a sheep. Most men in the modern world, or at least most men that most women would want to have a relationship with, respect a woman who is independent in mind and deed. Never lose yourself in your pursuit of a relationship and always retain control of your own life and a sense of yourself. The right man will love that about you.
It is all well and good wearing the perfect clothes, having the perfect hair and skin, looking amazing. But if that is all there is to you then the right sort of man will very quickly lose interest. Keeping up appearances and feeling that you look nice is important but it is more important to foster your inner development. Learn, study, travel, grow, have hobbies and passions. Those are the things that will really keep you interesting to a man.
But it is not all about you. One of the key things in any developing relationship is being interested in them. There is nothing more attractive to a man than a woman that really admires them and really listens to what they are saying. Always take the time to talk about the things he is interested in and you will be attractive no matter what you look like on the outside. MISSBELLA
London fashion week is almost over, but we are all much better informed about the fashion agenda for spring-summer 2017. Here are five of the items that will help you bridge the gap and still be in fashion when the spring rolls around:
Biker boots are a must-have for winter but they can also look good next spring – paired with a floaty, floral dress when the weather begins to warm up. On the catwalks in London Fashion week, many designers stuck to biker boots. They continue their popularity into the spring-summer collections. So purchasing a pair now could be a good move for fashion lovers. Pair your biker boots with a mini skirt, wide leg trousers or blooming midi dresses.
The nightwear as daywear trend is set to continue and will be a big trend over the winter and well into the next season too. So top on a trendy pyjama shirt and enjoy this quirky look from now right through to spring summer 2017.
Rosy Hued Biker Jacket
Okay, so you should buy faux leather to be ethical, but these biker jackets are less about the material anyway, and more about the colour. A dusky pink continues to be in vogue as we move through the transitional seasons. This palette choice is popular in many ranges for spring summer 2017. If the biker jacket is a bit much, consider introducing pinkish shades in more subtle ways in your look.
Ruffled Skirt or Maxi Dress
Ruffles and flounces are very much staying on the agenda. A ruffled, floral maxi dress will look great with a pair of boots in the winter and then, of course, will effortlessly switch to a summery look by switching out the boots for a pair of sandals. At London fashion week, ruffles dominated a range of collections, including those from Mother of Pearl and Erdem.
Chain-Handled Hand Bag
Heavy chains have been a trend for a few seasons now and this is not something that looks set to change just yet. They are to be found adorning a range of accessories. One of the easiest ways to incorporate this feature, which is key to Chanel and Gucci's must-have autumn winter 2016 accessories, is to choose a hand bag. Chain handled bags can be worn cross-body, over the shoulder or as a clutch and any of these will be fashionable well into next year.