Scratch a fashionista and you'll typically find a full-fledged fashion magazine junkie lurking within. Part of the fun of the sport of fashion is when the new issues of your fave mags hit the stands or your mail box each month, then pouring over the news, checking out new designers and accessories, and most importantly, the editorials. It's fascinating to see what the mainstream editors pick as the season's most important looks, silhouettes, direction - and how they style it on set. Which is why it's unbelievably boring to see head-to-toe designer ensembles that basically look like they strolled straight off the runway. Yawn. Yes, it's easy to be "fashionable" with this approach: you just need a generous bank account and an obedient streak. What sets stylish women apart is the way they take the time and effort to distill the trends, personalize them, and then mix high with low to come up with a look that's still in style - but uniquely their own.
Even if you think Chloe Sevigny gets it wrong a lot of the time, or that the Japanese fashion urchin look above is something you'd never be caught dead (or worse, alive) in, why not suspend judgment for a minute and analyze what each woman is wearing in the name of "research":
- What works for each outfit?
- What part of the outfit is "risky" and why?
- Are there colors/accessories/layering or other qualities you like?
- How could you incorporate this into your own style?
According to The Cheap Date Guide to Style by Kira Joliffe and Bay Garnett - the editors of the wildly successful British anti-fashion magazine, Cheap Date - cultivating a successful style should be a fun, exciting, and empowering adventure into personal tastes...not to mention thrift stores, garage sales, grandma's wardrobe, as well as department stores and high-end couture boutiques. No matter where a garment is purchased or found, or how much it costs, if it makes you feel beautiful, sexy, and sassy, you're on the right path. (Available at Amazon.com)
To help get you started, here are three ways to wear a fabulous cape thingy by Mary Ping's Slow and Steady Wins the Race line, which "pushes and produces interesting and significant pieces from the simplest and most inexpensive fabrics and materials." This piece started off life as a humble sweatshirt - she slit the seams and an interesting item of clothing resulted. Belted, worn loose, or layered, it's almost guaranteed no one else will be wearing one, and everyone will ask you where to got it.
- Slow and Steady Wins the Race sweatshirt cape; taupe/grey pencil skirt; Butler & Wilson crystal necklace; iWood sunglasses, Portia Jewelry orange & pink enamel cocktail ring; ArtisanStreet tapestry carpetbag; Alexander McQueen two-tone platform pumps
- Slow and Steady Wins the Race sweatshirt cape; Butler & Wilson tone-on-tone crystal necklace; Stella McCartney black zippered skinny jeans; green croc "Kelly" bag; vintage Ralph Lauren tortoise sunglasses; Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere platform Mary Jane; Mary-Kate Olsen photo via CoutureCandy.com
- Slow and Steady Wins the Race sweatshirt cape; Slow and Steady Wins the Race No. 1 Seams skirt; Bernardo Mars sandal; Slow and Steady Wins the Race Ultimate bag; Marni wood & plastic necklace
- Lesley Scott
(celeb photos at top: Kate Moss - style.msn.com; Gwen Stefani - Peace Love & Fashion; Japanese street photograph - Hakan Photography; Chloe Sevigny - These Paper Dolls; Beyonce - Black Style Central; Sienna Miller - glamour.com)
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