Understanding Style Basics

Dressing well matters. For some of us, that’s great news: if you love to spend time shopping for clothes and picking out outfits, then it’s great to know your time is well-spent.

But for others, it may not be welcome news that dressing differently can change how other people see us or even how we see ourselves. If we don’t understand fashion, it can be upsetting to hear just how much it actually matters. But don’t panic. You don’t have to become a fashionista to dress well and enjoy the benefits that come with a basic fashion sense. Here’s what you need to know about how to dress well.

Fits and cuts above all

When we think of fashion, we probably think of a flurry of archaic rules about what to match with what and how to accessorize and when to wear certain colors. No white after labor day! Take one accessory off before you leave the house! The specific rules seem to go on and on.

The rules are there for a reason, but don’t think for a moment that hyper-specific memorization is the key to great fashion. The real essence of fashion is simple: your clothes have to fit. Once you know how to buy clothes that fit, everything else is just fine-tuning your look. So when you set out to improve your look, focus on the fit. Determine your body type and set out to find fits and cuts that flatter your body. You will likely find that certain brands and retailers always seem to work for you, so remember those sources, and make shopping a lot easier.

Getting the right fit is more than half the battle when it comes to looking good. But there’s still more that we can do, of course, to fine-tune your fashion sense.

Color, style, and other specifics

A well-fitting garment looks good most of the time with little help. That’s part of why movie stars manage to look good in period pieces with clothes that are way out of style now. But of course, you’ll still want to match colors correctly and wear trendy stuff.

Don’t worry, this bit isn’t too hard. A basic understanding of color families and the color wheel will help you make smart decisions about pairing clothes and accessories. If you want to get bolder and learn more complex color-matching schemes, then go for it, but you don’t have to. For simple dressing, you can always rely on classics that never go out of style. But don’t be afraid to step up your style game as you get more comfortable. Checking out fashion blogs and other news sources can help you know what’s in and what’s out.

Dressing for the situation

Fashion can seem complex, but a lot of it is just common sense. Take this important rule, for instance: of course you should dress for the situation!

Make sure that your wardrobe includes the right things for work, nights out, nights at home, working out, and vacation. When you’re off to experience Vicksburg, MS on vacation, you want clothes that suit Mississippi’s climate and make it easy for you to enjoy the indoor and outdoor activities that you planned for your trip. But when you’re at a job interview, your priorities will be different, of course.

Having timeless basics in your wardrobe will help you here. Certain garments can pull double-duty, being ready for both work and for vacations or the club, depending on which accessories and other garments you match to the basics! Fill out your collection with specific pieces like formal dresses and casual garb and you’ll be more than ready to be fashion-forward in any situation.

Investing in your look

You don’t have to break the bank to get a smart wardrobe. Just be clever about how and where you shop! Invest in basics that offer a flexible starting point for many of your looks. Find affordable shops that flatter your body type and splice in select high-priced accessories and clothes in smart spots. Use online shopping to save, since online boutiques offer you the same hip looks as small brick-and-mortar shops, but often charge less because of their lower overhead costs.

If you spend smart and remember the basics we’ve outlined here, you should be able to dress well without obsessing or overspending. That’s good news for those of us who are new to fashion.