August 15th, 2009 Jamie
One thing I loved about getting out on my own was the lack of parental commentary on my wardrobe. I never went too crazy–I’m a jeans-and-T-shirt girl at heart, hence my choice of sunny, beautiful UCSD–but I tried pairing black nail polish with pearls, got an extra ear piercing, and considered going by my middle name.
College can be an amazing time–the freedom to be yourself, finally, and most times the ability to leave your high school label behind. If you were the criminal, the jock, the princess, the nerd, (yeah sorry, I love The Breakfast Club) then, now is your opportunity to break the mold. To redefine yourself.
Now that I’m out of school, I’m working on redefining myself once again. Hey, if Madonna can do it at age fifty-something, I think we have the right to do it at twenty-something. Right? So I’m working on finding a look, a style, that encompasses who I am.
Find Your Look
First, obviously, you need to find your look. I love scoping out the amazing style at Lookbook.nu/ (found via Charade), a website that lets everyday people post their fashion forward looks for all to see. Because they aren’t models or magazine editors, their looks and fashion choices are much more accessible to our teeny budgets.
For more inspiration, check out The Sartorialist, a blog devoted to fashion on the streets of cities like Paris, Florence, and Milan.
If you’ve ever read a good fashion article, you’ve probably been able to piece together these three secrets of good style:
- Be yourself. Your clothes should reflect the person you are on the inside, projecting an honest image. Remember, first impressions make a difference (one of my best friends caught the attention of her now-husband with a pair of Converse tennis shoes!). Plus, you should feel comfortable (at least emotionally, even if those heels are killing you!) in your clothes, and comfortable with yourself.
- Start With Basics. I just adore Tim Gunn. He is all about being positive and projecting the best you. And he–and other fashion pros like him–recommends starting with the basics. Get a couple of good quality classic, neutral pieces that will go with anything you wear. He’s written a whole book about style, but here are his top 10 essential wardrobe elements.
- Tailor. The difference between looking professional and chic or sloppy and clueless isn’t money–it’s fit. A tailor (or, if you’re lucky, your mom, grandma, or fashion student BFF) can make simple, inexpensive adjustments to your favorite clothes. A good fit looks good and feels good.
That’s about it for my style expertise. Please feel free to share your fashion tips and go-to links in the comments!
Entry Filed under: life 101