Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent famously said: “Fashions fade; style is eternal.” But what exactly defines a style-savvy woman? The most fashionable women’s style is always refined, never laboured by current trends and always effortlessly cool. She knows how to mix old and new, high and low, tweak things to suit her, and, most importantly, be herself. Follow these simple rules to achieve your own personal style.

Know your body

Regardless of size or shape, the most stylish women in the world know how to dress their body types regardless of fashion trends, and the learn how to play with their proportions. That’s not saying that you shouldn’t wear what you love, but knowing how to emphasize your best features is an art in itself. It might mean becoming best friends with your tailor to adjust the seams here and there to find the best fit. A little cinch on that shift dress might bring accentuate your hourglass shape. Similarly, if you’re long and lean, try out a peplum dress or shirt to create curves.

Invest in classics

Instead of splurging on fleeting fashion invest in good quality classics that will carry over year after year. Think of that timeless camel coat Ali McGraw wore in
Love Story, or the
little black dress Audrey Hepburn wore in
Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Fill your closet with classics like pencil skirts, cigarette pants, crisp white shirts, billowy silk blouses, and blazers, and your shoe rack with ageless loafers, pumps and boots. When possible, invest in designer pieces; they will stand the test of time.

Mix high and low

That said, every item in your wardrobe doesn’t have to be right-off-the runway designer finds. Do scour fast-fashion stores for some of those of-the-moment items that will keep you happy this season. Cheap chic allows you to experiment, so if you are set on trying out the latest crazy trends, like scuba wear, or if you want to challenge your inner
Lady Gaga with a supersize platform, it won’t break your fashion bank.

More tips on how to improve your personal style on the next page…


Embrace vintage

Vintage is the key to standing out in style. It guarantees that you will likely be the only person in the room wearing that piece. Even when browsing
street style blogs, you’ll notice that the most unique dressers are wearing something vintage. Rummage through mom and grandma’s closet for those timeless gems like ’60s ladylike purses, ’70s caftan dresses, ’80s jean jackets, or that statement jewellery piece that will be a conversation starter. Mom or Grandma not a pack rat? Peruse vintage shops for these same items and keep your eyes peeled for any classic silhouettes that will seem of-the-moment.

Have fun with accessories

The right accessories can really transition your classic wardrobe pieces from season to season. Take Olivia Palermo, for instance. Her wardrobe is very classically inclined, but her amazing vintage and
statement jewellery pieces always make her a favourite target of street style photographers. Stock up on a variety of baubles like long and short necklaces, stud and chandelier earrings, watches, bracelets and cuffs, small neck-ties and large scarves, to break up the monotony of everyday office attire.

Don’t wear one designer head-to-toe

Designer collections are presented to us as head-to-toe looks, but even the best designers admit that they much prefer seeing their garments styled by women off the runway. Mash-up unexpected things like a ladylike Chanel suit jacket with your favourite pair of flared jeans, or a sequin-encrusted cocktail dress with a varsity jacket and military-style
lace-up boots — it will open up many more possibilities.

Be comfortable

Wearing something that’s uncomfortable will make you look like you’re wearing something uncomfortable, and that’s not a pretty sight. Never buy a garment that’s too tight and too small, with hopes to one day squeeze in to it. If you are in-between sizes, go larger and take it to your trusty tailor. And if you know you’ll have to stand for long periods of time, wear comfy shoes, because the woman whose feet are in pain will never be the social butterfly, only a wallflower.

Read more:
The best accessories for this season
How to dress in the transparency trend
How to wear the scuba trend