Seven Habits of the Stylish

Anyone with a credit card can be fashionable, but few have genuine style. Sure, you can drape yourself in the coolest labels season after season. That might give you a boost of instant gratification, but in six months those pieces will be obsolete, and you will feel compelled to keep up with the cycle of buying the next round of coveted pieces. How exhausting! Yet, I see many women falling victim to this cycle. Years ago, most young women working outside fashion would not have necessarily been aware of what the “it” items were within the industry, unless they truly loved and followed fashion. Today, all they need to do is take a quick peek at Pinterest or any one of the gazillion personal style blogs that exist. Of course, you only need to visit mine. But that in turn, can result in scores of young women looking exactly like everyone else and going broke in the process. So, I compiled seven habits of stylish women to get you started.

1. They do not surf street style blogs and copy exactly what they see, label for label. In this day and age, street style photos are a bona fide source of fashion inspiration. Do not forget, big street fashion players, get sent designer stuff for free to entice folks like us to go out and buy it. Others are, well, richer than us and it is their day job to flit around the world in the latest designer clothes, which is fun to admire but not necessarily healthy to emulate. That is why truly stylish women will see a look they are drawn to and seek out lesser priced pieces that have the same vibe. Plenty of affordable stores like TJMaxx and Marshalls offer items that feature similar aspects to designer pieces.
2. They are not afraid of any store and can find something almost anywhere. Legitimately stylish women will troll any store with zero snob factor, yet they stay true to their aesthetic. For example, do not be afraid to pop into a cheesy seeming teen store at the mall. That does not mean you will leave with the same things your 12-year-old cousin would. But you might find some killer black leggings, a shrunken blazer, the perfect pair of skinny jeans, or some great costume jewelry. Same goes for fast fashion haunts like Forever 21, thrift stores, and off price havens like TJMaxx or Marshalls, which are consistently packed with great stuff for less.
3. They know how to style themselves according to their own taste. Why is it always the case that the most stylish girls will say “This blouse? It’s from Goodwill like 100 years ago” and actually mean it? Yeah, the blouse itself is probably pretty cool, but it is really the way she styled it. She maybe tucked into great dark wash jean, unbuttoned one extra button, rolled up the sleeves, or added a cool statement necklaces that made everyone comment on it. The trick is to go with what your style is.
4. They always look a little less “done” than everyone else. Highly stylish people are often in the habit of always appearing a teeny tiny bit too cool for every scenario they are in. This might mean wearing a pair of slip on sneakers when every other girl is teetering on heels, wearing a chic skinny pantsuit when every other woman is rocking glittery party dresses, or chopping her hair into a messy bob when everyone else has long beachy waves. Small things that always make them look a little less “done”.
5. They understand labels do not make them cooler. It sounds cliché, but the most stylish women have confidence, and they do not need the $700 sweatshirt or $2,000 handbag to make themselves appear cool. These ladies can step out in a faded gray tee and jeans and still look like the coolest person in the room all because they have confidence.
6. They are not especially trendy. Some of the most stylish people are the ones who rarely shift from a basic overarching aesthetic, whether that aesthetic is made up of minimalist staples, or colorful flashy pieces. As time goes on, they will replace items with newer, more modern looking ones, but they will never fall victim to fly by night trends.
7. They do not dress to be considered stylish. Before blogs, before street style, and before Fashion Week became a competition for who has the most attention grabbing clothing, young women dressed for themselves, their lifestyle, and what looked good on them. Believe me, it does not matter if those heels are Jimmy Choo, if you cannot walk in them, you will not be considered stylish. Throw on a pair of comfortable ankle boots or cute ballet flats with that mini dress, you will look much cooler.

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