Whether you’re a fashionista or consider yourself style-challenged, having go-to fashion tips in your back pocket can make getting dressed so much easier. This comprehensive guide covers all the essential advice every woman needs to develop her own fabulous sense of style.
Find Your Personal Style Aesthetic
The first step in cultivating great style is determining what fashions actually appeal to you. Make inspiration boards on Pinterest or print out pictures of outfits and looks you love. Are you drawn to classic and elegant pieces or more trendy and edgy styles? Romantic florals or sleek minimalism? Once you identify your personal style, you can start shopping for versatile basics that align with your unique aesthetic. Don’t just follow trends – stay authentic to your tastes.
Some ladies gravitate towards a romantic and feminine aesthetic with ruffled blouses, floral prints, and soft pastels. Others want an edgy, rock n’ roll vibe with leather, mesh, and dark moody hues. Pinpointing your personal sensibility helps inform the pieces you choose to build your wardrobe.
Unsure about your style identity? Explore our guide to Find Your Personal Style Aesthetic and embrace your unique fashion sense.
Beyond just clothes, think about how you want your overall style and image to come across. Are you an intellectual academic type or a laidback bohemian? Crisp and polished or retro and kitschy? Make note of any themes, eras, characters, or styles that appeal to you. Even small details like preferring antique buttons over modern plastic ones give you insight.
Create a few different inspiration boards if your tastes span multiple aesthetics – you don’t have to limit yourself to just one style. But try to identify a few through-lines that connect the images so you can start recognizing your personal fashion DNA.
Take a journey back in time to uncover the fascinating origins of the bohemian style, which traces its roots to the unconventional, artistic communities of the 19th century. This aesthetic was heavily influenced by the creative, nonconformist lifestyles of painters, writers, and poets living in European cities like Paris. Later, in the 1960s and ’70s, iconic figures like Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks helped catapult the bohemian look into the mainstream with their laidback, romantic takes on peasant blouses, fringe, and embroidered textiles. Today, the wanderlust spirit of bohemian fashion continues to inspire free-thinkers and style mavericks around the world. Intrigued by the free-spirited boho look? Discover the rich history and essence of the bohemian style with us.
Personal Style Aesthetic Quiz
Which color palette do you prefer?Earthy tones
Black and white
Bright and colorful
Which pattern do you gravitate towards?Paisley
Choose Clothes That Flatter Your Body Type
One of the most important fashion tips is finding cuts, fits, and silhouettes that enhance your figure. An hourglass shape should embrace nipped-in waists and sleek pencil skirts while boyish rectangular figures rock loose tanks and belted dresses. Know which assets to highlight and problem spots to downplay. Petite ladies should aim for vertical details while curvier figures balance proportions with color blocking. Once you learn which styles work for you, shopping becomes much more productive.
The three main factors to consider for flattering styles are your body shape, proportions, and size. An easy shortcut is to identify if your figure is more of a pear, apple, hourglass or boyish rectangle shape. This helps inform which areas you want to highlight or downplay.
Next look at your proportions – do you have a long torso and shorter legs or vice versa? What is the ratio between your shoulders and hips? Properly fitted garments should enhance your physique. For example, a boxy cropped blazer flatters narrow shoulders while wide leg pants give a long lean look to petite frames.
Finally, think about the right fit and scale for your size, both in clothing and accessories. Oversized purses can overwhelm small statured ladies while plus size figures need ample fabric cut for their curves, not clinging tightly. Seek out brands that offer an inclusive range of sizes so the pieces suit you specifically.
Everybody is unique, and so should be the fashion choices. Find women’s tunic tops for your body type and accentuate your best features.
Through first-hand experience at an array of fashion workshops and personal styling sessions, I’ve gained invaluable insight that understanding your own body type lays the critical foundation for cultivating personal style. Attending these events opened my eyes to how transformative it is to have garments tailored and curated specifically for your unique proportions and shape. The knowledge I gleaned from working directly with fashion experts has shaped my perspective – embracing your body through properly fitted, flattering clothing should be the core focus when developing distinctive style.
The Fashion Institute of Technology offers courses that delve deep into understanding body types and how to style them.
Build Your Wardrobe With Quality Basics and Statement Pieces
The sustainable fashion movement highlights investing in well-made staples over cheap disposable pieces. Eco-fabrics like organic cotton and bamboo are durable, comfy choices.
Every stylish woman needs a core set of classics she can mix, match, and build outfits around. Invest in well-made basics like dark wash jeans, the perfect-fitting LBD, blazers, trench coats, and more. Then fill in your wardrobe with fun statement pieces that express your style, whether that’s edgy motorcycle jackets, feminine floral prints, or vibrant ethnic textiles. Mix high and low so you can save trends for inexpensive fast-fashion but splurge on special designer items that last.
When building out that core arsenal of basics aim for quality over quantity. You don’t need every style of jeans or blazer – start with one stellar pair of dark wash skinny jeans, an impeccably tailored black blazer, a crisp white button-down. Identify those essentials that align with your aesthetic and scour reviews to find well-made versions worth investing in.
For statement pieces, set aside a “fashion fun fund” so you can pounce when you find that perfect embroidered kimono or lamé cocktail skirt that speaks to you. Resist the temptation to impulse buy mediocre versions of pieces just to have them. Hold out for the ones that make your heart skip a beat. Mixing those special finds with your tailored, versatile basics creates effortlessly chic outfits.
Passionate about eco-friendly fashion? Join the sustainable fashion movement and make a difference with your style choices.
Master Wardrobe Basics Like Denim, Print-Mixing, and Fabric Care
Once just for miners and cowboys, denim became iconic when old Hollywood stars like James Dean and Marilyn Monroe embraced it in the 1950s. The Levi Strauss & Co. history provides a detailed account of denim’s evolution.
Watch this video on how to effectively mix and match prints.
Here are some fundamental fashion tips for seamlessly elevating your everyday style:
- Denim – From jackets to cutoffs to skinny jeans, denim is endlessly versatile. Collect denim in multiple washes from black to white so you have options for any occasion from backyard BBQs to cocktail hour. Distressed details and non-traditional denim colors expand the styling possibilities.
- Print mixing – Start by accessorizing solid outfits with one printed element like a scarf or shoes. Choose complimentary colors and scale when combining prints. Keep accessories small-scale with one anchor print like a blouse.
- Neutrals – Build around wardrobe neutrals like black, white, tan, grey that are easy to mix and match. Then add pops of color that can be incorporated across multiple outfits as accent hues. Keeping prints graphic in neutral tones also makes print mixing forgiving.
- Fabrics – Know differences in natural and synthetic fibers. Follow care instructions so items last. Watch for stretch-fabrics that boost comfort without sacrificing structure and shape.
- Organizing – Edit closet every season and purge unworn pieces to refresh your options. Pack away out-of-season items so only current favorites are accessible.
Basics are the backbone of any stylish wardrobe. Get the lowdown on how-to must-have wardrobe basics for timeless and versatile outfits.
Helpful Styling Tricks and Shortcuts
Little styling tweaks make a huge difference in pulling polished looks together:
- Hem pants and jeans to the correct length for your height. Getting pants tailored is an instant game-changer. Proper length also allows shoes to shine.
- Add belts to accentuate waists, even on dresses. Thin belts flatter petite frames while plus size women rock wide corset-style belts. Colorful belts also draw the eye.
- Incorporate bold accessories like colored shoes and bags to make neutral outfits pop. Statement jewelry instantly amps up basics.
- Master tucking in button-downs in front or back to create a polished vibe. Avoid blousing out fabric, keep the tuck smooth and flat.
- Roll sleeves on casual shirts and blazers for a chic DIY detail. Keep rolls even in width and hit just below the elbow.
Elevate your style game with our insider tips. Check out these best fashion advice for a chic and polished look.
Got a fashion question? Ask here, and I’ll provide personalized advice.
Develop Your Unique Personal Style
While guidance helps, don’t be afraid to break “rules” and embrace what makes you feel amazing:
- Don’t sacrifice comfort for fashion if it makes you miserable. Choose stretchy, breathable fabrics and flexible supportive shoes. Seek hidden comfort features in designer pieces.
- Wear clothes and makeup that give you confidence, not what a blog dictates as “in”. The most attractive thing is owning your look, not chasing someone else’s style.
- Take age out of the style equation if you love a look. Just adapt trends to suit your body and lifestyle. A mini skirt can become a chic tennis skirt.
- Experiment until you find items that express your personality. Thrift and consignment stores offer low-risk exploration opportunities.
The key is developing personal style on your own terms. Follow the basics, then build the confidence to explore trends while staying true to your tastes. Curate a wardrobe as unique as you are!
I recall a session where I helped Sarah, a college student, transition her wardrobe from teen styles to a more mature, professional look while retaining her unique flair. Websites like Who What Wear offer insights into developing personal style at different life stages.
Inspired by these tips? Share your personal style journey with us in the comments.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.