So why do all the Europeans look so chic? Is it because they spend all of their money on clothing and accessories? Do they subscribe to the motto: Shop ‘til you drop?
After years of admiring European style, I still remained puzzled as to how they are amongst the most fashionable women in the world. On a recent trip to Europe, I just had to find out the secret to their impeccable style. Do you want to know what I learned? The answer is - no - not all of their money is spent on clothing and accessories, and they don’t spend endless hours shopping.
If you can believe this, I stopped a woman walking in the street and asked if she had a few minutes to talk with me. I told her who I was and that I styled women and their wardrobes in the United States. As I wanted to provide her with a little background on the American philosophy of clothing and style, I explained that American women like a lot of variety and different outfits for different occasions but were very price driven and couldn’t pass up a sale.
She looked at me and simply said, “That is not how we do it here. We buy smart, what we love and very good quality”.
Hmm, I could see that as she was so chic. In fact, I loved everything that she was wearing at the moment. It was then that it dawned on me that I needed to really look at what she was wearing.
First off, I noticed her dress was extremely cute. It was white with lace – extremely summery and very in fashion. She was wearing simple, flat sandals accented with stones – which made them not so simple - and she carried a tan handbag which had both a long and short strap.
After taking a quick scan of her outfit, I was still left with one more thing I wanted to know. Thinking she might laugh at me or scold me for what might be a strange or silly question, I decided I was still going to ask her, “How many sandals, dresses, handbags, and accessories did you buy this season?”.
She replied,” Why would you ask that question? Don’t you know?”
Actually, I did have a very strong feeling as to what her answer would be. She told me she purchased:
- 1 handbag
- 1 pair of flat sandals
- 1 pair of flats
- 1 pair of heels
- 5 dresses
- 2 new pairs of earrings
- 3 bracelets
You may think my conversation sounds a bit absurd, but I was genuinely fascinated by her style, and she was incredibly gracious in answering my questions. This short 5-minute conversation reinforced what I truly already knew and believe.
As a personal stylist, these are some of my beliefs:
- I believe in “less is more” - exactly how the Europeans do it.
- I believe in building the foundation of your wardrobe with your must-have pieces. For example, you can never get away from a classic pair of black pants – they are must-have.
- I believe in knowing what your lifestyle entails. How many times are you getting dressed in the week? What are your must-have pieces? How do you see yourself? What colors do you like? What are your beliefs on value?
- I believe that better clothing will last longer today and will wear better tomorrow. And, I know where to spend more and where to save.
The reasons the European women look so chic is that they have a working wardrobe that starts with the basics and then each season they add a few fashion items to update and elevate their wardrobe style.
So, my questions to you are:
- Are you buying what you love or shopping solely by price?
- Do you come home with a purchase and know exactly what to wear with it or is it still hanging in your closet?
- Do you buy too much or become frozen and not buy at all?
- Do you enjoy getting dressed in each of the different seasons?
These are just a few of the things to ask yourself. You see personal styling does not mean investing your life savings; however, it does mean spending time and money on yourself, and putting the focus on you – just as you would do for a friend or family member if they asked it of you.
Are you ready to feel good about yourself and your wardrobe? Defining and refining your personal style doesn’t have to be a chore you undertake alone. Let me help you. Together we can embrace the European philosophy and make it work for you.