Similar to taking control of your food and weight, being fashionable or stylish or well dressed can seem unattainable and utterly impossible. However, I want to assure each and every one of you that you are "Naturally Stylish." Being stylish is a matter of taking your clothing and making sure that it is compatible to and complimentary of your body. Just as what you eat every day will affect how you look and feel and whether you are tapping into your naturally thin self, how you dress will make a huge difference in how you look and feel and will dictate whether or not you are being your naturally stylish self. I want to empower you with the simple and straightforward tools you need to tap into your style, so I've put together my own list of style rules to help you on your journey to embracing your natural stylishness.
While Bethenny has 10 principles for becoming naturally thin and then lays out some examples of how to incorporate these into every day life I have only a few rules. I will post these rules as a series, so here is Rule #1 (with an inspirational picture of a naturally stylish woman who has obviously mastered all these rules).
Rule #1 - Know Your Body
This is the hardest rule to master, but will change your entire concept of what clothing to adorn yourself with. Step back and really understand the nuances of your shape. I have a short torso (with little-to-no waist), long legs, and am heavier on the bottom. Realizing this helped me understand why I don't look great in bubble skirts for example (skirts with a bubble-like, billowed over hem). Bubble skirts work for the stick thin types to add a bit of movement and shape, but unless you need that, steer clear! My body type lends itself well to wide leg or boot cut pants, dresses (particularly with a v-neck, to elongate my short neck) with a structured torso area or belt (to give the illusion of the waist that I don't have). I have an olive skin tone, with blue eyes and brown hair, so I can wear most colors, but bright colors tend to be most flattering against my skin. Make your clothes work for and flatter YOU (not vice-versa).
Look in the mirror and assess your shape. This is not a time to be critical, this is a time to take stock of what exactly you are working with. Imagine you were designing a room or making a slip cover for a couch, your first step in this process would be to measure all the angles and specifications. So take a look at your specs (there is no need to take measurements, but just take a general look at your shape). Once you have determined your shape you will be one step closer to becoming naturally stylish.
While there are the commonly used shape terms - apple-shaped, pear-shaped, boyish, etc., - I am an advocate of understanding your shape as multi-faceted and not fitting within the constraints of a universal term. These overgeneralized terms are used in many fashion magazines in an effort to give basic guidance to those reading the magazine as to what type of clothing would best fit them. The terms are necessary when you are giving advice to hundreds of thousands of people, but you are only styling yourself, so don't limit yourself to these labels (and honestly, who wants to think of their fabulous body as an "apple" or a "pear" or "boyish?"). Some of the most important aspects of your shape that I want you to think about are your height, your widest and narrowest parts, your skin tone, and your favorite parts of your body (because you will obviously want to showcase those!). I will give more practical examples of how to apply your specs to your clothing choices in my application section once I've laid out all the rules
Assess your stylish self and tune in for my next rule.
"Fashions fade, style is eternal."
~Yves Saint Laurent
Image courtesy of Telegraph.co.uk.