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Look Like You Haven’t Tried

Published on November 4th 2005.

Do you have a friend who always looks great whether she’s sipping cocktails at the bar or just walking the dog? Do you hate that girl in your office who always declares “What, this old thing?” whenever she’s complimented on yet another super chic combo? Just follow our simple guide and you too will look as though you simply haven’t tried………..

Know Your Limits
Leave the radical looks to the runway models and extreme fashion to those who have the confidence (or youth) to carry it off. Not taking risks doesn’t mean don’t try out trends, simply cherry pick the bits that work on you. Select the small details that will update your look.

Accept You for You
The quickest way to look scruffy and dishevelled is to wear ill-fitting clothes. Don’t kid yourself that you can get into those size ten trousers, if you do manage to squeeze yourself into them you’re only going to feel self-conscious for the rest of the day. Buy clothes that fit you, trousers should skim hips, tops should be fitted rather than skin tight, fastenings should lie flat, and it shouldn’t look like you’ve sprayed your jeans on.

I love accessories as much as the next girl, but avoid accessory overkill at all costs. Use one striking piece at a time. Kate has her oversized shades, Sienna has her hats, and Rachel Stevens loves her oversized bags. You don’t need bright shoes, a flashy bag, and as much bling as J-lo to make a statement.

Get a Good Coat
The initial 30 seconds when you meet someone is when you make your first impression. Your coat is the top layer that people see. Find a coat that you love, but that also serves you for a range of functions, from interviews to evenings out.

Colour Co-ordinate
The sad fact of the matter is that when most people over the age of 25 try to colour clash with the flair of Dolce and Gabbana, they fail miserably, and end up looking like Nancy Del’Olio, on a bad day. Play it safe – make neutrals like black, grey, and camel the basis of you outfit, and then mix with reds, pale yellows, and coral to give your look that extra lift.

Plan, Plan, Plan
Whether it’s a wedding next month, a night out with the girls next week, or dinner with your partner tonight, organise your outfit as early as possible. If you know that everything is ready, you can relax and enjoy yourself instead of panicking as you rush round Selfridges at the eleventh hour grabbing everything in sight.

If in Doubt, Leave it Out
Whenever you try something on, if you have to ask yourself whether it works, chances are it doesn’t. If something looks right you will know instantly. Don’t waste time dithering, move on and find something that makes you feel fabulous.

Et voila. You’re on your way to being an effortless fashionista.

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