Style Quotient

Re-invent your style to get ahead!

Posted on: October 31, 2014

images[5]Just a few weeks ago, I visited Baldwin Women’s Methodist College for their annual fashion event Rang de 2014 and I must say that the young student designers of that college were a class apart. As a staunch lover of all things fashionable, I was totally mesmerised by the dazzling colours and flamboyant designs that they presented on the stage. Each collection had its own delineation. From the mood boards that showed us the muse of the designer to the colour board that took us through the shades that stirred her imagination, to the clothes that were designed to capture her ideas and the accessories that completed the picture – it was a visual treat and how! It just goes to show that the country is full of young talent and we need to hold on to these young people before they are whisked away to foreign shores.

I also loved the fact that these young students were helped along by a group of highly professional teachers and a fabulous principal who had understood the fashion trends of the day and had encouraged their students to merge technology with style. If they had stuck to the textbooks, there would have been no scope for creativity, no scope for new ideas, either in their minds or on the stage.

That is what got me thinking about re-invention, and that is the subject I plan to explore with you today…

I will begin by looking back in history, to what was once known as The Glam movement. (Just in case, you are wondering why I am giving you historical notes, let me explain. As I go forward in my fashion blog I feel the time has come to look at the present in the light of the past. And if you are a fashion lover, these nuggets of information can be kept in your files or in the back of your mind for your ready reference.)

If you remember the Glam movement that dominated so much of the ‘70s, you would know that it was both a fashion and music movement and was defined by theatrics and exaggerated style. Think glitter in makeup, sequinned jackets, satin pants, satin bomber jackets and metallic clothes that dominated the fashion scene then, and you can well imagine how much has come back in style – almost full circle. (The most recent bit of fashion news I heard was that metallic wedding gowns are the most hip look on the bridal scene now).

Anyway, back to the Glam movement. It was a reflection of the Glam Rock music that had developed at the time and pop artists like David Bowie created a certain look that was totally avant- garde. It was a time when showmanship was the order of the day. Bowie is often called the ’king of self invention’ because he loved exploring new looks and pushed boundaries to maximum.

Why is it so important to re-invent yourself? You may not even realize that you might need an update because you have worn the same hairstyle for years, the same outfit forever or carried the same handbag eternally because it holds everything you own. But life is always changing and so are you.

While you need not allow yourself to be swept along with every fashion whim, it is very important to see yourself as gradually shifting, both in age and ideology as time goes on. Keep changing your look along the way. Many life trainers ask you to create a unique brand for yourself that others can view, but in my opinion, what you think of yourself will always project itself in way you dress and the accessories you wear.

For instance, if you were to see Christine Baranski (Diane Lockhart in the TV show The Good Wife), you would get the perfect example of a woman who is unafraid to embrace the new. She may not be very young, but she dresses young and that gives her a youthful look that younger women want to emulate. Right from her chunky necklaces to her vintage pins to her pencil skirts, she has created a persona that leaves you longing to see more of her.

So here’s my quick how-to in the art of re-invention. Begin by deciding what you would like to project at this stage your life. More refinement? A smarter version of yourself? Or would you like to be seen as a sophisticated person with unique tastes? Once you have an idea, here are some style ideas to add to your repertoire…

  1. Add jewellery – if you are older, get beautiful pieces that stand out that may or may not be expensive. If you are moving to a new job, build a new collection of accessories that will go with your new role.
  2. Get a new hair style and visit your colourist. The power of a new haircut, a few highlights and lowlights can transform your face. This goes for the men too.
  3. You need not clear out your makeup drawer but you can go for an update. If you’ve been wearing the same beige lipstick for years, try the new metallic ones that light up your face. Or you could skip the lipsticks in matte textures and go for the creamy ones. Even a tiny change is always registered and makes a huge difference.
  4. Get a few important accessories and buying a good handbag is a place to begin. If you are now in a stage of your life where you think leather is not a good idea, then show off your ideology with fabric or straw bags. If you are sick of carrying a handbag on your shoulder, get an envelope clutch instead. But remember – the most expensive stuff out there is not necessarily the best. Go by your instincts and you will be right.
  5. Update your style. Never mind if you have been wearing kurtis for years or a bunch of T-shirts. Get a suit tailored for yourself or a pretty dress. Or wear a jewel toned sari with a stunning choli with sexy straps.
  6. Don’t let anyone deter you by way of saying you are too old or too overweight or too anything else. Some of the most gorgeous women around are far from perfect, but they project themselves so beautifully that they draw sighs of appreciation wherever they go.

Re-invention is the only way to keep up with the times and feel good about yourself. Begin small but do so consciously, and watch doors open as people admire your new look and want to make you a part of their lives at once!

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