make classic style your signature look with these simple fashion tips
A Signature Look Is Perfect for You, Not Others
“I think your style is boring,” more than one person has commented on my outfit posts, and…I’m totally ok with that, because boring is my signature look, and my favorite. I haven’t shared outfit pictures in at least 6 weeks because I’ve been wearing all black every day, and I loved every second of it.
When defining classic style, some people sum it up in three words: boring, blah, and bland. And then they go to sleep. Which means it’s clearly the wrong style for them. But for those who hear the siren call, they’d sum it up in two words: practically perfect.
It’s not hard to see where the boring camp is coming from as classic style is essentially made up of wardrobe staples: pencil skirts, button ups, turtlenecks, simple tops, basic sweaters, ballet flats, structured pants, solid colors, neutrals, tailored fit, maybe some stripes if we’re feeling really crazy!
Every great wardrobe is built on foundation pieces, and the most basic version of these are a significant portion of a classic wardrobe. But that’s where classic style BEGINS, not ends. Think of these as your blank canvas, and when you add your own twist to your classic style, it becomes your signature style.
This article and the video below are taken from the Stunning Style Weekly Style Snack! Join us weekly at 11am MT/1pm ET on the Stunning Style Facebook page (HERE) or the FREE Capsule Wardrobes for Classic Style Facebook Group.
The options are endless
Just like there are endless variations of body shapes in this world, there are endless variations of classic style, and finding the perfect details to tell your style story will take your classic wardrobe from frumpy to fabulously you!
How do you do that without losing the foundation of your style? Where’s the line between timeless and trendy? It’s all in the details!
After feeling practically (but not quite) perfect wearing classic style clothing for most of my life, I’ve finally found my classic signature look.
My Signature Look
Trendy has never been my thing, except for the times I was trying to be fashionable instead of stylish, during the lost years. Many of you know I lost all sense of my identity and style when I went from the corporate world to life as a stay-at-home mom, and as I tried to climb out of my frump, I tried on everyone else’s style in an effort to find my own.
When I finally came back to myself, it was slim, tailored, simple, neutral, CLASSIC style clothing. That’s always been my favorite style. Wardrobe staples have been my go-to pieces for as long as I can remember, but something was always off.
The momentum of wild swings between dressing for tea with the queen and “you don’t want to meet up with me in a dark alley” left me on a never-ending pendulum arc of one extreme or the other until I finally realized my signature look is classic with an edgy twist. Most of my outfit is classic, but I need to add the details that reflect my razor-sharp edge. My signature style is Edgy Classic.
I’ve written about five Classic Style Twists that I’ve observed in women I know, and they aren’t the only ones.
Finding Your Signature Look
The key to finding your signature style is combining the elements to get just the right mix. You might love a combination of Minimal Classic and Cute Classic because you like to dress fun, but not too fun. If you need to soften the edges of your outfit, some Soft Classic could be what you need. Boho style is basically soft and edgy details combined, and if that’s too much, you might reign it in and add some structure by adding some Minimal Classic.
What order you put them in changes the look. The way I describe my style as if James Dean and Audrey Hepburn had a baby, she’d dress like I do. I love Audrey’s timeless look, and I add a little Rebel Without a Cause. If I put my edgy style first, I’d look more like Jessica Jones.
She wears what I imagine to be smelly jeans. Not anything about the actress, she’s fabulous, but the character herself, I feel like she’s unkempt. She looks like she’s been on a bender (she usually has been) and maybe she hasn’t showered in a few days (except her hair looks way too fabulous). But, her jeans are very torn up and she’s got the James Dean type jacket and the really heavy duty moto boots. She looks dangerous, like she could beat you up (and probably would if you got in her way).
That is just not quite my own look, it’s too edgy for me. For me, there needs to be a lot more showering, first of all, and it needs to be classier and more Minimal Classic. The difference is I lean into the Minimal Classic first, and I get some of those Edgy details second. Jessica is mostly Edgy with a little bit of the Classic (the white t-shirt is pretty Classic, right?). But, that’s what happens when you flip-flop, and that is a great look for other people. It is not the look for me.
One of our society members found her perfect signature style by combining Minimal Classic with Edgy and Cute. She felt a little off if she left out any of the three.
Jessica Alba combines Minimal Classic with Soft Classic and Sporty Classic to get her signature look. Other times she mixes edgy and soft to get a boho look. She tends to wear a tailored Minimal Classic base and then she likes to wear a looser Soft Classic layer on top of that, and sometimes is sporty with her footwear. She rarely wears something entirely tailored, but when she’s in her street style, she likes to combine soft and edgy to create boho. Most of the outfits that you see from her are along the lines of these combinations.
Reese Witherspoon is also super fabulous. Love, love, love her style. She combines minimal and cute. A really good example of this is the first photo where she has a pretty structured bottom and she is wearing a button-up top but it is lighter and softer fabric and she’s added cute ruffle details. She also has a really structured bag with a floral print on it. She loves to mix these elements and most of what we see when we go “oh my gosh that is so Reese Witherspoon!” is when she’s doing that. It’s very her. She also will flip flop and lean more one way than the other, leaving out any cute details like in the second picture, but that’s not what we associate with her signature look. Most of the time, she mixes the two and makes it both structured and playful.
The Year of the Classic Style Twist
I get a lot of questions from you all saying, “Is it okay for me to mix styles?” Absolutely! That’s where you find your signature style. It’s like a recipe. Not everyone needs a spoonful of flour (although you could, it’s probably not very tasty). Mixing these styles in the doses and amounts that YOU need is how you come up with your signature style.
2020 was such a disaster, we are ready to make 2021 extra fun and special in the Stunning Style Society. Along with the Classic Wardrobe Guides, the shopping portal, the calendars, and the amazing Facebook group, this year the Style Steps will be focused on incorporating your Classic Style Twist and creating your own signature look. Each week there is a lesson to help you learn more about your Twist and what it will look like for you.