Master your style, whatever your LIFEstyle
Whatever your personal style, and how much you’ve explored it, I’ll bet you can relate if I say that most of us find dressing for some phases of our lives easier than others. It might be that you work in a really flamboyant, creative workplace but really feel most comfortable in jeans and a tee. Or it maybe you’ve felt scruffy and boring since retiring and leaving the world of formal workwear behind. Perhaps you love the opportunity to wear your most glamorous clothes when you go on a cruise, but feel bored with your sensible wardrobe for the remaining 50-odd weeks of the year.
If you know what I’m talking about here, then what you’ve got is a clash between your personal style and your lifestyle. And since it’s unlikely that you’re going to make a sweeping change to your lifestyle simply to make it easier to get dressed in the morning, today I’m taking a look at how you can embrace your personal style without making your lifestyle harder (no muddy dog walks in high heels here!).
I’ve used our five different style personalities – which we use to help you identify your best clothing shapes and styles – to illustrate how you can work with your personal style and your lifestyle. There’s a good chance that one of the descriptions below will resonate with you, but if you don’t know which of these styles belongs to you, you might want to pop over to our Style Quiz first, to get you started.
As a Minimalist, your style is pared back, neat, even classic. You find office wear and more formal dressing a breeze, but dressing down is where it all falls apart for you, leaving you feel scruffy and underdressed. So if your lifestyle is more casual – perhaps you’ve retired, or you’re working from home in the country more often than you’re in an office – how can you embrace your style without it clashing with your lifestyle?
The key to making your particular personal style work for a more casual lifestyle is to add touches of neatness in the shape of your clothes and the fabrics you choose. Keep styles semi-fitted, rather than baggy, keep your jeans tailored and in good condition rather than shapeless and scruffy. Don’t go for overly clumpy boots and shoes, and keep accessories like scarves tied neatly to keep the cosy without losing the style. And when it comes to colour, keep your palette pared back and always anchor your outfit with a neutral or two.
Style notes: The neat fit of the Dina Sweatshirt makes it the ideal cosy casual piece for you. Pair it with a neat but cosy layer underneath, like a Silky Roll Neck. And remember to maximise your best neutrals, adding a colour pop to brighten your skintone, and your day! Neat accessories, like a belt, small earrings and a classic bag, will help your look feel more finished.
Almost the polar opposite of a Minimalist, you look and feel your best in layers, texture, and outdoorsy clothes. Comfort is always a priority, and your natural environment is, well, the natural environment! More formal dressing can present a challenge though – you feel trussed up and over-dressed in office wear, and evening events (and the prospect of heels) practically brings you out in a rash.
To work with your relaxed Adventurer style, rather than against it, involve elements of it in your more formal looks – a scarf with a soft texture, or a draping wrap cardigan rather than a blazer, for instance. Layers are your friend here, giving depth and interest to your look. A tonal look is often more effective for you than a bright clashing one, to keep that laid back outdoorsy vibe even in your smarter outfits.
Style notes: Dresses can provide an unexpected win for Adventurers, giving the comfort and ease of movement you need while adding a touch of formality, and the nature-inspired print of the Lucy Leopard dress evokes your wild side! Throw on a softly textured Rachel Jacket to finish the look smartly without sacrifice style or comfort, and finish it all off with a sumptuously soft Cashmere Gauze Stole to add another layer of texture and tone.
Pixies almost feel like mini-Minimalists a lot of the time – you look and feel your best in neat fitting clothing without too much texture or drape. Where things differ for you is that you need to add a touch of quirkiness or interest to your look to keep things feeling fresh, not frumpy. Anything that requires you to go ultra casual or to layer up- country walks, cold weather – can feel like a huge challenge. Let’s imagine, like the Minimalist above, that you’re working from home or retired, and need comfortable clothes that still work for your style.
The trick is to honour your style while dressing for your environment. Fine layers, rather than bulky knitwear, and neat fitted clothing rather than baggy, plus always always a splash of interest through colour, print or accessories, will liven up even the most everyday looks for you.
Style notes: Keep warm but comfy in our chic-but-comfy Luxe Leggings and a Silky Scoop Neck (the Silky pieces make great layering pieces – the fine material means they add warmth without bulk) layered under a pure merino wool Mia Long Sweater. A long sweater might not feel like the obvious choice for your neat clothing personality, but a modern take on the tunic and leggings look works incredibly well for you.
Your style is youthful, feminine and pretty, and you look your best when you dress with a touch of sparkle, without going over the top. While party clothes and pretty evening out wear comes naturally to you, you can feel boring and un-feminine in smarter clothes such as workwear, as well as struggling to dress down.
Both are easily solved by ensuring that you indulge your femininity, whatever the occasion. Enhance your waist (whatever your body shape), add pretty colours, and don’t be afraid to add a tiny hint of sparkle to even the most ordinary of occasions!
Style notes: This look manages all the formality you need for a day at the office (or even a day of Zoom meetings – notice the necklace and earrings adding detail to the top half of your body) without sacrificing beautiful colours and feminine detailing, like the ruffle on our gorgeous-but-wearable Millie Skirt.
Side note: If you need to dress things down rather than up, the Merino Crossover layers beautifully over a Silky Roll Neck – pair with well fitting jeans and a neat jacket like the Rachel for an easy weekend look.
You are made for evenings out, with your love of curve enhancing cuts, a dose of shimmer and sparkle, and a love of all things glamorous. Even office wear can give you the opportunity to embrace your curves (all hail the Arabella Faux Wrap Dress!), and add a little special jewellery. However, if you’re living a more laid back lifestyle, keeping hold of even a touch of that glamour can be incredibly challenging, leaving you feeing dull and dreary.
There are a few tips and tricks which will help you embrace your Movie Star side on even the most casual of days. Firstly, utilise colour – focus on dressing in your most gorgeous reds and pinks, and any other shade that makes you feel a million dollars (I know a lot of Movie Star Springs love Bright Navy for adding a touch of luxury). Also, keep in mind the textures and prints you wear – smooth jersey in a good cut works brilliantly, but think about adding a little extra with a touch of cashmere or faux fur.
For my Movie Star, I’ve opted for a laid back loungewear look which doesn’t sacrifice any of her grown up glamour.
Style notes: A poncho might not feel like the obvious Movie Star garment of choice, but pair it with a fitted top and it shows off your curves without clinging or feeling over dressed. The layers underneath are 100% comfortable but the shapes are flattering for your body shape and the sumptuous colours add luxury (and don’t forget the jewellery!).