"I wish I had the money for style like that."
Actress Leighton Meester on her character Blake Lively.
Blake Lively is one-third of the trio that is sure to have America mesmerized this fall on the prime-time hopeful of CW, ‘Gossip Girl’. The show, which will undoubtedly be one of my idiot box guilty pleasures, chronicles the lives of three NYC socialites in the making. These are the types who have coming out parties that W mag covers, attend schools like Spence and go shopping in Dubai. Think an east coast version of the O.C. but snootier. Well, I’ll be tuning in partly because I am interested in watching what clothes the characters are wearing and how they are wearing them. I admit it doggonit. However, I also like to watch what people are wearing on 125th Street in Harlem. Real talk. After reading the above quote that appeared in this Wednesday’s Women’s Wear Daily, (the bible of the fashion industry) I was a bit surprised. Very surprised actually because I really did think that by now, folks got that big money doesn’t equal big style. C’mon, we’ve all seen highly paid actors and actresses on the red carpet looking a hot mess and we all have that aunt, cousin or neighbor who stays pulled together fiercely on her way to work at the post office. If I knew Leighton, I would put her on to a few things. Maybe her publicist reads this blog and will deliver the message for me? (Yeah, I didn’t think so either.)
Usually, style, enviable style is based on instinct. Still, these are a few things I’ve picked up from stylish guys and gals over the years. And none of them had coming out parties or shop in Dubai.
1 - Know what looks good on you.
Once you learn that wrap dresses are a flattering silhouette on your hourglass figure or that emerald green compliments your cocoa skin-tone, it all becomes a lot easier.
2 - If you take care of your clothes, they will take care of you.
Okay, I got this one from my southern mother. It seems like a no-brainer but so many people don’t do it. Wash the whites with the whites and the colors with the colors. If laundry isn’t your thing, send your clothes to the dry-cleaners. Oh and if you’re not gonna do the dry-cleaning thing, invest in an iron or steamer. It makes a world of difference - trust.
3 - Wear the size that fits and stop obsessing over the physical number.
Self-explanatory. Calvin Klein’s 6 is not the same size as Banana Republic’s 6 anyway.
4 - A tailor is your friend.
If everything you wear always fits perfectly off the rack then skip to number 5. That’s rarely the case for any of us. Men understand the importance of a tailor, women are late to the game. The way a pant leg breaks at the top of a shoe when it is just the right length? Sick.
5 - Start with a good foundation.
This one is just for the ladies. The right undergarments are key to ensuring everything else falls and lays the way you ultimately want it to. Bumps and lumps are distracting. One last word: Spanx.