Commandments in Chic

By Erika, Resident Fashionista

Michael Kors says to “always dress like the paparazzi is photographing you.”  Easily done when your uniform is black pants, a black tee, and black sunglasses (I’m looking at you Michael, my love).  For the rest of us, it takes a little more work to achieve a paparazzi worthy look on a daily basis.  However, there are some universal truths that can help us all look our best.  To help, I present to you the “Commandments in Chic.”

1. Thou Shalt Not Wear Leggings as Pants

Tights? Leggings? All the same. They’re not pants! Photo credit:

I get it.  Leggings are super easy.  I am a FAN of leggings.  I love them.  I do.  I wear them all the time!  But leggings are NOT pants.  Leggings make a great under layer for a long tunic or sweater dress or even a skirt.  But please, let’s stop wearing them as pants.  Please and thank you.

2. Thou Shalt Use a Tailor

The easiest, fastest way to look pulled together is to have your items tailored.  Clothes straight off the rack will not ever fit perfectly.  They aren’t designed to.  They are mass produced to fit millions and millions of people.  If you want your clothes to fit you perfectly invest the time in finding a good tailor.  I am not saying you should have your t-shirts from Target or J Crew tailored.  But your best pieces – your interview suit, favorite skirt, most flattering jeans – will look even better after a trip to a talented tailor.

3. Thou Shalt Take the Time to Discover Your Personal/Signature Style

My personal style always skews towards preppy.  Always has, always will.
My personal style always skews towards preppy. Always has, always will.

Here at YCS we have devoted an entire series to discovering your signature style.  That is how important this commandment is.  I am not one of those people who thinks “you’re either born with style or you aren’t.”  All of use have personal style – some of us choose to nurture it in the same way that people might nurture an athletic ability.  Take the time to figure out exactly what your personal/signature style – whatever it may be.  We’ll get you started.

Along those lines . . .

4. Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Swagger

I have said before that “imitation is the highest form of flattery but swagger-jacking is obnoxious.”  Everyone’s personal style is just that, personal.  There is no point sitting around and envying another person’s personal style.  Figure out what yours is.  Then they’ll be coveting your swagger.  BTW – it’s perfectly acceptable to covet her shoe closet, bag collection, and vintage Dior suit.

5. Thou Shalt Have a “Go-To” Outfit on the Ready.  Or Three.

One of my go-to looks is this cream monochromatic look.  It instantly makes me feel sophisticated and confident.  This is perfect for a big meeting, networking session or even a quiet dinner date.
One of my go-to looks is this cream monochromatic look. It instantly makes me feel sophisticated and confident. This is perfect for a big meeting, networking session or even a quiet dinner date.

Without a doubt there will come a time when you need a fly, fantastic outfit at the very. last. minute.  You won’t have time to get a new outfit or even hem and haw in the closet for very long.  When those times come – whether it’s a last minute meeting, hot date, interview, or social engagement – you need to have your most flattering outfits ready to go.  Figure that out right now while you still have the time.

6. Thou Shalt Always Have a Fly Handbag

JB Martin Boston Bag, Poppy
One of my most fave bags is this JB Martin Boston Bag in poppy which has been featured several times on YCS.

It’s no secret that my fashion secret weapon is an expensive handbag.  A nice bag is one of the easiest ways to upgrade an outfit.  I’m not saying you have to always carry an expensive handbag.  What I am saying is that you should invest in a few really great handbags for your collection – whether Mossimo for Target or Hermes.  The right bag will pull together an outfit, add a bit of punch, or provide the perfect distraction when necessary.

7.  Love Thyself as seen in Thy Mirror

You know why people like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Rihanna can get away with wearing looks that are downright bizarre some (most) days?  Because they love their bodies, love themselves, and own the looks.  I could never personally pull off Kelly Osborne’s purple/grey hair or Ke$ha’s leotards and bodysuits but I think both of these girls look fantastic because they OWN it!  It’s clear that all the women mentioned above are confident in who they are.  And, confidence is the best accessory any of us can put on each morning.  So get in the mirror, look yourself in the eye and remind yourself that you’re beautiful, amazing, fabulous, and gosh darn it, people like you!  Repeat as often as necessary throughout the day.

8.  Thou Shalt Consider Hair and Make-up a Part of Thy Look

YCS Make-up Maven Torrey has you covered on the make-up front!
YCS Make-up Maven Torrey has you covered on the make-up front!

The best looks are those where your hair and make-up compliment the clothing.  How many times have you watched Fashion Police and heard Joan, Guiliana, Kelly or George declare that a starlet looks great but her hair is all wrong.  Think about your outfit from head to toe, not just neck to ankle.   Also, your manicure counts as a part of your look too.

9. Thou Shalt Break the Rules

Some rules (not all) are meant to be broken.  Your handbag doesn’t always have to match your shoes.  It’s OK to mix stripes and polka dots.  You can absolutely wear gold and silver jewelry together.  Even navy and black can be worn together (not my personal fave, but whatever!).  Unless you’re dressing to meet the Queen of England or participating in something where you have to dress a certain way (like a ceremony or something) you can totally break fashion rules.  In fact, you’re supposed to break them!

10.  Thou Shalt Keep it All in Perspective

Listen, at the end of the day it’s just fashion.  I mean it’s FASHION (!!!!!!!) but it’s still just fashion.  Yes, I want every reader to look their best.  But more importantly, I want you to feel your best.  That’s the end game here.  What’s inside is most certainly more important than what’s outside.  So, if that means you have to bust out the sweats or your favorite (although super worn) college hoodie because they make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside then so be it!  The paparazzi will be there to snap you in all your fabulous glory tomorrow 🙂  But please, don’t wear those leggings as pants!

What Commandments in Chic would you like the add to the list?  You know what to do!

Your Chic is Showing,

With Love, Erika

P.S. Happy Memorial Day!!!!

Photo credit:

4 thoughts on “Commandments in Chic

  1. this is great!
    there have been times when my hair wsn’t together and I refused to put a cute outfit on… it’s such a waste of a nice outfit, lol!

    1. I agree!! But that is the perfect time to experiment with headbands, pretty scarves and cute hats. A bad hair day should never get in the way of a cute outfit!!

  2. I definitely have a few go-to outfits on the ready. They’re perfect for when you’ve been freaking about what to wear for a date/interview/whatever… you can just stop, breathe, and know that you have outfits in your arsenal that you KNOW look great on you already. Makes things a lot easier.

    1. Much easier. I also read in a magazine to tape a pic of yourself in the outfits in your closet to make things realllllly easy!

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