I was going through the 2015 Grammy Awards Red Carpet pictures, examining and admiring the different outfits worn by the music artistes. Both male and female, when I realized that “Fashion” in the real sense of the word, is highly overrated. I mean, I saw clearly that the celebrities that stood out were not the ones that adhered to existing fashion trends or the ones who tried their best to expose everything exposable, or the ones who wore the most expensive clothes and the latest designers; but those that dared to showcase their unique styles. They might look odd, probably out of the ordinary, but they oozed confidence and originality.
Now, most people mistake Fashion and style as synonymous. But most assuredly, they are not! Fashion refers to a current popular style of dressing or behaviour while style connotes a person’s unique way of doing things or dressing. So, I often wonder why everyone wants to be “Fashionable” and not “Stylish”. Society has no doubt maintained so tight a grasp on us that we all want to be like other people, we all want to wear what everyone else is wearing, but only a few really have the courage and the charisma to launch their own style for others to emulate. This applies to both the male and female gender alike, and as an advocate of style, not fashion, I have a few tips for those lucky few who will dare to be stylish;
YOU NEED A HEALTHY DOSE OF CONFIDENCE;
Confidence is the most important trait a person who wants to be “Stylish” must possess. Every Tom, Dick and Harry could afford to wear shirt and trousers like every normal person, but it takes someone who is comfortable in his/her own skin, someone who does not care overmuch about the approval of others, someone who is brave enough to be different, to try out something new. A friend of mine comes to mind, she is one of those girls who have their own special style. She would comfortably rock a hairstyle of many colours without any inhibitions, wear a weird mix of colours and still manage to look classy. At this point, it is vital to note that, most times, it is not about what you are wearing, but about how you wear it!
You could be carrying a million naira hand bag with absolute uncharismatic bearing. This, I believe, is an injustice to the bag. Yet you could wear grass and shrubs and still manage to invoke envy from others. It all boils down to carriage. Whatever you are putting on, make sure you become a part of it; you are one with the outfit and launch yourself into the world with head held high.
KNOW WHAT FITS YOU
Now, whether you are being fashionable or stylish, one thing is important, Know what fits you, and wear it. This is a cardinal rule that must NOT be broken. Yet it is one rule that is most regularly broken even by the so called accomplished fashion divas. It doesn’t matter how much you made the hair or how much you bought the shoes, if it does not fit you, then, you will just end up looking like trash. For the ladies, wear clothes that will flatter your figure and not abuse it, make hair that will compliment your facial structure and use make-up that agrees with your bone structure. If you’ve got long hair, flaunt it, shapely legs; show it, so far it does not exceed the limits of decency. The bottom line is to bring out your own style. For the guys, make that haircut that becomes you, never do Afro because it fits your friends; wear clothes that emphasizes that unique stature, be classy and different not cheap and odd.
DON’T OVER-DO IT
Too much of everything is not good. There’s a difference between being stylish and being clueless. Everything has a limit, even style, as broad and liberal as it is. Never do or wear something just to call attention to yourself, it is a sign of insecurity which is demeaning and it defeats the whole basis of style. As earlier emphasized, class is very important in style, afterall, the whole point of style and fashion is to look good. Therefore, endeavour not to go over the top when launching your style, lest you end up looking foolish and pitiful.
Whatever you do, whatever you wear on your body, make sure it is comfortable. It’ll be quiet pathetic if you smother yourself all in the name of trying to be classy. The idea is to be wise, remember that you are not in competition with anybody, therefore, there is no reason to be suffocated. It saddens me when I see people wear micro-mini skirt, looking miserable; you’ll see them trying to pull it down all the time, making everyone wonder why they wore it in the first place. No one’s asking you not to wear a bad-ass skirt or a tube-top, but do you feel comfortable in it? are you sure you are not wearing flimsy top and skirts in terribly cold weather? Hypothermia is real. you could wear a sack, a blanket or a towel, the most important factor is to be able to wear it like a second skin.
WEAR ONLY THE BEST
You do not have to spend too much money to get the best, in actual fact, quality is usually not so expensive, you just need your two eyes open. However, being stylish, is not a day’s job, endeavor to get the best your money can afford. Steer clear of drab and unattractive stuffs, have an eye for detail. Clothes should be an extension of yourself, meaning, you wear them with total abandon, like you are not aware you are wearing anything, that’s the idea.
Looking good is good business, it boosts your morale, it lifts your spirits and believe it or not, people treat you better. Who said you have to dress like everyone else? Branch out, be innovative, try something new; yes they’ll call you weird but only because they wish they had the courage to stand out like you do. You don’t have to be trendy, BE UNIQUE.
By Adeleye Ibukun.