Fashion
7 Secrets to Dressing Elegantly
Reveal your collarbone instead of your cleavage.
ILLUSTRATOR The New York Public Library Digital Collections
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1. Find your balance between fit and flowy.


The key to a streamlined silhouette is in balancing shapes and sizes. The formula to this is simple: A fitted top goes with a loose bottom, while a flowy top would work better with a tighter bottom—although nothing too revealing and skimpy. Flowy pieces might drown your natural assets, while an ensemble that’s body-hugging might look too restricted.

2. Limit your statement pieces and investment buys.


While statement pieces might be eye-catching, the best route to looking classy is to don a single statement piece to elevate your whole look. Opt for something that is not too flamboyant.

3. Bespoke is the way to go.


A trusted tailor is the answer to all your staple needs, especially if you’ve got a challenging body type. Bespoke isn’t just for suits,  you may have skirts, slacks, jeans, and even dresses tailored in designs that fit your personal style. In the search for a good tailor, look at the construction of a garment and the materials he uses.

4. Shoddy shoes and a tacky handbag will ruin all your efforts.


Elegance in all things includes the details in your accessories. Shoes must be clean and well-polished before you walk out your front door. The size of your handbag also matters, since you wouldn’t want to lug around a tote that requires its own seat or take a miniature clutch that might deny you your essentials.

5. You can never have too much of a good thing.

If you find a piece that fits you well, buy it in multiple pieces or in every possible color. It will not be every day that you come across a jacket seemingly tailored for you. Plus, a woman of contingency must always be ready to replace her favorite wine-stained shirt or the perfect dress from a design house whose creative director is rumored to be stepping down soon.

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6. If you’re going for a more daring look, reveal your collarbone instead of your cleavage.


Demure and unaggressive statements in fashion conform to the “show, don’t tell” rule that tells it as it is but also leaves space for imagination. The daring showing of cleavage is a thing of the past and in the past, it should stay.

7. Stay away from trends.


Keeping up with trends tends to be tiring and impractical. If flared jeans or fringed kimonos do not flatter you, discard them without a second thought. Doing this will allow you to develop your signature style, which one must have in order to be properly identified and received by others. Once you’ve figured out what looks best on you, you will never want to turn back to what’s in vogue.

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Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
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