Monday 30 September 2013

Style - You've had the keys, now here are 'The rules'!

In my last blog, I said that the first step to style is knowledge, and knowing the rules. Here, in part two, you'll discover what the main rules are.

Most people who book a consultation with Damson Belle want to be told their rules, and knowing them is the foundation for building a signature look as there is a difference between knowingly breaking the rules and simply not having a clue!

WARNING: These rules are not meant to render you powerless. You have a choice, and "it's not medicine"! 


Got that? OK, now read on...

... Here are some of the key ones I usually refer to in a consultation:

1. Learn YOUR rules, they are not the same for everyone! This is about understanding what works for you including - your personality, your lifestyle, and your ambitions.

2. Wear your best colours near your face. To find out what these are #getyourcoloursdone! to make shopping, wardrobe audits and dressing much quicker and more effective. 

3. Dress for your shapes (bodyshape and face shape) - and think about your whole body - rarely does anyone fit snugly into the 'pear' 'apple' 'hourglass' 'column' tags, often favoured by magazines (though they are a great starting point). Shape is more important than size - you can always de-tag and anyway, sizes vary between retailers! A style consultation will help you with this.

4. Don't have anything, eg sleeves, skirts, trousers/shorts, stop at your widest point - most women/cultures prefer a look slender, shapely and fit look (note: this is not the same as skinny)

5. Don't wear it if it makes you feel, look or act uncomfortable - this relates to you personally but also about how you'll look and/feel in a particular environment. Examples include heels you can't walk in, a jacket you can't move in , a dress you can't eat in or a skirt you can't bend/reach up in!

6. DO Wear it if it makes you feel fabulous - if it doesn't quite work...fix it or accessorise it. In other words: Go to no 7!

No 7 should be actioned with due care and consideration, and if you're clued up about rules 1-6 I promise you'll get away with this next one:

 7. Ignore rule one, and bend the rules, if it (a) fits with your style personality, and you're a 'creative' or (b) its just time to let loose! - that's what style is about... 
... but, my advice: Don't break all your rules at once!

So, if rule 7 resonates with you look out for the next blog in  the series which is about becoming truly stylish by consciously breaking the rules or letting your sub-conscious take over! Because: Breaking the rules should be an instinctive, personality choice or a conscious decision, not sheer laziness.

Would love to hear your views...Are these rules useful, do you already follow them, do you have your own?

Sign up, to make sure you get the next blog in the series on how to take on the rules and show them who's boss!

Until next time!

Denise x

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Friday 20 September 2013

Style - In the beginning...

...There are some principles!

And some weeks ago I summed up the keys to style in the following 140 characters:

"@DenDamBelle: It takes 3 things to be #stylish imo: Knowledge (of your colouring & shape) Creativity (with what you own) & Confidence (in who you are)"

Then, just before attending the latest CMB conference, I tweeted about how I was breaking the* rules, an idea that was reinforced by style guru Sue Donnelly at the meeting.

And just this week I watched the fab Channel 4 programme "Fabulous Fashionistas"  which again talked about finding your style and, challenging stereotypes and rules.

With all that talk of breaking rules, it seemed to me an obvious blog topic. So here we are...This is the first blog in a series about rules and how to break them.
*Note: There are the rules, and there are your rules!

Part one:

Knowledge is important because styling is about rules and knowing what fashions are out there that will work FOR YOU, but more importantly its about knowing the rules enough so you can break them well. It's often the rule breaks that allow you to be creative... 

...And being creative is critical to personal style and brand. People often ask what the difference is between fashion and style, and for me its that fashion is largely about conforming and following (trends) whereas as Gore Vidal stated "style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn" - hardly the words of a conformist and definitely an invite to be creative.

Not everyone is an out-there 'creative' dresser like Helena Bonham-Carter, Zandra Rhodes and the "Fabulous Fashionistas" but everyone can be creative with what they own and by adding their personal touches to an outfit. It comes with being more conscious, doing a little more thinking and planning (eg not just wearing the same combinations) and a willingness to play a little. And that's where confidence comes in - the confidence NOT to blindly follow the trend, replicate the catwalk/highstreet or stick with what we've always done.

Carrying this off is probably the hardest part, but throwing in some rules breaks with confidence - et voila... You have YOUR signature.

So stand tall, look like you own it and work it!

What's next:

Establishing some rules will be the subject of the blog that follows this one. The one after that will be how to break the rules. And then I'll share with you about the day I put my 'money where my mouth is' and challenged myself to step out of my comfort-zone in confidence!

Until next time!

Denise x

For more:
Call on: 07887 643807
Look at:
Follow at: @DenDamBelle
Like me at: Damson Belle on Facebook
Join: This blog!