8 Mar 2016

Style Notes: 5 Simple Style Rules

Catherine Deneuve photographed by Kate Barry, Style Notes, vickiarcher.com


5 simple Style Rules that make all the difference.

They are not really style rules more like a small checklist to follow when it comes to the wardrobe.

Fashion is a tough one to keep up with, season after season and I find the older I get the less inclined I am to always follow suit.

I like to steal my style from each trend and work it accordingly.


Jane Birkin photographed by Kate Barry, Style Notes, vickiarcher.com


Defining personal style is not an easy task.

We may know what we like but find it difficult to achieve or what we like may no longer suit us and adapting our style is the best solution. We may be too influenced by what’s “in” and flounder with indecision or we may be too rigid, too inflexible and our personal style becomes static. I know I fall in to the latter category frequently.

Dressing with style takes work, it is expensive whatever the budget and it is time consuming. Clever women make their personal style look effortless; it is not.


Hellena Bonham Carter photographed by Kate Barry, Style Notes, vickiarcher.com


Style is unique for every woman and defining and creating her particular style is a work in progress.

I try and follow these simple rules whether I feel like a re-invention or adding to my wardrobe.

Whether your style is classic or eclectic, boho or sporty this checklist will help you save time and save focused.

Vanessa Paradis photographed by Kate Barry, Style Notes, vickiarcher.comSofia Coppola photographed by Kate Barry, Style Notes, vickiarcher.com


5 Simple Style Rules

  1. 1. Know Your Style
  2. Knowing what suits and what you like takes time and practise. Make the time to save the time. Learning and adapting the style of others is clever but reproducing exactly the same never works. We are different personalities, shapes and sizes and knowing the pieces that we look best in is key.

2. Design Your Own Uniform

There is an outfit in my closet each season that becomes the fall-back. 2 or 3 pieces that I am comfortable with and I know will do the job. When I am tired or un-inspired with what to wear I can rely on this “uniform” to work for me. These indecisive moments are not the time to test drive the latest; a guaranteed way to feel unhappy with your self and a likely change of outfit.

3. Buy Investment Pieces

Investing in fashion at our age is worthwhile.

I like to invest in certain staples and go “budget” on others. It is very easy to spend the same amount of money on a handful of cheaper items only to move them to the back of the closet when the novelty wears off.

A mix of pieces works best, designer top-to-toe isn’t necessary and doesn’t necessarily look stylish.

4. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

If an outfit works, re-work it season after season.

Change colour, change fabric and weight but when pieces work well use them as a benchmark for other outfits.

Do I look as good in this as that? Am I as comfortable? Is this as flattering?

You will have your answer in seconds.

5. Be Wary Of Trends

Who doesn’t want to dress on trend?

It is a question of making sure the latest trend is a friend; not all trends do us favours. If a trend is “on trend” for us it will feel right and answer those questions above.

It is natural to want to be on trend but vital to be aware trends don’t equal personal style.

Personal style is just that, personal; it is about you and only you. xv

Mid Season Uniform: Not Quite Like School

** iro bouclé jacket  //  madewell grey skinny jeans  //  jill sander ruffled blouse

keeping an eye on this one too


images kate barry

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Anita Rivera

I am enjoying reading this as I also think about what I will wear today! I agree. You have to know YOURSELF, your body style both from the front and yes, FROM THE BACK (a woman’s worse fear, I think, fashion-wise), and then accept what you have, and dress accordingly. I am also taking a cue from you dearest Vicki. I have enjoyed seeing your beautiful smile on IG, and with your long hair, you have confirmed to me that I am letting my hair GO LONG. I wear glasses and I think I may need to get a new pair with a younger frame to make the long hair work. Oh the fun of finding just the right style!!!

Mimi Gregor

“Fashion” is for people who do not have a sense of style. One can overlook the young going from one trend to the next, as they do not yet have a sense of their own style; by experimentation, hopefully they will find out what does and does not work for them. But by the time someone is “of a certain age”, it is hoped that we have found what works for us. I know that I am a “Classic”, and look best in simple, close to the body lines, and neutral colors. But I have come by this knowledge of myself by making a lot of mistakes in my youth! Only once one knows what one’s style is does it make sense to invest in higher quality items. And then, don’t only take them out for “special occasions”; every day is special, and these items should be the workhorse of your wardrobe. I have gotten rid of anything that is tatty or that I do not love. That way, I have no choice but to wear my “good clothes”, because they are all good. My criteria for a new purchase is not only does it suit my style and look good on me, but do I love it. Many a time, I have gone into a fitting room with a dozen items and emerged with only one. Or none. The rejects may have looked good on me, but I did not feel love or joy in them, so back they went onto the rack.


I love this reminder of not to be always led by the temptation of a new trend. I think of the items I love in my wardrobe which I go back to time after time and have in different colours. And the reason I go back to them is simple, they make me feel good in them!! Lovely post Vicki.
Could I ask you which area in Aix are the dress shops that have beautiful, stylish dresses. I’m marrying in Provence in the summer and although I do not want a ‘wedding’ dress I want an exquisite, stylish dress. I am in Aix at Easter and thought I would visit some shops but as I am not usually looking for anything like this but visiting restaurants, museums, galleries, I am at a loss and wonder if you may give me some guidance in the right direction please.


In Aix, you will find the boutiques behind the Cours Mirabeau on the left hand side if you are walking up from the big fountain.

There is a very good Zara in the new complex behind the fountain, near the underground car park. Also you will find Maje and Zadig and Voltaire. For shoes there is a boutique called First and upstairs they have a beautiful collection of designer fashion.
For everything totally exquisite there is Gago one of the best curated stores I know.

Have fun looking.. :)


Vicki, another lovely post. What a gift to have seen the Northern Lights!! I am always in awe of your beautiful photos that grace your insightful blogs – they really are AMAZING. PS. I want that exquisite bedroom above in your photo.


Excellent advice, Vicki! I would only add that great fit is also essential to having style. Having a great seamstress is as important as buying a great outfit. I find that at my age, I can replicate a trend with items that I already own.


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