17 Sep 2013

Unique Is The New Chic

The Devil In a New Dress - Tumblr

Edna Woolman Chase, editor in chief of Vogue magazine between 1914 and 1952, was one wise woman. She was spot on when she said that, “fashion can be bought but style one must possess.”

What would EWC say about style today? Much the same I would guess… Would she agree that unique is the new chic?

Style is a tricky concept… an indefinable quality… We all want it, but not all of us have it. Some are born with it… and others learn it.

To be chic or considered stylish… and it would seem to me that most of us have an interest in ‘chic’ because we admire the smartly dressed French woman and her way of putting it all together… has a much wider scope than it once did…

These days being unique is much to do with being chic. Style has many forms… there are no rules anymore… from the tailored to the bohemian… from the pretty to the grungy. All modes are considered stylish… When it comes to fashion at least.

The key to being stylish involves a combination of qualities. We must be unique… as in make our own interpretations, tailor what we like to what works for us. Style is ageless as is fashion… the art is in the choosing and the manipulation. Stylish does mean being chic… they are one and the same… generally if the style is rocking so is the ‘chic’…

Style is all about being who you are… being true to yourself and and expressing those qualities. Style is a physical manifestation of inherent qualities and emotions.

Let’s think about it for a moment… picture some of your favourite ‘stylish’ friends… they most likely will appear totally different to your personal style vision… yet you would consider them all to be chic.

I have an artist friend… I would consider her both stylish and chic… she is definitely unique… She is colourful, a little bohemian and wears fashion that could or would never work for me… She manages to look unique, stylish… chic… (that word again)… How she dresses is a reflection of who she is and what she is about… I love that about her.

To be truly stylish means being an original…

Copy cat looks are the easiest way to appear un-stylish. The crime of the fashion victim is that they forget to interpret ‘the look’ for themselves. I don’t imagine designers would ever expect their followers to copy straight from the runway…  The runway is about trends, about inspirations and a forum for creativity. Fashion is about adaption. We aren’t all 6 feet in stockings or 112 pounds… but that doesn’t mean we can’t sport the latest… we must pick and choose…

We must interpret, for style is a language of it’s own and like all languages study and practice are involved.

The most stylish people are not necessarily the most beautiful… Personality and style go hand in hand… it doesn’t matter how fabulous or incredible someone looks… if their personality is negative, their style is wasted. Style like beauty shines from within. French Vogue editors Carine Roitfeld and the current Emmanuelle Alt are great examples… True style icons.

As confidence is the key to beauty, personality is the passport to true style.

Unique is the new chic as long as it is executed with one’s own style. There is no shame if style is learned… we can’t all be style leaders and fashion forecasters… but we can help and encourage each other. xv

 

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17 Comments

Anita Rivera

I AGREE! JE SUIS D’ACCORD! And especially these days when I don’t have much money to buy the latest, I have to style up what I do have. It’s working; the other day one middle school child asked me if I was a French teacher due to how I was dressed. The secret is that I was wearing some old clothes (nice but at least 10 years old!) but she seemed to like my black skirt, elbow length sleeved sweater and scarf! Yes, when you can’t buy the latest, style up what you do have!

Have a great day, Vicki!

Anita

Reply
Vicki

And when you buy well… it’s nearly almost in style… Classics always work.. especially with a small accessory addition… they can make all the difference… :)

Reply
The Enchanted Home

I so agree about the no rules anymore as being the biggest change in fashion. One look inside a J Crew catalog is testament to this! Plaid with pink and orange and polka dots…anything goes. I think in a way its liberating because people can more freely express their own fashion sense without having to adhere to a code as much as in years past. It has allowed for so many interpretations in what is chic and fashionable. Not all I love necessarily but definitely its a unique way of being able to express yourself. I personally tend to like and stay with the classics and maybe add one trend to switch it up but am most comfortable in classics.

Reply
Vicki

I think that knowing your own style is the most important way of interpreting fashion… and classics, especially with a twist, never fail…

Reply
pretty pink tulips

Such a great post, Vicki…and love your description about style being in the “choosing and in the manipulation”. That’s such a big part of looking chic. Layering and then adding an element that reflects YOU.

Wishing you a stylish day and week!!
xoxo Elizabeth

Reply
Karena

Vicki, so true. First we must have that inner glow and confidence! Then shop your closet, mine is certainly filled. Put different separates on, a wonderful scarf and earrings; you will look and feel great! Chic it is!

xoxo
Karena
2013 Artists Series

Reply
Katherine

When working in fashion retail for many years I always told clients that if they like what has been styled on display in the shop, to simply adapt that to their own wardrobe. It is one of the easiest remedies for the fashion challenged – the work is already done.
Many of us purchase a new colour trend item not knowing what do to with it – and if only we had looked at the mannequin further, the answer was there.
Sometimes we are too ‘comfortable’ in our looks, to the point of being bored and uncomfortable. Fashion trends have enormous trickle-down effects in the industry and we can all wear a trend in some format.

Reply
Vicki

I think that’s the point… it’s all in the interpretation and being observant of trends… and that is also the fun part… :)

Reply
lisa thomson

Personality that shines through gives us style…yes, I like that. I smile to myself when I think of the word ‘unique’ because it conjures up the idea of being eccentric. I guess a balance between classic and unique is the key. I rarely follow trends although with Pinterest, it sure becomes easier to fall into fashion envy. A website I adore is StyleLikeU.com, it will certainly show you ‘personality’ in style and how to interpret fashion. It is fascinating and goes inside the closets of various men and women with different careers. Thanks, Vicki!

Reply
Vicki

I love following all the fashion trends, Lisa… wherever they appear… I think I am spending far too much time doing just that!!

Reply
david terry

Oh, Vicki…..I expect you’d be gratified to learn of a quotation from Senator Langhorne of Virginia (circa 1880), who was constantly beseiged by that era’s version of the paparazzi,and who was widely known (whether he liked it or not) as a “fashion plate” figure. Just for the record?…he didn’t like it.

He was boarding the train in New York to go back to Richmond when some smartass reporter asked him “So, what’s the LATEST FASHION, SENATOR??????”.

Senator Langhorne lifted his eyebrows as he tipped his hat, and he replied “Sir?….’fashion’ is for those who have no style, just as ‘etiquette’ is for those who have no manners”.

I still think it’s the most articulate, concise, perfectly-polite-yet-cutting response I’ve heard my grandmother tell of.

As is the case with almost all the stories I grew up hearing, that anecdote may not be precisely “true”….but the fact remains that we Southerners are famous for never letting the supposed “facts” stand in the way of a good story.

Advisedly yours as ever, and thanks for the wise posting,

David Terry
http://www.davidterryart.com

Reply
Design Chic

Such a great post, Vicki and as one with a little more conservative I tend to stick with the classics and add a few trendy items each season just to jazz myself up a little! I think it’s ironic that I tend to do the same in my home – wonderful basics with great pillows and art to liven up each room. Fall is one of my favorite seasons for dressing since I love a beautiful sweater, a light weight cape or a great blouse…hope you’re having a wonderful week!

Reply
Kathryn

Hi Vicki,
This post is describing just what I saw reflected on the streets of Paris. I have just returned home to Australia after a fabulous visit to Paris and the Provence region. Today I was telling a friend what i observed….that there are no ‘rules’ to follow when it comes to french style. That everyone had their own unique beauty and style and dressed with confidence to suit their personality and lifestyle. It was so refreshing to see after reading so many blogs with ‘rules’ to follow to get that chic French look. I have come home and realized I have everything I need in my wardrobe. I just need to put things together in a unique and confident way and wear it with style and flair! Many thanks for your inspiring blog.
Cheers, Kathryn

Reply
Irina

A terrific post…originality in style and kindness in action…n’est-ce pas? May we all be our beautiful unique selves without hesitation!!
Have a beautiful day, chere Vicki!
xoxo

Reply

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