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By hello_kitten On 04/03/04  

I did a search but didn't find what I'm looking for.

I am in a style rut, and want to figure out a new "look". There are several looks i like, for example the audrey hepburn look or the french intellectual look. I'd like to translate these into regular clothes that I can wear day to day. I was wondering if any of you knew a site that would help me? Like one where I can check out different looks, get style tips.

I tried "instyle", cosmopolitan, and the teen sites, but they aren't too helpful.

also i'm thinking of wearing a little makeup, maybe just mascara or concealer or something.

i'm a really low maintenance girl, but i like all the pretty delicate looks, so any tips for that would help too!

in case you were wondering what inspired this, i live in big tshirts, sweaters, and jeans all the time. i brush my hair when i shower, put on spf 15 lotion, and that's my beauty routine. but i'm a business major and i look so unprofessional next to "those girls". and it's so frustrating because in high school, i felt fine because "those girls" didn't do as well in school as i did. but now that i'm in college, somehow all "those girls" are super smart as well and have better grades AND social lives than me and i feel so insignificant at times.

and i know that i could be pretty and put together if i tried, but i don't. so i'd like to try.

sorry for the rant there, i've been frustrated for a while. thanks for all the help, you guys are great.

oh! and i wanted to say, considering what's going on now, i know i'm talking about looks and clothes but i'm not a troll. i'm a lurker, i've been on here for 1.5 years and hadn't had the confidence to post until now.

By KattWalk On 04/03/04  

look for things that are minimal. Keep it clean and pressed. Carry yourself with grace. Do you ever see anyone that has a similar style to what you are trying to achieve? If so, ask them where they like to shop.

remember, "those girls" don't dictate how successful you are. Comparing yourself to them in that way (better grades and social life, etc) will only keep you from trying harder.

There is a book by Lucky magazine that has some great tips. It's $30, which is a little pricey for me, but you may be able to find some good ideas and inspiration. Don't look for instyle or cosmo unless you want to find over-priced things on unrealistic models. Teen sites don't help either, because they don't try to look classic. (please someone kill the J-lo look. stab it in the face, for the love of god)

By ookpik On 04/03/04  

my favorite sources of inspiration are people with webcams. there are some web journals that i only read because i like the person's style and enjoy checking out their wishlists and which online stores they like and that kind of thing.

it sounds like you sort of know what you're going for already, so maybe all you need to do to really get started is do a lot of window shopping and thrifting. once you get a couple of pieces that work with your new style goal, maybe it will be easier to tell what else you want to do/get.

i think it is neat that you want to try the "put together" thing :) also i need to second the sentiment that other people do not have any impact on how cool you are! since you are trying some new style things to perk yourself up, why not also try some other confidence boosters like learning about something you are interested in, or hanging out with people who love you?

By lizzz On 04/03/04  

You said you looked on magazine websites but I would go to the library and look in ALL the fashion magazines. The look you want is very popular. I know Nordstrom's has all those clothes at the moment...I don't know if you can fit into the juniors but I saw really sweet shirts and skirts in the 50's/60's vain. Target has some really cute stuff now too.

I know this is going to sound REALLY geeky, or maybe I just think it's geeky, but I've been watching all those makeover shows. You know the ones where they tell you what to wear and what not to wear? Those are good because if you watch a few you see women that have body parts simular to yours and you know how to work with what you got.

Also, just be really aware of what other people are wearing and what you like out of that. I get my greatest inspirations from the streets.

By Milyssa On 04/03/04  

I definitely second watching some of those shows on TLC and The Style Network for ideas.
Shows like "What Not To Wear" or "A Makeover Story" might give you ideas of what sort of clothing would look spectacular on you. Even if they aren't helpful, you might have some fun watching! LOL.

By Sabriel On 04/03/04  

A small thing (considering what you said about big t-shirts and sweaters and all) is to wear clothes that fit well. Not tight, no no no, but one of the best changes I made in my wardrobe was actually to wear stuff that fits. Regardless of what style you're going for, you look sleeker and more put together if it's not a tent floating around you, even if it's just jeans and a shirt.

By mgdriver On 04/04/04  

i know this sounds like advice from some 1960's "how to be popular in the sorority article", but go through your clothes and try to pick out a consistent color theme. like red/black/khaki. toss the stuff that only goes with one other article, or matches nothing. only buy new stuff that sticks to your theme. it makes it easier to get dressed, easier to make stuff look well-planned and pulled together. and when you see how much more you wear the stuff you have, you'll feel less guilty about spending money on good quality. the best thing i ever did, wardrobe-wise, was throw out anything navy blue!

By jackierocket On 04/04/04  

There is a lovely book out there called "Audrey Style" (funny since there was another thread regarding an "Audrey Hepburn costume" recently...). Lots of great tips on how to look swell.
1. White neatly pressed shirts/blouses.
2. Black pants.
3. Kitten heels and/or flats.
4. Slim type skirts.
5. Pink (but that is just me)
6. Everything the girls above just said.
7. Stand up straight. I know I sound like your mother, but heck, it does wonders for your body and your mind.
8. Think good happy thoughts. Smile when you don't want to. Laugh because you can. And if nothing else can do that, sing "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens blah blah blah..." because it's so freakin corney that it will make you smile. That's the best pulled together look ever.

By teagrrl On 04/04/04  

I'm kind of in the same situation. I'm also trying to wear other clothes than the first random things I find in my closet (though I take silversmithing and art classes, so I need to have a bunch of not-so-nice clothes that I can wear in the studio). I recently started to wear skirts, because almost all my pants broke in the last few months and I haven't found any new ones that I like in the shops. For some reason people compliment me all the time when I wear skirts (mostly a plain black one that was a hand-me-down from my sister...) and that's always nice... I haven't gotten to makeup yet, because I'd rather get a few minutes extra sleep in the mornings. :-)

Get a pair of nice shoes and a plain skirt (or pants) and then some comfy basic tops that fit you (like someone has already told you)... I think as basic as possible would be a good thing, b/c then you can wear jewellery or other accessories to "spice it up" a bit...

One thing though, don't buy shirts or blouses that need ironing unless you really like to iron...otherwise they'll just be hanging in your closet. :-)

***ETA: I second looking in magazines and books - but also TV shows. Not just shows _about_ clothes or style, but also TV series, reality shows, whatever... You might find a character that you like the style of.

***ETA (again): I found two threads that are only somewhat related to this, but I thought there might be some ideas:>>

By grayseed On 04/04/04  

my number one tip for looking together and feeling together -- button-down shirts.

seriously. this semester i got a big reporting position for my college paper, and so I wanted to look more professional. (before, i was all about the band t-shirts.) it's amazing how much more put-together i feel when i'm dressed nicely.

the additions i made to my wardrobe were simple and mostly cheap:
-- four button-down shirts in various colors and patterns from Target ($15-20 each)
-- a pair of nice corduroy pants (on sale for $20 from j.crew)
-- a pair of correspondent pants (how fitting!) from Express (the one splurge -- $60)
-- a nice wool sweater in gray with long sleeves
-- a sweater vest in red

from that, i'm set with various professional-looking outfits for a week.

edited to add: i'm also very low maintenance. i never wear makeup or spend much time on my hair -- and that's ok, you know? if you feel strange wearing makeup, don't feel like you have to in order to look "put-together."

By mystril On 04/04/04  

One tip, find a friend or relative who can tell you if something doesn't work for you without hurting your feelings. Then, let them know what you're trying to do to change your image and let them offer suggestions.

Before you go shopping, look through catalogs for things you might like and keep them in mind when you go, so you aren't just wandering around unsure of what you want.

As far as makeup is concerned, I'd just walk up to a cosmetic counter on a weekday morning or afternoon (when it's slower) and ask for help. (A cosmetic counter rather than a drugstore because if you decide to go for a powder or foundation, it's easier to match the color.)


By Sepia Photo On 04/04/04  

Skirts skirts skirts! I have so much more confidence and ability when I'm in my "power skirt", a tailored black skirt from Express. I feel feminine, but not like a total nitwit.

If skirts aren't really your style, black cigarette pants (for petite women) or black sailor-cut trousers (for curvy women). My sister looks ravishing in the cigarette pants, but the sailor cut is so much more flattering to my behind. Try on a bunch of styles before settling on one that looks good, because there may be another cut that looks even BETTER!

Good luck. Its really hard to change your personal style after getting stuck in a rut, but it can be done! ;)

By jodysomething On 04/04/04  

I second the "Audrey Style" book recommendation. It's by Pamela Clark Keough, and last I checked there were some cheap used copies on Amazon. It basically breaks down all the elements of her look and shows modern readers how to achieve it.

Another excellent book is "Audrey Hepbern: A Woman, the Style" by Stefania Ricci. It's a bit more expensive and harder to find than the other, but if you can find it, grab it! It's got a zillion pictures and is thoroughly inspiring.

By Alicewonderland On 04/04/04  

I hate to ask you this, but what are cigarette pants?

By jodysomething On 04/04/04  

pants that are long and straight and skinny, like a cigarette.

By Sepia Photo On 04/04/04  


By mgdriver On 04/04/04  

and another thing- when all else fails, put on red lipstick and black sunglasses! this works with jeans and flip-flops!

By invisilurker On 04/04/04  

Good for you for wearing sunblock.

As a former living in big T-Shirts person, I know where you are coming from.
Try on lots and lots of clothes, and be brutally honest about how it really looks with yourself. Take a friend with you though, that you trust, to get a feel for what really does look good on you.
Figure out what colors you like, what colors you look awesome in, and what colors make you look like walking death. Seriously...everyone has certain colors that just look awful on them, and some that make them look amazing.

For makeup, keep it simple, but don't underdo/overdo it either. Concealer is better than foundation if you have dark circles, a few larger pores, but mostly nice skin. If you can, get makeup brushes to use..nice ones. Or use your fingers. Do you pluck your eyebrows? It can make a huge difference in how your eyes look.
Also, clinique counters usually will do a makeover for free if you ask. If you like what they do, just buy one lipstick or something, and remember the colors you liked. I use cheap makeup, and it works alright.

By teagrrl On 04/05/04  

Re: concealer, how do you find one in the right tone? I'm really pale (as in paler than anyone I've ever met) so I guess I should use concealer named "corpse" or "ghost" or something, but I've never seen anything but beige in the shops... :-)

By naturallysteph On 04/04/04  

Lots of good advice already given, so I just thought I'd add this one: Sit up straight! The look of confidence does wonders. My mom taught me this.

Good luck!

*steph, who loves Audrey, too

By VioletKarma On 04/04/04  

On some Style show or magazine I remember learning that if you have a really good haircut and a nice pair of shoes, you can get away with a lot, clothes wise.

I second plucking eyebrows. Get waxed first so they can shape them, and then maintain the shape at home by plucking them. I'm a 2 minute make up lady. To make your eyebrows look nice, put some brown tinted or even clear lip gloss on your fingers and trace your eyebrows. This keeps them in place and gives them a nice color, and it's way cheaper than getting brow tint/gel. After that, I'll use a cream shadow in a neutral shade to put all over my lids. Then I finish up with a tinted lipgloss, lately it's been Burts Bees lip shimmer. It takes less than 2 minutes and makes a world of difference.

By Monkeysox21 On 04/05/04  

Great advice from the others on here! As someone who hates most of the stuff in the stores right now, especially since I am not a tiny things with no boobs, I just look at it all and pull out what I do like and go from there. You can't go wrong with basic black, in pants and shirts. Also, go through your closet and look at what you have that you wear all the time. Ask yourself why you wear it and what you like about it. Pay attention to whether its the material, style or color that you like so much. Then go out and search for that item. Also, if you find a shirt or pair of pants that you like alot, buy more than one, even if its in the same color. If you love it, you'll wear it!

There is a book by the two British ladies who do the UK version of "What Not To Wear" and its great! It's very simple and gives you the examples of why something doesn't work and what DOES work. Check it out.

Good luck!


By caropop On 04/05/04  

When you go shopping, just remember that it's just as easy to put on a nice pair of pants and shirt as it is jeans and a tee in the morning. The issue is just about making sure that your closet is stocked with more nice things than jeans. And make sure you feel comfortable in the nice things, so you won't try to always fall back to the sweats because you think your butt looks weird in that skirt. Buy things you will actually wear.

By hazel1 On 04/05/04  

I went through the same thing a few years back (needed a change/inspiration) funny how Audrey Hepburn inspired me as well (I watched her movies to see how she dressed) Anyway, I started by reading Marie Claire (they are really good for advice on what to wear and how) And you don't have to put out a lot of $$, just note the cut and the style of the clothing and put it together with colors that flatter you.

Also have to agree with the eyebrow wax too, it's an instant makeover.

By anniebeegoode On 04/05/04  

the 3 keys to a great look in my opinion are a good haircut, a good pair of shoes and the right shade of lipstick.

once you know what you are looking for, tjmaxx is a great place to shop. i decided a while ago that i wasn't going to buy cheap clothes from target and old navy anymore. now i shop at tjmaxx and spend the same amount for high quality stuff. for example, i got a simple black DKNY skirt that i will wear forever at tjmaxx for $20. i would have paid the same for a target skirt, but it wouldn't have fit as well or lasted as long...

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