Really! I mean, you should probably wear something on your lower half, but it doesn't have to be jeans. Ever since I can remember, I've preferred skirts and dresses to pants. While everyone else talked about how comfortable their jeans were or how much they loved shorts, I waited and waited for the day that I, too, would magically fall in love with jeans and turn into a 1980s supermodel in denim.
At some point I realized I just don't like pants, and that's okay. They rarely fit my body type (curvy, small waist, short legs) and always feel too tight in the tummy area. So I gave up on the pants thing and shopped for skirts and dresses that I love, and never looked back. Frankly, I still don't understand the gals who pour themselves into restricting pants all day... especially with belts. *shudder*
2. Two statement pieces are better than one.
You know how Coco Chanel famously said that you should take off one accessory before walking out the door? I've always thought that's cool for those minimalist people who can weirdly pull off an itty-bitty gold chain necklace, plain white t-shirt and jeans, but reaaaaallllly. The rest of us just don't need to live with those kinds of limits. If you've got a killer bib necklace and some sparkly bangles and red lipstick and you're trying to decide if you should wear the pink heels or the black ones... don't be afraid to go full on awesome. More is always more for me.
3. If you can't afford to buy it, make it.
I'd love to own some Dolce & Gabbana but it's not in my budget just yet.. Many times, though, I can take inspiration from something on the runway and recreate it at home. Whether it's an outrageous pair of earrings or a dress with foxes on it, I've made DIY versions of favorite luxe looks... for much, much less. If you like a certain look, google DIY videos for it and then enlist the help of your creative friends for any part of it that you can't do (sewing, pattern making, etc)
4. Inspiration can come from boys, too.
Even though I'm usually a traditionally feminine dresser, I love snagging style ideas from my favorite male rock stars (Matt Bellamy, David Bowie, etc). Whether it's adding a pair of suspenders to an outfit or seeking out a t-shirt I spotted on a fashionable guy, it's fun to add a bit of boy-spo!
5. Wanna try that new hair color? Try it.
It's your hair. It's your life! If you wanna try pink hair or blonde hair, do it. DO IT. I've tried red hair, black hair, brown hair, dark blonde hair, platinum blonde hair and have had blue and pink streaks. In the end, I've always gone back to blonde, but do I regret my forays into other colors? Not a bit! Don't let anyone stop you from trying something new. Same goes for haircuts. If you really want to try it, just try it.
6. Not everyone looks good in a cat eye.
I've tried! I've tried so many times to draw on a cat eye; I've tried liquid eyeliner, pencil eyeliner, and magical alien marker pen (okay not really but might as well have). No matter what style or color of cat eye that I've experimented with, though, it never looks right on my naturally-squinty eyes. Instead, I've discovered after many years of trial and error that my eyes look best ringed lightly all around, tight on the waterline, with no extensions on the side. Keep experimenting with eyeliner, if you haven't figured out your best look, and take note of famous gals you respect with a similar eye shape to yours. They probably have a fancy makeup artist to give them their most flattering look, so it'll almost be like getting help from a professional.
7. Find good shoes. WEAR THEM. Always.
If you wear uncomfortable shoes, you're going to unexpectedly have to walk for 6 miles uphill or something. Seriously. Or, like me, you'll have spent the day at NYFW and be at a party with fashion designers and realize your feet are so swollen that they're about to burst out of your shoes, at which time you're going to limp very, very, very slowly to Old Navy at 10:30pm and buy a pair of fluorescent orange clearance-priced flip flops.
Conversely, if you wear ugly comfortable shoes, you're going to run into someone important. Or, like me, you'll end up being asked to take part in an impromptu photoshoot, photographed for a magazine and tagged in about 199 pictures, all while wearing the ugliest flip flops that exist on the planet.
Spend however long it takes you to find a pair of comfortable and cute flats. Spend however long it takes you to find a pair of comfortable heels (you never know when you'll need them). And really, for the love of God, find a pair of great ankle boots that look good and feel good. You'll live in those, trust me.
8. Short skirts are great.
As I've chronicled on this blog previously, I've struggled with self image/body issues for most of my life, but something particularly freeing took place when I discovered how great my legs look in short skirts. I've tested the limits of job dress codes and personal comfort zones ever since.
9. Find your style muse and borrow without shame.
My go-to style muse is Kate Hudson. She's a gorgeous blonde who can pull off the breezy boho looks just as easily as the glam ones. I love her inner and outer glow, easy laugh and don't-care-what-others-think attitude. I love to keep an eye out for what she's been rocking lately, because we share a similar fashion sensibility and facial features. One of my recent style mantras is "Be the fabulous Kate Hudson-esque boho babe you were meant to be." Find your muse and your mantra and keep it in mind when you're in a fashion rut.
10. If you're having a bad day, rock some lipgloss.
You can ask my Mom... this is my greatest advice to all gals. If you're having a bad day, you need some sparkly lipgloss. It just makes everything better.
Happy dressing and shopping, fashionistas! <3
***Note: I'm currently raising money for a research trip to England. You can help me get there by buying some beautiful Half-Lucid Jewelry or adding a couple dollars to my donation button. Check out all the info about the trip here: http://kendralsaunders.com/sendkendratoengland.html and look at my Half-Lucid inventory here: http://kendralsaunders.com/halflucidjewelry :)