Check your style quotient

You may know fashion. But do you know style? Style is what brings the personal touch to fashion, enlightens Shahnaz Husain.


There is a difference between style and fashion. Style is something more individual. It is a personal touch, which goes far beyond fashion. Today, the good thing is that there is more freedom to follow styles that really suit your individuality. You can create any desired look by wearing the right clothes and colours. What you need to do is to keep certain rules of proportion in mind and relate them to your clothes.

To look thin (or add muscle)

n Vertical lines make you look slimmer, while horizontal lines tend to add weight to the figure. A thin person would look good in horizontal stripes.

n Dark colours can make a person look slimmer. On the other hand, light colours, especially white, add width to the figure.

n An over-weight person should avoid large prints. One-coloured outfits would be more flattering.

n Clinging fabrics, like chiffon, tend to accentuate figure defects. Similarly, tight clothes accentuate bulges. In fact, in tight clothes, a thin person looks thinner, while it adds weight to an overweight person. If you wish to look slimmer, avoid heavy fabrics. Keep to simple patterns.

n For over-weight people, a simple V-neckline will look good. Sleeves should be long and straight. Avoid puffed sleeves, frills and flounces.

n Thin people look nice in crisp cottons, high necklines, collars and even frills. Avoid clothes that “hang down” and wear clothes with detail. Like a touch of lace, gathers, pleats and so on.

To look tall

n Short people can “dress tall” by avoiding contrasts. For instance, it is better to wear jeans and top or churidar and kurta of the same colour, as this adds height. Wearing churidar and kurtas, or skirts and tops, in contrasting colours, takes away height.
n Short people should avoid bulky clothes and details. The designs should be simple, without large prints. Wear jewellery that is also neat and small, rather than large and decorative.

n Short people like to wear high heels, but the shoes should be light, with thin straps, rather than heavy and bulky.

n Those who are slim and tall can carry off most styles and clothes. They can wear bold prints, striking, wide contrast borders and heavy jewellery. They may wear heavier fabrics.

Some general tips

n Keep the season, occasion, and time of day in mind and dress accordingly.
n Observe others and look at fashion magazines, seeing how colours have been used, or how a plain attire can look dramatic with a few touches.

n A wide bracelet, long bead chains, or a brooch made from an old earring can make your style pop.

n Churidar-kurta set in one plain colour, preferably in a satin/silk material can look informal with a printed dupatta. The same can be glammed up at night, with a sequined dupatta. 

What is just as important as these basic rules is your attitude. Much depends on how you see yourself and how happy you feel about the way you look. On this attitude depends whether you can carry yourself with confidence. In fact, many women have made the most of their forms by the way they carry themselves, with poise.

You can buy fashionable clothes. But you cannot buy style. You have to acquire it. You can begin by reviewing your clothes, and keeping your body structure in mind. Include clothes for different occasions and seasons. A little planning, and using your imagination with attention to details, can help you evolve your own style.

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