5 Ways to Upgrade Your Personal Style | How to Look High-Class and Elegant

Fashion

How an elegant or “classy” appearance is defined has evolved immensely, particularly during post-modern history. Even in this day and age, when a lot of people envision elegance, what often springs to mind may be conservative fashion items such as classic blouses, dull sweaters and long skirts, along with imagery of royalty etc. 

However, in a post-modern sense, dressing elegantly need not be executed in a stiff-upper-lip, boring manner at all and can, in fact, be applied across many different style personalities. This may include not only classic elegance, but could also incorporate more flamboyant or even seductive styles. 

Upgrading your personal style to one that embraces elegance can create a favourable first impression, and often portrays good taste, sophistication and worldliness. Refining one’s style can constitute only one of many steps to “leveling up” in life, which also includes personal refinement in mindset, motivation and behaviour. For the purposes of the current post, the aim is to achieve a curated exterior style that also reflects a beautiful internal transformation of elegance and refinement.  

When embarking on your personal journey to upgrade your style, it is important to look for items that also align with your preferred style, are comfortable and make you feel like you are still presenting your most authentic self to the world. The following tips outline a framework from which to curate a high-class appearance and persona to support your personal journey.   

  1. LEARN ABOUT AND INVEST IN HIGH-QUALITY FABRICS 

A robust argument can be made for investing in quality clothing and accessories that brings with it a plethora of benefits for the buyer, seller and the environment at large. 

Beyond their ability to instantly elevate your look, one prominent consumer benefit of investing in pieces that have been manufactured from quality fabrics is their higher durability. Their higher prices tend to reflect more careful craftsmanship (such as including more stitches per inch) with use of fabrics that may cost more to source (particularly the more rare they are). Quality products may also be repaired a number of times, whilst less expensive, lower quality products may lose their structural integrity at a faster rate and require more frequent replacement. 

However, investing in quality pieces need not always necessitate paying the often exorbitant prices associated with many renowned, luxury brands. Whilst consumers could once be categorised into either a “high street” shopper or luxury goods lover, the social media marketing era has given rise to a new niche of contemporary brands whose marketing proposition has been centred around providing quality goods at “mid-range prices” (relative to their cheaper mass-manufactured and expensive, designer counterparts). 

Often such companies may adopt a vertically-integrated structure whereby they are able to eliminate the “middle-man” or avoid outsourcing operations from developing countries. The increase in demand for socially-responsible entrepreneurial companies can create awareness around more humane working conditions, whilst offering competitive pricing without compromising on quality. 

Quality clothing is often made from fabrics with more natural fibres that tend to be more durable, including pure cotton, types of wool including cashmere, and silk. 

You can find my comprehensive guide to high-quality fabrics (what to look for, how to style them and where to find them) here

  1. SELECT CLASSIC STAPLE PIECES FOR A VERSATILE CLOSET 

The average shopper may gravitate toward purchasing items that may either be a statement piece to be worn on one occasion, or a repeat purchase of your favourite piece of clothing, such as a new favourite t-shirt or comfy sweater. Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with this strategy, we may still find ourselves peering into our closet in the morning and wondering why, at least in our minds, that we have nothing to wear. 

Creating a curated closet with staple, everyday pieces can help to alleviate this issue. A staple or everyday item is a product that tends to be simple on first glance; however, due to its versatility, can be reworn for a wide variety of occasions, so long as it is styled appropriately. If these pieces are crafted from quality fabric(s), they are more likely to survive the expected wear-and-tear that is typically associated with lower quality items. 

The classic white blouse can be described as the epitome of an everyday, staple clothing item. It is often affiliated with more formal attire; however, a blouse can be either “dressed up” with a pencil skirt and heels, or “dressed down” for a more relaxed, weekend lunch date with a comfortable, fitted pair of trousers and loafers. The classic style of a white blouse is also timeless and will never go out of style as an added bonus. If it is crafted from a quality fabric such as mulberry silk, the blouse will instantly help to create an elegant, polished appearance whereby its quality will likely mean that it can be recreated a considerable number of times due to its increased durability. 

  1. WEAR CLOTHING ITEMS THAT FLATTER YOUR BODY SHAPE 

Quality products tend to have more tailored, flattering cuts and therefore style. Irrespective of quality, clothing items that poorly fit the body do not appear elegant. “Fitted” in this context does not mean constricted or tightly fitted like a bodycon dress, but a style that feels comfortable enough against your body to move naturally with your silhouette. Whilst wearing oversized items that embody a very loose, “baggy” appearance may be trendy, they do not tend to look elegant.

Keep aware of how items fit the dimensions of your body. For example, ensure that the stitches along the shoulder of a top or coat do not begin beyond your shoulder joint, otherwise this may give the appearance of a poor fit.

It is worth considering that each person within a given standardised clothing size, e.g. US size 8, will likely have differing dimensions as we all, of course, have different body shapes and sizes. For example, some women may have slightly broader shoulders or a wider waist than other women who fit into a size 8 top. For this reason and others, it is highly recommended that you take your clothing items to your local tailor to ensure a perfect, personalised fit for your specific body shape. Tailoring your clothes will instantly elevate your look and transform even a cheaper clothing item into a more expensive, well-designed piece that fits and flatters your body in all of the right places.

Read more in-depth about How To Dress For Your Body Shape here

  1. DO NOT NEGLECT PERSONAL MAINTENANCE 

We know that first impressions are often not indicative of what fully encompasses a person in terms of what lies beyond the surface, and can often be incorrect or incomplete – however, how a person takes care of their personal hygiene and personal presentation can be a reflection of how they organise or respect themselves (and others) in addition to how they prioritise their health.

Cues of an elegant appearance can often be found in small details such as the following: 

Nails

If getting a regular manicure at your local salon is not feasible, at the bare minimum nails should be filed regularly. Applying a clear varnish or top coat to your nails can instantly elevate your look. Often times people “talk with their hands” and so a lot of attention is often drawn to our hands even without us being consciously aware of it. 

Hair

Our hair tends to take up a lot of area and frames our face and is thereby quite noticeable, particularly when interacting with other people, so it is important to find a hair style, cut and/or colour that is achievable to maintain in appearing sleek and healthy.  

Pro tips:

  • Find hair products that suit your hair type and help restore a healthy, sleek appearance. Keep travel-size versions of your favourite hair products in your purse or in your car to keep your hair appearing fresh while on-the-go. I enjoy using an ionic brush to help tame frizz.
  • If you colour your hair, make sure that you are able to maintain your colour with appointments/touch-ups as often as needed. Any hair colour or style that is too high maintenance to attend to as often as it is needed before appearing grown out or unkempt may appear sloppy. Pick a style or colour that is achievable and sustainable for you and your lifestyle.  
  • Brush your hair! This may seem obvious, but a lot of people neglect this! If you avoid brushing because you have curly or frizz-prone hair, use a wide-tooth comb. This is also useful to use to touch-up your hair without ruining curls or other styles achieved using hot tools.  
  • If you are having a bad hair day and just cannot tame that mane, pull your hair back into a sleek bun and possibly leave a few straight or wavy pieces out to frame your face for an effortlessly chic, yet quick fix.  

Skin

Find a morning/evening skincare regimen that both works for your skin type and covers the basics, and stick to it. Maintain any hair removal routines you may have e.g. eyebrow threading. 

Read here on How To Get Glowing Skin: Reduce Appearance of Wrinkles for Radiant, Youthful Skin. 

Following the above, elegant and refined women often place high value and attention to their health and well-being. They maintain a balanced diet and often exercise because they understand how imperative health is not only for appearance, but also for keeping a sharp, clear mind to keep focused on their goals, and for their physical well-being. 

  1. MAINTAIN ELEGANT BODY LANGUAGE: POSTURE AND DEMEANOUR 

Many body language experts agree that at least 70-90% of all communication is nonverbal. As far as posture is concerned, elegant women are poised and carry themselves with an inviting confidence without exaggeration or arrogance. 

Sophisticated women are not necessarily always reserved, but they carry a level of maturity and respect inherent in their body language. They do not have emotional outbursts in public, they do not speak about personal, sensitive or crass topics in public. This does not mean that they are emotionless or “stiff”; conversely, they know how to respond rather than react. Contrary to the stereotypical snobby, rich figure, elegant women speak to each person with respect and they are never vulgar.  

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VIEW EXISTING COMMENTS