What do Karl Lagerfeld, Carolina Herrera, Diane von Furstenberg, and Michael Kors have in common?
These prominent figures, among others, spend their days influencing the current "Fashion Du Jour." Yet, when it comes to their own personal style, they almost completely ignore trends, instead choosing to wear their own pre-defined personal "uniform." While the wannabes of the industry invest thousands of dollars, not to mention countless hours in search of the latest trends, changing their look on a daily basis (with hit and miss results) these style icons have stood the test of time and are flawless in their execution.
How do they do it? What's the secret? Well, it's actually a lot more simple than you think. These icons have found their essential style, and when I say that I mean "essence" in the philosophical sense:
"...the inward nature, true substance, or constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory etc..."
What I'm talking about today is uncovering your true self (yes, we're getting deep) and then dressing in a way that reflects that, every day. When you put something on that's not reflective of your "true self" you know. Well, you might not know that you know, but you feel it, there are signs: it's not comfortable, you're pulling at it, you're self conscious, you feel exposed, you sweat... you've felt this before, I know, I have too. This happens all too often. Unfortunately, the opposite; finding of something that makes your heart flip, and feels like a second skin (in a good way), happens much less.
So what happens as a result: we succumb to the pressure of fashion and "keeping up" all too often and buy a lot of clothes we never really get much wear out of. Then, we end up wearing the old favorites over and over again. Or worse, we struggle every day and end up giving up all together (meaning a quick change into sweatpants and an old t-shirt the moment we get home from work.)
Myself (Hannah) and Robyn built Issue Clothing to provide an alternative approach. We want to make this process much less painful for women everywhere. We have developed our capsule wardrobe approach to help with this problem. Ultimately, we want you to find your own uniform look, and breeze through life like Karl and Diane, but it's going to be a journey. We are both doing this ourselves, and have successfully condensed our wardrobes. What we're working towards is a true uniform. It's not easy. We have to get our heads out of the fashion mentality and into the personal style mentality. Slowly boiling down from way too many options, to "the essence."
In upcoming blog posts Robyn and I will be sharing our own capsule wardrobes and those key silhouettes. This will help you see it's SO possible to move to a better way of dressing and shopping. To get you started though, and hopefully a little inspired, we're going to look at 5 classic uniform looks:
Vera Wang is known for her signature black legging. Nothing says style and simplicity like black. If you need to be able to move around, and seek a "no-fuss" look, this could be your holy grail.
The Power Suit
Well, you don't have to go FULL suit, but definitely the blazer. The likes of Angela Merkel and Christine Lagarde choose a strong blazer to complete their every day look. It's elevated and says "I'm powerful." If you're looking to take on the corporate, or political ladder then this is your piece de resistance.
The Black Turtle Neck
From Steve Jobs to Elizabeth Holmes, and many in between, a simple black turtle neck takes all the thinking out of outfit planning. It pairs with anything, casual or formal. Keep it simple with a black pant (or jeans a la Steve Jobs) and you're done. If you're building an empire or starting a movement, this will do the trick. Let's face it, you have bigger things to think about.
Caroline Herrera is known for her signature white button up shirt. She pairs this classic piece, tucked, into skirts. Just one google search and you'll get it. Yet, she looks fabulous in EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. If you're looking for a polished and timeless look, that works for all ages, this could be it.
Princess Kate is almost always spotted wearing a tailored dress, cut to the knee. Now, obviously she has a variety of events and obligations on her time so having a style that works for the majority of these makes the royal wardrobe attendants lives MUCH easier. If you are looking for a simple feminine look, and have a demanding social/event calendar, dresses could save you A LOT of time and fuss. Find the cut that suits and then shop that cut exclusively. One note on this look: don't forget to factor in the dry cleaning bills!
For more information on building your own capsule wardrobe, download our guide here. Did you miss part one? Check it out here.