Can You Follow Just Three 'Golden' Rules to Get "The Royal Look" - on a Budget?
By Kathleen Lisson
The New York Post recently reported on Vanity Fair's 74th annual 10 Best-Dressed Women list, noting that the ten women included "three royals: Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Letizia of Asturias (wife of Spain’s Prince Felipe) and Princess Madeleine of Sweden."
I have a confession - I wasn't always a royal watcher. I was too young to appreciate all the hype and devotion that followed Princess Diana when she got married. I have only drawn inspiration from European Royalty recently, as I started to take tips from Duchess Kate Middleton and her talent for incorporating hats into her wardrobe.
While I was watching her hats, and the hats of my other favorite stylish royals, like Princess Mary and Letizia, I noticed that they always looked so 'put together.' Contrast that with the common complaint to American women - "a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear!"
Did they look so great because they have rooms full of clothes and top designers on speed dial?
Sure, that may be true, but royal fashion bloggers have started to keep track of Duchess Kate's clothing choices and she has 'recycled' clothing items more than a few times.
I decided that if I could decode their style 'rules,' I could use them when I shop for clothes and add a touch of classic style to my closet, as well.
'Golden Rule' #1 - A Tailored Fit
The top tip I have learned from scanning hundreds of royal photos on Pinterest and at great blogs like Duchess Kate, What Kate Wore, and the Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor is - the royals look their best when their outfits are properly tailored. I regularly clean out my closet and find that I have to let go of fewer pieces when I focus on getting a perfect fit. Two tips - find the styles that flatter your figure the best and refuse to buy a piece of clothing unless it passes the 'flatters my figure' test or if you intend to bring it to your seamstress for alterations IMMEDIATELY after it is purchased.
How to find a seamstress - if you live in Troy, NY I recommend Lynne Kopka. I found her via Kristi's blog on the Times Union.
Kristi asks blog readers their suggestions for good local seamstresses / tailor a few times a year - search for 'Tailor' to see the latest recommendations: http://blog.timesunion.com/kristi/
'Golden Rule' #2 - Focus on Style, Not Trends
I first caught on to this rule when I started seeing all the Princess Diana photos on Pinterest. In some photos, you can see her looking great in all the popular 1980's styles. But in others, her beauty shines through and I'm not sure when the photos were taken. She had a classic, preppy style that stands the test of time.
Every six months, I am bombarded with articles on how to incorporate the latest 'trends' into my wardrobe, followed by articles touting which trends are 'over' and should be banished from my closet. Why spend all that extra money on clothes trying to follow trends with clothes that will have to be donated after a few months, if I am to keep up-to-date?
I have made two Pinterest boards: Trendy Fashion - Princess Diana and Timeless Fashion - Princess Diana. Which part of her wardrobe would you 'steal' today?
I'm Practicing Golden Rule #3
'Golden Rule' #3 - What to Look for the Next Time You Go Shopping
This will be my most controversial rule - add solids to your wardrobe. For me, it is incredibly hard to follow. I absolutely love beautiful patterns. The problem? Pattern mixing is an art. There are over 48 million results for a Google search for 'Pattern Mixing Guide.' My solution - add solids to your wardrobe and allow that pretty scarf, hat or necklace to become the focal point of the outfit. Add solid colored scarves and hats to your wardrobe to pair with all your patterned dresses and tops.
Royals do solids and monochrome outfits all the time - it is their secret for turning "that dress/blouse/pair of shoes is so pretty" into "you look so beautiful!"
Find Pinterest inspiration for adding solids to your wardrobe on my Pinterest Board Timeless Fashion - Royals.
If you have a favorite royal blog, please let me know in the comments.
Know a lady who loves to wear hats?
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Want to feel inspired to wear hats?