“Fashions fade, style is eternal” – Yves Saint Laurent
These powerful words from the esteemed and famed designer, Yves Saint Laurent, perfectly capture the essence of what it takes to be a style icon.
Indeed wearing clothes that are trending is not enough to make you Instagram’s next ‘It’ girl or boy. To be the college hottie – gracing the ramp at fests to becoming the epitome of glamour, elegance and style – you got to work a lot harder than that.
In a world where style is substance, showing off your expensive car, your intellect or your achievements in sports to become the cool kid in class is so passé. Now it’s all about flaunting your unique style sense to make a statement and stand out from the crowd (think Sarah Jessica Parker, Victoria Beckham, Johnny Depp and Pharell Williams). Whether you’re rocking the 70s hippie vibe or going the retro route a la Audrey Hepburn, from the 90s grunge cool to the ultra-modern silhouettes of the 2010s – no matter what your personal style is, if you got it, you flaunt it.
And if you don’t have it, don’t worry. You can metamorphose from being the plain Jane or the average Joe in your college to the ultimate fashion icon that your college has ever seen.
No, the secret to that doesn’t lie in the glossy pages of Elle or Vogue or Cosmopolitan. We’re not even talking about ‘how fashionable you are’ Buzzfeed quizzes. What you need is right here in this blog, and all you got to do is follow the ways we’ve laid out in front of you –
1. You’re never Fully Dressed without a Smile
When Sia sang these words, their echo could not have rung truer. Your clothes may have bought from the fanciest stores of the high fashion streets of New York, Paris, Milan or London; you can still look drab in them if you don’t have a smile to complement your outfit of the day. Wear this invaluable piece of accessory to turn heads your way, even if all you’re wearing is a $10 dress bought off from a local thrift store.
2. Find your Inner Style God/Goddess
Your personal style is what can put you on the map; it is what can get your picture up in the college style hall of fame. But finding that style is almost never too easy. You’ve got to get into yourself and discover the look you want to achieve and the way you want to portray yourself to the world. Is it geeky, chic, androgynous or uber casual? If you can’t figure that out, take inspiration from the world around you. Browse the looks presented in fashion glossies or just follow the wearable style trends of your favorite celebs. That can act as a starting point.
3. Don’t Ever be Afraid to Experiment
We know you’re in college and there are rules you have to follow so you can’t go all out crazy with your wardrobe, but there’s still room for experimentation. And you can do that even with basic wardrobe staples such as a simple tee, a pair of jeans and the like. Besides, there’s no room for being afraid if you actually want to be crowned the style icon of your college. So don’t ever ask yourself if you can pull this off. As Nike would say it – ‘Just do it.’ If you like to stick to the classics, though, no problem. Just style them in a way that’s quintessentially yours, and you’ll be good to go.
4. Treat your Outfits as an Aesthetic Whole
Your attire is not just made up of pieces of clothing and accessories that go with them. It’s a definition of who you are; a curated representation of your personality. It has a theme; each nuance is an element that has been specifically chosen to make a statement, even when it appears to be casually put together. So when you get down to dressing up for your day at college, you need to think about the picture you want to present. This is why you should pick each element carefully (from your bag to your shoes) and let it all come together to tell a unique style story every day.
5. But don’t Forget to be Comfortable
You can’t be labeled a fashionista or the fashion-forward man if you end up looking uncomfortable in the style you’ve chosen. Remember, you’re not dressing to impress. That’s not a trait of a true style icon. For the real fashion icon, his/her clothes, accessories and attitude are like a second skin. So when you get in to your ensemble for that college seminar, and feel so comfy like you’ve thrown nothing on, you’ll know you’ve got it just right.
6. American Pie and other College Teen Movies are not Style Guides
Yes, the preppy clothes presented in these movies can seem like the epitome of college fashion, but you’ve got to hold it just right there. Stiffler’s shorts and a sweater is barely going get you the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ of the ladies in your class. And Alyson Hannigan’s plain boring tees are also out of the question if you want to be a glam doll. However, if you must follow silver screen teen style, we’d suggest you take a look at 90210 (the 2008 series). Naomi’s clothes are to die for, and Teddy’s dapper ensembles can make any guy look like a million bucks.
7. Make the best of your Ramen Noodle Budget
So in college, you don’t exactly get the kind of pocket money you need for fancy clothes and snazzy accessories, and may just make that an excuse for backing out of the style race. But honey, that attitude ain’t gonna help if you wanna get to the top. There are some great places you can get some trendy clothes on a noodle string budget. Make places like Forever 21 and TJ Maxx your fashion hunting grounds whenever you go shopping. Invest in some classic staples and mix and match them in the most bizarre, out of the box ways to come up with your own style trends
8. ‘I whip my hair back and forth’- Focus on your Hair
Will Smith’s daughter, Willow Smith, just showed us through her catchy and infectious number just how cool you can be with your hair. Whether it’s short or long, cropped or just let loose in wild bangs, your hair is as much a part of your personal style as anything else. Color it, iron it or just wrap it in a headband – this is your student life, and you’re allowed to go through some crazy hair phases that make you feel amazing. Because when you feel good, you look good.
9. Your Body Shape is Important, but Confidence is the Key
Apple, pear, straight or hourglass – even if you dress according to your body shape, your entire look can fall flat if you don’t have the sass to pull it off. Make Meghan Trainor’s ‘You know I’m all about that bass, no treble’ your personal motto and add a dash of pizzazz to what you wear. As for how to dress according to your body shape, there are several style guides out there that can educate you on how to look like glam doll no matter your size.
10. Instagram your Look
What’s the point of being a style icon if no one’s following you? Being a style icon is one of those things you need the public vote for. So set up an Instagram account and upload a snap of each of your looks, flaunting your most flattering profile. Be known as the guy or the girl with unique style, and make it look as if it was all effortless, part of just who you are. And like we said in our first point, don’t forget to flash your megawatt smile.
That said, keeping a sartorial eye on the latest trends and fashion once in a while can do you good. It can make you come across as someone who has a distinct style sense and yet is capable of molding the latest trends to make them an extension of his/her personality. Now just embrace these ways, and get ready to become the ultimate style icon; glamorous enough to make the paparazzi flee Hollywood and rally in front of your college just to get a glimpse of you.
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