How to be Stylish in Everyday Life


Vivienne AiyelaBy Vivienne Aiyela

I don’t consider myself to be a drop dead gorgeous beauty queen but I do consider myself to be resplendent and stylish. I did not wake up that way but it came to me over time. Learning to understand what clothes suits me, to love my body shape and height. I am 6 feet tall (183 centimetres) and can be seen wearing at least 4 inch (10 cms) heels and know my proportions. Never a fashion victim, I dance to my own beat.

Style over beauty

We have all been to a function (wedding, party, networking event) when a beautiful woman walks into a room. We glance up for a moment but soon return to our conversation. Beauty is not really that interesting, it may give you that wow feeling for a fleeting moment but seriously that’s about it.

Remember “Fashion fades, style is eternal” – Coco Chanel

However, when a confident woman walks into a room, it is entrancing. Look at how she moves with such poise and self-possession. Like me, she is not the one wearing the black dress that just fades in with the other black dresses. She is probably in the bright coloured interesting dress, not the run of the mill one found in your everyday high street shop. This woman is wearing heels and has a great coat and accessories. Definitely, she is not the most stunningly attractive woman but she exudes confidence which is captivating, powerful and it does not fade – all endlessly more interesting than beauty.

We all know that beauty fades and many women are rushing to turn back the clock under the knife, yet no matter how many times a woman goes under the knife it still doesn’t give a woman style. Remember “Fashion fades – style is eternal” by Coco Chanel.

The first and most important step for developing your style is to project confidence. The kind of confidence that tells others that you respect yourself, love yourself and dress up for yourself and nobody else. Many women are too concerned with what other people think about them.

Style comes from knowing who you are, where are going and who you want to be in the world. It certainly does not come from wanting to be somebody else, having issues with wanting to be thinner, shorter, taller, prettier or a different skin colour. Many refined women are not stunning beauties but they all have a huge amount of aplomb. Chic women define themselves and do not require confirmation from others.

Standing tall in my heels, I am very proud of my height. I stand out in a crowd, and yes I do turn heads with my poise, appearance and knowing which clothes suit me. I often admire women who are not cut from the same cloth. They stand out in a crowd. The woman wearing the dazzling vintage dress and hair style to match, a curvy woman with a large bottom in a figure hugging pencil skirt, a woman dressed (dancing) to her own beat in her own designs, a true fashionista, she has mixed up her style from her own wardrobe and from the small boutique hidden away in the market.

Michelle Obama may have a stylist that makes suggestions for her outfits, designers scampering over themselves to dress her but even in casual clothes she oozes confidence and carries herself with such self-assurance. Yet she isn’t perfect and doesn’t have impeccable straight teeth. However her head is always held high and her flaws are always flaunted, never her hand over her mouth. Flaunt your flaws and hold your head high. Others may not even notice them because all they will see is your confidence.

“Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess” Edina Woolman Chase

Anyone can do fashion. Just go out to the high street and buy the entire outfit you see on the mannequin but many don’t do style. People who do fashion normally follow the herd of fashion crowds, and blend in but never stand out. Elegance is personal and comes from within. How you dress tells the world who you are.

A stylish woman mixes her outfits up, not dressed in one shop head to toe and everything in between. Her outfit is not in a magazine, you may recognise her handbag but you’ll be hard pressed to name the shop(s) where she purchased what she is wearing.

Tailoring – the secrets

I am going to let you in to a top fashion secret. With the models you see in fashion magazines, their clothes are often held together at the back by bulldog clips because they don’t fit properly. The clothes are made in a standard-size which don’t fit well on many of the models. When you buy clothes from the shops they vary in size. Yet great tailored clothes from a good tailor that fit you perfectly is the single most critical factor in raising your style profile.

No woman is the same and it is important to express your personality in how you dress. Don’t be a slave to fashion.

High fashion and must-haves vs. stylish clothes

Flicking through the latest fashion magazines and rushing out to buy the latest trends without regard for how they look on your proportions is a recipe for disaster, and where style ends and fashion enslavement begins. Women without a realistic sense of fashion waste a lot of money driving themselves crazy trying to get the ‘look’, and often left feeling that they have nothing to wear in their wardrobe.

Fashion victims are seen everywhere. They mix high end logos blazing for everyone to see, a walking advertising board for several designer shops promoting their clothes, without even getting a discount for doing so. Wearing labels selectively (not brazenly across your chest) shows the world that you have an eye for sophistication. Mixing and matching with the independent boutique, designer and high street shows the world you have an individual sense of style.

As a Stylist I love to people watch, sitting in a café by the window watching people walk by looking at what they are wearing and how they have put their clothes together, is at times even better than eating cake. And I love cake! As I make 95% of my clothes it also gives me ideas of what to make.

No woman is the same and it is important to express your personality in how you dress. Don’t be a slave to fashion.


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