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10 Fashion Tips That Will Never Go Out of Style

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Fashions fade, style is eternal. - Yves Saint Laurent quote

The above quote is one of fashion’s most famous for a reason – it’s true. Following trends and looking “of the moment” is fun, but it’s even more important to understand the style rules that stand the test of time. Classic fashion icons like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Coco Chanel aren’t revered today because they were fashion victims who only wore the latest clothes. Instead, they understood basic, indisputable fashion rules and how to use them.

Instead of talking about the latest trends, today I want to focus on something more lasting – a list of 10 fashion tips that will never go out of style. I’m sure none of these rules are brand new to you guys, but since we’re always talking about trends, I thought it would be nice to remind ourselves what real style is.

1. The hourglass figure is forever in.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe knew this rule best – her curvy hourglass look has had men lusting after her and women wanting to be her for half a century! Marilyn’s look has forever solidified her as one of the sexiest woman in history. Learn from Ms. Monroe and realize that the hourglass shape is always flattering on any woman. When in doubt, look for clothes that nip in at the waist and draw attention to that area. Not blessed with Marilyn-esque curves? Fake it with a great belt or high waisted skirt.

2. You can’t go wrong with a little black dress.

Audrey Hepburn in her Little Black Dress

If you only learn one thing from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, let this be it. Ever since Audrey Hepburn sported that iconic raven Givenchy frock, the LBD has become a closet staple for every woman.

If you don’t own a little black dress yet, what’s stopping you? These dresses are always available in stores – I’ve found cute ones at H&M, Target, and even occasionally Forever 21. If you want a piece that will stand the test of time, however, you’ll have to veer away from the discount shops & spend a little more for a dress that’s well-made. The extra dollars and effort will pay off, though, when you have that dress for the rest of your life.

3. Don’t be too perfect.

Kate Moss

Kate Moss exemplifies this rule – she always looks amazing and NEVER comes off like she tried too hard. No matter what she’s wearing, something about her look is always “off” – her hair will be a mess, her shoes won’t match, or she’ll leave something unbuttoned. The best part? Instead of looking bad, she actually looks BETTER and more stylish than if she was perfectly coiffed and buttoned up.

So take a hint from Kate and give up the quest for perfection once in a while. First of all, it’s useless – no one is perfect and no one will EVER be perfect! Second, imperfection is HOT in fashion. Whenever you get dressed, make sure something is off and you’ll score extra style points.

4. Embrace your so-called “flaws.”

Beauty in imperfections - Cindy Crawford and her mole, Grace Jones and her cheekbones, Cher and her nose

Society likes to try and convince us that we should all look like Barbie – tall, thin and baby-faced, with doll-like features, flawless skin, and 36D breasts. This is such crap! In reality, the ways that we differ from the “beauty ideal” are what truly make us beautiful.

Think about all the famously gorgeous women who have embraced their “imperfections” – Cindy Crawford and her mole, Madonna and her gap teeth, Grace Jones and those amazing cheekbones, Cher and her nose, and the list goes on! Can you even imagine them without those unique features? It’s hard to do, but just thinking about it makes me laugh – they would all look so BORING!

5. A large, dark pair of sunglasses will hide a multitude of sins.

Movie star sunglasses - Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, Tom Cruise in Risky Business, and Jackie O

Another style lesson you can learn from the movies – big, fabulous, dark sunglasses are your best friend during dire fashion emergencies. Didn’t get enough sleep? Don’t feel like putting makeup on? Sunglasses are a quick, easy fix. No one has to know about your late night! Even better, they always add a dash of sophisticated glamor to any look. If you simply want to feel a little more like a star, slip on a dark pair of shades and some pearls and do your best Jackie O impression.

6. Be different.

Stand out from the crowd
Photo Credit

As Coco Chanel once said, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” In high school we’re taught to follow the crowd and strive to fit in. In the real world, being different is the key to success in almost every area. Contrary to what most of us learn in our formative years, uniqueness is an asset. This is true in fashion and everywhere else in life.

So what is it about you that makes you unique? What traits do you have that no one else does? How does your style differ from the girl sitting next to you? Think about those traits and strive to make them MORE pronounced, not less. For more on embracing your uniqueness and finding your own style, see 7 Ways to Create a Wardrobe That’s Uniquely Yours.

7. Denim is forever.

Iconic denim worn by Kate Moss, Mark Wahlberg, James Dean, and Jackie O

An eternal staple of American fashion, a good pair of jeans is one fashion item that will never die. From Kate Moss’ Calvin Klein Jeans ads (who didn’t want a pair of those jeans?) to James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, the man who officially made jeans badass, denim has taken on so many forms over the years. The eternally stylish Jackie O (pictured above right) showed us the chicer side of denim. It’s the one fabric that has never fully gone out of style.

Today, denim is practically a daily uniform, and would you really have it any other way? As Diana Vreeland once said, “Blue jeans are the most beautiful thing since the gondola.” I tend to agree.

8. Be who you want to be & reinvent yourself.

Madonna, the queen of reinvention

There are no limits to who you can become in life. Madonna, dubbed the “queen of reinvention” by many a critic, has transformed herself numerous times over the years – from a platinum blonde material girl to a wannabe geisha to a rhinestone cowgirl and back again. Her style always keeps us guessing, and that’s part of what draws us to her.

There’s no rule that says you need to dress only one way or strive to fit any mold. Why simply settle for being average? Take action and don’t be afraid to dress the way you want and transform yourself into whoever you want. Be an ingenue one day and a femme fatale the next, if that’s what you feel like doing. Dream big and let your style reflect who you are and who you want to be at the same time.

9. Simpler can be better.

Simple outfits - Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction and Audrey Hepburn wearing a black top

While the bag lady look may certainly be fashionable, in truth, you don’t need layers and layers of clothes to make a statement. The simplest, most basic outfits are often the best, most memorable ones. Think about fashion’s most iconic looks – from Audrey in her little black dress to Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction. We remember those looks not because the clothes were amazing, but because the people wearing them had personality!

Sometimes it’s nice to keep your outfit simple. It offers you the chance to let your personality shine through, whether it’s through your amazing cocktail ring that suddenly stands out or the smile on your face that’s no longer overshadowed by an overdone outfit. Remember: you’re the one who wears the clothes – they should never wear you.

10. Confidence & a smile are your most fabulous accessories.

Smiling young woman
Photo Credit

Do I need to explain this one? If the fashion and beauty icons of the past and present could teach us only one thing, this would surely be it. All the clothes and beauty products in the world mean NOTHING if you’re miserable and uncomfortable in your own skin. Love yourself, be confident, smile, laugh, and never take life too seriously – those are the true ingredients of lasting beauty and style. Everything else is just the icing on the cake.

Your Thoughts?

These fashion rules have stood the test of time, but I’m sure there are plenty of others that I didn’t include. What are some of your favorite timeless fashion tips? What have you learned from classic fashion icons? Share your tips and thoughts in the comments section!

Posted on on June 10, 2009 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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47 Responses to “10 Fashion Tips That Will Never Go Out of Style”

  1. 1
    June 10th, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    this post is my absolute favorite post you’ve done. :-) every tip listed is so true and the tip about embracing your flaws is truly a spirit lifter. great job!

  2. 2
    June 10th, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    amazing! btw,could you bother checking my blog?

  3. 3
    June 10th, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    This was a great read. I especially loved the parts about embracing your flaws and reinventing yourself.. It seems like too many people get stuck trying to stay loyal to one “style”. I am inspired :) Thanks

  4. 4
    June 10th, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    I’d like opinions if anyone would care to share.

    First of all, kudos, Zephyr, on this list of fashions only true “laws.” I’m glad it is so open to interpretation and focused more on what’s inside than on whatever you doll yourself up with. :-)

    Second, I’ve noticed about myself that I am kind of oblivious to trends. If I scrounge up something from the eighties that is just to die for, I wear it. If I buy a pair of the best fitting skinny jeans ever and find out that they are like so the “in” thing right now, I wear them. I guess I kind of ignor what others are wearing.

    Do you think an important aspect of style is ocassionally going along with the current trends? Why or why not do you believe this?

  5. 5
    June 10th, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    This is a great post. #1 is esp great- a defined waist is completely feminine. I also love #9, because my style is very simple and classic with just a bit of quirky pieces thrown in. I think the reason I enjoyed this post so much is because i don’t really “get” trends.. the whole idea of wearing something because it’s the “in” thing but then stopping when it’s “out” just seems ridiculous. So I really appreciate when you write articles that are about style rather than fashion (love that YSL quote). :)

  6. 6
    June 10th, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I absolutely love this post!!! Great job :)

  7. 7
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    One of the best posts ive ever read!
    The “embracing your flaws” truly does make me feel better about myself and how i can make them work. and it is so true that if everybody looked like barbies, life would be so boring! Great job!

  8. 8
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Great post, Zephyr. Have you ever done anything on Top Ten Fashion Icons or anything? It seems like Jackie O, Audrey Hepburn, and Madonna come up throughout this piece. I would love to see you expand on how these looks work today–what the average college girl can try to translate into her wardrobe (besides the obvious, like the little black dress).

    Also, there are a lot of obvious “fashion icons” like Aubrey and Jackie O, but I’d love to hear about offbeat ones that really inspire *you*.

  9. 9
    June 10th, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    I love the fusion – style tips + iconic people. Perfection. What a beautiful post! <3

  10. 10
    June 10th, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    I love your style philosophy. Magazines always make you feel like you have to be wearing this or that to be stylish, but you really understand what style is all about: confidence and feeling beautiful for yourself.

    I think it’s really great the way you encourage people to be themselves and decide what fashion means for themselves. I think you give very sound, sensible fashion advice that combines classic style as well as trendiness.

    Great post, and keep up the good work.

  11. 11
    June 11th, 2009 at 1:23 am

    Fantastic post. Love all your thoughts on this. I agree that denim is forever, but do wish that people would approach it with caution and not use it as a daily uniform… it really can be mundane seeing people wearing jeans *wherever* you go! One shouldn’t be afraid to be different and mix it up, and experiment with styles that aren’t the ‘norm.’

  12. 12
    June 11th, 2009 at 6:21 am

    i loved this post.
    it made me rethink some things.
    we’re all so concentrated in fitting and be being fashionabe and perfect that we really forget about having just style.
    the fact that clothes and makeup are just the cover up and it does not and can not be perfect
    this was amazing
    thank you

  13. 13
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:37 am

    LOVE this post. Amazing! My favorites are no. 1 and 9 and 10. Any waist-flattering clothes always makes any woman look slimmer. I also love simple clothes coz the simpler the clothes, the longer they’ll last. I don’t go shopping for clothes too often (I’m a little too obsessed with shoes :D) so I like my clothes to be simple and play with the accessories, which are also a lot cheaper. Smile is of course a must.

    Classic fashion icons have taught me one important thing: be yourself. I dress with my own rule and put on anything I feel comfortable with. I wear it because I like it, not because of a trend. A trend if of course, a source of inspiration, but not every trend must be followed.

    Again, love this post!

  14. 14
    June 11th, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I LOVED this post! It was definitely my favorite one so far. This is off-topic, but would you ever consider posting or creating a blog about health/diet/fitness? You seem to be really knowledgeable in that area & have a positive outlook on life!

  15. 15
    June 11th, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Yay zephyr! Well done on this inspiring post. Big up the individuality :)

  16. 16
    June 11th, 2009 at 11:59 am

    amazing post.

  17. 17
    June 11th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with your posts – everybody should have own style and stop these crazy “celebrity” coping. All 10 tips are great.

  18. 18
    June 11th, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    You are officially my favorite college blogger again.

  19. 19
    June 11th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I love these kind of posts, Zephyr!

    I’m curious…is it really that bad to look perfect? I’m not necessarily matchy-matchy all the time but I don’t like mussed up hair, scuffy shoes, or haphazard buttons. Is there no beauty to perfection?

    I like the different opinions in everybody’s comments! I agree with Jessi about wondering if keeping up with a couple of trends for your body type is necessary. I tend to buy flattering things on me and then find out later that it is a “trend” or a “current look”.
    Although denim looks amazing in certain situations, I never consider it a daily uniform. How boring can that be and feel? =)

  20. 20
    June 11th, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    I have to admit that this is one of the best posts i have read in my entire life :)
    I feel that you’ve covered the most improtant ascepts in fashion :P

    And you’ve influenceed me a lot :)

    I love points 6,7 9 and 10 :D

    thankyou :P

  21. 21
    June 11th, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Great post! I totally agree with the hourglass figure bit (too many girls nowadays are still driving for that waif look that went out of style ages ago when people realized how dangerous it was!) and the bit about a LBD and sunglasses. :)

    Do you think you could do a post on what to wear in different cities? New York, London, Charleston, Paris, etc.? I think that would be really interesting. Plus, a lot of people travel in the summer, so it would be a useful post. Esp. for me– I’m going to Paris and London in July and want to look fashionable. :)

  22. 22
    June 11th, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    I LOVED how you took each style tip and related it to a fashion icon. Great post and very nice layout! I get so excited every time you put a new post up!

  23. 23
    June 11th, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    I really love this post! sometimes, we pay more attetion to the trends, neglecting these style ,which are timeless : ) the image is also fabulous

  24. 24
    June 12th, 2009 at 12:00 am

    This is going to be saved in my evernote :)

    Such an amazing post. I can’t wait to go shopping tomorrow with lots of new inspiration!

  25. 25
    June 12th, 2009 at 2:38 am

    Love this post… Very true on everything you said

  26. 26
    June 13th, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    This post is literally amazing! Everything I’ve ever felt and failed to put into words haha.
    ANY one can walk into the highstreet and with the help of a few magzines, pick out a “fashionable and trendy” outfit, but not many people have true STYLE.
    In todays age of fast fashion trends being dictated by young hollywood starlets, its hard to come across something stylish at all. All girls and young strive to achieve the same look – its always some variation on ‘edgy’, messy hair, and trying to look so rock n roll. And it really winds me up!! I’m going to town tomorrow and I guarantee all I’ll see is gladiator sandals, leggings and “edgy” makeup.

  27. 27
    June 14th, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    this is such the cutest article! It’s really inspired me to go shopping for some reason haha. I love points 3, 6, 8 and 10!!

  28. 28
    June 17th, 2009 at 4:52 am

    awesome post!… I tend to look for basics now a days, as i am a tad bit more into active wear (as i am a fitness fanatic)

  29. 29
    June 18th, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    I love this article! Its so rare that fashion places tells us to be ourselves.

  30. 30
    June 18th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    This reminds me of Nina Garcia’s little black book of style. Good post!

  31. 31
    June 25th, 2009 at 1:33 am

    I enjoyed n learnt a lot 4m these tips. Thanx

  32. 32
    July 6th, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Fabulous tips! I have only discovered this site a few minutes ago when I googled “how to dress like jenny humphrey” and your artcile came up. I just love everything on here! I really align with everything. Hope you have many more sucessful posts!

  33. 33
    July 9th, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    all you wrote
    it’s true
    and the tip that i considered
    the best one is Be who you want to be
    that’s a very good
    thing and everybody has to
    considered isn’t it?
    these tips are really helping me out
    and i’m gonna be practicing
    of all them

  34. 34
    July 16th, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Kate can do no wrong. And when she does do something wrong, it looks so good that everyone starts to emulate it. Love her non-conformity.

    http://lavieboston.wordpress.com/2009/05/20/if-i-buy-those-jeans-i-can-look-like-kate-moss/

  35. 35
    July 20th, 2009 at 6:09 am

    I find myself reading this post a lot more than just a few times! Amazing.

  36. 36
    August 30th, 2009 at 10:41 am

    isn’t it from the book?

  37. 37
    March 31st, 2010 at 7:33 am

    I absolutely agree!

  38. 38
    March 31st, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    This is a fabulous article zephyr! Great tips and very well written!

  39. 39
    June 10th, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    How are Grace Jone’s cheekbones an imperfection?

  40. 40
    October 16th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I love Kate Moss style. I hate having to combing my hair in the morning. Something is always wrong with the way I dress but I lke it.

  41. 41
    September 21st, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I’ve read the thread you posted on QVC’s Fashion board on 9/20/11, “The Top 10 Fashion Advice”. Since it is nearly identical to your post here “10 Fashion Tips That Will Never Go Out of Style”, you may want to state on QVC’s board that you are the author and originally posted here. Just trying to provide helpful advice for you. People on QVC’s Fashion board will be a lot nicer and more accepting. Have a great day!

  42. 42
    September 21st, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Hey Joyce – we didn’t post any thread on any message board – sounds like someone is plagurizing our work. Can you please post a link to this thread so I can contact this person about copyright infringement? Thanks.

  43. 43
    March 17th, 2012 at 11:18 am

    amazing advice and every one bit true xxxx

  44. 44
    October 9th, 2012 at 1:02 am

    “Fashion fades..Style is eternal” what a true quote it is!!!
    I believe that each person has his own style and no one else can carry it more better than him. Whatever you wear, the point is the confidence you have in portraying it.

  45. 45
    December 4th, 2012 at 6:42 am

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  46. 46
    March 21st, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    This is a true quote and it’s normal that it is the most famous fashion’s quotes.
    But i also must admit that your post is also very true and it’s very simple to follow your tips. Thank you very much for those style’s lessons.

  47. 47
    April 12th, 2014 at 7:11 am

    These ten tips were great.10 tips for women classic warobore. 1. Little black dress .2 black skirt suit3. Black pantsuit.4 white button up shirt black skirt.5. Long dressy black dress formal occassions. 6 pearl earring necklace bracklet. 7 black heels. 8. Black ballet flats. 9 black purse. 10 black trench coat. Go to goodwill you will find all these items. I work in corporate America when graduate college didnt have money warbore. My mom told me go goodwill. Now I have warobore thatis cclassic elegant timeless.

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