The refined London look

Looking sophisticated need not be difficult. Just like in a relationship, in putting together an outfit it is important to avoid bad things rather than overwhelm everyone with something unique.

Let’s look at some common pitfalls that I notice on London’s busy streets:

Wrong size clothes

Wearing clothes that are way too tight or baggy is enough to undo all your good work. There is nothing worse that seeing an outline of a bra digging into to someone’s back. It can make the fittest of girls look flabby.

It is very pleasing to buy a small size when shopping and walk away reassured that since the zip closed, you will look great. In reality it is better to go up a size if it suits this particular garment. One of my favorite jackets, a Chanel-look jacket from Regent street’s Zara, was XS. Had I tried a pair of trousers in XS, I would have no chance of getting into them.

Conversely, I own a minimalist GAP top that looks much better in M, which would normally have swamped me.

Wool - something me and sheep can agree on.:

The billboard syndrome

If you are carrying a Louis Vuitton bag, that should be your only signature print. Even if you add a printed Burberry scarf or printed Gucci boots, it will be overkill. There should be one accent of this sort. It’s important to not look like you are trying too hard and hiding behind labels in order to give you confidence.

Serena Van Der Woodsen #GossipGirl:

In general, overdoing accessories can be a killer unless you are going for a specific look, such as a Roaring Twenties Art Deco look. More on that later.

The basics

Skin, hair and nails – most of all they need to look like they are cared for and looked after. Dull or greasy hair and peeling nail polish will ruin any otherwise lovely outfit. Glowing skin, on the other hand, will add a lustrous touch to the simplest of outfits. Similarly with make up, it is important to not overdo it. Just because Nicki Minaj can pull it off on stage, doesn’t mean you should try in normal life. Have a read about this a miracle for applying make up.

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