STYLE VS FASHION

Style vs Fashion – but aren’t they the same thing you may be thinking?

Being fashionable is defined as ‘conforming to custom, fashion or established mode’, it’s following temporary trends, dressing for others. Whereas style is enduring, it comes from within, it’s personal. Like I mentioned in my post ‘How to Fake Being a French Girl‘ – French women dress to feel good, they dress for themselves and no one else. This is a rule we should all follow, it will help develop our own style, one that makes us feel our most confident and beautiful.

As Coco Chanel aptly put it ‘Fashion fades, only style remains the same.’

A few people commented after my post about the huge fashion comeback of the Birkenstock, they totally disagreed with me and in fact loved their Birks. And good on them! Just as important as not wearing something because the fashion world says you should, is wearing what you love regardless of other peoples opinions. If I didn’t truly believe this I certainly wouldn’t own four pairs of drop crotch / harem pants.

Although I haven’t always been so unconcerned about others fashion views, if I’m honest, I have spent much of my life choosing what I wear based on the image I think it will portray to others. In high school all decisions were label based, the bigger the better. I was so concerned about what the ‘cool kids’ would think of me! In my 20s I worked for many years in the fashion industry, from owning my own clothing boutique to managing sales and marketing for fashion designers. And you know what – I was still worrying about what the ‘cool kids’ thought! I was desperate to wear the latest designer threads, perfectly curating up to the minute trends head to toe. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve stopped caring so much about what others think about the way I dress. My love for fashion certainly hasn’t wained, however the difference now is I am choosing what I have in my wardrobe by what makes me feel good.

Think about your favourite items in your wardrobe. Is there any themes you can see about the looks you love to wear the most? If you’re a little lost about what your style is, go onto pinterest, start searching women whose style you admire. Pin whatever you are drawn to. What you will soon find are trends, colours, styles that you gravitate towards. You now have a fantastic template to start building a wardrobe that truly reflects your style, because it will be filled with items that you love, that are all about you and no ones else’s idea of what you should wear. Style inspirations for me are women like Emmanuelle Alt, Tash Sefton (specifically her shoes!), Julie Sariñana, Alexa Chung and Anine Bing. (You can see more of my fashion inspiration on my pinterest fashion page.)
my everyday style, two janes.com

Lifestyle is also going to shape your style. Currently I’m home with my kids, so my day to day wardrobe is all blue, black, grey and white skinny jeans, well cut shirts / tees and some kind of flat shoe. I choose quality over quantity every time and try to pay attention to the smaller details like accessories, hair and makeup (when my crazy toddler allows) to help my casual day to day look more polished. Obviously when I go back to working this will be reflected in my wardrobe – I’m so excited about that, getting the excuse to dress up a bit more and having a very valid justification to shop!

Hopefully this post will motivate you to think a little about your own style. Just remember there is no way you can go wrong if you are dressing to make yourself feel happy and confident, regardless of whether it’s ‘in fashion’ or not, to hell with the cool kids!

TRENDING: IS UGLY THE NEW COOL?

What are your first thoughts when you see these….

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The good old Birkenstock, they were awful the first time round when I wore them 20 years ago, but I put it down to one of those dumb adolescent mistakes we all make. Well if you didn’t already know, these are now at the very height of fashion ‘cool’, appearing on the feet of the worlds most fabulous and even the pages of Vogue.

Sorry to any hipster that this offends, but I just can’t get with the Birkenstock craze. To me they should have died back in the 90s along with hair scrunchies and Justin Timberlake with corn rows. It’s like the worlds top fashion editors, bloggers and ‘it girls’ all got together to play a huge joke on the rest of us.

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Whoa Mary-Kate and Ashley take it next level pairing theirs with socks.B9

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Will you resist the peer pressure from the cool kids, or be picking up your own pair soon? Now obviously if you love them, go rock your self some Birkenstocks! My point is, if you don’t, then don’t buy into a trend just because it’s the ‘in’ thing. Remember our french lesson earlier in the week – dress to feel good, dress for yourself, no one else.

If you do decide to join the Birkenstock brigade, please for the love of God, at least don’t pair them with socks like Mary Kate and Ashley. They really should have known better.

FASHION: HOW TO FAKE BEING A FRENCH GIRL

French women are renowned for being the worlds most stylish, perfecting effortless chic, always with an air of confidence. I’ve had a long love affair with all things French, I even named my 14-year-old daughter after the capital!

French actresses like Lou Dillon, Clémence Poésy and Paris Vogue Editor Emmanuelle Alt’s style is often used as a template for trendy women around the globe wanting to achieve the elusive effortless chic the French of synonymous for. Personally I am a little obsessed with Emmanuelle Alt, I pretty much want to be her when I grow up.

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The confidence that exudes from French women is no mistake, it comes because they dress to feel good, they dress for themselves, and no one else. They don’t follow trends, instead they develop their own style, filled with classic pieces they love. A common French phrase is ‘I threw on these clothes because I had no time to think about my look this morning’, but don’t be fooled by this supposed non-chalant attitude, French women work hard to achieve their envious style.

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Clothing – the key is having perfectly tailored clothes that suit you, because you have to feel great and comfortable to have confidence. French women tend not to bare too much skin, preferring to show shoulders or a bare back. Buy the very best quality you can afford, yes this will mean you will have less in your wardrobe, but your clothes will look stunning and last so much longer. Keep to a minimal palette of black, white, blue, red and neutrals, allowing items to be mixed and matched.

Shoes – never too high, if you can’t walk confidently in your sky-highs then don’t wear them, flats are often favoured.

Makeup – minimal and fresh. There is a strong focus on caring for your skin, allowing natural beauty to shine rather than covering it with a lot of makeup. A bold red lip is often all that is needed for night time glam.

Hair – tousled, even messy hair is common, and considered extremely sexy.

Accessories – keep it simple, less is definitely more.

french lesson 4From top left: Country Road wrap shirt | Superette rails shirt | Moochi fringe bag | Sass & Bide hulsey strutter jean | Kathryn Wilson courtney heel | Meadowlark crystal chain earring

French Lesson 3From top left: Twenty Seven Names breton tee | Senso Shoes robyn heel | Juliette Hogan blake short | MAC Cosmetics lady danger lipstick

French Lesson 2From top left: Twenty Seven Names chessie daisy dress | Juliette Hogan johnny cardi | Meadowlark protea ring | Karen Walker bag | Country Road nora derby flats

If a wardrobe update is out of reach at the moment, just follow these five easy steps for an instant French girl makeover…

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how to be a parisianAnd for those of you who are ready for a master class, I was excited to find there is a new book called ‘How to Be Parisian Wherever you are’, which explores all facets of a Parisian woman’s world; style, beauty, culture, attitude and men. The four women behind this must have read are long term friends Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret, Sophie Mas and Anne Berest, who decided to debunk the myths of the ‘effortless chic’ Parisienne. I love that there is an entire chapter devoted to not apologising for bad habits, I am starting to think I may actually be secretly French.

TRENDING: CHECK

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Check shirts are kinda everywhere, and while I’m not into wearing head to toe seasonal trends, I’m still not going to miss out on something I love just because many others are wearing something similar (exactly the same theory I’ve applied to stripes, yes they are every where, no I don’t care, I love them, I feel chic and magically, instantly a little French).

I love finding something that will fit with everything in my existing wardrobe, so much easier to justify the purchase when you can create multiple outfits with just one new item.

These check shirts from LA label Rails are probably my favourite, there are countless celebs and supermodels who agree from Cara Delevingne to Olivia Palermo.

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Although there was a loud, persistent voice in my head telling me to snap up a couple online from Superette immediately…I stood strong, and stepped away from the keyboard…then laid in wait until one appeared on Trademe less than a couple of weeks later! Oh how I love that there are still ladies out there that buy on a whim, wear it once and then they’re onto the latest must have. Meanwhile I snap up their barely worn designer threads at a fraction of the original price.

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Rails Hunter Shirt in Cadet Blue originally from Superette for $219, but worn once and only $100 on Trademe. Happy budgeting mama!

If you want a cheaper option, I also found some great prints on ASOS, the quality has been surprisingly high and then you don’t run the risk of a dozen other people wearing the same thing which is likely when shopping in local chain stores. I chose the ASOS River Island Check Shirt for under $60 with free delivery.

How I style mine….(please note: I really hate getting my photo taken, a little bit of an achilles heel for someone wanting to blog about fashion/shopping/style, so bear with me, one day I may even actually show my face!)

check3 Cheap Monday Jeans (trade me steal) | Rails Shirt (trade me steal) | Chaos & Harmony Boots (hid the receipt from my husband) | Deadly Ponies Bag (7 years old and still rocking it)

check4 ASOS Jeans (cheap as chips) | Bassike Tee (Superette, worth paying for a good basic) | Rails Shirt (trade me steal) | Loeffler Randall Sandals (saw them on Tash Sefton of TheyAllHateUs fashion blog, found on sale online were $280 down to $65, god that felt good)

check7 Top Images – ASOS shirt | Storm tee | Cheap Monday Jeans | Converse One Stars / Chaos & Harmony Boots, Bottom Image – Bassike Tee | Rails Shirt | ASOS Jeans | Converse One Stars,
all looks styled with my everyday jewellery – Lindi Kingi Bracelets | Kirsten Ash Fine Rings and Charm Necklace

(Images other than of me, are from my pinterest page where original sources can be found.)

TRENDING: TAKE A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

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I admit it, I am a little scared of animal print.

I actually bought some really stunning animal print pants from epic local store Sisters & Co last year and have NEVER worn them. Can’t get up the guts. I’m not sure if I’m quite ‘cool’ enough, you know what I mean?! I do love animal print on others though, it’s turning up so much in many fashion blogs I follow.

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So I’m going to take it slowly and just dip my toes in the trendy waters. Look how good Tash Sefton from They All Hate Us looks rocking her leopard flats, I am unashamedly copy catting (leopard cat that is…sorry couldn’t help myself).

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Check out these bad little babies I bought! I LOVE them. I found them at online at The Iconic and at just over $100AUS i can actually be honest with my husband about my latest purchase.

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Are you brave enough to take the plunge and wear animal print on a large scale like a dress or jacket, if so check out some great options at Moochi here. If you’re a little scarred like me and let your accessories do the talking Superette has you covered, or for budget friendly options asos.com has plenty.

(Images from my pinterest page where original sources can be found.)