Style over Substance

Style over Substance

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Image: Bond Street in London, Famous for Fashion Labels and Accessories

Fashion is known for being fast, with trends emerging unexpectedly to the rediscovery of vintage styles that were trendy in the past. With most of us blessed with access to the Internet, we are able to follow or keep tabs on the developments in fashion and stay relevant to what’s popular and what people are raving about. Of course, to stay completely updated with the growth of fashion is not easy. People with careers in the fashion industry already struggle to stay connected, to stay relevant and updated with the flow of fashion, much less the common folks; People who don’t focus entirely on fashion but yet still want to understand and be able to participate in the latest fashion trends.

The saying goes “Substance over Style”. But truly if you think about it, first impressions count. When you’re meeting someone new, often they tend to judge you based on your appearances before even getting to know you. Also, bloggers or celebrities on social media constantly flood your newsfeed with their new outfits, be it luxury or affordable wear. I don’t know about you, but I often find myself comparing my wardrobe to theirs, wishing that I was able to stay up to date with current fashion trends whilst managing both academic and work commitments. Truly, following fashion trends closely may seem a daunting and tireless task, but there are several things that you can do to keep on top of all your work and stay fashionable, relevant and beautiful. Here’s some tips for how you can stay fashionable whenever and wherever you are.

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Image: Celebrity Bloggers Nicole Warne (Left) and Julie Sarinana (Right) (Pintrest & SincerelyJules)

BE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

The internet has opened up our perceptions and provided us knowledge from all over the world in the comfort of your home. Moreover, with the mass integration of cellular networks and with smartphones becoming indispensable in our everyday lives, tracking fashion trends has never been easier. The presence of “Social Media” exposes you to multiple channels of informations, more commonly known as live feeds, from friends and corporations, rendering you to be able to view what your friends perceive as fashion or what fashion labels want you to accept as the current fashion.

“Instagram” has got to be the best platform there is out there for people like you and me to stay in tune with the stirrings of the fashion world, but the underlying condition is that you have to know what you are looking for. There are limitless variations of fashion hashtags out there, from generic ones such as #fashion #fashionable #streetfashion #highfashion #style #trend #fashionstyle #chic to others which can be more specific such as #hipster #vintagefashion #dapper #runwayfashion #fashionweek. The hashtags can even be geo-locality sensitive such as #newyorkfashion #londonfashion #harajukufashion, just use your imagination and you would never know what you would find in your next hashtag search.

The beauty of “Instagram” as the perfect platform lies in its ability to churn out high definition fashion oriented photos that can be easily categorized and search for through the hashtagging system. If you would like to see, the current trends that exist in your area, you just have to type it in and it’s highly probable that you would get a couple of photos out. Naturally, fashion is an opinionated topic that opens up much room for arguments, but the choice is yours to follow others or to have an adaptation of your own.

The smartphone world is also filled with many other wonderful fashion specific applications that you can explore and even try your hand at creating. Unlike the broad based “Instagram” application that does not limit to any one area (Which causes you to see cat fashion alongside human fashion), others such as the widely popular “Pose” or “Stylekick” apps are much more focused and comes with additional functionalities. For the former, the app is designed with the locality and weather in mind, deciding what would suit you best for the day. But of course, if you would like the app to decide on other aspects of your life such as workplace attire or beach wear, just type it in and it would give you a variety of combinations for you to choose from. For the latter, for those who loves to be in touch with their fashion blogger and even have the chance to purchase what they see, look no further. Moreover, the app also allows you to upload your own outft of the day onto your own profile for other fashion lovers to view, like and comment on. The best feature of all is that it enables you to converse with your favourite fashion bloggers.

Of course, we have to recognize the presence of fashion blogs that exists as a powerful portal that reaches out to fellow fashion lovers, presenting itself as the new rising format for bloggers to pave the way for fashion and for followers to emulate. A good bet would be to follow the globally recognized bloggers such as “Sincerely Jules” written by Julie Sarinana and “Gary Pepper Girl” written by Nicole Warne.

Regardless, no matter which platform you decide on focus on, you would probably bump into the same fashionistas as they would utilize as many channels to expand their reach out to people on different platform. So don’t worry about losing out on the latest fashion trend, as long as you have a smartphone or a computer, you are raring to go!!

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Image: Retail Front of Fashion Giant Topshop (Wikicommons)

CHECK OUT YOUR HIGH STREET

Fashion labels have expanded to become Multi National Corporation (MNCs) that have retail stores all around the world, usually just a stone’s throw away. This is one of the best way to keep in touch with the current trends with the clothing items that had been curated by the label’s designers that are usually based on the seasons.

From the lower budget range, there are online phenomenons called “Blogshops” or what most people would know it as “Online Fashion Stores” that carries a variety of designs from wholesalers or their own manufactured designs. Surprisingly, their “inspired” styles from bigger label brands with their own added twist (either with a change in design, fabric or form) are really popular with the masses, especially since it comes with a much lower price. In fact, these stores are usually more experienced with the concept of e-commerce as compared to the usual fashion label brands due to their genesis being internet based. Within this price range, there are also physical stores available for you to explore. The most popular of which is the ubiquitous “Primark”, known for their shockingly low prices for basic and fashionable designs.

There’s also the mid-tier fashion labels that have clothings that are still affordable to the masses out there. The more well known ones would be “Zara” and “TopShop”, the two biggest clothing chain in the world with other smaller labels under their name as well. Together with a team of senior and less experienced designers, they sought to mentor and reach out for new, fresh ideas to create the next fashion wave for the different age groups. Even though the clothing items are all laid out on the shelves for you to choose from, you can always let your imagination take flight and mix-match the different outfits to create your own style.

High Fashion labels tend to carry their own weight in branding to the extent that anything that they churn out from their designer booths are considered fashionable. This is mostly based on the reputation that their most revered designers have in the industry and the strong international brand recognition for it. Brands such as Valentino and Giorgio Armani cater to the fashion conscious crowd that have little limits with their budget.

So if you are interested in learning about fashion the traditional way, there’s no better way than to walk down the streets to observe what other people are wearing and to walk into a store, regardless of their range or calibre, and get yourself dressed for the occasion or for everyday comfort, your choice..

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Image: Fashion Runway Models and Guests (www.2idmodels.com)

GO ON AN INTERNSHIP

Few people are willing to go down this path as they know that it would probably be a waste of time and that the remuneration might not even match those of part time jobs. However, if you are a student who has a little free time on your hands, why not try an internship scheme with a fashion label or a fashion magazine? It literally drops you into the middle of all the action and exposes you to the fashion lingo, trends and behind-the-scene secrets of the fashion industry.

Depending on the type of internship you do apply for, events and marketing would usually put you right out there with the models, designers and various important people of those labels. You may even have the chance to be part of a fashion show and get in touch with all the workings of running the show. The best part of it is that you have bragging rights amongst your peers to have been to actual fashion shows and be part of the overall operations. Whatsmore, you have the opportunity to observe up close, all the quirky runway fashion eyecandy before you.

Remember, before you write off your wardrobe clothing as rags, give it a chance and try our above stated methods and avenues for you to get in touch with your fashionable side. You don’t have to be born with the sense of fashion, you just have to open yourself to it.

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I'm Claire and I'm currently in my third year of university in the UK! I love sports, music, travelling, fashion and beauty. I'm passionate about life and can't wait for what lies ahead of me. Come and join me in my journey!

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