A Primer on Understanding the Different Fashion Styles

What are fashion styles…well it’s hard to define. Diane van Furstenberg said “It is an effortless confidence in being yourself, it is a way of putting yourself together according to your mood and what you want to project. Personal style appears to come naturally for some, but for others it can take a while to find it!” or, in some cases, not at all.

If it’s tough for natal women, then it’s even tougher for us who were not born as females. So with a little help from Sylvia of 40 Plus Style, we are going to look at some current names women use to describe their fashion styles. Perhaps one will speak to you or perhaps you are a combination of more than one of them. At the end of this article, you can download tips on how you find your own style .from Sylvia or go to her site for more information. She offers some interesting programs.

Classic Style

Classic is, as the name suggests, one of the more classic and enduring styles. It’s timeless and popular with women over 40 and most of us will have at least a few classic pieces in our wardrobe. These are the pieces that will usually last the longest in your cupboard, so you may want to invest in a few high-quality garments that will always make you look good.

fashion styles - classic style

Classic trench – Felicity pencil dress – Boden silk shirt – Halogen beige turtleneck

classic style

Brixton beret – Vince Camuto pencil skirt – Majorica pearls – Vaneli ballet flats – Cole Haan navy pumps

Some great examples of classic garments include:

  • The trench coat
  • A white button down shirt
  • A pencil skirt
  • A tailored jacket or blazer
  • A cashmere sweater
  • The turtleneck sweater
  • Tailored trousers
  • A shift dress
  • The twinset
  • Jeans
  • Ballet flats
  • The classic pump
  • A beret
  • Animal print shoes and accessories
  • Leather gloves
  • Diamond or pearl studs
  • Cartier Tank Francaise Watch
  • The hermes Kelly or Birkin Bag
  • The LL Bean Canvas tote

These are often the best bet when it comes to investing in high quality and long lasting pieces that you will wear again and again.

fashion styles - classic style

Examples of people with this style are: Jackie O, Marlene Dietrich, Lauren Bacall, Jodie Foster.

Here are some further classic looks from our Pinterest pages.

Bohemian Style

You can’t be a bohemian in tight clothes. It just doesn’t work. you have to be able to move and dance and climb.” Diane von Furstenberg

fashion styles - Bohemian style

Free People maxi dress – Chaus faux fur vest – Treasure and Bond peasant top – Halogen floppy hat

Bohemian style

Ten9LA fringe crossbody – Stella Ruby tassel necklace – Nakamol bead cuff – Splendid brown slouchy boot

Women with bohemian style like movement, color and sparkle. It is an nonconforming style that tends to be associated with the hippie era and with Latin cultures

Some examples of bohemian garments include:

  • A peasant blouse
  • The hippie skirt
  • A (fake) fur vest
  • A tunic
  • A caftan
  • Bohemian handbags
  • Long necklaces
  • A poncho

Examples of people with this style include: Ali MacGraw, Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, Diane von Furstenberg.

A more detailed look at the Bohemian style is here. along with our Pinterest page on Boho Style.

Minimal Style

fashion styles - Minimal style

Minimalism is not about abandoning pattern or print. I see minimalism to be a philosophy that involves an overall sense of balance, knowing when to to take away, subtract. It’s an indulgence in superbly executed cut, quiet plays of color tones and clean strong shapes.“ .Calvin Klein

Minimal style

Vince white button down shirt – Mural white blazer – ECI jumpsuit – Daniel Wellington silver watch

Minimal style

Frame tuxedo pants – Eliza J dress – Ganni wool coat – Coach 1941 colorblock bag

If you like the minimalism philosophy. it’s about having less and enjoying the things you have more. So it’s even more important to buy the right things; clothes that are of high quality and fit you extremely well.

Some examples of minimal garments include:

  • A simple tailored jacket
  • A winter coat
  • A designer little black dress
  • A minimal tuxedo
  • One single handbag
  • A minimal watch

Minimal style

Examples of people with this style include: Sofia Coppola, Angelina Jolie, Audrey Hepburn.

Minimalist style is all about exuding a less is more attitude.  Clothes are extremely well tailored and high quality, and the simplest pieces make the biggest impact. Calvin Klein, Sofia Coppola, Angelina Jolie, and Audrey Hepburn are designers and/or celebrities that fall into this style category.

Trendy/Fashionable Style

The trendy and fashionable style is an embrace of seasonal trends. These fresh of the runway looks are about taking risks and gladly standing out. While the looks can be a lot of fun, they are often outdated pretty soon and are often not as timeless as classic or minimalist styles.

fashion styles - trendy and fashionable

You tend to be fashionable and trendy if you embrace the new trends each year and incorporate them into your style. You are willing to take risks and are happy to stand out. This style can be a lot of fun and very arty, but will look outdated pretty soon.

trendy and fashionable

BP plaid blazer – Topshop sweater – Kate Kasin leather pleated skirt

trendy and fashionable

AFRM snakeprint pants – Mali and Lili round bag – Matisse white boots – Rebecca minkoff leather backpack – Cult Gaia hoop earrings

Clothes for this style are hard to define as the trends change every season. Fashionistas will need to follow the trends through magazines and the latest fashion shows to know what to look for in the shops.

Things that go in and out of fashion include:

  • Shoulder pads
  • Platform heels
  • Colors
  • Sequins
  • Outrageous hats
  • Skirt volume

Have a look at some of my favorite trends this season from fall 2018.

Examples of people with this style include: Isabella Blow, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Diana Ross.

Eclectic Style

This style is hard to describe, which is not surprising, as this style is really a mixture of all kinds of styles. The eclectic woman knows how to mix and match all the different styles and truly make it her own. To make this style really work, it is important to have a good eye for what you like, to know what suits you and to have the innate style instinct or (learned) knowledge to mix it all together. This is a very creative and fun way of dressing.

Examples include: Kate Moss, Laura Bailey, Gwynyth Paltrow and the ladies of the Advanced Style blog.

fashion styles - Eclectic Style

Eclectic Style

NYDJ sequin top – Lucky Brand floral top — Diane Von Furstenberg skirt – Scotch and Soda print jogger pants

Eclectic Style 3

Sequin Casbah bangle – Floral earrings – BP catseye glasses – Black Suede floral mules

Modern Romantic Style

Not included in the original resource article, but definitely out there is this super feminine style. We’re talking  girlie-girl which includes styles with lots of ruffles and lace that you often see in the Latin cultures. Then here are some really awesome outfits. and the video below to explain the style in more depth.

Check out our “Fun and Flirty” Pinterest board

Street / Urban Style or Casual Chic

This is the constantly evolving style that develops on the streets of the big cities. It is constantly changing and quite undefinable, but it tends to be a mix of casual and hip and what’s happening in the world at any particular time. This style is more prominent among youngsters as opposed to 40 plusers, although, of course, there are always the exceptions to this rule. Some previous street style trends include: new wave, punk, goth, grunge, mod and hip hop.

Examples of people with this style include: young Madonna, Debbie Harry.

Here are some great examples of smart street style and street styles through the ages

Creating your own style profile

Now, if you are like most (trans)women, you will have elements of a few of these styles in your own personal wardrobe. I tend to like classical garments and the boho look equally.

And while I follow fashion and the trends closely I only adopt that which I feel could stay in my wardrobe and be part of my personal style year in and year out.

And as promised here is your pdf on How To Find Your Style In 10 Steps reprinted from Sylvia’s blog on 40 Plus Style. Please visit Sylvia’s blog here

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