Find your comfort to flaunt your confidence

My fashion journey can only be described as metamorphic.

When I was younger, I was a slave to trends and would find myself buying clothes that looked aesthetically pleasing but in reality were immensely uncomfortable.

As I matured, I became, more comfortable in my own skin and that acted as a catalyst for how I currently view fashion.

You could be wearing the most amazing high fashion dress, but if it does not flow with your natural rhythm and you find yourself constantly fidgeting because it is riding up your legs, then you need to go back to the fashion drawing board.

Cast your mind back to the scene in the movie Pretty Woman, when Richard Gere’s character tells Julia Roberts to “stop fidgeting”. You will also recall that when she gained greater insight into the clothes she actually liked and she was helped to develop her personal style, she exuded oodles of confidence.

Over the years, I have become more discerning, but I am no fashion expert and will, through this column, seek the advice of designers, stylists, fashionistas and photographers from across the city to offer up their style advice to readers.

However, this is what I know for sure: developing your own personal style is paramount, as I believe the clothes you choose to wear are an expression of your individuality. Clothes enable us to tell the world our story without saying a word.

We live in a society where being confident is considered sexy, but how can one be truly comfortable when the garb you are choosing to wear does not feel like a second skin.

My wardrobe staples, or should I say must-haves, are: a black, fitted leather/pleather jacket; a good pair of high-waisted denim jeans or pants; a neutral or rose gold block heel, as it gives you the lift you need while enabling you to walk with ease and comfort; and a statement handbag that can be worn with most outfits.

Less is more but I am a sucker for a “great red lip” as it adds a pop of colour to any ensemble.

A gaze into a fashion guru’s crystal ball revealed a strong 1990s theme coming through for this autumn, characterised by square-shouldered and padded jackets.

So checks and flannels are making a comeback along with wild faux fur jackets.

I have a caramel-coloured square-shouldered blazer, which I “took” from my mom’s wardrobe.

She bought it for next to nothing, at a vintage-clothing stall in the Cape Town CBD.

Ironically, the “second skin” I spoke about earlier, is also an upcoming fashion trend with sheepskin jackets in caramel tones making an appearance.

Florals and polka dots are also predicted to be popular next season. A great way to incorporate florals would be to pair a floral three-quarter bow skirt with an “Audrey Hepburn” (rounded Peter Pan) collared shirt.

I am quite experimental with colours as it really brightens up one’s demeanour and makes anyone seem more approachable.

I meet many women who say to me: “I would never be able to pull that colour off. It’s too bold for me.”

My response is always the same. Like everything in life, balance is key.

A specific colour does not have to dominate an outfit, it just has to enhance it.

Turquoise, varying shades of pink, blue and sterling silver are all colours that will dominate clothing outlets in the next couple of months. So keep your eyes peeled.

Romantic cosy knits in varying shades are also set to dominate fashionistas’ wardrobes over the next several months.

I liken fashion trends to a toolkit: you pick the tools you need to mould your individual look.

So be brave, be fearless and enjoy your fashion adventure, but keep the words, of the late Geraldine Stutz, the former head of a popular American women’s clothing retailer, in mind: “Fashion says, ‘Me, too’ and style, ‘Only me’.”

Send your fashion tips and stories to mika.williams@inl.co.za

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