How To Look Effortlessly Stylish No Matter Your Budget

The past year and a half has been transformational for everyone. Many of us have had to adjust to working from home – not much of an adjustment for me since I was already working from home pre-pandemic.

But our relationship with clothes have changed.  Whether you’re in your pyjamas all day or you buy clothes you don’t really need online, there’s no denying the change.

Since the start of the pandemic, I have decluttered my makeup collection and have done the same with my clothes. I have come to a less is more phase in my life. At the same time, my taste has become a  bit more refined.  I have also come to realise that I don’t need many things, I just need a few of the right things.

The thing is, you don’t need to wear head-to-toe designer clothing to look stylish or put together. Because style is a personal thing , it is an expression of self.

Personally, I think of real style as quiet. When I think of a stylish person, it’s less about what they’re wearing and more about their overall appearance and how they carry themselves.  To me, style is a quiet confidence. It doesn’t matter whether you only shop at Harrods , shop to the rich and famous, or at Mr Price like the rest of us. A stylish person has a Je ne sais quoi that money can’t buy.

My taste in clothes now is such that I would rather splurge on a quality jacket than have 10 cheap ones. I have learned that just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean I have to buy it.

I often say to my dad. who is the most stylish person I know, that my taste does not match my budget. It can be terribly frustrating when that happens but believe it or not,  it’s a challenge that has helped me. When you don’t have the luxury of buying anything you want, you think twice -maybe three times –  before you buy anything even if is on sale. No matter your budget, here are some of my top 6 tips to help you look effortlessly stylish.

1.  Have a yearly shopping budget

Are you an impulsive shopper? Keep a yearly shopping budget. Depending on what you can afford, allocate a certain amount to shopping for clothes. This budget includes any sudden wedding guest outfit purchase. Having a budget will keep you disciplined and discerning about what you buy. It will prevent you from buying clothes you may only ever wear once. Smart!

2. Create a personal style uniform

What’s an outfit that you can wear to work, out with your friends and maybe to your partner’s parents house? Make sure you have at least 3 of those. In different colours if you like. For me, that would be something like an oversize shirt and jeans or pants. Easy, effortless style.

3. Don’t wear an outfit that’s too tight

When your outfit is too tight, you are uncomfortable. Definitely not a good look. Comfort is always key when it comes to style. When you’re comfortable, you feel confident and that instantly makes you look stylish.

4. Avoid trends

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, avoid trends. I love a good trend just like anyone but since I started to pay attention to my style and after having gotten rid of many trendy pieces in my wardrobe, I came to the realistion that they just aren’t worth it. Opt for classics like blazers, an A-line dress and other pieces that fit your lifestyle and will remain a staple in your wardrobe.

5. Do iron your clothes

I know I said style is about how you carry yourself but unironed clothing is not a good look. Not unless it’s linen, and not everyone can pull it off. Ironed clothes make you look polished and commands a certain level of respect that creased clothing does not.

6. Let your clothes reflect your personality

Dressing like everyone is no bueno. Even if you shop at the same place as everyone, add a touch of your personality. For me, when I wear a monochromatic look like all-black, I tend to add a pop of colour. Because even though I love an all-black look, I also like bright, bold colours. So add your flair to an otherwise simple outfit that gives people a glimpse of who you are.

Remember that your style is people’s first impression of you so dress with confidence and shine sis, shine!

Dress – Mango on Superbalist

Coat – Danielle Frylinck

Beret – Chirpy Chix

Jessica Jane – Vivacious & Vintage Winter Range 2021

Jessica Molebatsi – fashion designer and founder of the JessicaJane label – is taking this winter by storm with her 2021 winter range. Her garments shine brightly in acid yellow and cerise pink and exude a much-needed message of positivity that amplifies the brightness of the women who wear them, expressing their true value and feminine beauty.

Carving a niche for herself in Feminine Couture, Jessica’s passion is helping women feel confident, beautiful, and valued; this ethos shines through every sequin in this energetic collection. Designed specifically with go-getting superwomen in mind, this collection was created to help women easily slip into a comfortable outfit and look meticulously put together, especially where they don’t have the time to fuss.

“The essence of this collection was about enabling women to express their individuality. I wanted to empower the femininity within each of us, not to impose my idea of femininity onto my clients, but for the woman who wears them to remain their beautiful selves – just with an extra confidence boost,” says Jessica.

Influenced by the romanticism of french aesthetics, this collection strikes the perfect balance between vivaciousness and vintage. Inspired primarily by her extraordinary clients and her own life as a working mom, this collection empowers women without having to make them fit a specific mould and be uncomfortable in the process.

This winter range jumped into being when Jessica’s was transfixed by an acid yellow roll of sequin fabric. Jessica’s love for sequins glistens all over her Instagram so it is no surprise she bought the whole roll immediately.

“I thought the colour was so interesting, specifically in a sequin and it all snowballed from there. I loved working with these bright energising colours versus the standard autumnal hues,” she explains.

 

Jessica Jane 2021 Winter Collection

Drawn instinctively to texture, Jessica loves winter fashion and finds it far more interesting and creative because of the textural combinations you can achieve with layers.

Jessica dreams of one day taking this collection internationally and feels like Spain would be a perfect fit.

“As South Africans, we tend to be more timid with our fashion choices. The Spanish on the other hand are wonderfully unafraid to take risks and try things out. And with this collection, I am proud of its boldness and practicality.”

In this range, the acid yellow sequin trench coat exudes happiness and is the item Jessica is most excited and grateful to have made. Its oversized structure and unmissable fabric provide a burst of happiness when you see it. Not to mention being quite warm since it is fully lined and sequins are a great insulator.

When she designs Jessica begins the conceptualising process by shutting everything out and focusing; then allowing all the different pieces of the puzzle to fit together. She is exhilarated by watching as the range comes into being. Really considering the fabric – not just about thinking about what you are going to make in isolation – is essential to her process.

Jessica warns though, that the challenge of balancing being a creative and a business owner is not for the faint of heart: “When you are the business owner you are often so busy working in the business that stepping outside of it, to be this creative for however long it takes, is not easy. With some ranges you can dedicate focus and others you need to work under pressure. And sometimes limitations on your time can actually feed your creativity just as much as taking the time to be meticulous.”

Jessica believes that designers put the initial energy to bring garments into existence from a concept and then the garments take on a life of their own. They change form according to what they interact with, like what stitch and what fabric is used.

Her combination of colour, classicism and clever cuts has JessicaJane really heating things up on the fashion scene this winter. Perfect for the polished professional supermom, it offers a much-needed reprieve from the labour of dressing so that they can go forth and conquer the world in fabulous comfort.

Jessica Jane 2021 Winter Collection

To view her collection visit www.jessicajane.co.za.

Press release and images supplied.