Fashion may be forever changing, but whatever the mode of the moment - maxi, midi, mini, meh - there is one constant you can rely on. It all comes down to emotion. Sartorial statements may come in different guises - polka dots to peplums, leather to fur to lace - but strip back the frosting and underneath, you will discover that, in actual fact, all fashion offers us is a chance to neutralise the things we don't like and create a more pleasing idea of ourselves. Yes, really. And here's how...
It may sound obvious but don't chase another person's style. No more of that ?I'll have what she's having? attitude. We know it's hard to see a girl looking fabulous in something you haven't a hope in hell of carrying off but this season find your own ?Wow.. check her out? look. The really savvy dresser styles yourself - she's an eclectic mix of the best of what's on offer, cannily reworked for her life and her attitude. You've just got to figure out what that is.
MAKE FASHION YOUR FRIEND
Does anybody really care about catwalk trends any more? No one but celebrities shop the catwalks for head-to-toe looks. Nor do we change our identities with each new season. In fact few women slavishly conform to the looks laid down by designers. So why should you? Take part in the new season trends you like and simply ignore the rest. Sometimes it might just mean changing your shoes or your bag to keep your look current and that's fine. Fashion is supposed to be fun. It's not a competition and it shouldn't make you feel bad - ever. There is joy in choosing what to wear every day; just make sure you're dressing for yourself and not to keep up with other people. All you have to do is choose the looks you love and that flatter you the most.
RULES ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN
Fashion magazines are full of advice on How To Dress. But it doesn't mean all of it applies to you all of the time. There's certainly something to be said for seeking out a fantastic cohesive edit that slices through the fashion white noise or getting the inside track on the key piece of the season that instantly updates your wardrobe from dreary to dynamic. But it's the current mania for ?basics? - functional everyday clothes - that personally leaves me cold. I just don't like the aesthetic. It's dull (I've never met an exciting Breton for instance) and it makes too great a virtue of practicality at the expense of theatre. You could instead choose to dress yourself happy. For clothes that will lift your mood, look to the cacophony of print, pattern and colour. These pieces will provide the ultimate shot of optimism - anything plain is just plain boring.
TRY IT, YOU MIGHT LIKE IT
Snap out of that ?My Look? mindset. It's good to have your own style, but it? s not the same as sticking to one look, year in year out. Instead of impulse buying, take your time. Don't just head for a designer or a colour you're comfortable with. Look before you touch and try everything on. Also this season, why not concentrate on the parts you tend to ignore. If you're a bum girl by nature, how about focusing a bit on your top half? If you're a cleavage girl, maybe you should get your legs out for a change? The best way to get noticed is to reveal a side of yourself that's normally kept under wraps.
HOW TO WEAR IT
Sometimes it's not about what you're wearing, but how you wear it. Choosing confidence-boosting clothes that fit and flatter - and whisper it, feel comfortable is the key to looking effortlessly stylish. The modern power dresser is the woman who can harness the transformative force of fashion and turn it to her advantage. It's about choosing clothes that flatter our sense of who we are, as well as our bottoms. That's the real power of fashion. It can't change the world but it can change the way the world looks at you.