Hi Nikki! I’m 16 and in high school. For the New Year, I’m really trying to find my fashion sense before I go through another year dressing like a confused child. I’m 5’8, 94kg, African-American and have shoulder-length hair. I really like the idea of having a balance of cute and bold clothes, but I’m not sure if it will suit me or not. My mother thinks I should stick to my classic sweatpants and big T-shirt combo, but it’s embarrassing going outside looking like a hobo all the time. Any advice for me?
Kai, I’m happy to hear that you’re unwilling to stay in your comfort zone of sweatpants and big tees, even if your mother thinks so. As for achieving your desired “balance of cute and bold,” the only way to find out is to actually try wearing such. As the great Jedi Master said so succinctly:
“No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.”
Image from “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back,” Lucasfilm Ltd.
However, you didn’t specify what your idea of “cute” and “bold” are. Do you like wearing pastels and cartoon prints? Are you partial to leopard, faux fur, studs and fringes? Aside from being a tall and gorgeous woman, are you broad-shouldered, long-legged or have to-die-for cheekbones like Benedict Cumberbatch? Details, girl, details!
Always Effective: The Basic + Trendy Formula
You can take the simple step of combining a basic piece plus a trendy one. In this case, take a simple white T-shirt, get it in the size that fits you (nope, not oversized) and pair with a pretty print A-line skirt. If you haven’t gone T-shirt shopping yet, a simple plain knit sweater will suffice. The A-line looks great on any body type, trust me. While it’s winter, you can go for denim, suede or even leather. For spring, you can switch to cute florals to look fresh.
That same plain sweater is guaranteed to also look great with a knife-pleat skirt, which is Trendy Reason number one. Knife pleats or micro pleats are one of the featured trends for spring this year! Not boxy, not big, not overwhelming, their look will flatter your frame, Kai, even if the pleats are only at the hemline. Great with a beret or cloche (for a flapper style), and with flats or boots!
Sweet and Saucy: The Sweater Dress, Bows & Bomber Jacket
I’m sure that somewhere in your closet is a knit sweater dress. With the right belt at your waist, you’ve got yourself a sweet winter look. Go for a cowl neckline so you can accessorize with a brooch or necklace of your choice. Now, top that with a cropped bomber jacket, now available in candy colors and even colorful appliqué, which makes it Trendy Reason number two.
Did you say “cute?” Bows – number three on the list – guarantee cuteness, and a crisp blouse with a bow at the neckline reminds everyone that you’re a fresh-faced girl. Once in a while, it’s really great to acknowledge that you’re young and still have a playful side. You can pair your bow-adorned top with jeans, cropped pants, or even jumper pants. Roll up the cuffs and finish with combat boots and bomber jacket.
Spring Fling: Off-Shoulder Shirts, Shoulder Cutouts & Bold Stripes
Stripes are usually a summer look seen on sailor tees but the fashion gods have shown on the runway that bold color combinations, wider stripes and more are worth noting and wearing – that makes number four. If you want to look more distinctive, color-blocking is a great way to do it especially if it uses combinations of neutral and vivid colors like gray and neon yellow, blue and orange or burgundy and mustard, for example. Even if you it’s just a plain tee or sweatshirt with your favorite skinny jeans, you can still stand out in this combo.
The fifth trend are the shoulders which get the spotlight this year so don’t be afraid to show yours off, Kai! The SS16 runways showed a new look for the classic oxford button-down shirt with plenty of shoulders on display. But I’m proud to say, YesStyle was way ahead of the trend as the off-shoulder look and cutaway shoulders are already considered quite a staple in our catalog. You can totally rock this look and really turn heads once you take off your cardigan or coat. Looks great with classic lace-up oxfords or loafers for the freshest preppy update!
Don’t hesitate to email me again if you have any more questions!
P.S. If you’re sending a question, please don’t forget to include any helpful information about your body type or shape, your tastes or personality. You can include a photo (link only please) of yourself or your clothes (which I will never publish without pre-approval). Thank you!