11 Mar Sustainable style made easy: top eco-friendly styling tips
In this post, we’re starting with the basics of personal styling, a crucial step towards transitioning to a more conscious way of consuming fashion. Personal styling is all about discovering what works best for you, which helps you do more with less. There are three key elements of personal styling: fashion style, figure flattery, and color.
Disclaimer: Sparkpick has affiliate partnerships and may receive a share of the revenue from your purchase at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting our work and sustainable fashion.
1. Fashion styles
Fashion is a form of self-expression and each style reflects a unique personality and attitude. There are numerous style classifications out there. For simplicity, let’s chat about the most common styles.
Casual style is the ultimate go-to for those who value comfort and ease in their fashion choices. It’s a laid-back approach to fashion that emphasizes practicality above all else. The roots of casual style can be traced back to the 1930s when sportswear gained popularity, but it was in the 1950s and 1960s that casual style truly came into its own as people began to prioritize comfort over formality.
Key garments for the Casual style include t-shirts, jeans, sneakers, sweatshirts, and hoodies. These pieces are versatile and can be mixed and matched to create an effortless and comfortable look. Accessories such as baseball caps and backpacks are also popular choices to complement the casual style, providing a practical touch to the overall outfit.
The English style
What many consider as the epitome of “classic style” – characterized by strict yet elegant garments for both men and women – is actually rooted in the English fashion. At the core of this style is the timeless three-piece suit – a brilliant invention of the English King Charles II, who aimed to redirect English aristocrats from French fashion. After World War II, the three-piece suit became increasingly popular among fashion-savvy individuals and formal events with dress codes. Fast forward to 1971, Ralph Lauren released the first women’s collection, which paid homage to the influence of men’s English fashion – featuring shirts, loose trousers, club jackets, waistcoats, ties, Scottish checks, and tweed. This collection quickly became a cult classic, and the English style became a beloved staple for women all over the world.
Key garments for the English style include trench coats, tailored blazers, elegant pants, knitted waistcoats, and sweaters in combination with a suit in a Scottish print, Chelsea boots and Oxfords, and pencil skirts. The English style is known for its use of striking prints such as large and small check, houndstooth, herringbone, Scottish check, as well as premium fabrics like tweed, wool, jersey, silk, and batiste. The dominant colors are sophisticated and timeless – think grey, navy blue, dark green, brown, and black.
Punk style is rebellious, edgy, and anti-establishment. It emerged in the mid-1970s in the UK and quickly spread to other parts of the world. Punk fashion was a rejection of the mainstream and was heavily influenced by music, art, and politics.
Key garments of Punk style are DIY, anti-fashion, and individuality. Key garments include leather jackets, ripped t-shirts, skinny jeans, and combat boots. Accessories such as studded belts, spiked bracelets, and safety pins are also popular in this style.
Romantic style is feminine, whimsical, and dreamy. It emerged in the 18th century, but the modern version of this style can be traced back to the 1970s. Romantic fashion is all about soft fabrics, delicate details, and a vintage-inspired aesthetic.
Key garments of Romantic style are femininity, softness, and nostalgia. Key garments include lace dresses, floral blouses, ruffled skirts, and ballet flats. Accessories such as headbands, scarves, and delicate jewelry are also popular in this style.
2. Figure flattery
When it comes to styling, one of the most important things to consider is figure flattery. Proportions work like magic. Knowing your body shape and proportions can help you choose garments that highlight your best features and create balance. Here are the most common styling requests.
“I want to highlight my curves”
If you are curvy, the styling strategy is to showcase your waist, elongate your figure and show off your curves without over-emphasizing them. Opt for well-fitted clothes that hug your curves in all the right places. Accessorize with statement jewelry and belts to draw attention to your best features.
Top 10 garments: wrap dresses and blouses, bodycon dresses, high-waisted jeans, wide-leg pants, A-line skirts, peplum tops, bootcut jeans, V-neck tops, fitted blazers, maxi dresses
“I want my tummy area to look more flattering”
A styling strategy here is to refocus attention from your middle to your legs or face, creating one long vertical. Embrace your body and choose clothes that fit well without being too tight or too loose. Choose clothes that are high-waisted to smooth out and flatter your tummy area. Wear monochromatic outfits to create a streamlined, elongated look. Accessorize with statement jewelry or scarves to draw attention to your upper body, and avoid wearing belts.
Top 10 garments: long tops like tunics, cardigan and jackets that don’t tuck in, high-waisted pants, A-line dresses, flat-front or side-zip pants and skirts, Empire-waist top and dresses, single-breasted coats, structured blazers, shift dresses, flowy blouses, Palazzo pants
“I want to look taller”
If you want to appear taller, the strategy is to elongate your legs and create a strong vertical line from head to toe. Opt for well-fitted clothes that don’t overwhelm your frame. Experiment with layering to create depth and dimension. Wear monochromatic outfits to create a streamlined, elongated look. Accessorize with long necklaces or scarves to create the illusion of height.
Top 10 garments: high-waisted pants, skinny jeans, cropped jackets, vertical striped shirts, mini dresses, V-neck tops, heeled boots, garments with fluid fabrics, long cardigans, A-line skirts
“I want my bottom curves to rock”
The strategy is to show off bottom curves without over-emphasizing them, elongate your figure and balance shoulders and hips. Choose tops that draw attention to your upper body and balance out your proportions. Avoid bottoms with excessive fabric or excess material that may weigh you down. Avoid clothes with too much detailing around the hips or thighs. Accessorize with statement jewelry or scarves to draw attention to your upper body. Avoid tapered pants or bottoms with cuffs, as they may accentuate your lower body.
Top 10 garments: close-fitting tops that float over hips, dark-colored bottoms, straight-leg and flat-front pants, A-line skirts, bootcut jeans, wrap dresses, flared skirts, off-the-shoulder tops, shift dresses, tonal outfits with the deeper shade at the bottom
2. Color types
Color is a powerful tool in fashion, and it can greatly affect the way we look and feel. There are four main color types – Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring – and each type is associated with a certain set of colors that are most flattering to that particular skin tone. Each of the color types can be also traced to your personality type. Pretty cool, right?
Summer color type
Summer type is all about cool, soft, and muted colors that are inspired by nature during the summer months. People with a Summer color type tend to have cool undertones in their skin, and their hair and eye colors are usually light and muted. The Summer color type is often associated with the Phlegmatic personality because the soft and muted colors of this color type reflect the calming and peaceful nature of the Phlegmatic personality.
Fashion that fits the Summer color type best includes soft and muted colors such as pastels, pinks, blues, and lavenders. Clothing made from light and airy fabrics such as cotton, linen, and silk are also ideal for the Summer color type. Experiment with soft floral prints, delicate lace detailing, and throw in natural textures – woven straw or raffia.
Winter color type
Winter color type is about cool, bright, and vivid colors that are inspired by the crisp winter snow. People with this type have cool undertones in their skin, and their hair and eye colors are usually dark and contrasting. The Winter color type is often linked to the Melancholic personality – thoughtful, and introspective, reserved ones who tend to have a sensitive and emotional approach to life. They value authenticity and depth in their relationships and tend to be drawn to art and beauty.
Winter colors are deep blues, emerald greens, dark purples and cold magentas, and striking reds. Clothing made from structured and luxurious fabrics such as silk, satin, and velvet is flattering for the Winter color type. Experiment with old prints, sharp tailoring, and edgy textures like vegan leather. Pair them with statement jewelry, bold handbags, and patterned scarves.
Spring color type
If you have warm undertones in your skin and your hair and eye colors are light and bright, you are most likely the Spring color type. It comes in warm, bright, and fresh colors that are inspired by the new growth of spring – green leaves and blooming red flowers. Oftentimes the Spring color type is associated with the Sanguine personality reflecting their playful and optimistic nature. Sanguine personalities are outgoing, enthusiastic, and energetic for whom life is a journey of joy. They enjoy talking to people and are open to trying new things.
This color type looks beautiful in warm and bright colors – coral, peach, yellow, and turquoise. These colors complement the warm undertones in the skin of the Spring color type and create a fresh and playful look. Clothing made from light and flowing fabrics such as organic or recycled cotton, silk, and recycled chiffon are also ideal for the Spring color type. Spring is a kingdom of floral prints, ruffles, and delicate textures, and lace. Experiment with delicate jewelry, playful handbags, and colorful scarves to celebrate life.
Fall color type
Fall color type is associated with warm, earthy, and rich colors that are inspired by the beautiful changing leaves during the fall months. People with a Fall color type tend to have warm undertones in their skin, and their hair and eye colors are usually rich and deep. The Fall color type is often associated with the Choleric personality – confident, assertive, and ambitious people who enjoy taking charge and being in control. They are strong and vibrant in nature – just like fall.
Fashion that fits the Fall color type best? Warm and rich colors – oranges, rusts, browns, and greens. These colors complement the warm undertones in the skin of the Fall color type and create a harmonious and natural look. Clothing made from warm and textured fabrics such as wool, tweed, and corduroy are also ideal for the Fall color type. Try animal prints, bold patterns, and natural textures like vegan or recycled leather. Statement jewelry, bold handbags, and patterned scarves are also great choices for a Fall color type.