Anyone with a huge bank account can stroll into a store and and emerge looking undeniably “IT”, instantly earning them seats at the fashionistas’ table. But in six months, those items will be rendered passe and the need to shell out for another showstopping wardrobe begins. It is a terribly exhausting process, even if you have an unlimited credit limit. Don’t fall victim into this vicious cycle! That’s not how stylish people roll.

Purveyors of genuine style know how to take fairly basic pieces and jazz them up with high impact pieces and make their look covetable.

With these 7 habits, you can stay ahead of the style game, make your wardrobe enviable (possibly become the next Yoyo Cao) and save more money!

#1 They don’t create carbon copy looks

You probably visit plenty of personal style blogs or have an Instagram or Pinterest account where you constantly scroll through to check up on what your favourite street style stars are wearing right now and read herworldPLUS daily (of course!) to discover the latest fashion scoops, right? But does it seem like you can never translate this impeccable style into your own outfits?

Well, you’re not alone. I faced this problem all the time — until I carefully analysed this mind boggling situation. While I embrace these media platforms because they are great sources of inspiration, I have learnt that style is extremely individual, so trying to copy a look head to toe definitely isn’t going to work. Truly stylish ladies take outfit inspiration from everywhere and own the look by putting their own individual spin on it.  

#2 They are not dripping in labels

Stylish people don’t pigeonhole themselves to only luxury labels. When you come across images of Chiara Ferragni or Nicole Warne draped in Céline or Chanel, you must remember that these style stars get sent designer items for free from the brands, with the intention to entice us (mere mortals with a humble bank account) to lust over and then buy them.

Take a leaf out of style icon Olivia Palermo’s book. “I go with what looks good on me — no matter who makes it.” This streetstyle darling has always been spotted in immaculate outfits, and famed for effortlessly mixing high-street pieces with designer labels.

#3 They understand what works for them

It might seem like a very cliched point to make, but trust me, knowing what style (i.e. girly, boho, edgy) fits and best works for your body type and skin tone is a fundamental step for someone who aspires to be stylish.

You can then take inspiration from what’s trending on the runway and find pieces that flatter your body and are aligned to your own sense of style. Remember: You must feel confident in what you are wearing.

#4 They don’t follow trends blindly

If you trawl through enough fashion blogs and Instagram accounts, it’s really tempting to buy into every trend that every blogger under the sun is wearing. You feel like you need to own the exact, if not similar piece to be part of the game. Don’t feel pressured into buying trending items if you feel uncomfortable wearing them. Real stylish ladies bypass trends and stay loyal to styles and colours that look best on them. (Refer to #3)

If you fancy the current trends, don’t copy the looks wholesale. Try subtly adopting some trending key points so that it works for your body — e.g. if you can’t pull off the bell bottoms style that is super hot right now due to your body shape, you can opt for a flattering denim skirt instead.

#5 They have a ‘thing’ that sets them apart from the rest

All stylish people have a special ‘something’ that they are known for. I have a friend who only wears black and white, and it has become something that I identify her with. It doesn’t have to always be something dramatic, it could be as simple as always donning chilli red polish on your nails or wearing a colourful hair band.

#6 They don’t try too hard

This point might be a little abstract and subjective. But what I am trying to drive at here is, it’s better to look underdressed than overdressed. Stylish people always look a little less done than everyone else at any occasion. This might mean showing up at a party in a pair of sneakers when everyone else is trying to impress with skyscraper heels or wearing a chic jumpsuit instead of a figure hugging frock.

One useful tip for nailing the ‘Oh I casually picked up the first thing I saw in my wardrobe’ look even though you spent the whole day trying to style this outfit is to lose a piece from your initial outfit. It could be removing a piece of jewellery or swapping your heels for a pair of flats.

#7 They are very observant and resourceful

Apart from keeping themselves up to date with the latest fashion news, highly stylish ladies also venture outside of their comfort zone and look for inspiration in art, culture and on the streets. They have a great eye for detail and can translate these ideas into their personal style.

They are also resourceful, because they need to know where to hunt down special pieces that can set them apart from the rest. They can find unexpected treasures almost anywhere.

Love this story? Check out the 10 things that every stylish women should own by age 35 and 5 style shortcuts that can speed up your morning routine.