I used to believe that fine feathers make fine birds, until I realised some time ago that this proverb was simply not true. A person can wear to-die-for shoes, sport a lust-worthy handbag, don designer togs, put on magnificent jewellery, and still be badly dressed. On the other hand, another individual who has opted for a no-brand handbag and high-street fashion can look drop dead gorgeous. Where do you draw the line between overdone to perfectly done up? Does everyone need a personal stylist to survive today?
These were the questions that were on my mind recently, when I heard about some Indian celebrities being judged as the worst-dressed among their peers at various international events. I wondered how celebrities, who could afford the best stylists in the business, could get their attire so wrong on almost every occasion.
Designer clothes and perfectly matched accessories can take you far, but today, you need to learn to carry yourself with style and confidence too, and this is where a seasoned stylist or image consultant can help. Going by the number of hugely famous stylists to the stars, like Brandon Maxwell for Lady Gaga, Kate Young for Natalie Portman, Elizabeth Stewart for Julia Roberts, Ilaria Urbinati for Ryan Reynolds and several others, hiring an excellent stylist is a trend that is here to stay.
I caught up with well-known luxury consultant and stylist Manjusha Maheshwari for her expert take on the subject. “According to me, style is the outer expression of your inner self. A professional stylist will help enhance and bring out the best in your personality and cover up flaws, if any. She will also put together an entire look for you, from your shoes to your clothes,” she explains.
According to Maheshwari, the aspirational levels are so high today and the socio-economic face of India has changed so much, that many people are now aware that only a stylist can help them put their best foot forward.
How about the men? After all, how many variations can a pair of trousers and a shirt have? “You will be surprised to know that men are constantly being judged on the basis of the cut and colour of their shirts, their jackets and their shoes,” says Maheshwari. “Men need stylists just as much as the women.”
In case one cannot afford a personal stylist, she offers a few important tips that might help. “Be well-groomed always, wear clothes of the right size, fit and colour and always remember to carry your style,” she says. “It is not only about what you choose to wear, it is also about your poise.”
As to why some stylists get it wrong, she says, “We must remember that at the end of the day, a stylist only offers his or her opinion about what will look good on you. This opinion could prove to be right or wrong.”
Fine dressing and fabulous fashion are no longer the prerogative of A-list stars. It’s always worth your time and effort to look good.
Asha Chowdary presents a column on what’s trending in the world of fashion. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org