A joy meeting style-savvy women and trendy men
The Royal Gazette's Lifestyle section launched its weekly Fashion on the Street column a year ago today.
The original plan was to capture everyday Bermudians on the city streets and get their feedback on simple style questions: the best way to accessorise, to rock a little black dress or dress for their age.
What this writer didn't expect was how much the column would personally impact my life. It's added a few minutes to the time I take when picking out an outfit each day and also changed the way I shop for clothes and how I look at fashion generally.
Over these past 12 months, I've had more people approach me about the fashion column than with anything else in my five-year career.
Of course there was criticism, but most often people shared how much they enjoyed the stories. I'm certainly no expert on the subject. Like everyone else, I've tried some things that work and others that shamefully don't.
But truth be told my favourite thing about the past year hasn't been about me, but rather meeting all the style-savvy women and trendsetting men. We're extremely grateful to everyone who has passed on their useful tips and style inspirations to us. So here's a look back at some of the greatest lessons we've learned over the past year ...
1. Invest in timeless pieces. Avoid trends.
Trends will always come and go, but spending your money on the right wardrobe staples, such as a classic pair of black trousers or jeans, should carry you through the seasons.
A lot of the people we spoke to on our walkabouts shared this same sentiment, but Arin Weller described it best: “My advice to anyone is not to necessarily follow the trends, but wear something comfortable and something you think you can keep in your wardrobe for a long time. Look for different pieces and not something that you'll just wear one time only. Buy pieces that you love.”
2. Style doesn't have to be expensive.
Graphic designer Chantelle Emery and teacher Emily Foster both said they found great pieces for their wardrobes while shopping at thrift stores.
Ms Emery told us she might accessorise with a really nice name-brand bag from her closet, but pair it with thrift store finds for a unique look. “Most of my outfit could be really inexpensive, like only a few dollars,” she said at the time.
3. Know what styles fit your body type.
Everyone is different. That crop top that looked fabulous on your tall, leggy friend might not fit your short frame.
Caitlyn Mello's top tip for fashion was: find pieces that flatter your shape. “Not everyone needs to be a small girl,” she said. “We have all different types of body shapes, styles and colours. I'd also say know what styles suit you because when you wear something flattering that makes you look better. Don't try to fit yourself into something that wouldn't make your body the best it can be.”
4. Keep it simple.
Not every piece in your closet needs to have that “wow factor”. Having staple pieces in blacks, nudes or whites allow you to get more wear out of each piece.
Stephanie Hall told us she stocked her closet with neutral pieces and added in a pop of colour with her shoes or accessories to spice the look up a bit and add some excitement. “I like basics, but I also like to mix it in with something vibrant,” she said. “I also think that accessories are a must because it adds to the outfit.”
5. Have fun.
You don't have to wear an outfit exactly how you saw it in a magazine or on Pinterest. Be creative and find a way to make the outfit unique to you. Debbie Mello told us she likes fashion, but more so enjoys the process of getting dressed up. “It's always fun, so any excuse to get dressed up is good for me,” she said. “What you wear tells people what mood you are in, what type of person you are or what kind of attitude you have. I hope my dress sense shows I like to be different and am not afraid to put something unique together.”
6. When in doubt, just wear confidence.
If you love what you're wearing and know your style reflects who you are, chances are other people will like it. KayLeigh Scott, a young fashion school graduate, admitted it was more than just what a person wore that made them attractive. “Confidence is really beautiful because I think that everyone has something about them that makes them special or attractive in their own way,” she said. “When you're confident [you are better able] to show your beauty off.”