Last weekend, Alaa and I decided to finally make time in our super hectic Cairo schedules and meet up for lunch. The last time we’d met in person was last winter (God bless social media for helping us keep this friendship alive!) Anyhow, as I stepped into the semi-glass space of Left Bank, I failed to recognize the young man in a relaxed tank top, summer hoodie, and a long hippie styled Deathly Hallows necklace. He too was surprised by my sporty relaxed get up which involved a recycled DIY oversized t-shirt, and sneakers.
Needless to say, we spent a good few minutes laughing at our changes and thinking back as to how our personal fashion rules had changed by age and time. I imagine Alaa would have probably been dressed in cargo pants, and a shirt – something with a 50s sophisticated vibe to it. I’d probably have been dressed in a short floral skirt, a loose blouse and heels (I used to live in heels!).
Times have definitely changed; but change is inevitable. I’ve covered timeless fashion rules before but seeing as we are in graduation season, and so many are starting new lives beyond college, I thought we’d bring together a list of modern fashion tips to help you evolve fashion wise after college.
1. Preserve the Fun in Fashion
After you’re done with college, it seems like all the fun is gone from fashion choices. Many fall into the trap of confining to suits or repetitive set outfits. That little voice that tells you “you can’t”, challenge it. Try new things, new fashion trends, new styles. Don’t skip colour & patterns, mix it up! Get inspired by what’s new on the runway. If your current conditions aren’t that flexible, adopt a new style concept; one that works best with that new phase in your life. Just don’t lose the fun!
Keep a look out for Infusion with Fashion!
2. Splurge on Uniqueness
Shop unique finds from small boutiques and local labels. Having unique garments in your wardrobe can transform entire outfits from meh to wow in seconds. If you’re travelling inside or outside of your country, try visiting second-hand & vintage stores for some unique finds that would really add a unique touch to your outfits and remember: what’s available in one country looks cooler in another.
3. Get Comfortable
Age plays a handy factor in driving this tip. You’ll want comfort more than trendy, especially with city life being all about stressful jobs and mountains of bills and installments to pay! Let’s face it; many of the fashion trends we follow aren’t always comfortable. Hopefully, by the time you’ve graduated college (if you haven’t already), you too will have figured out what’s comfortable for you and what isn’t.
4. Accessorize with More than Just Accessories
Don’t get us wrong, we both have our very own proud collection of unique statement pins, bracelets, rings and accessories. There’s so much that can add interest to an outfit (whether formal or casual) other than the usual. Ladies and gents: why not give hats a go! Why don’t people appreciate hats in a city where the sun’s always out and shinning? Swap out your pashmina for square silk scarfs, get creative and combine a plaid scarf with your belt.
Wear an elegant colourful pin on your blazer to work! They will speak highly of your personality and make you stand out in a meeting. Try leather or coloured gloves to brighten the mood in winter. Get creative with your scarves and belts (this goes out to men as well! This could be your something new to challenge yourselves with!). Bottom line is: Get unconventional with your accessories for a more versatile and stand out wardrobe.
For the Ladies:
5. Make Tights Cool Again
I’m serious! Pantyhose used to be a thing back in your grandma’s time, but now things are more interesting with colours, fabrics & patterns. Yet tights are still under estimated in this country! I own several, including a striped black & purple pair; they just add so much fun to an outfit! If you’re not one to go too bold, try solid coloured nylons or cotton tights which are sure to add some interest to your winter outfits!
5. Tone Down the Toxic
Don’t waste your money on uncomfortable sky scraper stilettoes; life is full of pain; you don’t need these extra bruises in your life. Learn how to buy the rights heels. If you can’t walk in heels, don’t wear them to someone’s wedding, walking barefoot and getting your feet filthy isn’t something you need when you could just wear a comfy pair of fun flats to the occasion!
Speaking of needs, instead of complaining about how expensive sunblock is, save on unnecessary foundations and contours for what your skin actually needs! Sunblock is crucial for preventing skin cancer; while your skin pores need to breathe instead of being blocked with cakey foundations. Try going for natural or less coverage. It’s healthier for all dermal conditions and if you’ve got pigmentation conditions get inspired by models like Winnie Harlow.
It’s a shock to me to hear of girls purchasing products from brands like Kryolan; which are designed for theatre, filming, and costume make-up to survive conditions, which involve highly focused lighting combined with heat, high energy and sweat; as DAILY make-up! Heck their logo is literally a mask; can they be clearer?! Spare your face and body the extra toxins, your aging skin will thank you.
6. From The Bottom to The Top!
Ok, maybe this half lyric doesn’t explain my point well enough; but British fashion designer, Alice Temperley, surely can do it better, “Lingerie is my next love after clothing; I think it is what is worn underneath that really inspires a woman to feel beautiful in her clothes – that inner, secret glamour.” I totally agree! It adds a spark of confidence knowing you look good inside out, it’s also fun to experiment with.
7. Don’t Hide
Fashion, clothing, and cosmetics are not hiding places! Don’t try to be a copy of those silicon dolls in music videos. Don’t overwhelm yourself with stuffed bras and padded undies; instead, embrace your own individual beauty. Go braless! I’m serious, it’s liberating! Quit thinking about who’ll find you attractive. Besides, a real man will love you for who you are not who you look like.
Remember the wise words of Designer, Betsey Johnson “Girls do not dress for boys. They dress for themselves and, of course, each other. If girls dressed for boys, they’d just walk around naked at all times.” ― Betsey Johnson
Quit hiding behind unreal ideals set by media & society. Be more at peace knowing you can rush out to buy groceries without people being shocked by your dramatically different appearance! Let your natural hair loose every once in a while. Get comfortable with yourself; love yourself! [no not that! you know what I mean!] Find that inner satisfaction with just being you.
For the Gents:
8. No Need to be a Caveman
Trim, trim, trim: you’re no longer a child who doesn’t know the basics of shaving or trimming. Every month or so, make sure you give yourself a nice run down with the old fashioned/electric razor. Beards and mustaches are the trend with facial hair, if you’re a proud owner of one, groom it! No one appreciates a messy beard! Believe it or not, facial hair or clean shaven you can look good both ways as long as you’re not the barbaric caveman.
9. Cream is Friend; Gel is Foe
Use sun block cream to prevent skin cancer; especially in a country where the sun never sets. It isn’t feminine and does not diminish your masculinity like some retards suggest! Go for less gel in your hair; instead of the toxic gels that advertise a self-retained look but actually burn the hair to the pore, use cream that has essential nutrients for your hair such as those with keratin components.
10. Suit up!
Barney Stinson might have been wrong about his life choices & advices; but he definitely wasn’t wrong about this one! For those of you who are going to go corporate or are already fully fledged corporate slaves, suits are going to be your skin for 5-6 days a week!
Now, a quick tip for suits (seeing as I will never manage to get everything here in one point!): always contrast between the shirt and the tie. Never wear a bright shirt with a bright tie, a dark shirt with a dark tie or a patterned shirt with a patterned tie. The simpler the better, that’s what I say. Go basic with your colours and if you want to be bold, try mixing blazers with trousers in terms of colours for example, dark navy blue with brown. Wear tie pins, cuff links for occasions and blazer pins; they work wonders in making you look sophisticated and professional.
What do you think?
Have you tried any of these tips? Which is your favourite? Let us know!