What makes a wardrobe fashionable? Which key components are required before a person is deemed trendy? It can be a surprisingly tricky thing to tie down. We’ll try. Start with something timeless, cast a curt nod to the classical, throw in your own individual style, give it a little quirky, notch it up something modern, and you might be getting close. And then, to truly stand out, that ever elusive ‘je ne sais quoi’ is needed. You might find it with these; our 5 IDEAL ways to achieve a fashionable yet unique wardrobe. 

NAIL YOUR PERSONAL BRAND 

Whether you’re influenced by vintage looks, classic silhouettes or haute couture, it’s your own personal take on things which matters most. Indeed, staying true to yourself and what inspires you is the most fashionable statement you could possibly make.

This is perhaps most keenly realised by keeping your unique style as a foundation and adapting and shapeshifting to the trends of the season to keep things fresh. Adding pops of colour to your more muted base style is another great way to stay looking on point. A simple scarf or pair of socks in the colour of the season can be a subtle statement without looking like you’re simply towing the trendy line in sycophantic style.

FOLLOW FASHION WEEK AND DESIGNER COLLABORATIONS 

For aficionados of all things haute-couture, keeping your eye on Paris, Milan and London Fashion week allows you to keep well ahead of the curve. This is where the most on-trend styles first emerge, so follow them religiously. The subsequent collaborations between designer and high street are a fabulous way to indulge your inner fashionista at a fraction of the cost of the more expensive brand’s latest collection. Recently, Rick Owens has done a particularly eye-catching collaboration with Adidas. You can check the collection out here for your latest dose of sneakers, boots, glasses, sweaters and more. Can you feel your fashion senses tingling? 

READ FASHION MAGAZINES AND FOLLOW INFLUENCERS

If you’re in the dark about the latest fashions, then fortunately, it’s fairly easy to get in the know. By reading industry magazines and analysing websites that shine a light on what the trendiest people are wearing, right now, you’ll get the picture pretty quickly. Vouge, otherwise known as the Bible to fashionistas, is a good place to start.  Even if the styles seem a little far fetched and the flourishes expensive, it’s good to have a baseline to work from. You’ll be able to incorporate your own, unique style with what’s hot right now and reach a compromise with your wardrobe in the process. 

And while the ‘influencer’ has become somewhat of a dirty word – omnipresent, otiose and insistent – they can actually provide plenty of inspiration about what’s hot right now, and what’s not. Indeed, the beauty of Instagram is that you can choose whose style you genuinely admire and only follow them. Be discerning but inquisitive; like and engage with stylish sorts who seem on the bleeding edge of cool, if that’s where you want to be. Treat celebrities who are lucky enough to earn your follow in the same way; don’t saturate your feed with the banal and inane.

REDUCE YOUR FASHION FOOTPRINT 

It’s not fashionable to ruin the environment, that’s for sure. Sweaty, burnt and with little time left; that doesn’t sound too trendy, now does it? With the fashion industry being the world’s second largest polluter, only behind oil, with harmful production practices at the top and unsustainable shopping habits on the high street, it’s vital to reevaluate your relationship with shopping. Right. Now.

Textile production requires huge amounts of water and energy to meet demand, producing 1.2 billion tonnes of  CO2 equivalent per year; more than international flights and maritime shipping. Troubling enough, but what’s worse is that it’s predicted that the manufacture of clothes will account for a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050. fast fashion, where clothing has become a single-use purchase, destined for landfill after just one wear. So, shop sustainably and considerately at all times, or there won’t be a world left to admire your unique style.

INVEST IN CLASSIC ITEMS 

You don’t have to throw out your entire wardrobe every season to stay up to date with the latest fashion trends. Keeping your staple basics and updating them with a few fashion-forward items is the ideal way to stay on trend without rewriting the rulebook with every passing month.

As a firm foundation, keep the following ten items in your wardrobe all year round and replace them when they have worn out;

  • Different denim jeans. The perfect fit for all occasions and never out of style.
  • Basic plain t-shirts. T-shirts will always stay in style, the perfect basic item to accessorise. 
  • Floppy hats. Sun damage is never fashionable.
  • Little black dress. Perfect for any occasion to dress up or down.
  • Proper undergarments. Undergarments should be good quality and comfortable.
  • Trench coat. No matter the weather, you are covered.
  • Plain button up blouse. Not too tight and not too baggy.
  • A bag for every occasion. A clutch bag, tote bag and handbag.
  • Classic sunglasses. Black and oversized suit everyone.
  • Leather jacket. Classic staple.
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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.