Dressing Like a Model 101
I don’t know about you – but I’ve seen so many street-style shots of models lately, with New York Fashion Week in full-force. The city is crawling with models grabbing coffee, sitting outside in quaint Manhattan cafés and walking the streets looking utterly fabulous. Yet most models I see on blogs like The Sartorialist or STREETFSN look so casual and comfortable yet extremely stylish and chic.
How do they pull of this look? And why do they go so casual? Perhaps they get tired of being so dressed up all the time in sky-high stilletos and binding couture that when they are off-duty they go the complete opposite direction. Reguardless of why these giraffe-like creatures dress down, I’m envious of their cool, carefree style, and I’m assuming that you are too.
I’m also assuming that you are not a model, don’t look like a model and don’t have the body of a model (though if you are a model – I’m both confused and flattered as to why you are reading my blog…and feel free to critique my critique of you, you beautiful thing!). But who cares if we don’t all look like models? We can still dress like them – and this post will tell you exactly how to do so without breaking the bank or needing to be a Size 0!
Sizing Up the Style of a Model: 4 Key Elements
Now that you have the confidence to dress like a model (need a confidence boost? read this first), let’s begin. Before I go on – let me just mention that I don’t consider myself to be a “model expert” or a model myself – I’m just an admirer of that cool, confident vibe given off by the hundreds of street-style shots I’ve looked through. And now that I’ve assured you of my humbleness, let me give you a lesson in chic. I’ve distilled down what I consider the key elements of a model’s casuals style to 4 main points: Low-Key Locks, The Fresh Face, Limited Pieces & Simple Solids.
1. Low-Key Locks
Perhaps models just get sick of having their hair so perfectly done & tightly pinned up during shoots & shows, and that’s why they wear their locks freshly washed, loose and easy. So start your look by taking a shower (hopefully you were already planning on doing this…), and either blow drying or air drying that gorgeous head of hair. Most models this season are going with the side part – so try that out (though if you think a different part flatters your bone structure better, go with that instead). Either wear your hair down after air drying, and spritz a little sea-salt spray or oil-free hairspray and tousle a bit, or gather your hair loosely at the back of the neck and wrap in a messy bun or pony. If you are wearing it up, pull at the base of the pony to loosen your hair up, and even pull out a couple strands near the tops of your ears/hairline.
2. The Fresh Face
Models don’t wear much visible make-up when they are off-duty. Obviously your first-first step is to have amazing skin, which comes with using a quality facial care line both morning & night and drinking tons of water. But I’m not here to lecture you. Start with a moisturizer to give your face a natural glow. If you need to cover up a couple blemishes or under-eye bags, do that. But wear a very light, natural looking layer of foundation if any at all (like my favorite line here). Make sure your eyebrows are looking flawless – meaning using an eyebrow brush to shape them, and some light powder to fill them in if you need. A thick but shaped natural brow is all the rage for fall – I’ll be rocking some thick ones, so watch out! Follow with a couple layers of mascara. And you’re done. No blush or bronzer – just let your inner radiance shine through (no really, shine on my gorgeous reader).
3. Limited Pieces
The third thing I noticed about most of the models walking around the streets of NYC is the limited number of pieces they are wearing – meaning how many different items of clothing they have on. Many of them just go with a simple but stylish top, narrow-legged pants and flats or boots. I also like some light layering as well, like a simple loose tank with an interesting, oversized cardigan, skinny jeans folded at the ankle and flat booties. Also, notice how most models don’t wear high heels off-duty – maybe because they giant 6″ ones they wear for work get tiring? Anyway – think casual with interesting details. The loose sweater and cropped skinnies may look simple – but upon further inspection, you see interesting stitching on the top and monochrome leather panels on the bottoms, etc.
4. Simple Solids
And last but not least – a trend I noticed is simple, solid colors schemes. No crazy brights, no wacky patterns and no bold florals (though I admire all of those & think we all need these pieces in our closet!). They let their face be the most interesting part of the outfit, and stick to neutral colors and earth tones, with minimal or no patterns/prints. So think basics with a twist – a well tailored pair of black trousers and a gray oversized knit sweater rolled up to the elbow. Or try something a little more fun – a plum skinny jean with a cream, loose t-shirt and dark gray open knit shrug.
Have fun being like New York Fashion Week model!