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Style advice from fashion legends

What do Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld and Carrie Bradshaw have in common? They all have exquisite taste, great style and a penchant for words. Here are our favourite quotes from fashion icons.

French fashion designer Coco Chanel puts the finishing touches to a new creation in her Paris fashion house, 1959. (Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images)

French fashion designer Coco Chanel puts the finishing
touches to a new creation in her Paris fashion house, 1959.
Photo credit: Archive Photos/Getty Images

On fashion and style…

“Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” — Coco ChanelIsolated little black dress

Lesson learnt: Don’t get too caught up with the trends each season; they will be gone before you know it. Instead, incorporate the trends that suit your personal style and leave the rest.

“Create your own style — let it be unique for yourself yet identifiable for others.” — Anna Wintour

Lesson learnt: Experiment with your sense of style until you find out what works for you. Know the kind of clothes/shoes/accessories that flatter you the most and make them the staples of your wardrobe.

“Style. All who have it share one thing: originality.” — Diana Vreeland

Lesson learnt: Don’t try to copy other people to a tee or blindy follow the trends. Get inspired by them, but be your own “style stalker” or “trend setter”.

Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.” — Lauren Hutton

Lesson learnt: Fashion is fun and exciting, but don’t be a slave to it! Be selective with what you buy and wear.

“I want to make clothes that people will wear, not styles that will make a big splash on the runway.” — Oscar de la Renta

Lesson learnt: A lot of the time, the outfits that go down the runway are works of art that are not meant to be worn in “real life”.

On dressing…

“Don’t dress to kill, dress to survive.” — Karl LagerfeldIsolated little black dress

Lesson learnt: Don’t go too over the top with your outfits. It’s great to be fashion-forward, sure, but there’s a fine line between trendy and tacky.

“It is always better to be slightly undressed.” — Coco Chanel

Lesson learnt: If you’re not sure about the dress code for an event, always go for a more casual outfit option. There’s nothing worse than being the most overdressed, overdone girl at the party.

“I don’t want to look sloppy, because then I feel sloppy.” — Karl Lagerfield

Lesson learnt: The way you dress can really reflect and impact your mood and self-confidence. If you’re feeling down or stressed, wear bright colours. If you want to make a good, professional impression, make sure your outfit is polished.

On accessorising…

“Elegance is elimination.” — Cristol BalenciagaIsolated diamond necklace

Lesson learnt: Less is more. Always.

“When accessorising, always take off the last thing you put on.” — Coco Chanel

Lesson learnt: Choose your jewels, headwear, shoes and bags wisely. Try to avoid piling on the jewellery; it takes attention away from your outfit.

“If you wear a different perfume every day, I do not recognise you.” — Oscar de la Renta

Lesson learnt: A signature scent is a powerful thing. If you have one, people will connect you with it in the same way they link your voice, personality and style.

On shoes…

Isolated high heel shoe

“There is nothing charming about a woman who cannot walk in her shoes.” — Manolo Blahnik

Lesson learnt: If you can’t walk in them properly, ditch them. Even if they are the most gorgeous pair of stilettos in the world.

“High heels are pleasure with pain.” — Christian Louboutin

Lesson learnt: None, because you already knew that!

“You put high heels on and you change.” — Manolo Blahnik

Lesson learnt: High heels are seductive. If you want to feel taller, sexier, powerful or more confident, throw on a pair of heels. They make a huge difference to the way you feel and present yourself.

“I have this little substance abuse problem: expensive footwear.” — Carrie Bradshaw

Lesson learnt: Invest in high quality shoes. They will last longer, look better and treat your feet nicer than a pair of cheapies.

Check out designer pieces to splurge on >>

On everything else…

“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury” — Coco Chanel

Lesson learnt: It’s just not worth wearing that super expensive dress that is too tight, digging into your skin, or hard to walk in. That’s not what luxury is supposed to feel like, so go for something that you’re comfortable in.

“You have to walk like you have three men walking behind you.” — Oscar de la Renta

Lesson learnt: Confidence is the key to feeling sexy. Posture is the secret to a great walk, so pull your shoulders down and back, straighten your neck and walk with purpose.

“Buy clothes the size you want to wear.” — Karl Lagerfield

Lesson learnt: This is known as “aspirational shopping”. Nothing will motivate you to be healthier when you have that gorgeous dress hanging in your wardrobe just waiting for a night out on the town.

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