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Got Style? Columnist offers advice on expressing your identity through clothing

"Fashions fade, style is eternal." These wise words from Yves Saint Laurent are words that should inspire us to develop our personal styles. But style isn't some­thing you can just copy. Style is something that is subjective and individual, but also evolutionary. There is no right or wrong way to dress, but it is important to develop one that expresses your individuality, and if you have one developed keep on changing that style as you grow older.

Choosing a style that reflects who you are can be a challenge, but here are six easy ways to start or keep developing your own style:

1. Observe and be inspired. Flipping through magazines or choosing a celebrity as a fashion idol is a great place to start. By looking around at others' styles and choos­ing what you like (and just as importantly, what you don’t like) will help you put together a style all your own using inspira­tion from all over.

2. Labels, price, size…who cares! Look for pieces that are made well and fit you well. Clothes shouldn't cost an arm and a leg, and should fit you properly. Don't get hung up on the size, but rather base the fit on how you feel in those clothes. Designer pieces are not necessary to have style, but if there is a designer you particularly like, try to recreate their style in your own way. If you really want, save up to buy invest­ment pieces, but be sure to get neutral pieces that you can wear various ways over the years to get your money's worth.

3. Don't rely on trends—choose pieces wisely. If you think of classic fashion idols, like Jackie O or Audrey Hepburn, their styles were not based upon trends alone and that's why their styles were so iconic. Being trendy can be a part of your style, but not all trends will fit you. Be sure to try them out but recognize when trends don't really suit your style. Stay true to the style you're building.

4. Try something new. Sometimes you will come across a piece or outfit that you really think may not be "you" but you shouldn't write these fashions off right away. You never know until you try! Try­ing new things can also help you keep de­veloping your style so you don’t get stuck in a style rut.

5. Be complete. Style can't be contained in just one piece. Style is your entire look. Be sure to complete each outfit you wear from head to toe, including accessories, hair style, makeup and a smile!

6. Be comfortable and be yourself. The best thing you can wear is confidence, and your style will develop along with that. If you feel uncomfortable in an outfit, it shows. If you feel confident, you will radi­ate your style and make it all your own.

Throughout the semester, I'll be dis­cussing more about personal style. If you have any style or trend questions, maybe even myths you'd like to see confirmed or busted, send them my way at c-clampitt@onu.edu.