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How To Look Modern Not Fashionable + 8 Ways To Do It

October 04, 2023

​I was outfit building with a client this week…

For those that don’t know this is where I take what you love and wear (your wearables) and re-style them so they feel like new… and you fall back in love with your wardrobe, not to mention save money and time too. 

And if you want to see how I work behind the scenes, I do a story on Instagram everyday. Follow me here

My Client asked me this brilliant question (amongst many other brilliant questions)

“You use the word ‘modern’ but is it just a clever re-working of the word ‘fashionable’?”

No, I said 

And I asked her…

“What is the opposite of ‘fashionable?”


Right, I said 

“And what is the opposite of modern?”

“Historic”, she said


Modernity is heavily linked to evolution, it is fluid, moving, changing… evolving. It is not about just being part of the conversation now, it is about how the clothes will look in five years time. How they can be re-worked, re-imagined, re-styled so there is continuity in your style and continuity in your brand. 

By buying well, your modern pieces become classics. 

Fashionable is static. It is of the moment, fixated… and when that moment passes you are no longer fashionable you are unfashionable. 

Fashion today is no longer about buying new items each season to look fashionable. 

It is more about refreshing your look with clever stying tricks so you feel modern. 

With this client, we leaned heavily into new ways to layer plus the use of accessories to create over 40 new looks. 

So how do we look modern this Autumn/ Winter? 

I have dissected the trends to help you look like yourself but feel modern

1. Let’s see your socks

integrating your socks into your look a la Miu Miu and wear them with ballet flats and loafers and your favourite cropped trousers, skirt or dress. Ribbed = sporty, woven = polished. Falke do the best. 

2. Button your cardigan

Cardigans are not just an extra layer. Do up all the buttons and wear it as a jumper. Just add your favourite jewellery (shine + fluff = dimension) 

3. Layer with colour

Neutrals will always be reliable but pick your favourite colour and layer it all together. I particularly love all greens, all reds and all greys. 

4. Try a blazer and a skirt

You can do a blazer and jeans and a suit but take a cue from the runway and try a skirt suit or a blazer and a skirt. It’s the perfect masculine and feminine combination. 

5. Switch (back) to Silver

I’ve seen jewellery, trousers, shoes, brocade dresses in shimmery silver. Shine is the easiest way to elevate the winter textures. And don’t be afraid to mix gold and silver. In fact I actively encourage it. 

6. Re-Work your shirt

You’ve done the half tuck but what about the cross over tuck and the one side tuck? And what about wearing your jewellery and watch over your shirt? I use a chunky gold bracelet to secure my pushed up shirt sleeve. 

7. Wear brown in town 

I’m so happy to see the return of brown. Mix with red and silver for a modern take. 

8. Sheer is brilliant

It’s time to ditch your slips, sheer is great way to lean into texture play in winter. A sheer polo neck under a jacket, an overlay over a skirt, or swap your black opaque tights for sheer ones. 

You can see all these in action here.


P.S. Explore the potential in your own wardrobe and book a wardrobe edit and outfit building consultation with me or Antonia and Nadyia. It is easy, elevated and precise. Book your free call here Discovery Call – Penny

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