Classy or Cliche: A Good Girl’s Guide to Fashion


Classiness is an art. It’s hard to define, but you recognize it when you see it. How can you present yourself in a classy manner in a culture that seems anything but? Take a look at this good girl’s guide to classy fashion.

First,  there are a few equations that we need to know about class.

1. Just because something’s cute, doesn’t mean it’s classy.

2. Just because something is in style, doesn’t mean it’s classy.

However, if something is classy it is automatically both cute and in style. Class never goes out of style.

There are 3 major areas to consider when determining if your outfit is classy or cliche: the fit, the length, and the coverage. Having proper balance of these three areas is the key to creating a classy look. Something’s gotta give. You cannot wear something short, and tight, and revealing and expect to look classy. It’s just not going to happen. However, you can give and take in these three areas and come out with a super chic look.

Here are a few basic rules to follow:

1. Fit: Tighter Skirts and Dresses

Form fitting dresses and skirts can be very classy and very flattering. Don’t be afraid to dress in a way that accentuates your curves!

Rule 1: If you opt for a more form-fitting number, the length needs to be longer. Shorter and tighter combos start veering away from a classy look and into cliche look.

Rule 2: To maintain classy status it is vital that you don’t have VPL (visible panty line). If your outfit is so form-fitting that any given passerby could see where your spanx begin and end, it’s too tight.

Tip: To add balance, pair a tighter fitting pencil skirt with a looser top, or go with a long-sleeved tighter dress to provide more coverage.



2. Coverage: Necklines and Fitted Tops

There are three B’s that should be kept covered: boobies, booties, and bellies. Exposed rear-ends are only acceptable if you are a toddler; there are no exceptions to this rule. However, cleavage, along with form fitting tops, in moderation can be classy and sexy.

Rule 1: If you are daring to bare, highlight one, not both, of these areas. For example, if you are opting for a lower cut top, make sure it’s not too tight. Or you can balance your look by pairing your tighter, more accentuating top with a looser fitting skirt. This keeps things classy and chic.

Rule 2: Everything is alright in moderation. This specifically applies to necklines. Less is more in the cleavage department.

Tip: Pair a flattering fitted top with a loose high-waisted skirt to create an hourglass figure.




3. Coverage Continued: Midriff

Midriff is very in style right now, which makes it enticing to try out and impossible to avoid while shopping. This is one of those areas where age can help you navigate whether or not you should dare to bare. The question is not, could I rock midriff?’but rather, should I rock midriff?

There are a few basic non-negotiable rules for midriff bearing:

Rule 1: Acceptable midriff is always and only above the belly button area. (Exceptions include swimsuits; but what is classier than a high-waisted swimsuit bottom?)

Here’s why: This is the thinnest part of your waist and naturally the most flattering area to bare. Middriff at or below the navel will make it seem like either your shirt is simply too small, or that you’re stuck in the early 2000s.

Rule 2: Midriff should never, ever be more than 2 inches at a time.

Here’s why: The fact is that we actually won’t be 21 forever. That said, the older you get the less midriff you should rock if you are wanting to keep things classy. Remember, just because it’s cute and in style does not mean it’s classy.

Tip: Try pairing a high-waisted skirt or pants with a boat neck crop top.




4. Length: Dresses and Skirts

Length can be quickly fixed with balance. Short and tight is never a classy combo. However, short and loose can be super lady-like and flirty. Likewise, a tighter and longer combination can also be incredibly feminine and classy. Balance is the name of the game.

Rule 1: Make sure your dress looks like a dress. Be wary of pairing thigh-high boots with a short dress… this often appears like you forgot to put on pants with your “shirt.”

Rule 2: Find pieces that flatter your body type. Just because short seems to be what everyone’s wearing does not mean this is a classy look for you. Confidence and being comfortable in your own skin are always classy.

Tip: Try an off-the-shoulder dress that’s tight up top but flowing everywhere else. This look will flatter your bust and dress won’t appear as short if it’s loose and flowing everywhere else.



5. Length Continued: Shorts

Shorts can be difficult to navigate. How short is too short? How long is too long? The same principles apply to this topic as well.

Rule 1: As if it needs repeating, rear-end exposure is never, ever, under any circumstances, acceptable. Be wary of the high-waisted cut offs. Yes, they are so cute right now. And unfortunately yes, they tend to ride up and show more than you bargained for when you tried them on in the dressing room.

Rule 2. Shorts that are both short and tight should be avoided. Those are called spandex and are meant for exercise. Choose one or the other, fit or length, but you cannot have both.

Tip: Pair shorter shorts with a longer cardigan or looser, three quarter length top.



Image Source:, PR Photos