an elegant lady dressed well

Ladies' Guide to Dressing Well

Not many generations ago, our great grandmothers were educated in dressmaking and etiquette. Be it through the school’s curriculum or passed down from a previous generation. I remember watching my grandmother pressing on the peddle of her vintage Singer sewing machine. Her toes and heels swung back and forth to make a beautiful Sunday dress. Seeing my amazement, she taught me how to carefully guide a piece of thread through the machine until it reached the needle. Then, slowly swing the pedal with my feet, till I sewed 2 pieces of cloth together. Just the act of making your own dress had a big appeal to me and a skill I always thought women should have.

Vintage sewing machine

Fast forward to today’s fast fashion, convenience has become a way of life because of the fast-paced world we live in. Has this hampered the way we dress as ladies? We know that fashion brands follow trends dictated by agencies and cascaded globally. There is a need to look stylish every day. But now, it has become more difficult to find clothes that would make us look more lady-like. We also lack guidance in what it takes to preserve femininity and simply dress like a lady.

Dressing like a lady doesn’t always mean wearing dresses or A-line skirts. It involves 5 elements such as, femininity, maturity, modesty, forethought and self. Fortunately, these are not specific to age, body type, color or personal taste.

Lady in a dress and jacket

The 5 Elements of Lady-like Style


Being more feminine does not mean pink frills and long flowy dresses.  To achieve a pleasing level of femininity, one trick is to play with your silhouettes. Not every body is made equal. You can create a beautiful silhouette in your own physical body by accentuating your natural form. Sure, we’d want to look like those runway models or mannequins wearing that cute outfit. But that’s not reality. This is where you can make your silhouette work to your advantage. In creating a balanced silhouette, your goal should be achieving the 0.7 waist to hip ratio whether physically or by illusion. How do you do that? First, be comfortable and accept your body type. Next, find clothes that generally elongate the legs and shorten the torso. In fashion, we call this the rule of thirds. Here, you emphasize the waist by making a distinction between the first and two thirds of your body. You can do this by wearing clothes that clinch the waistline.

Rule of thirds in fashion


The level of maturity you put in your choice of clothing and overall look matters. You don’t want to look sloppy. Take time to pay attention to details, from the way you do your hair, to the cleanliness of your shoes. Become more comfortable in selecting pieces outside what you typically would find in the teens section of the department store. Look for timeless clothing till you get your style. Use accessories that are trendy and something that you can use frequently. It’s time to step out of that childish wardrobe and into a more beautiful, sophisticated personal style.

Woman finding her style in mature pieces


Everyone will have their own definition of modesty as generally impacted by their upbringing or cultural influences. Keep in mind the places you go to may not always be welcoming to clothing that reveals too much skin. It is always best to be mindful about that. Dressing more lady-like means communicating your personality rather than bringing attention to your body. Modest dressing brings more mystery which makes a woman more attractive. Dressing for comfort and confidence rather than sensuality is a big plus when you take into consideration dressing for modesty.


woman wearing a pink flowy dress


Putting forethought in the way you dress means seeing the bigger picture of your overall look. A cute top and a cute skirt may not always go together as an ensemble. Think about how each piece will harmoniously blend from head to toe. This includes the right choice of accessories, bags and shoes with your outfit.  You will need to put a bit of effort here and take into consideration where you will be going and what activities you have planned for the day. Ask yourself, would my outfit be appropriate for the occasion? Will this look last throughout the day? You don’t want to look overly casual nor overly formal. But you do want to be comfortable and look your best till the end of the day. Use your forethought to express your impeccable style and personality.



We may be inspired by fashion bloggers and feel the urge to copy their OOTD or whatever you see them wear. But the key to looking stylish every day and wearing what you want with confidence is to find your style. Accepting your body and your body type also plays a factor. Not everything you like online will translate the same way as the model in the picture. Only YOU know yourself better than anyone else. Try not to be swayed by what society dictates what fashion is. It also doesn’t always mean to go against the flow. Know what makes you happy in your own fashion sense.


Final thoughts

Dressing like a lady is really about confidence and how a woman carries themselves. Undeniably, dressing like a lady with substance has been more challenging with societal pressures and influences. But don’t let that stop you from expressing your personal elegance.

The sense of “style” really should come instinctively to women. We can go so far as to teach a woman to dress like a lady, but it all boils down to individual flair. Remember, lazy and floppy will make you look less lady-like. So, when you are trying to find your style, strike that balance. Discover those pieces that go together and make you feel amazing wearing it. As the fashion forward woman who has a zest for life, claim your love to look good and flaunt it like a lady!

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