You often hear that you cannot learn style.

I could not disagree more.

Here is why.

We are all naturally good at something. You may be very creative, very good with numbers, can photograph really well, are the best cook etc.

Therefore, it is also true that some people are naturally very stylish. They are born with knowing how to combine clothes, how to create balance and how to create looks that are cohesive, effortless and chic.

Most of us will not be born with this skill.

That does not mean that we cannot have lots of style!

It just means we have to work a little bit harder at it.

Just like with any other skill that you may not be naturally good at, but like to learn, practice makes perfect.

If I want to learn how to play the piano, I will have to practice every single day to become very good at it.

In order to become a better writer, I have to write every single day.

One of my favorite writers, Malcolm Gladwell, actually wrote a book about this: Outliers: the story of success (By the way you should really read all his books David & Goliath, The Tipping Point and Blink; they are so good).

His research showed that a lot of the most talented and successful people in their field like Bill Gates actually spent years and years practicing their skills. He actually points out that one of the reasons Bill Gates became so good at what he did is because of a combination of luck (long hours of access to a good computer which was rare at that time) and the total (very large) number of hours  he spent learning his craft.

He asserts that in order to become really good at something most people will need to practice for at least 10,000 hours!

When you take that principle back to style, you can understand why one of the slogans of this site is “Because style only gets better with age”.

We dress and style ourselves (practice) every single day, so naturally we get better at it.

But what if there are times that we don’t really practice it? This could be because we are either too busy to put much thought into it or because we feel so bad about our body that we have given up hope of looking stylish altogether. We may just grab the first thing we see.

All of a sudden, you start putting on the same old things and don’t really practice the art of style anymore.

Some of us have also never received proper training on how to dress ourselves.

If you did not have a good role model while growing up, never learned about the importance of balance, structure and flow in an outfit or never read a fashion magazine that advises on style, then it’s hard to get really good at dressing yourself. Just like it would be hard to become a good piano player if you never had a good teacher.

Through doing my style challenges and my style course, I KNOW that style can be learned.

Women in the course tell me that all of sudden a few light bulbs went off and they are suddenly starting to realize why some outfits don’t look good on them.

They realize that when they start practicing and playing more with the clothes in their closet that they can create final outfits that look amazing.

They are starting to understand their style personality and their bodies and what works for them.

Here is just some of the spontaneous feedback I received when I started the course last time:

“I am, at last (has only taken 46 years) starting to really understand what suits me and what is my style.  Although we are only a short way into the course it has been tremendously helpful thus far.

For the last couple of days I have been experimenting with the golden ratio and what a difference.  I seem to have a lot more clothes to wear and great outfits just from some better combination of clothes.  I have also had a couple of longer tops/jackets taken up which has made a difference also.  It has been an eyeopener and extremely helpful. ” Carla

‘I wore ankle length pants today with tucked top and belt and wedge heels and my daughter told me it was a great outfit!  I think this was a style changing exercise. Thank you Sylvia!” Janet

‘Can I just say how much I am enjoying the course so far.  I am learning so much about myself, it’s really made me think about things. Thank you again for a great experience.” Sarah

“Thanks so much for this course Sylvia! It’s the things you learn after you “know everything” that really count.” Susan

 “Thank up you so much for this course. It’s already helping me.”  Karen

“I cannot thank Sylvia enough for this course. My Pinterest board is becoming a valuable resource.” Rosewren

“Taking pictures really helps to compare looks, and see where you are going wrong. The course is really making me think in a way I haven’t before.” Wendi

“This lesson is awesome because actually seeing how the proportions of each outfit either works or doesn’t work is very clear to me now.” Rebecca

Learning a few ‘tricks’ and understanding your style, you body, wardrobe balance and how clothing and grooming can work to enhance your style can make a HUGE difference. Especially, when those women start practicing a lot and start working toward those 10,000 hours.

That is one reason why I like doing my style course.

It is a lot of work but I know it can make a real difference to someone’s life. I have seen the difference it can make to how someone feels.

Feeling better about yourself and the way you look, can change your life.

I KNOW that style can be learned!

If you are willing to make a change and start exploring how you can improve and ignite your own style, then you can do it too!

Now Open For Enrollment: 21 Steps to a More Stylish You |

My style course, 21 Steps to a More Stylish You is a very good starting point. Get more details and enroll. 

Do you believe that style can be learned?


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How can you learn style? | style over 40 |


Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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