Most of us at some point will weigh ourselves up against someone else — a celebrity, a co-worker, a friend, a sister — and wonder, can I steal her style?

It’s natural to be inspired by what other women wear. Countless bloggers make an industry out of it, snapping themselves as inspiration for others to follow in their fashionable footsteps. And why not? I think it’s great. Celebrities don’t have a monopoly on being able to look good. While magazines are yet to catch up, bloggers and Instagram don’t make as much of a deal about the cringingly obvious reality that even ‘real women’ can have style too.

The thing I hate to hear as a stylist is the opposite – the verbalisation of all those doubts that creep in around this issue from women — “My friends wear things like that, but I could never…” Of course you can!

I read this blog recently which a client actually sent to me after previously letting me know the much-discussed Nina Proudman style was high on her list of wardrobe inspiration. As a result of reading, she decided she couldn’t actually achieve the look after all.

For those who aren’t Offspring fans, Asher Keddie plays a 30-something obstetrician with a wardrobe that personifies the clothes so many women want for their off-duty style. Bohemian skirts, kaftans and kimono tops, embroidered blouses, skinny jeans, long boots – all great options for easy smart-casual. And the answer to whether you can steal her style? Yes! God yes, don’t even give it a second thought. Here’s a few pointers:

  • Light-weight scarves are one of my very favourite things. They’re the answer to keeping warmer in the in-between weather, and can even have the flattering effect of narrowing your body, making you look longer and leaner – the trick is to loop them softly (not tight up around your neck) and tuck the tails to sit under the loop so the scarf sits narrowly down your chest.
  • Maxi dresses are a lot easier to wear than people think. The trick is to find a dress that’s joined at your natural waist (where you’re the narrowest), or one that’s straight through that you can add a belt to to nip in a waist. This is the first step to avoid looking short. If you want to take this a step further, add heels. Blue Bungalow has a great selection, and even an Offspring inspiration page.
  • Skinny jeans are a popular Nina Proudman wardrobe option. If you’re keen to try but haven’t, remember skinnies may as well be tights – if you don’t want to show every nuance of your butt and thigh curves, tunics are your answer, and Birds Nest has many.

While Nina Proudman is one of the most copied celebrity styles of the moment, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Whatever your style fantasy, whether your inspiration comes from a woman on the TV or big screen, magazine, school pickup run, supermarket, or the next office over at work, the important things to remember are:

  • What do you like about the look? If it’s that she’s taller, has curly hair while yours is straight, or a completely different body shape, those are insurmountable hurdles, obviously. Pretty much anything else can be worked around. If your icon always looks effortless, consider why. Effortlessness is often the result of a lot of ground work — a great haircut, well kept nails, clothes that are perfectly pressed and shoes that are never scuffed. Consider the details.
  • Do you want to wear more colour but don’t know how? Do some research on your colouring and what suits you. If you need a hand with this, hire a stylist. Not enough of us wear colour nearly enough, opting instead for black and neutrals. Colour makes you look and feel more vibrant, and isn’t hard to do. Promise.
  • Sometimes altering your style is just a matter of giving it a go. What’s the worst that can happen if you try something new? Start with the little things (wear a necklace every day if you don’t normally wear accessories) and build up to the bigger challenges.

Have fun experimenting with your style, and if you have any questions, find me at fashion@bmag.com.au!