Style Savvy has about a dozen brands, each representing a different style. You can dress like a rocker, in psychedelic vintage clothes, or in elegant gothic lolita frills and lace. Unexpectedly, my favourite brand in Style Savvy: Styling Star is Basic U, which sells clothes that are basic.
In previous games, the basic style was not so much a style as it was filler. If you needed a pair of shoes or an undershirt to complete an outfit, you could grab one from Basic U. These are items of clothing that you never think about: plain white t-shirts, black socks, and casual sneakers. There are circumstances in which you just wear that stuff, but in a game about being adventurous in fashion it felt out of place. In this most recent game, Basic U has a little bit more of a personality.
I mean, I had my doubts. When you visit Basic U, this is how you’re greeted:
While that isn’t a particularly auspicious sentiment, when you put together an outfit from Basic U, you almost always look like Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. While a t-shirt and jeans can sometimes look sloppy, “basic” in Style Savvy: Styling Star evidently doesn’t mean “laundry day.” It’s sporty, colourful and playful. Its relative simplicity doesn’t come from not caring about fashion, but from caring more about cut and colour than embroidery or detailing.
In previous games, the basic style just seemed plain boring compared to everything else. After playing around with the style in Styling Star, I think I might have just been wrong about that. While there’s still stuff I simply do not care for — bootcut jeans are not a look I like — making minor changes to my outfits using similar but not identical pieces is actually really fun. Although my in-game character owns several striped turtlenecks from Basic U, some patterns look better with that one denim jacket I have, and others look better with the long parka.
The choices you make when you put together an outfit in this style are tiny, but swapping out a skinny jean for a straight leg one or a turtleneck shirt and skirt for a long, knit turtleneck dress can result in a very different outfit. You’re not just throwing stuff on, you’re crafting a look. Being stylish isn’t necessarily about being the glitziest person in the room. It’s also about thinking carefully about how things look with each other. I really understood this when Judy, a customer from my boutique who normally asks for rocker-style clothing, said she wanted a makeover in the basic style. I had come to associate Judy with plaid pants and studs; I’d grown fond of her through my playthrough, and I was worried that the basic style would remove some of her personality. But she doesn’t look boring. In fact, she’s still really cute. It’s just a little less busy.
Although I still like being adventurous with avatar’s outfits in Style Savvy: Styling Star, playing around with the basic style in-game has given me some inspiration for my real life wardrobe. While wearing ball gowns every day is possible in the world of Style Savvy, in real life I don’t have that kind of money. I can buy a striped turtleneck and a good pair of jeans, however, and I think I’m going to now.