We all know that distressing feeling of not knowing what to wear. You feel paralyzed when that last minute invitation to an event or perhaps dinner comes your way, fully knowing you’re caught with nothing fashionable or up-to-date to put on. Then of course you’re unsure of what others will wear to the event, or what you want to look like. Stress, stress, stress. I know this feeling well and I’m sure you do too. It’s so easy to get bogged down with our fashion life and feel frustrated, boxed-in, or bored.
It could account for why so many people, especially women, have opted to go the extremely casual route. I would even say they’ve given up, en masse. It’s appears that it’s easier to simply throw on what’s sitting on top the newly washed pile of laundry. Yoga and stretch pants have become the hallmark of our society. No longer just for sporting activities, it’s made its mark as the go to clothing choice, out-ranking the energy it would have otherwise taken to choose something more eye-catching and appropriate.
Perhaps I sound judgy, however, as an elegance coach, helping women coordinate a look that encapsulates the narrative of who they are and what they do is part of how I help these women unfold their best selves. I see the possibilities in people. I cringe when I see women miss the opportunity to look fabulous and instead go schlepping about without regard to the beautiful canvas they have at their disposal.
If the closet blues are hampering your best efforts, why not try a little old fashioned creativity and innovation.
See your style and clothing choice as an expression of your personality, your interests, your beauty, and your creativity. Have fun with clothes by identifying what message you want to send with your choice of outfits. Think outside the box and begin trying different looks. Ask friends what they would do with your style if they had free reign. You’ll be surprised what others can see and what you can’t.
It’s tempting to do what everyone else is doing. Get inspired by style gurus and fashionistas or anyone with style you greatly admire. I also encourage you to trust yourself. Experiment with your own taste and interest then clean things up and take it to the next level. Give yourself permission to live into your personality through clothing. For example, I’m inspired by feminine classics, and vintage fashion. I love bold styles and monochromatic colours. Mixing and matching using accessories have become my calling card.
Make It Work for YOUR Beauty
Clothes are supposed to showcase YOUR beauty, not the other way around. Please never forget this. We’re not out here to showcase brands and the fashion designers. They’re here to showcase us. Make clothes your servant. Let them work for YOU, no exceptions. Begin culling your closets and take out all those things that make you feel drab and invisible. Donate them, immediately.
For example, when I wear loose tops, (you know, the ones that just hang off the boobs) I always look pregnant. I have wide shoulders, so when I wear lots of loose fabric, I look like a brick-house. Not the look I was going for. Just because it’s the style of the day or Beyonce can wear it doesn’t mean it works for my beauty standard and sense of style.
As I age, I’m experimenting with fashion choices to accentuate my unique beauty. I have chosen key features to accentuate. This has raised my confidence level as a public figure. Form fitting clothes around my waist, and outfits that highlight my collarbones and neck allow me to feel my best.
So for you, my rising fashionable reader, go ahead and write down what your most flattering features are and consider how to dress them to perfection. Think outside the box for a change. This could be your height, your hair, your face, your hands, or even your derriere. If you’ve got smashing legs, make plans to rock a pair of skinny jeans or a shorter skirt and tights. If you love your shoulders, don’t weigh them down with scarves. Let them show and bask in the warmth of attention that will come your way. Whatever it is, own it, then show it off. If you’re not sure what they are, ask a friend, or an unbiased stylist.
Keep it Sustainable
Select styles and fashions which you can maintain. If it isn’t “you” or it’s too ornate, complicated, or unflattering, you won’t sustain it. Wearing dresses twice a month doesn’t make it your “style.”
Your sense of style is your calling card. Make it easy to maintain.
Are you best known for; quality jeans, crisp white shirts, amazing sweaters, chic pant suits, swanky hats, antique costume jewellery? Define, then focus on building up those pieces. Seek out quality things once you’ve defined your style and be known for those choices. Style it. Wear it. Own it.
I’ve created a unique flow to my wardrobe, everything goes together, I feel good in what I’ve pulled together, and it screams “Pamela” to the point I have friends that purchase items for me because they now understand my style ethos.
Keep it Frugal
Styling yourself can get expensive. Thrift store or not, you’re about to invest in pieces to upgrade your look, so make a plan. Be on the look out for pieces that will last, or classic shapes you’ll love for a few seasons. You’re not shopping for the “summer,” you’re shopping for your LIFE and your business brand if you’re a career woman or entrepreneur.
Don’t get addicted to the process. Shopping can be a heady experience for us ladies. Don’t let the thrill of buying new clothes trick you into believing you need or love your choices. Rule of thumb: if you’re not SURE about it, don’t buy it. If I’m still thinking about something I’ve seen a few days later, I’ll return and get it. If it’s gone, it wasn’t meant to be.
I’m a prolific consignment store shopper, and a clearance rack maven. I also peruse online shops to compare styles and pricing, plus originality of design. There are plenty of ways to find pieces, so don’t worry. Hit up other blogs or articles to learn how others get their hands on amazing pieces without breaking the bank.
Revamping your style can seem overwhelming, even to the most creative of us. Take time to get inspired using Pinterest, magazines, and Instagram. Identify photos that “speak to you” and discover a vibe that lights you up. Save and/or bookmark these photos. Try clothes you normally wouldn’t wear. How do you feel? Write down your ideas, and begin to narrow in on a style that works for your needs, your lifestyle, and your creativity.
Next, select the 3 features you want to showcase, as mentioned earlier. Keep these features in mind as you keep an eye out for wardrobe options. Don’t forget, colours DO matter. Choose flattering colors that add vitality and life to your face. Avoid colors that make you look drab.
Finally, figure out if you have any “absolutely-nots.” These are pieces you absolutely HATE wearing. For instance I won’t wear skinny jeans. With my body shape, I’ll look like a sausage in those jeans. My maxim on this point is this: regardless of trends, select items that flatter your body, sense of style and make you look amazing. And as always, choose comfort. If you’re constantly pulling at your clothes or hiking things up to keep them from falling down, you’ve seriously missed the mark.
And there you have it. A sound beginning to your style upgrading. Remember, fashion should be FUN. Don’t let your closet get the best of you. Transformation takes time and a bit of practice so don’t get bogged down and slide into overwhelm, and as always, I can help you if you need direction.
Have fun in the creative re-creation of your style and wardrobe.