Some women wake up one day and realise that they hate all their clothes. They don’t feel as though what they have in their wardrobes reflects who they really are and they want that to change.
The problem is, they have no idea of how to make that change.
This feeling can arise when you hit a certain age, or when you gain or lose a significant amount of weight. Sometimes it’s a career related meltdown, realising that none of your clothes are impactful enough. Many of my clients have made the brave decision to ditch their corporate career and set up their own passion project business. Suddenly they aren’t getting dressed for an office anymore and they feel a bit lost.
When you feel that your style is at odds with who you are, it can hold you back. And when you hold yourself back, you aren’t fully living your life.
I’ve long been fascinated by the link between personal style and confidence. You know that feeling you get after a great hair cut? You walk a bit taller, check yourself out in every mirror and want to bump into everyone you know. You feel fantastic. A bad hair day is a different story. It can affect your mood and your confidence. It shouldn’t, but it does and it’s blooming annoying that something so seemingly insignificant can make us feel so bad.
I realise that this is a pretty deep topic. I’m really only scratching the surface of it today, but if you resonate with this feeling, you’ll like today’s advice. I’ve prepared 5 quick tips to get you started with a bit of a style update. These simple tips will help you to bring your personal style more in line with who you are TODAY.
Know what you like.
You may have lost sight of your own taste if you haven’t been on top of your wardrobe for a few years. Think back to the outfits you owned in the past that made you feel good. Look at photos where you like how you look. It’s likely that that exact outfit won’t be quite right any more but remind yourself of what it was that you liked.
A bold colour?
An unusual cut?
A beautiful fabric?
Try to bring some of that back. If you treat yourself to something new, it’ll be in a more up to date style that will have a certain freshness to it.
If this feels like too big a task, just buy a new scarf, in a fabric you love or a colour you haven’t worn before but that you feel drawn to. It doesn’t need to break the bank, but it will put a spring in your step.
Take inspiration from Liberty London. They’ve launched a new range of handbags that come with a printed scarf tied around the handle. You don’t need to invest hundreds of pounds, pop down to M&S and recreate the look yourself.
On the subject of M&S, have you heard about their free styling service, Try Tuesday? It’s great for inspiration and advice on what goes with what. I signed up when it first launched and although what they send me is often not quite right for my colouring, shape and style (I know too much!!), I do find it useful for inspiration to keep my outfits up to date.
When you sign up, you fill out a detailed questionnaire (online) telling them about you, your lifestyle and your taste and they send you regular emails with outfit inspiration and of course, everything is available to buy. Give it a go!
Back to the good hair day idea! Consider changing your hairstyle. Get this right and you can have a good hair day every day!
Be sure to do your research first – search online for images of hair styles you like. Be realistic, choose ones where the model has a similar face shape to you. There is lots of advice about choosing hair styles that work for your face shape, including:
Avoid volume where your face is fuller – i.e. no chin length bob if you are conscious of jowls or chins.
Avoid a blunt fringe if you are conscious of having a large nose – a fringe will make it appear bigger.
Avoid very long hair if you have a long face, it will give the illusion of dragging your face down.
Avoid volume on top if you have a long face. You’ll make it look longer. Instead go for volume at the sides.
Avoid volume at the sides if your face is round.
Book a free consultation with your hairdresser – or try somewhere new if you fancy a change. Take along your photos and make sure that you are both in agreement that it could work for you. Remember to ask how high maintenance the new style would be. If you are classic, dramatic or girly in your clothing style you are probably quite happy to spend a bit of time each day making it look right. If you are a natural, you need to be able to wash and go!
Avoid dressing in a way you think you ought. Dress for you first (the way you are and your taste), then tweak your outfit (if needed) to make it appropriate to the occasion. I wrote a blog about this last summer. You can read it here if you like.
So, don’t start dressing in a totally sober way because you’ve hit 50, 60 whatever age has made you feel you should. Don’t fade into the background!
Similarly, don’t suddenly start power dressing because you’ve been promoted. YOU have been promoted, you are already the best person for the job. By all means treat yourself to some smart new clothes but don’t lose who you are by dressing blandly. If you’ve got the budget, check out Cefinn and The Fold for contemporary corporate wear with personality.
Find the fun. Whether you’ve lost the joy in clothes and want to bring it back, or whether you never feel like you never quite had it right, look for pieces that make you happy. This could be:
An amazing fabric
A great colour
An intriguing pattern
A fabulous accessory
Some amazing shoes
Getting dressed each day can be a joy. Try out my 5 tips and see how they work for you. Share your findings or your own tips by leaving me a comment.
*If you realise that you need more specific direction, check out my home learning style program The Style Plan. This is the quickest and easiest way to navigate your personal style. You can get your hands on it today and be dressing in a better way by the end of the week! Check out the full details here. Use the code ‘new style’ (no caps) to save £50.