If there is one thing I have learned since starting this blog it is that we women can be full of self doubt about our appearance. Not helped by glossy, re-touched images of celebrities who snap back in to shape after having babies (they starve themselves and use Spanx) or those of 40 or 50 plus who don’t look a day over 30 (re-touching and in some cases a scalpel). We know they are not the norm but we still beat ourselves up about the “mummy tummy” or “smile lines”. And put us in a situation where we are meeting new people or have an important event to attend and instead of being excited our first thought is “what the hell am I going to wear?” probably fast followed by “Can I lose a stone in 2 weeks?” (No you can’t – healthily – but dressed right you can give the illusion that you have.)
So here is the start a new series about doing all that we can to look our best so we can also feel our best. Whatever age you are if you need a confidence boost here are a few ideas to get you started and going forward for the next few weeks I will go into more detail.
How do you create a wardrobe and look that makes you feel fabulous?
It sounds simplistic but your first step is to assess yourself and there are 4 key areas to look at;
- Your colouring. I’m not a slave to colour analysis because I believe you should wear what makes you feel good and even if Tangerine is one of your colours this season, if you hate it you shouldn’t wear it. Having said that wearing colours that suit you can make you look both younger and healthier. So if you aren’t sure what your colouring is, check out either my free download Your Best Colours and How to Wear Them or if you can’t decide, or would like a more personalised service have a look at the online Personalised Colour Dossier Service. Then you can start including colours that make you look and feel good in your wardrobe. Colours can have an effect on your mood too, so try breaking out of black and choosing something a little more cheerful. If you want to know how to mix and wear colours check out the Wearing colour Section of the blog (or with the colour dossier you get advice on mixing and wearing colours) or consider joining the Looking Stylish Style Club as the magazine will give you ideas of real items in the shops that are right for you – lots of options if you need help.
- Your body shape. This is nothing to do with how heavy you are, although our body shape can change after having children and as we age. Sadly it’s a common problem that over the age of about 45 we can start to lose our waist, so a Neat Hourglass Shape who had a defined waist could become an Apple Shape without one. What is important is to decide whether you have curves or not. If you are what my grand mother used to call “straight up and down” you need to avoid waisted dresses and bias cuts because they just won’t work. On a curvy girl though they will be fabulous. Once you know what shape you are you can start following tips for that body shape – I will often mention which body shape items or looks work well for in my posts, or order the Style Club booklets and you will get colour and body shape information. My other top tip for dressing your body shape is to decide what you want to emphasise and what you would rather people didn’t notice. If you have a lovely long neck wear necklaces and earrings that draw attention to it. If you have a tummy you want to hide but great legs wear detail on the hem of your dress or skirt and an attention grabbing pair of shoes – it’s all about smoke and mirrors and enhancing what you like best.
- Your personality. This is probably more important than any of the others because this is how you show us who you really are. You can project it in the colours you wear, how you accessorise, the shapes and styles you love and even the fabrics. They all tell us something about you. It’s a big topic and I have some great tools you can use to start to determine what you want to tell people about yourself from the way you look. But for now start really noticing what you are drawn to. Not just in clothing; which colours do you love? which magazine and TV adverts grab your attention? What about your home and how it is decorated? What films, books and music do you like? What is your favourite way to spend a free weekend and where would you love to holiday? You can start a Pinterest Board of ideas (re-pin pictures from my boards that you like) or go the old fashioned route and tear out pictures and keep them in a file.
- Your lifestyle. This is more practical because your wardrobe has to work for what you spend most of your time doing. I would love a wardrobe filled with Armani and Ralph Lauren but as I spend most days at my desk what I really need is comfort. However, I can build that luxury element in by wearing cashmere jumpers with my jeans. How do you spend most of your time and what must you have in your wardrobe? Are you frustrated because you have 6 pairs of jeans but not a decent suit for work? It’s important that your wardrobe works for all areas of your life so that you can get on doing the job or enjoying the night out without having to worry about being appropriately dressed.
Once you have done your analysis and have a better understanding of what suits you, what you want your appearance to say and what you actually need you can then start planning your perfect capsule wardrobe. So if you would like a more detailed break down of each of these steps and how to apply them make sure you don’t miss the next posts in this series. In the meantime I have created a handy booklet on creating a Spring capsule wardrobe, click here to receive your free download of the booklet.
Where to buy the outfits: