Remember the last time you saw a woman and thought “Wow she looks amazing, well put together but not like she has tried too hard, I wish I had her confidence” She looked like she felt good in her skin; totally comfortable. That relaxed confidence is the key to having a look that really works for you. It comes from knowing what is right for you. By that I don’t necessarily mean wearing the “right” colours or shapes, it’s more about wearing things that express who you are and that you feel good in.
Mix the unexpected – cargo pants and silk, lace and denim or add a hat to elevate a simple outfit
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about bringing personality in to what you wear and this post follows on from that. Because sometimes we see an outfit, a look or a colour that we absolutely love, but somehow we don’t think we could wear it because we would feel too self conscious. You know that time you went in to work wearing something a little different to usual and some one asked if you were going for an interview. Or when you turned up at the school gates in a dress and lipstick and the mum’s in joggers and jeans snubbed you (yes it has happened to me!) It’s that British reserve coming out, that memory of being told as a child not to “show off”. So my question is why not? Why can’t we wear something that we look and feel fabulous in? Why don’t we deserve to feel our best?
And it’s not that we don’t want to be that woman who stands out from the crowd because she looks fabulous, otherwise why would Pinterest, Instagram and personal style blogs be so popular? We all want to learn how we can look like that too but in a way that is right for us. It might be that you want to stand out almost by not standing out, by having an understated elegance.
So, how do you step out of your comfort zone, to wear what you love and develop confidence to create your perfect capsule wardrobe?
Start small using elements of a look
Start with one item, one colour or one element of a look that you love but have never worn.
Here the elements of the look are a biker jacket, full skirted dress, animal print, multi strap shoes and dark sunglasses. For my first look I have taken the full skirted dress but in a neutral colour, I’ve added a more tailored jacket and kept in smaller items in animal print.
For look two I’ve made the animal print an equal feature with the full skirt and for look three the animal print is the feature but I’ve kept it wearable for every day with neutral shoes and the leather jacket.
Above – it could be a colour you love but haven’t worn. Many women shy away from green but the right shade of green can look stunning! In case you aren’t sure which green is right for you I’ve found a dress for each of the colour dominants.
Once you have got used to wearing that element you can add in another. Try on at home and take pictures so that you can see better what works (it also gives you a record of what that outfit included so you can pull it together quickly)
Develop a signature
Choose an element of a look that you love and make it your signature. It could be a colour or maybe a red lip or flicked eyeliner, a special accessory or the way you style your hair. For example the Style blogger I have used in the first example with the leopard print dress always has her photo taken wearing sunglasses.
If you want to try a red lip and it scares you start with a glaze or gloss that isn’t too pigmented and as you get used to seeing yourself in it you can build up to a more pigmented lipstick.
Want to rock a red lip? The modern way is matte with minimal other makeup. Image
Choose your one fabulous thing that accentuates one of your best features – think of Adele and her eyeliner or if you want to draw attention to your face maybe a statement necklace or scarf. If your legs are long and slim maybe you always wear slim leg trousers or a skirt and heels. Shoes that are a talking point draw attention to your legs.
If you are of the minimalist persuasion it could be that your wardrobe is completely monochrome – while it wouldn’t suit me, because I love colour, it can be incredibly chic.
Black, white and very occasionally grey and taupe, blogger FIGTNY lives her life in chic neutrals
Buy only what you love
We amused ourselves recently in the Style Club discussing that famous saying that many of our other halves have when questioned about how we look; “It’s fine”. Who wants to look “fine”? And the way to look better than fine is to only buy what you really love and want to wear. Of course we all need basics in our wardrobe, but we can still buy the softest T-shirts in the best quality that don’t fade or get twisted in the washing machine and that feel so gorgeous on. Or we can leave that top that we are only buying because it goes with a particular skirt and take longer to find one that you can’t wait to buy. Yes, sometimes it does mean buying less and spending more, but not always and you know that with cost per wear it’s worth it. That top that you wear just once is a waste of your money. The cashmere jumper that you took a deep breath before you bought, but wore all winter has earned it’s place in your wardrobe. And sometimes you might be lucky and find something beautiful that has been vastly reduced in the sales or found in a little shop on holiday.
Don’t be afraid to try out a trend. Image
I read a great quote on Instagram today – “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist” Pablo Picasso (thank you @jennylizdub)
What would you like to wear but haven’t tried yet? Leave a comment and let me know.