Do you feel overwhelmed by the choice of clothes on the High Street?
Do you feel underwhelmed when you open your own wardrobe?
Would you like the whole ‘what shall I wear’ conundrum to be simplified?
Being comfortable in your own skin and knowing your style is something that too many women struggle with these days. The plethora of choice, the often conflicting advice in glossy magazines, and of course, the unrealistically shaped celebrities all add fuel to the fire.
The sad truth is that we are judged on our appearance. It’s not right and it’s not always even a conscious judgement, but it happens. First impressions are formed in a nanosecond. We know that it’s who you are inside that really matters, but we are all guilty of judging books by their covers.
I view clothes as our packaging. Your packaging should be as wonderful as you are. There is no doubt that when we know we look good we behave more confidently and in turn people react to us in a more positive way.
A client who is single (and open to finding a partner) noticed that after working with me on her style she started to get more attention from men. Whether it’s the new look or her renewed sense of confidence that has made the difference we may never know, but it is a powerful thing.
The problem with style is that there is no one-rule-fits-all formula – and that’s because we are all so beautifully unique.What looks amazing on your friend may well look dreadful on you but it’s not because you aren’t good enough, it’s because you suit different things.
Before I trained to become an Image Consultant, I didn’t know any of this. When a gorgeous dress looked awful on me I assumed it was because I wasn’t pretty enough or thin enough or cool enough to wear it. Now I know that’s rubbish.
Understanding the colours, the shapes and the styles that LOVE YOU BACK is the key to looking and feeling amazing.
Here are 3 steps you can take to start finding clothes that love you back.
Tune Into Colour
Some colours will wash you out and others will bring a lovely glow to your complexion. When you are mixing colours close to your face or wearing a pattern, start looking at whether highly contrasting colours suit you or if a softer, tone on tone colour mix works best.
To work this out, consider the amount of contrast you have in your colouring. If your hair, skin and eyes are a similar colour and there is a softness about your colouring, you will most likely find that tone-on-tone colours work best for you (so choose similarly dark or light colours together). If your hair is much darker than your skin tone and you have bright eyes, you probably suit highly contrasting colours more (i.e. dark and light together). Play around with this and see which works best for you. It can make a gorgeous difference.
Dressing for your body shape is an in-depth subject with lots of intricacies but a very simple rule to follow is to wear clothes that are the same shape as you are.
If you are curvy with a definite waist (regardless of your size) choose dresses, jackets and tops that have curved seams and necklines. They will be more likely to fit you properly and will show off your shape in a good way.
If your figure is straighter – angular shoulders, no waist, flatish bottom, choose clothes with straight seams and necklines. These shapes go with your shape, fit well and make you look streamlined.
Wear Print with Caution
Whilst it’s true that print can cleverly disguise extra inches it can also draw attention to the part of your body that it is covering. If you are pear shaped (you carry your weight on your bottom and thighs) and you wear print on your bottom half with a plain dark top you will emphasise your pear shaped-ness. This is because all eyes will be drawn to your embellished bottom! By reversing this (plain dark bottom half and patterned top), you can keep the eyes on your smaller top half and minimise your behind. Obviously if you are top heavy rather than bottom heavy you can reverse this rule.
Another note on print items – you must, must, must wear one that is the right scale (or size) for you. There is a lot to consider when choosing the perfect print for you but for starters understand that a small print on a big tummy (or bust, or bottom…) will make it look bigger.
If you’d like to discover more of the ins and outs of style so that you can shop more confidently and build up a wardrobe of clothes that you love, connect with Helen Reynolds.
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- Guest article: What do your clothes say about you? - February 16, 2022
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