Daunted by fashion? Styles change constantly, twenty-year-old fads resurrect themselves while the clothes you bought last weekend feel wrong, just wrong. I am not a fashionista but have worked in the industry a couple years now. I see every you-wouldn’t-believe-it fad and that puts it all into perspective. One truth stands out:
What you wear doesn’t count
as much as how you wear it.
Some women look great every day, others not so much, but YOU can be in the first group. We all can. Here are my five steps to fashion SHINE.
Step One: Remember this ancient secret
With hair well-cut, nails trimmed, be clean and well-groomed at all times.
Step Two: Follow the only rule
Your clothes must fit your body and this occasion. That is the only rule. Appropriateness used to be easy, now it is an art.
For a business meeting, your clothes should say, “You can count on this person. She has the brains, creativity and instincts to do this job.” That rarely means a navy suit anymore. It never means shredded jeans that show off the tat on your lower back. Look around. How do people dress in your industry? Take your initial cues from them, but with one caveat. Don’t reveal more than your female coworkers want to see–even if you look like Alessandra Ambrosio (especially if you look like her).
If you–or Alessandra–gain weight, don’t force us to watch the growing bulges in your clothes. Pick up a few things in your current, correct size. Thrift shops could yield a new work wardrobe for around $50.
The most common fashion faux pas is self-centeredness. At your sister’s divorce hearing or your son’s teacher meeting, dress for your supporting role. That means un-bedazzled, non-revealing clothing that leaves the attention on your sister, the teacher, the child.
Step Three: Develop the habit of one
Visit a new-clothing shop once a season and buy one thing that makes you feel confident. You don’t have to worry about the fads because if the shop is selling that item, it’s IN. Don’t buy five things because they were on sale, just the one you like most–no matter the price. Instead of closet filler, you’ll have one item that boosts your self-esteem.
Step Four: Throw in a dash of yourself
This world needs individuality. When you step out, make sure you feel like YOU. How? I think the answer lies in being subtle-if you are subtle; colorful-if you are that. Two woman can wear the same black skirt, houndstooth vest–and get two very different looks. Use a blouse, scarf, great tights–or wear your tomato-red skinnies instead. In today’s world, expressing yourself is most definitely in style.
Step Five: The SHINE
You can spend thousands on clothing but the outfits are only designed for showing YOU. Whether you wear a size 4 or size 24, exercise three times a week to lighten your step, tighten your hips and make your skin glow. If you sweat hard three times a week, you will look younger, more beautiful and powerful.
I recently faced a challenging situation. I had to star in a video about my book. TERROR shot through my veins. So I used fashion to help me overcome the fear. Read the story at, “A Nod to Emma Peel,” on my blog, reverse perspective.
Lucie Smoker is the author of Distortion, a crime novel and blogs at reverse perspective.