Looking good and feeling confident often go hand in hand. Usually, when we feel confident and happy in ourselves, it shines through, and we look great. At the same time, looking good on the outside leaves us feeling more confident, so the two play off each other. Having a wardrobe that makes you feel great about the way that you look is a huge step in driving up your confidence. In this article, we are going to look at some of the things that you can do to leave you not just feeling great in your own skin, but looking it too. Read on to find out more!
Understand your signature style
‘Fashion is a playground up until a certain age. But then you have to find your own signature and your own style.’ Nicolas Ghesquiere
Fashion trends come and go, but your own personal style will stay with you for many years. Just because the latest trend is for mom jeans and chunky trainers doesn’t mean you have to wear it if it does not suit you or you do not feel comfortable in it. If you love the skinny jeans, look still, wear them. Find something that when anyone sees it, they know it is ‘you’ – that might be a classic European style – dark skinny jeans, striped top and brightly coloured scarf, quirky dress with bright coloured tights, or even the ‘goth’ look. If you like it, and you feel comfortable in it – own it!
Create a balanced look
‘Fashion is architecture: It is a matter of proportion.’ Coco Chanel
Having a sense of style is much more than having an eye for the latest trends; it is about knowing how to balance an outfit. This is in terms of colours, patterns, and shapes, and having an idea of what features you want to draw the eye to and what you want to disguise. Every item of clothing has a different characteristic and will do something different for your appearance, whether that is lengthening your legs, slimming your waist, or highlighting your fabulous cleavage so by choosing outfits and pieces that do this will create a visually balanced look.
Choose colours that suit you.
‘The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you’ – Coco Chanel.
Coco was right. Just because you love that hot pink sweater that all the fashion Instagrammers are wearing does not mean it is going to look good on you. Very few people suit every colour – some people look washed out in black but look glowing in pastels. Others can’t pull off red, but a deep plum is their colour. Spend some time thinking about the colour of your skin, eyes, and hair. If you are not sure which colours are going to suit you, you can book appointments in many large department stores to ‘have your colours done.’ This involves having coloured scarves held against your face to see which colours lift your face and make you look bright and glowing. If they cast a shadow over your eyes and chin and dulls your complexion, it is not the one for you. Most people tend to fall into a particular palette – Autumnal shades, for example, or pastels.
Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise
‘I’ve always thought of accessories as the exclamation point of a woman’s outfit.” – Michael Kors
Accessories can make or break an outfit. As in the example we mentioned above, a coloured scarf can change the whole look of a simple pair of jeans and a plain top. A sparkly brooch can lift a plain business blazer into something that looks fabulous on the office night out. A great pair of earrings can take you from the beach to the bar. A few essential accessories can make a massive difference, but don’t overdo it- simplicity is key!
Simplicity is key
‘Make it simple but significant.” – Don Draper
Leading on from the previous point that we made, simplicity almost always works better. Choosing one pattern or one texture rather than going out look like a patchwork doll always looks better, and one or two bold pieces of jewellery or accessories work well to pull an outfit together.
Don’t be afraid to rebel
“Conformity is the only real fashion crime. To not dress like yourself and to sublimate your spirit to some kind of group identity is succumbing to fashion fascism.” – Simon Doonan
While it seems like we have written a list of ‘rules’ when it comes to fashion above if you want to rebel against them all, go for it! Standing out from the crowd can do wonders for your confidence. If you want to shave all of your hair off, or dye it neon green, go for it. If you want to get a tattooed sleeve, do it. If you want to wear different belly bars every day under a cropped top to do the school run, own it! There are no hard rules when it comes to fashion, and it breaking the norms means you feel more confident, then go for it.
Understand your body shape
“The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress” Hubert de Givenchy.
Understanding the shape of your body and knowing the type of clothes that will accentuate your best assets and minimise any parts you are not as comfortable with will improve your confidence no end. For example, if you are a traditional triangular body shape, with a bigger top than the bottom, a boat neck style top or dress is not going to be particularly flattering, as it will add extra volume to your most broadest part. That said, if you like something, wear it – whatever your body shape!
Ignore the size labels
“It’s not about the size you wear. It’s how you wear your size” unknown.
Size is nothing but a number, right? You can be a size 10 in one shop, and a size 12 in the next, so ignore what that label says, try it on, and it looks and feels good, it doesn’t matter if it’s two sizes above your ‘normal’ size. If you can’t deal with seeing the size – cut it out!
Make sure you feel comfortable.
“A woman is never sexier than when she is comfortable in her clothes,” Vera Wang.
You can wear the most amazing dress, but if you do not feel comfortable in it, you will not feel confident. If you are continually pulling your tights up, pulling the dress down, fiddling with the collar or straps, or the buttons are digging in, it is going to annoy you, and everyone will spot it. If something does not feel comfortable – do not wear it!
Quality over quantity
“Buy less, choose well.” Vivienne Westwood
When it comes to fashion, it should be quality over quantity as far as possible. If you know that you are going to only ever wear that sequin mini dress to the office Christmas party and never again, it is fine to buy cheap, but when it comes to the essentials – jeans, sweaters, coats, and shoes – it is worth spending a little more money and buying the best quality that you can afford. They are generally cut better, will wash better, will last longer, and, most importantly, make you feel good. Be particularly careful when it comes to sales, as the motivation is usually with the lower price ticket rather than how suitable the item of clothing is.
Consider your posture
“Good posture is the one most important thing anybody can do now to look better.” Helen Gurley Brown
Even the most beautiful of dresses is not going to look as good as it could if you are hunched over. Stand up tall, stand up straight and hold your head high. Good posture will make even the sloppiest of outfits look much more put together, and even if you don’t feel confident, it will make you look it!
To summarise: there are all sorts of rules and expectations when it comes to fashion, many of which we have covered above. These can help you to feel more confident in the way you look, but ultimately, feeling comfortable and happy in what you are wearing is the best way to shine.
“It’s all about confidence and how you feel about yourself. There’s no such thing as a perfect woman. I like imperfections – that’s what makes you unique’ – Hayley Hasselhoff
What are your top tips to help you look great and feel confident?