As women, we have a lot going on in our lives. We’re pulled in a million different directions with the demands of motherhood and our careers, and it can sometimes feel like we don’t have time to dress in a way that makes us feel confident and stylish. But it’s not impossible!
There are some women who always look put-together, like they didn’t have to try at all. It seems like they have a natural sense of style that comes effortlessly to them.
You can achieve this same level of effortless style in your own life. It just takes a little bit of know-how and practice. With the right advice, you can learn how to put together looks that make you feel confident and stylish, even when you’re short on time.
The truth is, for most women, fashion has less to do with a hidden talent and is more based on knowing what works for them and following a few guiding principles. They build a strategy for their personal style so that the majority of the guesswork is eliminated right from the start, making getting dressed in the morning a breeze.
If you want to learn how to look more stylish and put-together without having to invest in an entirely new wardrobe, the secret can be found in a few key rules.
Table of Contents
1. DETERMINE HOW YOU WANT TO SHOW UP IN THE WORLD
Building a strong sense of style begins with creating a well-defined personal brand. This is how you want the world to see you – an accurate reflection of who you are on the inside, and a highlight of your best qualities.
Start by asking yourself how you want those around you to perceive you. Choose words that clearly and concisely describe the way you want to represent yourself. Adjectives like powerful, compassionate, sophisticated and intelligent provide a benchmark to measure your image against, so it’s crucial to be as clear as possible from the get-go.
2. BE AUTHENTIC
Your clothing is a reflection of your personality, so make sure it’s an accurate representation of who you are. Your clothes should make you feel good about yourself and be an expression of your true self, not something that you’re forcing yourself to wear. This means not wearing shoes that are uncomfortable just because they look good if you know you’ll be in pain by the end of the day, or wearing the latest trends just because all of your friends are. Wear clothing that feels like it belongs to YOU. If you’re unsure how you feel in something, take the authenticity test by asking yourself 3 simple questions: Does the outfit feel comfortable or will I be constantly adjusting it?
3. DON’T PRIORITIZE FASHION OVER COMFORT
When it comes to style tips for women, comfort should always come first. If you’re torn between what looks good and what feels good, always go for the latter. When you’re uncomfortable or restricted, you won’t be able to project confidence. The old adage that “beauty is pain” is not a reality we should aspire to. As women, we juggle busy careers on top of child rearing and family life. The last thing we need is to worry about spending an 8-hour work day in a dress that makes us miserable or jeans that feel too constricting. There’s always an alternative, equally stylish option, that we can find.
4. IDENTIFY YOUR INSPIRATION
When you’re starting to learn about fashion and style, it can be helpful to look at the examples of people who have already mastered the art of dressing well. As you develop your own sense of style, it can be helpful to get inspiration from people who share your taste. Whether it’s celebrities, politicians, TV characters, or co-workers, make a list of individuals you view as consistently well-dressed. Getting clear on who you look up to helps you better identify what your preferences are as you build a unique personal style of your own.
5. BUILD A VISUAL STYLE GUIDE
Creating a style inspiration board is a great way to help you define your personal style and build your brand. You can use Pinterest to create a digital board, or you can cut out images from magazines and create a physical board. Pinterest is a great platform for compiling ideas because their algorithm is quick to learn your preferences and make personalized recommendations. If you need a place to start, our account has lots of outfit inspiration to get you going.
6. ASSESS WHAT YOU OWN AND LET GO OF WHAT DOESN’T ALIGN
Your wardrobe should be a reflection of your personal brand and who you are as a professional. If you’re not sure where to start, that’s okay! Getting clear on the image you want to project will help you take a more objective look at your current clothing situation. More than likely, you’ve been wearing the same thing for years simply because it was familiar. But it’s time to break out of that mold and get more strategic about your clothing choices. Go through your wardrobe one by one, and evaluate each piece to see if it fits with the style you’re trying to achieve. If it doesn’t, commit to letting it go – even if it’s something you’re attached to for sentime
7. GIVE YOUR CLOTHES A SECOND LIFE
clothing is a great gift to give to someone in need. You can check with family and friends to see if they know anyone who could use some new clothes. There are also many businesses that accept clothing donations, like Goodwill or the Salvation Army. You could also look into local non-profits that partner with the homeless community. At our company, we donate our clients’ unwanted clothing to organizations like Chrysalis and Dress For Success, which are both great options for giving clothing to people who are trying to re-enter the job market.
8. USE HANGERS TO SEE WHICH ITEMS DON’T GET WORN
The hanger test is an easy way to see which clothes you never wear. To do it, start by turning all the hangers in your closet with the hook towards you, opposite to what you’d usually do. As you wear items, re-hang them back with the hook facing away from you in the normal direction. Set a time frame to reassess what you’ve used, generally 6 months to 1 year, taking note of everything still hanging in the original manner. If you find that there are a lot of items still in the same position, it might be time to let them go!
9. TRY THE ONE IN, ONE OUT METHOD
Now that you have an organized wardrobe that is able to showcase your new style, it is important to maintain this level of organization by being disciplined. Remember, the goal is to have a selection of clothing that you consistently wear and feel confident in. As time goes on, put systems in place that stop you from accumulating too many items. A great way to do this is by removing an item each time you add something new. So, if you buy a new pair of jeans, get rid of an old pair. This will help you keep your wardrobe fresh and organized!
10. SHOP YOUR SHAPE
Achieving a great sense of personal style begins with understanding your body shape. Once you know which cuts and silhouettes work best for your body, you can streamline your wardrobe to include clothing that you actually wear, rather than pieces that just take up space in your closet. One of the best tips for dressing your body shape is to create balance. If you hold more weight on the bottom, try offsetting it by adding volume to your top (think structured shoulders, jackets with breast pockets). This will help create the illusion of a more proportional figure.