In my past 16 years as an image consultant and personal stylist, I’ve heard all the reasons women feel like it’s not possible for them to have an enviable style. To be completely transparent, I’ve had some of these limiting thoughts myself.
Today, I’m revealing the top 3 things you DON’T need – that you probably think you do! – to look stylish. And I’ll even confess the one I struggle with the most.
If you’ve ever thought about giving up and surrendering to a life of sweatpants (or if you already have), then turn up your earbuds! Because I’m here to bust some serious myths about what it takes to look good and step into your best style. No more excuses, my friend! Let’s do this.
1. A Big Budget
That’s right! Sure, a big budget is nice to have. Money offers more options. And friend, this is the one I struggle with the most. So I get it.
You want to wear the latest trends. You want to keep up with the Joneses or whoever you follow on social media. Even a harmless Target haul can add up FAST. You want to wear the latest trends and keep up with your favorite style influencers. But when there’s no wiggle room in your wallet, it can feel impossible to keep up.
So why bother?
Well, here’s the thing. And this is where I might differ in opinion from some of the other stylists and fashion gurus you subscribe to… I want you to buy LESS.
I believe building a wardrobe you love requires you to buy LESS.
You don’t need a big budget… or ANY budget… to make your wardrobe work for you.
What you need more than new clothes, more than a Louis Vuitton handbag, more than whatever “it” item is trending on TikTok… is education.
You need to know how to put together what you already own in new and interesting ways. You’ve gotta take some time to dig into the foundations of style and dial-in your signature style. What do you want your wardrobe to look and feel like? Do you know? Are you clear on how you want to show up and present yourself? Figure out what flatters you. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with the pieces in your wardrobe, you just need to adjust the proportions. When you’re wearing your best colors, you’ll hear compliments no matter how old your pieces.
You need to know how to better utilize what you already have to work for you right now. And you want to know exactly what to look for in the future so you can stop wasting time and money buying (even clearance items) that will just end up sitting in the back of your closet with the tags still on them.
When you know how to dress yourself confidently, you can wear anything and make it work for you! You can look great for less. And I just want to make a disclaimer that I’m not suggesting you buy cheap. I’d rather you invest in fewer but better quality pieces that will last you longer than see you subscribe to fast fashion. It’s all about quality over quantity.
When your wardrobe is streamlined and cohesive, you’ll have a much easier time finding what you need and putting outfits together, I promise you.
2. The “Perfect” Body
Can I share a secret with you?
There is no such thing as the PERFECT body.
We all have our own definition of what that means. The grass is always greener on the other side!
I’m all for taking care of yourself, eating for nourishment, and having healthy fitness goals. But instead of striving for unattainable perfection, what would it feel like to be confident right now in your own skin, just as you are?
I believe confidence is a choice. And it’s a choice that’s available to you right now.
I’m not ignorant of the fact that there are less options for some bodies… petites, plus sizes, people with disabilities. The fashion industry is gradually becoming more diverse and inclusive. There’s still a long way to go. But again, even with a limited budget or options, understanding the simple art and science to dressing well will make it endlessly easier to put outfits together with confidence at any shape and size!
And here’s a little fact you might not know. Runway models were originally selected to be thin because designers wanted their garments to look the way they do on the hanger. Most fashion illustrations are drawn on figures that are significantly taller than average so the designs look exaggerated and larger than life. That’s also why models are most often preferred to be tall.
Now, I’m not justifying exclusivity on the runways or advocating for unhealthy body ideologies. I just want to point out that runway models weren’t meant to be skinny because you need to be skinny. They were meant to show the clothing in a certain way, as kind of a blank canvas. Not so you could see yourself as the model but so you couldn’t really see the model at all! She’s supposed to be the backdrop, not the main event.
And I’m telling you that because you don’t need to compare your body to anyone else. It goes the other way, too, now. Women want curves like the Kardashians and we’re getting implants and injections and all the things. And my opinion is that you don’t need to change anything about your appearance in order to look amazing, to dress yourself well, and to show up with confidence.
You can learn how to highlight your favorite features. You can draw attention away from the areas you feel more self-conscious about. You can balance your body’s shape and proportions. You can use design principles to make your outfits more visually appealing and eye-catching. And if you’re on social media or Pinterest, you can find women of all shapes and sizes that look STUNNING and will prove me right. So it’s time to let go of this excuse, too.
3. An Inherited Sense of Style
Do you believe you’re either born with style or you’re not?
We all know a family or two who look like they just stepped out of a J.Crew catalog. And yes, you hear of mothers and grandmothers passing down style tips, signature fragrances, and family diamonds. That’s a really lovely thing. I think it’s an incredible gift to pass down what we know, what we’ve accumulated, and help shorten the learning curve for the next generation.
So yes, some people have a more innate eye for design and seem to appear flawless with little to no effort. But no matter where you’re starting from, you can learn and master the art and science of being well dressed.
You can learn absolutely anything in life, including this.
If you’re feeling frustrated with your wardrobe or you hate to go shopping or you struggle to put outfits together, it’s just that no one’s ever broken it down into simple steps before! You’re not hopeless!
If this is an area you want to improve in, then you just have to find the framework that resonates with you and do the work. Make the time investment to get the training and support you need.
I don’t want to see you struggle for your whole life. Sure, there are other things that might be more pressing for you to devote your time to right now. But friend, you will also be getting dressed every day for the rest of your life. You will be buying clothes year after year. You will be invited to weddings and anniversaries and on dates and to coffee with friends and to interview for a new job or to meet with the bosses for a potential promotion
You have a whole life to live and get dressed for. I want you to feel your most confident for every event, even the private moments at home with your family.
You can feel good for all of it. It’s not about obsessing over fashion or becoming materialistic and only caring about clothes and all the stuff you can accumulate in your closet. It’s the OPPOSITE.
It’s about stressing over and thinking less about what you wear. It’s about getting dressed effortlessly. It’s about the style foundations I’ve described to you becoming second nature, to the point that you don’t have to think about it much at all. I want you to be able to go into your closet every morning and quickly, easily, and confidently get dressed … without a big production… and with the peace of mind that you have just what you need for every occasion on your calendar. No more. No less. Unless you want to. That’s great, too. You get to make this process your own. 😉
But that’s what I’m about. I don’t care how much money you have to shop this fall. I don’t care what size you are. I don’t care whether you know a pencil skirt from a poncho. You can learn and apply the 3-step system I’ve developed over the years to buy less, shop smarter, and build a wardrobe you love.
I’m confident in that and I’m confident in you. It’s time to rediscover some confidence in yourself. I hope today’s episode helped you move a few steps closer in that direction.
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