Awhile back, before styling professionally, I worked at a telecom firm scheduling international video conferences. This was before higher bandwidth internet created reliable connections making video calls a DIY thing. There was always a test prior to the call while the participants were in the room and one thing I noticed immediately was how the camera registered pattern and color, making some women really stand out and others not so much. For me, noticing this was a huge step forward toward my becoming a stylist because for the first time I really saw how proportion, fit, color, pattern, and accessorizing worked together as a team.
True confession, at that time getting dressed for work was frustrating and my pulled together look felt anything but. I’d look at other women where I worked whose style I admired, wondering why my outfits weren’t coming together as well, and also wondering why adding accessories seemed so confusing. The struggle was real! Through the frustration though I became determined to make a change and dress authentically to who I was inside and discover my style that would reflect that.
I really started to look around and take notice of print ads, actors wardrobes in film and TV, and the people around me whose style I admired. And, I started asking questions. What did I like? When I liked something, what about it attracted me? Was it the shape, the colors, or the entire outfit? What I also noticed, and this became key for me – when women dressed to suit themselves, and also flatter their body, they carried themselves with confidence. They looked comfortable with themselves. I wanted that!
So I began trying on anything and everything that caught my eye and interest. Yeah, there were some misses but I began to figure out not only what I liked but what made me feel amazing. Getting dressed became a fun, creative way to express myself. There was something else I realized-some of the body image issues I had as a teen were still lurking in my head. That was very exciting to realize and the discovery opened my eyes in a lot of ways. Though there were areas I liked a lot, and emphasized, I also liked the other areas too. Peace at last!
You can do it too! It’s doable, enjoyable, and doesn’t have to cost a lot.
Ready to get started expressing yourself through your own unique style, loving your body, with all it’s wonderful uniqueness that no one else has, and loving your clothes? Go explore and have fun! There are no right or wrong way, just make a small, baby step. Here are 4 ways to get started!
When I started this process of self-discovery, there were moments of struggle where uncertainty as to my next step could have me feeling some self doubt. It’s very easy at that point to start seeing people whose style you like and compare yourself negatively. Every one of us has our moments and they do too. Focus on you and, even though it might be a struggle, find one thing that you like about yourself or your newly emerging sense of style and write it down. Keep a journal of these and enjoy your story as it evolves.
Go to a department store, or an art store, and buy a piece of poster board. Find as many images as you can of things you like or caught your eye. These could be for an entire look, a piece or accessory you liked, a color, a feeling – anything! Stick them onto the board and feel free to add captions, notes, doodles with markers, colored pencils or pens to make it really personal. Put it where you’ll pass by frequently and see it though no need to really study it unless you want. You’ll see themes of patterns emerge-a silhouette over and over, a color, etc. You can also do this on Pinterest as a private board, but there’s something about the creative process of using your hands and physical materials that really connects you to your creative side.
Anytime you start something new, like a workout program, you may find it easier to have someone to help keep you motivated. Let’s be honest, experiencing change and trying something new can feel like a lot sometimes. Am I right? Having someone who will listen, help keep you feeling positive about your changes, and not offer any judgements as you develop your new style can be helpful. Maybe the two of you can do this together?
Avoid overwhelm and try one, two at the most, changes, new styles, or colors at a time. As people notice your emerging style, and how it resonates with who you are, you will know you’re aimed in the right direction because you will have felt that too. You’ve got this!
Bye for now!
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