“Beauty is not Conformity; it is the Creative and Artistic Expression of Your Individuality”
So the first question becomes, how do you dress to feel good, express yourself, and still give a nod to fitting in? A very good answer comes from a recent post I received from my Image Idol, Kim Bolsover:
Trust your own judgment and get some expert advice. You need to wear clothes that:
- complement your coloring
- suit your body shape and scale and personality
- are comfortable
- are appropriate for the occasion
If you learn whether cool or warm colors look the best on you, and also understand which shapes and fabrics suit you most, you will soon be meeting all four of the points above.
Classics like a more conservative look (though, this is never boring) and will never be able to understand why a Creative would want to wear non-matching fabrics or prints. Dramatics often cannot bear the feel of cotton and cannot relate to a Natural wearing natural fibers. Eurochics will prefer a blended look and will not appreciate Dramatics in their total contrast outfit. And the list goes on.
So, perhaps you ought to think twice before taking advice from your best friend, your mother, or your Great Aunt Morticia unless they happen to be either:
- the same style as you or
- thoroughly objective
Taking time out to learn about which colors and styles really make you look wonderful is an investment – in yourself. You will end up with a small wardrobe that works for every occasion – now doesn’t that sound like heaven on earth?
Which brings us to the second big question:
How does all this actually play out in the “real” world?
Thanks to the economy, what is available in department stores today is very different than it was in the past (the now rather distant past!). I remember loving to shop back in the late 80’s and 90’s when it was possible to walk into better department stores, go to a rack of basic blazers and find them offered in at least five different colors in sizes from 2 to 18. The fabric changed from wool for Fall and Winter to linen for Spring and Summer. There were always both warm and cool colors as well as black and white. Same was true for skirts, trousers, and blouses. Great basics were offered as standard wardrobe builders. Then you were offered various “novelty” groups displayed at the front of the department. These more trendy groupings were never repeated beyond the season and offered you the chance to add something more on-trend to your wardrobe in order to keep it fresh and interesting.
Now, however, department stores have opted for much more generic buying in order to play it safe. Specialty departments have been eliminated. Extended sizing has either disappeared or been relegated to some hidden corner. Cutting edge fashion is no longer found because it is too much of a financial risk – or so say the number crunchers.
This has driven many people into the world of boutique shopping. However, an interesting shift has occurred there as well. Much of what’s available in boutiques these days (at least here in the Southland) is skewed very young and very small. So when a “woman of a certain age” who is a healthy, fit, size 14 walks in, she finds herself being judged quite negatively and offered nothing suitable for her size or lifestyle.
So finding the clothing that suits your lifestyle, is comfortable, is flattering, and expresses your unique beauty and individuality is challenging…but not impossible.
Learning the basics of what suits you is the first step. Then a little research into what is available and where it is carried gives you some direction. As your online fashion and image coach, through my blog posts and email blasts, I will continue to offer tips and strategies along with any and all discoveries that I make concerning where to shop in order to find the clothing that will help you build a truly functional and satisfying wardrobe.
It may not be easy, but it is possible to find clothing in colors and styles that flatter you and support your lifestyle needs.
However, if you’re struggling, if you’re frustrated, if you just don’t want to bother trying to figure all this out on your own, then I urge you to consider getting some help. Call me for a free phone consultation where we can discuss your specific concerns and come up with a strategy to get you where you want to be. I guarantee, it can be done. You can have a wardrobe that you feel good about with clothing that reflects who you really are, clothing you feel good in.