“Style is the way you to speak to the world without words.” —Bobbi Thomas from her book The Power of Style
Compared to decades past, the twenty-first century offers women and men better access and more affordable choices when it comes to dressing well. Times used to dictate that in order to own a beautiful frock, it would either cost an exorbitant amount of money or the item would have to be made at home. Thankfully, since fewer women even have a sewing machine or the time to sit down and use it if they had, affordable, timeless fashions are more readily available than ever before.
Which leads me to wonder, why not rein in the power of dressing well and use it to improve the quality of our lives? The mixing of high and low options, setting sale alerts on our computer so we no longer have to scroll endlessly for what we want to see if the price has finally dropped, and top designers working with middle of the road brands such as Banana Republic, J.Crew and Target, provide wonderful avenues for finding the ideal essential items for our capsule wardrobe as well as inventive ways to save money.
But how does one create style? This post goes step by step into exactly how you can discover your signature style, because none of us wish to be clones of one another. After all, who do you remember more the Hamish Bowles whimsical, thoughtful style or an average business man in a off-the-rack suit? Now, not everyone wants or can dress like Bowles, but it’s the idea that we come to understand who we are or wish to be and express aspects of that in our clothing that exhibits our purpose and confidence.
Simply by paying attention to the visual presentation we offer to the world each day can have very profound effects on all arenas of our lives – economicalyl, socially and emotionally, just to name a few. Let’s take a closer look:
1. Increase Salary
Last year Forbes magazine reported that indeed dressing well and appropriately for work can increase both a man and woman’s salary. Understandably, work ethic and results figure in greatly when determining if someone receives a raise or a promotion, but human nature is still alive and well. What we see, we remember, and if we see someone who dresses professionally and respectfully, tending to their appearance in order to gain clients’ and superior’s peace of mind and assurance that the job will be done well, people tuck this into their memory. Because as we know, it has never before been easier to dress well, and if we choose not to, we also convey the idea that we may not take the job as seriously as others would prefer, whether that’s true or not.
2. Display Confidence
Now Lady Gaga’s apparel choices may not be anyone else’s choice, but what she reveals with each outfit is confidence. Keeping in mind that she is aware of her industry, the need for publicity when promoting her work; she knows how to catch eye-balls. And even if someone knew such unique ensembles would get attention, very few have the confidence and talent to back it up. The point is, when you discover your signature style and dress to your taste, paying close attention to fit and appropriateness, you convey an unspoken message that you know what you’re seeking and can stand strong when others question your choices. A bow tie instead of a traditional tie? Most people will take note, and perhaps a few will chuckle, but the latter will stop once they know you’re owning your choices. If only they too had that self-confidence is often what provokes the snickers.
3. Behavior Shift
When you slip on a tailored pencil skirt, tucking into it a beautiful silk blouse, and complete the look with a pair of polished consignment Jimmy Choos, one’s stature tends to straighten, the shoulders fall back and even more noticeably (especially to the wearer) you act with commensurate decorum. Flip the scenario on its head, it’s the end of the evening, you slip into your pajamas and you slump down onto the sofa to read a good book. The clothes we choose often unconsciously motivate a certain behavior. It is as though we are speaking a language with our physical being simply with the clothes we select to don every moment of the day.
4. Improved Mood
Take a moment and reflect on the last time you wore your best dress or outfit to a public setting. Undoubtedly, you received at least a compliment or two on your appearance, and more often than not, when we receive compliments, our mood improves as well. After all, who doesn’t want to hear positive feedback? So whether you are having a wonderful day or a so-so day, remember that the medicine to spring your mood back into high-gear may just be that Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress that hugs your curves just enough, but not too much.
5. Reveals Level of Respect for Self and Others
Part of the reason I believe, people who dress well receive more pay raises and promotions is that they convey a level of respect for the company and the people they work with. Initially, when you choose the outfit you are going to wear for the day you are most likely making the decision because it will make you feel your best. Subsequently, by choosing something that flatters your best self, you convey the self-respect which is an attractive quality in and of itself, but you also display respect for the situation at which you are in attendance.
Pulling the proper outfit together can be at times confusing and even frustrating, which is why I highly recommend building a capsule wardrobe made up of 10-15 items that is tailored to your lifestyle, body and personality. (You can take a look at my fall and spring capsule wardrobe here.) Once you create your wardrobe, you will have a variety of options to mix and match, and most importantly, walk out the door confident each day that you look your best and are allowing for the many benefits I shared above to materialize.
~On that note, just over a week ago I announced that sign-ups for TSLL online styling sessions have begun, and while all the spots are filled, I am adding one additional session to my August/September calendar. So if you are interested in creating a fall or spring capsule wardrobe, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the cost and exactly what you receive with TSLL online styling sessions here.
~Click here to shop TSLL’s handpicked spring and fall capsule wardrobe items.
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