If you’ve ever heard fashion advice along the lines of “dress to impress” or “dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” you certainly aren’t alone. These phrases are used often as general rules of thumb to encourage all of us to dress well. They aren’t just advising people to look good, though. Both phrases have a deeper meaning: that dressing well can affect the way you come across to others. Dressing in clean and tidy clothes that fit well and show off personality is one of the top ways to increase confidence and self-esteem.
To that end, here are some guidelines for dressing well to improve your confidence:
No matter your size, the fit of your clothes make a difference in the way you look and feel while wearing them. Tops, bottoms and dresses that don’t fit well will likely feel uncomfortable and may look unflattering. Clothes that fit correctly, on the other hand, help you look put together – and they’re often much more comfortable. For that reason, it’s important to know your measurements and shop for clothes in your correct size. Most women can also benefit from finding a tailor they love. Minor adjustments to hemlines or seams can easily take a clothing item from good to great – often inexpensively.
Comfort matters just as much as fit when it comes to how clothes make you feel. While taking fashion risks can help you step outside your comfort zone and feel great, if you wear something so outrageously different from your personal style, it may have the opposite effect altogether. Wear clothes you feel comfortable in, and that will likely shine through in the way you carry yourself.
Find styles that work
There’s nothing wrong with buying one skirt in three different colors if you absolutely love the way it makes you look and feel. In fact, you should actively look for styles that work well on your body type and incorporate them into your wardrobe as much as possible. If you wear something you love every single day, imagine how much more confident you’ll feel. And remember, there are some cuts that look great on everyone, like A-line skirts and dresses, dark-colored straight-leg pants and cinched tops or jackets that define a natural waistline.
If you don’t love it, don’t buy it
Have you ever looked into your closet and thought to yourself, “I have nothing to wear?” Avoid that feeling by only purchasing clothes you absolutely love. You’ll be able to invest in higher quality items that can be worn over and over again, and best of all, you’ll always feel good about the way you look.
Dress for the occasion
There’s nothing more uncomfortable than being considerably over- or underdressed – and in those situations your confidence can take a serious hit. No matter where you’re going, try to put some thought into what clothes will be appropriate. If you want, divide your closet into categories (i.e., work clothes, weekend clothes, evening wear, etc.) so that you’ll always have plenty of options to choose from. And don’t forget: When in doubt, err on the more formal side.