Dress better to feel better: How dressing well can improve confidence
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.
It’s also crucial to understand that your attitude is just as important as the clothes you wear. Whether we notice it or not, the outfits we pick out speak volumes about who we are and how we’re currently feeling. 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. And dressing with confidence doesn’t require breaking the bank on expensive clothes or accessories.
Here’s an overview about how confidence is the backbone to fashion, as well as how dressing with more self-assurance depends on a variety of elements:
ng 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. Finding out your measurements is essential when it comes to fitting comfortably in your clothes. Knowing the size of your bust, waist and hips will make the process of picking out clothes that are right for your body type much easier:
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. So, what’s next?
Find styles that work
If you’re constantly mixing and matching all kinds of colors, clothes and accessories, you’re only making it more difficult to figure out what’s working within your wardrobe. Even women with the most unique styles need some fashion staples in their closets. Think of these must-haves, like boot cut jeans or ballet flats, as the foundation of your wardrobe. As long as you have these key pieces, you’ll always be able to build an outfit you feel good in. Other staples include things like fitted cardigan sweater, a basic sheath dress and even a couple of plain button-down shirts. For more upscale looks, try to mix elegant jackets, cardigans and knit tops with complementing, yet not overbearing bottoms.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking these garments aren’t important for your personal style – they must fit well and be high quality.
In fact, there’s nothing wrong with buying one skirt in three different colors if you absolutely love the way it makes you look and feel. 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.
After building up a wardrobe of quality staples, it’s time to start experimenting with garments that will help you express yourself!
Define YOUR style
If you’ve ever put on a pair of wedge boots and felt like a million bucks, it wasn’t because the shoes were protecting your feet from the ground! It was likely because they made you feel stylish and put together. Or, have you ever looked at an item online, and thought to yourself, “I love that bright color,” or even, “I don’t know if I could get away with that”?
Expressing yourself with your clothing is all about developing a personal style. Think of the women in your life who dress well. Does what they wear convey their unique personalities? Does it complement their lifestyles? That’s what having a personal style means. If you’re someone who’s outgoing, it’s only natural to wear something that’s just as extroverted as you are. A dress that features an elaborate print design will help you obtain the attention you’re seeking. If staying low-key is more your thing, wearing a top that turns heads doesn’t make sense. Laid-back ladies should dress in a more subtle way to show off their beauty.
Things like daring blazers, dresses with colorful prints, beaded jackets and anything else that strikes your fancy are how you can start sprinkling a bit of your personality into your closet. Oh, and if you’ve ever worried you can’t get away with an interesting or trendy garment, here’s a tip: You absolutely can. Wear what you love, and you’ll look and feel amazing.
Of course, everyone has that go-to outfit they know works great for them, and the more you’re seen out with your distinctive look, the more natural and confident you’ll appear. Once people become more familiar with your patented leggings and boots, vest and skirt or jacket and jeans style, you’ll never feel self-conscious with your appearance.
Let’s not forget: personal style is not just about the clothes you’re wearing. No wardrobe would be complete without some amazing accessories, like shoes, handbags, jewelry, hats, belts and so much more. These items are where your personal style can really start to shine. They’re the final touch that can take an outfit from nice and stylish to “Whoa, you look amazing today!” Do you love statement necklaces? Do leather handbags make you feel polished and sophisticated? These are all crucial aspects of an individual style.
Once you feel good about this solid foundation of essentials that work with and enhance your personality, don’t forget this important aspect:
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.
If we had one rule we would leave you with, above all others, it would be this:
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.