Personal style is an element of expression. It suggests how you want to represent yourself and impacts how the world will perceive you.
Today we’ll discuss the steps you can take to elevate your personal style—several of which you probably hadn’t previously considered–without breaking the bank.
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1. Wear colors that flatter
We typically know what colors look best on us but did you know that the colors we surround ourselves with in our home are also the colors we find most appealing in our wardrobe? Look around you. Which hues did you select to furnish your living space? Those might be the ones you enjoy wearing as well.
Play up your eyes by selecting colors that emphasize them. And don’t forget about your skin tone–jewel tones work well on every complexion, and light shades really pop on those with more pigmented skin tones.
2. Dress for your body type
Wearing clothes that suit your body type should go without saying, but many women struggle to find clothes that flatter their figure, often because their body or lifestyle has changed (hello, childbirth!). I recently wrote a post that outlines how to identify the clothes that achieve the most flattering look. The key here is to play up your best features. Click here for more.
Often women admire jewelry, belts and scarves on others but confess that they never think to purchase statement pieces for themselves.
Accessories can be the key to taking a look from bland to beautiful. They are often referred to as “outfit makers” and the best part is, you don’t need to break the bank to get your hands on some outstanding pieces. Costume jewelry has come a long way in recent years and many reputable retailers are putting out gorgeous pieces each season to complement their clothing lines.
The key: invest in quality, timeless pieces that will last year to year and complement your personal style.
4. Select undergarments with care
Undergarments are really important to your overall outward appearance. They can smooth out some parts and emphasize others, but the key is for this smoothing and emphasizing to be intentional. Are you catching what I’m saying, here?
If you are wearing a low cut top, be sure to select the appropriate bra to achieve the look you ultimately want—push up or minimizer. There should be no accidents in this department. And definitely do not select a bra that is uncomfortable or exposes itself. There is no need to be fidgeting with your outfit throughout the day—talk about a confidence deflator.
The same thing goes for underwear. Low rise jeans require low rise underwear. ‘Nuff said.
The right undergarments will make your clothes fit better and improve your overall image. It’s hard to put a price on that.
5. Add to your shoe collection
For most women, this isn’t a hard one to hear: buy new shoes!
The exception is that you are not allowed to buy shoes that are impractical (4 inch + heels), or cheaply made. Shoes should be comfortable after long-wear (not dig into your feet) and elevate your look—not cheapen it.
This doesn’t mean you have to drop an entire paycheck on Louboutins. Stick with classic brands with quality construction. My go-to for work is Cole Haan because they are classy and incredibly comfortable. I can wear them all day without a complaint and can sometimes find them on sale or at Nordstrom Rack!
Additional shoe-buying tips:
- Have a few pairs that will be on frequent rotation. Shoes need time to breathe, so be sure to alternate pairs each day.
- Build your collection slowly so that you don’t make any hasty purchases that sit in your closet.
6. Be practical, not complacent
Consider your lifestyle. If you are a stay at home mom, a line-up of blazers and heels will likely not get as much use for you as they would for a corporate mama. That doesn’t mean that your stay-at-home or weekend wardrobe needs to be shabby.
- If yoga pants are your thing, invest in a quality pair; one that won’t shrink or fade after a couple of washes. Be sure to select a few pretty tunics to pair with them for outings.
- Jeans are also classic weekend staples. Have at least one pair that you feel great in and can be dressed up or down. Don’t settle for your “favorite” jeans that you’ve had since college. You deserve to have a few wardrobe pieces that step things up a bit. Check out this post about why you should invest in premium denim for more on this topic.
- Fabrics should reflect your lifestyle. If you are like most women, you don’t have time for ironing and dry cleaning. Invest in a quality garment steamer and select easy-care fabrics.
Similar Personal Style posts you might enjoy:
- Dressing Your Age and Killin’ It: Part 1
- Spring Fashion Finds: the LOFT
- Best of the Web: Swimsuit Round-up
- How to Wisely Choose Wardrobe Investment Pieces
The bottom line
Elevating your personal style takes a little time and effort but the reward is well worth it.
Your appearance can have a real impact on your self-image as well as the way others view you. Use this to your advantage, by identifying how you want to be perceived and then putting your best foot forward.