Style appears to come easily to so many people, yet you find yourself standing in front of your closet each morning like you’re going to war. Do any of these phrases sound familiar?
“What should I wear?”
“OMG, I am too fat for this!”
“Ugh, I totally need to go to the dry cleaner.”
“Can I pull this off?”
“Is this appropriate? Stylish? Dated?”
After you try on five different outfits that all seems to suck, you feel like throwing in the towel. It’s like everyone got the style guidebook and they forgot to give a copy to you.
It’s a frustrating place to be and trust me when I say; we’ve all been there – myself included. The good news is, there is a solution. But before we solve anything, it’s crucial that we first identify the problem.
Through my many years of studying fashion and working 1-on-1 with clients, I’ve been able to identify the most common mistakes people make that prevent them from having amazing style.
Our minds are very powerful, and also quite dangerous. The things we tell ourselves hold us back in all areas of our lives.
If you say, “I’ll never be able to afford ___” Guess what? You probably never will. Same goes for style. If you tell yourself you are too fat, too broke, that you don’t deserve to look good, or if you care too much about what other people think – your style will never improve.
But what happens when you shift your mind away from that negative self-talk, and allow yourself to look as good as you are on the inside?
I’ll give you an example.
One of my clients felt that she didn’t deserve new clothes. She only wore hand-me-downs from friends, and occasionally would buy a shirt from Target only to be plagued with guilt. Mind you; this woman is a bad ass! She is an incredibly talented movie producer, but she was stuck in the negativity swirl. Her clothing was an obvious sign of this, but her career was suffering too as she kept accepting jobs that were beneath her skill level.
When she was sick and tired of being sick and tired, she hired me. I changed her style and changed her life (sounds dramatic but it’s actually true). Once her outsides changed, the insides immediately followed.
PS- She just produced a documentary that is winning awards left and right!! I saw it in theaters, and she even did a live Q&A afterward in a fabulous outfit might I add.
Oh, and in case you are like yeeeaaah right, Lauren – this chick isn’t real. You can watch her entire makeover right here> Just look for Clothing Swap Junkie.
When was the last time you cleaned out your closet? Like really cleaned it out. Chances are it’s been a while, or when you did do it, you could only part with a few items.
Here’s the thing, items that no longer serve you not only overcrowd your home and create metal chaos in your mind (just thought of clutter makes me crazy) but in regards to style – they keep you frozen in time
Yep, frozen in time.
I’ve worked with countless women who haven’t bothered to upgrade their wardrobes since being promoted at their job. Maybe you’re thinking, what’s wrong with that? Everything. The number one complaint I get from these women is that they are still being treated like they are in a lower position. Their wardrobe has kept them behind even though they have moved forward.
So how to do you fix this? Ask yourself this one very important question …
“Does this garment support who I am and the woman I want to become?”
If it doesn’t then, it has to go. I don’t care how much money you spent on it, who gave it to you, or how much you love it. We are here to make a change, and the past simply has no room in this style equation.
Think about the people who’s style you admire the most? Maybe it’s a celebrity, a character on a television show, or even a co-worker. Did you notice that what you liked is their style, and not one particular outfit or garment? That is because they possess, what I call, a signature style.
Let me give you a clearer example:
Olivia Pope, Kerry Washington’s character from the show Scandal, is known for her polished and professional monochromatic style. She has a look, a vibe – a style that she goes to again and again. A signature style will never let you down, and it makes getting dressed a breeze.
Most women don’t take the time to craft a signature style and find themselves looking all over the place and scattered. When you look all over the place, people think that YOU are all over the place. My guess is your closet is filled with clothes; the only problem is nothing seems to go together.
Take the time to figure out what you like, what suits your body type, and what is best for your lifestyle and goals. When you are loaded with this information, you can start to create a clear vision for your signature style.
Did you know that 60% of women hate shopping?! And that’s straight from a Wall Street Journal report.
You know what? I get it. Shopping sucks. Crowded stores, pushy salespeople, bad lighting, and all of the other frustrations that come with shopping. Everything the retail experience has to offer sets you up for failure – and this is coming from someone who shops for a living.
The way I work with my clients is the complete opposite of the retail experience, I’ve created a new way to shop and guess what, you can do it too!
The secret is to never (ever) try anything on inside a store. You buy options, try on at home, and take what doesn’t work back. Sounds like a lot of work and maybe even sounds complicated, but it’s not. It’s life changing.
Back when I was in school, I planned out my outfit the night before class. Now, the days where I would forget were pure mayhem. Every outfit combination I tried was a fail, I was rushed, frustrated, and I’d enviably miss the bus.
That was in the past, so you’d think that since I’m an adult the need for planning outfits is silly and unnecessary. Wrong!
If I don’t plan my outfit for a date or a night out with friends, I will have that same “miss the bus” experience. In fact, this happened to me a few weeks ago, and I ended up being late to a dinner. I vowed never to make this mistake again.
Planning pays! Setting aside time to build an outfit for the next day (or if you are a superstar, plan a week’s worth of outfits) will not only make you look more stylish, it will save you a ton of time.
After a long day of work, it’s easy to throw your clothes off and leave them sitting there in the corner until the mood strikes you to hang everything up. It’s also easy to let that stained garment sit in the dirty clothes basket instead of running it over the dry cleaner.
We are all human, and that stuff just happens, but when you don’t take care of your things, they get ruined. People seems to have no issue walking around wearing their stained, tattered, and ruined clothes. This may not bother you, but it certainly bothers other people and affects the way they treat/view you. I’m sorry, but it’s just true. It’s hard to take a person seriously when they have a big jelly doughnut stain on their shirt.
Take care of your wardrobe. Treat it as well you would treat any other investment. Ever buy a fancy new car? I remember when I first bought my nice car I had some pretty strict rules- no food was to be consumed inside the car, and I was always using my little cleaning cloth to keep the dust off of the beautiful black exterior. Do the same with your wardrobe. Hang your stuff up, keep it clean, and equip your closet with the tools to keep you looking great.
As people we grow, we evolve, we change. We change jobs, relationships, friends, houses, and the list goes on. Do you know what people often forget to change? Their appearance. Yep, they took the time to improve their style ONCE and then never again.
This is exactly why you see women rocking teased 80’s hair in 2016. It worked for them then, so they assume it still works now.
Don’t let you style lag behind.
Keep a close eye on your life and how it’s progressing and adjust accordingly. At 35, one of my businesses hit the million dollar milestone, but my style hadn’t yet received the memo. I was a woman with style. However, my style hadn’t evolved to where I was in life. I was still dressing like the 28-year old who had just entered the crazy world of entrepreneurship. The woman who’s desk was her business partners couch. As a 35-year-old woman with two successful companies, it was time to rise up. I recreated my signature style to reflect the woman I am today.
How many of these 7 mistakes are you making? Could be a few, or it could be all of them and that’s okay! So many people think the fashion is frivolous and silly, but as I always say ‘Style Matters.’ Change your style, change your life.
Ready to take action now? I have a FREE 3-part video series called ‘The Fashion Formula’ with clear steps you can take NOW to improve your style. Watch the series now!