What is your process for morphing your style rules change – such as body shape, colouring or lifestyle changes that happen to us all over time?
Change happens to us all and how we deal with it is something can be tricky for many of us.
In this video with Jill Chivers of Shop Your Wardrobe we discuss some strategies on how you can adapt your style rules to your current lifestyle, colouring or body.
7 Tips on Adapting Your Style as Your Rules Change
1. Give it Time
Change can be tricky and it takes time to get used to something different, particularly if you’ve been dressing a certain way for a long time. I know for myself it took over a year to get used to being blonde, having been a deep brunette the other 45+ years of my life. This changed not only the colours that flattered me but also my contrast levels, and I can tell you it took a long time to get my head around the new colouring. When I had my breast reduction surgery this changed my body shape too and how I needed to dress and again, it was something that took a long time for my brain to come to grips with. Any radical change takes time – and for some of us, that can be quite a long time. I’ve met many women over the years who have lost vast amounts of weight who still dress like they are much heavier, everything is way too baggy and sloppy on them as their brains haven’t adjusted to the new body and what works.
A little bit at a time ends up having you make a big change over time. Start to weed out things that are no longer working, just a little bit at a time. The transition of new things into your wardrobe is ideally done in an incremental way. There will be a transitional period that keeps you both safe but still moving in your new direction.
3. Don’t Throw It All Out At Once
Put aside anything that you think is no longer right for you in a place, you may only need to put it away for short time (as Jill does) or for a longer time (like some other people, or if it’s not relevant to your current season). Ask yourself the right questions about whether it should go or stay (find out what to ask here). Once it’s out of sight it will usually go out of mind as well and then if you don’t miss it, you can more easily know it’s not right and let it go. Alternatively, sometimes it calls you back after time and you realise that it has a place in your wardrobe.
4. Make Alterations
5. Learn Your New Rules
Having learned your old rules or guidelines to style or colour, they have become something you don’t need to think about and habitual, as you’ve been using them for a long time. Now that something has changed, there are new rules that you need to apply to your dressing and it takes time, patience and energy to build the new neural pathways that will take that new information and cement it in your style DNA. Remember that the brain is plastic and you can learn new, it just takes some time and a bit of concentration and energy to learn that new skill or information or concept and cement it into your style. Discover your new body shape rules with my body shape quiz and bible and start to play with them, if that’s what has changed for you!
6. Keep a Foot in Both Territories
Sometimes we may keep a foot in the old territory as we advance with the other foot into the new territory. Jill is currently moving from my Zesty (light, bright, warm) colour swatch into Spicy (light, toasted, warm) swatch, currently managing her transition from one palette to another, she shares how some days she will wear a Zesty yellow with a more toasted paprika so that the whole outfit isn’t overwhelming her with its brightness. It takes time to morph between colour directions, very few of us are rich enough to be able to throw out an entire wardrobe and start again! Most of us need to slowly acquire the new colours as we let go of the old. If it’s a change of lifestyle, think about how you can make your old clothes work for your new life – it could be like Jill you’re dressing too formally for your new retired lifestyle – think about how to dress some of those clothes down so the outfit is overall more casual.
7. Try New Things and Experiment
Yes, this can feel uncomfortable at times, but a little experimentation will help you discover new ways of dressing, new colour combinations and new flattering silhouettes. It’s OK to get things not right or perfect (I don’t believe in perfection as no human is perfect). Give yourself a break and be gentle and kind to yourself as you go through this change! You may need to lower your expectations if you tend towards an expectation of perfection!
8. Don’t Set Yourself Up for Failure
When your life is changing this can make you feel unstable, and when you are feeling that instability, you want to cling to what you know to give you stability. If there are other changes going on in your life you need to take some time to look after yourself, and you’re going to want to hang onto what you know. When that settles down then it’s time to make more changes in your style or wardrobe. Make your style a rewarding part of the change- add in as much positivity and fun as you can to this change.
We have a need for variety – this is why fashions change – it fulfils our human need for variety and change. When we have stability in other parts of our life, we embrace variety. When life feels unstable as too much change is going on at one time, we cling to what we know as that’s what feels stable for us.
Out with the Old and in With the New
As you can see, there is no magic formula, and sadly I can’t wave a magic wand or sprinkle some fairy dust over you and make this any faster or easier for you, but I do know from watching my 7 Steps to Style program members do all these steps, that they result in amazing and glorious changes over time that foster a new positive spirit and style and that the effort is definitely worth it!
Further Tips on Improving Your Style as You Change