What World Champion Gymnasts Can Teach You About Becoming More Stylish


The other day chatting with my gorgeous 14-year-old daughter on the way back from her gymnastics practise she was talking about how her gym buddy, who she’s teamed up with to do a pairs competition in a few weeks, was stressing out about not being good enough, not being perfect, that she might fall off the beam and ruin the competition for both of them (as both their scores go into their results).

My daughter said she was telling her friend that given they were never scoring perfect “10s” in gymnastics anyway (it’s the near impossible feat), that did that mean they were always failing?  Or that they were always just trying their hardest and to improve on previous competitions?

She told her friend not to worry about being perfect and to stop stressing and just do it.   She said, you can not try and get a zero, or just do your best and get whatever the score happens to be from the judge that day which will be more than a zero. 

Even world champion gymnast Simone Biles falls off the beam and makes mistakes.  And falling isn’t failing when you get back on and keep on going.  Watch the video to see how Simone keeps going, despite falls and wobbles.


I thought my daughter was being incredibly insightful, particularly at such a young age, to understand that perfection is the enemy of action.  That worrying about being perfect and not even trying, is much worse than not trying at all.  And is not getting a perfect 10 failure?  Certainly not in her eyes, or mine!

How does this apply to your style?

It’s knowing that there is no such thing as the perfect outfit. 

That no one version of style is the best. 

  • You don’t have to be sophisticated to be stylish, you can be fun.
  • You don’t have to be formal to be stylish, you can be casual. 
  • You don’t have to be creative or quirky, you can be simple and understated. 

There are so many different ways to be stylish and the essence of your style comes back to you and your personality and style DNA – which is something you can discover with your 16 Style Types Report.

That your style does not have to imitate the influencers, celebrities, stars, models, family or friends.  

Your style is just that – yours – and nobody else’s.

What I notice about gymnasts who do score a perfect 10, and given that it’s “artistic gymnastics” so there is always an element of the score that is based on the judges taste of how well the gymnasts routine fits the music and their personality.  Taste is always personal!

I love this routine by Katelyn Ohashi, which scored a perfect 10 as you see the joy and happiness on her face as she’s performing.  She loves it, and that rubs off on her audience (and I’m sure the judges too). What I love in particular is that she uses her zany, curly hair as part of her routine, it’s so authentic to her which makes is completely believable and so right.  When you believe in yourself, so do others.  When you behave confidently, people perceive you as confident.

How can you apply this to your own style?

Your style is authentic to you and nobody else.

I’m currently reading Accidental Icon, by Iris Apfel, who certainly is a promoter of individual and authentic style.  It’s a fascinating insight into her own style and has many inspirational thoughts.  The one thing I completely disagree with her as she believes style is innate and can’t be learned, yet I do know that not everyone is innately stylish (I sure didn’t have innate style), but you can be stylish if you put some time and effort into learning more about how to develop your own style.

You can learn more about the science behind style (which is part of what I teach here and in my 7 Steps to Style Program), which will assist you in improving your style.  You then need to apply it daily, and since you get dressed every day, you have a perfect opportunity to do this!  This is where the art of style comes in – in the practise, in taking the photos (which really do make a massive difference) in doing a style challenge to play outside your comfort zone (try my Evolve Your Style challenge and see what a difference it can make).

Here Are 25 Questions To Ask Yourself to Hone Your Style

Maybe you need to ask yourself some questions about what makes you most happy in your clothes and find what resonates best for you.  Here is a list of possible questions to consider:

  1. Does this outfit make me feel happy?
  2. Does this outfit make me feel confident?
  3. Does this outfit spark joy?
  4. Will this outfit start conversations with others?
  5. Does this outfit assist my ideas in being taken more seriously?
  6. Will this outfit be appropriate for the situation?
  7. Does this outfit make me glow and sparkle?
  8. Is this outfit making me look professional?
  9. Is this outfit and expression of my personality?
  10. Does this outfit feel comfortable on my skin?
  11. Can I move and feel physically comfortable all day in this outfit?
  12. Does this outfit make me feel at peace with myself?
  13. Does this outfit make me look credible?
  14. Will this outfit assist me in communicating with others?
  15. Does this outfit flatter my figure?
  16. Is this outfit a representation of my style recipe?
  17. Does this outfit make me look approachable?
  18. Does this outfit enhance my colouring?
  19. Does this outfit fit with my style and colour guidelines?
  20. Does this outfit suit my lifestyle?
  21. Is this outfit expressing my core values?
  22. Does this outfit feel right for my mood today?
  23. Is this outfit making me feel at my best today?
  24. Do I think this outfit is right for the occasion?
  25. What makes me feel amazing in an outfit and is this outfit doing it for me?

This list of questions is by no means exhaustive – there may be other questions that you should ask yourself to know whether what you’re wearing (in the words of Goldilocks) is just right (for you).

If you’re too stuck on style rules, your style can become staid and boring.  But if you ignore all the style guidelines you may also be doing yourself a disservice as you may be going against harmonising with your own unique features.

To be human is to be imperfect, and it’s our imperfections that make us interesting and recognisable.  Your imperfect style is what you should strive for – your version of perfect imperfection.

It’s much sadder and a smaller life, to never try than to try and fall, then get up again and try again.  I know that I have style hits and misses, sure more hits these days, but still some misses, and I’m totally OK with that. 

how to develop your style, what gymnasts can teach you about your style

In fact, I don’t believe any of my outfits are perfect, but I’m prepared to put myself on the line and share them with the world and be judged.  This can be scary, putting yourself out there.  But do I want to live small or to be me?  I know what I choose – what do you choose to do?

It’s time to think like a gymnast about how you approach style, and that it’s totally OK to try something (an outfit, an accessory, a mix of prints and patterns – anything really) and for it not to work as stylishly as you’d hoped, as long as you try something else, and keep on getting up and trying again and again as you hone your personal style.


This is Why Style Guidelines Give You Wings

How 3-5 Style Guidelines Are All You Need to Be Super Stylish

How Do You Know When You’ve Found the One (and should stop looking)

Style Rules – Is there Such a Thing as the Perfect Outfit?

Expressing Your Style, Your Way

Linking Up to: Not Dressed as LambStyle with a SmileThursday Fashion FilesAgeless StyleVisible Monday 

What gymnasts can teach you about style - the 25 questions to ask yourself to help hone and develop your personal style


I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.

More from Imogen Lamport

How to Wear Coloured Jeans for the 40+

Hi Imogen, How do you feel about coloured jeans for the over...
Read More


  • Thank you so much for this important message! Over the years I have worked hard to get my daughter to understand it, especially with her school work where she could obsess forever over little details. I think many artists struggle with perfection too. When is a painting perfect? Well, when the painter say so, obviously which does take a lot of confidence.

    On Iris Appel who is a style hero of mine: She appears to be wearing all sorts of colours, from bright coral red, lemon yellow and turquoise to beige and soft pink, and still look amazing. In theory some of the colours would be less great on her, but that does not seem to be the case. How does she do that?

    • Iris’ personality is one of that is dramatic/creative – and so she can put together and wear outfits that would look ridiculous on others! She also has larger facial features (this allows her to upscale her acessories) and wears bright red lipstick on her generous mouth, creating a bright colourful element on her face.

      • Thank you again Imogen! This explains what happened last time I visited Monies, my favourite jewellery maker. I tried on a necklace identical to one of Iris Apfel’s, only in the new gold version. It looked all wrong on me, much to my disappointment. And now I know why. It was the wrong scale! Next time I will look for something that equals my facial features.

  • And…not only does Simone keep going, despite falls and wobbles, but the audience keeps cheering, just as loudly!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *