If you’re a fan of the TV show Nailed It, all about home cooks attempting to make hugely complex cakes…. when I’m giving feedback here, about having nailed your outfit, I mean that your outfit is so much better than any of those cakes turned out!
Instead, I’m here to offer you tips to help you create genuinely fabulous outfits! Watch the video now for my tips.
It’s worth taking the time to look and feel more put together but how can you throw an outfit together in a minute and look like it is perfect? What should you do to elevate an outfit from ordinary to inspired?
What makes you feel great?
One of the things you need to work out is what actually makes you feel great? What makes you feel like an outfit is working for you? What elements of an outfit makes your feel better than okay? What aspects of an outfit reflect your personality?
Before I became an image consultant, I was trying out different styles trying to find my style. I wasn’t one of those people who just had that natural flair or innate talent to create gorgeous outfits. I would look at my stylish neighbour and think she looked fabulous so would try that garment, colour or outfit combination. My neighbour would look stylish in an outfit because it was an expression of her personality and in comparison, I’d put on the same outfit and I’d feel frumpy and uncomfortable in my own skin.
Once I started my image consultant training, I began to understand how much personality influences all our style choices. Personality influences the patterns and prints you may or may not choose – regular patterns like stripes or polka dots; abstract prints or florals, even different types of animal prints. Personality influences the styles of clothes you prefer – a structured or form fitting garments or loose and flowing or baggy and comfortable styles of clothes.
No matter your actual colouring and colour palette, there will always be colours you are drawn to and this is also based on personality. The first time one of my clients said to me, “I’m doing this colour analysis but I’m only going to wear the neutrals”, I was shocked. It was early on in my career and I couldn’t understand why someone would just wear neutrals. I discovered that being drawn to neutrals is common for the classic personality dressing style approach. Those who prefer the classic dressing style don’t want to be bright and bold. They want to appear professional and understated. The more time I’ve spent time talking to my clients, the more I’ve learned and understood that personality has the greatest impact on what makes you feel good in your outfit.
Putting together an outfit is actually a very personal thing. If an outfit looks fine but doesn’t make you feel good, it may not be authentic to you. It’s not an expression of who you are. It’s got to relate back to your personality – who you are; what you like to wear; what makes you feel both mentally physically and emotionally comfortable. We often think about comfort as just being a physical thing where it’s like well the clothes are comfortable on my back and I bend and stretch and move but there are also emotional and mental comfort – the outfit is it expressing what I wanted to express to others and internally making me feel the way I want to feel as well.
So the first step to creating a fabulous outfit is defining who you are as a person and how you want to be perceived. What aspects of style are really important to you?
What does ‘Nailed It’ mean to you?
Does ‘Nailed It’ mean that your personality is expressed in your style? It’s about understanding what makes you feel good on the inside as well as what works for you physically.
Spend some looking at your favourite garments and analysing your favourite outfits. Try creating a Pinterest board to see what is your aesthetic; what is it that you’re aesthetically drawn to.
Experiment! Trying things on because honestly, your clothes have to work in your environment; your culture; your climate; for your lifestyle. Those elements are all interlinked which is why there isn’t one perfect outfit. There’s nothing wrong with an outfit formula but it may not work for you in every situation.
Fit makes a massive difference about how good you look in your clothes. In an interview I remember reading, a wardrobe designer for a television show commented that every garment they buy, even when they buy things off their rack, they are all altered to fit that actor perfectly. They would even remake garments to make the fit perfect for them. We expect to buy our clothes and they’re just going to look just as good as we see the people on the television.
Is your outfit in harmony with your body? Is this an expression of my personality? Are the colours harmonizing me?
Do I have something in my portrait area that creates some interesting detail or focal point- the small things make a big difference! Feature earrings; funky glasses; a statement necklace or a detail on the shoulders or neckline or your clothes. I have friends who love striped shirts and look great in them! Put me in a striped shirt and it’s a bit blah. I’m more comfortable in a floral or nature-based prints than I am in stripes and checks.
Is it underdressed, overdressed or somewhere in between on that continuum. Personally, I’d be overdressed and feel like I’ve made more of an but others could not bear to be overdressed.
Expressing your style
Once you understand your personality and your style fundamentals then you can start playing with the expression of your style – your style recipe – and use this as a touchstone for building outfits that will make more than just okay.
Whenever you read one of those lists that everybody should have these items this season, be aware that is the big lie. These people want to make a sale or earn commission. Everybody does not need the same thing particularly when it’s the latest fashion trend. This is also the same with advice you receive from any sales assistants! Read these lists and take in a sales assistant’s opinion with a grain of salt and a sense of curiosity.
Knowledge is power. Gathering the right information about your personality and body specifics is crucial so that when you’re making buying choices; you can be confident that you’re making the right decisions. Over time, you will become more discerning and you’ll start feeling much better about your outfits and wardrobe knowing you’ve made these really conscious shopping choices. I have my mantra “Rate it an 8” so rating garments at least an 8 out of 10. If you are standing in a store or if you’ve bought an item online, you need to critically assess it and rate it. If it doesn’t rate an eight or more out of ten, then it doesn’t deserve space in your wardrobe. You deserve garments that support and flatter you – good things that showcase you!
Knowing your colour palette is also useful. It’s very easy for me to go into my wardrobe, knowing that my colours work together. I can confidently try different outfit as I don’t have to think so much about how the colours work together. This gives me so many options and creates an overall look and feel of a cohesive wardrobe with more options from less clothing.
If you need more support to elevate your style, consider signing up to my 7 Steps to Style program, where I work with my clients to help them discover who they are and how they want to express themselves as well as what works for their physicality, personality and lifestyle.