Clothes are emotional. They can make you feel invisible, powerful, beautiful, confident. They can make you feel like your mother or your sister or someone you don't recognize. Then can make you feel heavy or thin. Or, they can make you feel like you.
It's a funny thing about clothes. Sometimes we can feel self conscious about caring so much about them or about how much money we spend on them. It can feel shallow or vain. But, it's not. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Like music, your clothes can empower you or they can beat you down. They can give you the confidence to do something incredibly intimidating or they can make you feel like the couch is our only safe haven. The thing I love about being a personal stylist is helping people acknowledge their relationship with clothes and make it work for them.
Someone you love commented on your weight fluctuation after your baby and now you feel heavy in everything? A salesperson once told you that you don't understand how to put outfits together well and now you feel like you lack any sense of style? A friend or family member once told you that red is not your color and now, even though you love it, you just don't think you can wear it?
You get to choose who you want to be and how you want to look. Intimidated? Overwhelmed? I'm here to help.
How to Embrace Your Personal Style and Take Control of Your Emotions
1. Take an inventory.
As they say, the first step is admitting you have a problem. Who told you what? Make a list of any of your preconceived notions about you and your clothing. Make three columns. In the first two, list who made the comment and what they said. Then, write down how you internalized that comment.
2. Figure out who you are and who you aspire to be.
Fashion is totally within your control. Regardless of budget or size, you can choose to wear what makes you feel strong, confident and beautiful. That choice is totally yours. In order to do this, I ask clients to list three words that they'd like people to use to describe the client's style. It's aspirational. Secretly want to be sophisticated but don't think you can pull it off? Admit it. It's okay! Sophisticated it is. Need some help with your three words? Check out the client page or sample uber wish lists to get some ideas from some of my clients.
3. Make Connections.
Now, write your three words at the top of your page with the columns below. What items on your list are preventing you from embracing those three words? For example, if you'd love to be sophisticated like your mother, but someone once made a comment to you that you were nothing like her, that's holding you back from trying. Make sense?
4. Make a Plan.
Now that you've taken an inventory, admitted to yourself the personal style that you've always wanted to pull off, and made the connections between what's holding you back and why, you get to make a plan. Let's use this same example of the sophisticated mother. Let's say your mother wore pencil skirts, pearls and had a Jackie O vibe. We can channel that inspiration and give it a modern twist that is true to your aesthetic and your lifestyle. Let's think of some ways we can update each piece that is true to you. Feel free to write them down at the bottom of the page.
For example, how about trying the skirt in leather instead of cotton, giving it an edgy and modern vibe without being too stuffy? Still sophisticated. Or cigarette pants in leather- tailored, sophisticated and modern. Maybe you like the nautical trend right now. Opt for a striped a-line jacket that is bold and still classic. A cowl neck sweater is another sophisticated piece that is flattering on many body types, but still easy to move in all day. The pearls? Swap those for an of the moment statement necklace or a long metallic necklace. The key is to elevate your ensemble using accessories. And for the final touch, add a clutch to pull it all together.
5. Take Action.
You've got endless ideas. Now, you are ready to shop and wear. Do it! Find things you love first that meet your criteria and fill out your wardrobe later with basics. Start with the gems, don't worry about coordinating until later. Or, let me know. I can help! The key is to ask yourself with every purchase, "Is this sophisticated? Is this me?" Are you someone who wants to channel your mom (as in the example), but not be too close to home? Try asking yourself, "Or, is this actually my mom?" Remember, YOU define your personal style. Make sure the three words are authentic to you and stick with your plan.
Above all else, know that you make an impression on people every time you interact with them and you certainly send nonverbal messages with your attire. Ensure that you control the messages you are sending. Pull it off and you'll find that the resulting conversations will help you feel confident in who you are, not just how you look.
Enjoying the blog? If so, sign up for the Poplin email list and receive e-newsletters, fashion tips and invitations to exclusive events, like the recent event at the Limited.
Like what you see on the site? Please remember to click on items here onpoplinstyle.com when you decide to buy, as Poplin may receive a commission on your purchase. Thanks for supporting Poplin!