As a stylist, something that I hear a lot is “I love that, but I can’t wear that.” or “that wouldn’t look good on me”. While it is definitely important to understand your individual body type and how to dress it to accentuate its amazing shape, there aren’t any rules about clothing being “out of your league”.
One of my clients recently told me that he had never owned a cardigan, before I purchased one for him. I was shocked! After working together, I showed him how he could wear his new cardigan with several different pieces in his wardrobe, and he has really opened up to the idea of cardigans. That may sound silly to some of you, but just like that client, it’s so important to be open minded with clothes! Anyway, I tried my best to think about a single article of clothing that I have never had in my closet, and I the only thing that I came up with was parachute pants (think MC Hammer), and I think that’s because I was born a little too late. I personally, have always been willing to try new styles. Do they all work well for me? Not always, but I make them work (because I am the female Tim Gunn).
It’s easy to get stuck in a clothing rut, where we end up only wearing certain styles or colors. We start to believe that we only look good in those things, because we think that they hide our “problem” areas. Those of you who only dress in black or dark colors, I’m definitely talking to you! However, the rest of you are not excluded from this either. (Sorry for using my teacher/mom voice…)
Getting dressed and buying clothes should not be about hiding parts of you that you don’t like. It should be about accentuating what you love about yourself. If you’re not sure what that part of you is, think about it. Think about it for a long time, until you start to look forward to finding pieces that show that part of you off to the world. (or ask me! I can help you figure it out.)
If you are used to hiding with your clothes, or allowing other people to shine, I can understand that looking at bright colors and prints can be intimidating. Something that I do with all of my clients is I always start by showing them pieces that I like that are within their comfort zone, and then I slowly branch out of their comfort zone to show them options that they may not have considered before working with me.
By doing that, I help them not only define their style, but truly understand how they can feel incredible about themselves every day, no matter what else is going on in their lives.
For example, I did that for myself last weekend! When I did the photo shoot for my mixing patterns blog post, I was getting over being sick. I caught Hand, Foot, and Mouth virus from my son’s daycare. As much as I am obsessed with patterns, I didn’t quite love the red dots all over my hands and feet…and arms and legs. But, after they started to heal a little bit, I put on some gorgeous clothes that make me feel completely empowered, did the photo shoot, and completely forgot about my spots!
Fashion can be a very powerful tool. Don’t underestimate it, and don’t sell yourself short.