How to Feel Confident in Whatever You Wear
Navigating through the racks of a department store can be as daunting as climbing a mountain in the dark.
Yes, we totally get it—sometimes it's like, where do we even begin?
As someone who has had many-a-fashion faux-pas in her day (I refuse to post any throwback photos here), I can strongly relate to someone who is struggling to find not only their own personal style, but also, pieces that fit their body best.
I am certainly no expert in the style department, but I can tell you what I've done over the years to help me feel confident (most of the time) in what I wear. Sure, I 100% have my off-days, and yes, there will always be the thinner girl with the fancier handbag and jacket with more studs, but that's okay! For me, as long as I leave the house feeling solid about my selections, it doesn't matter how expensive or flashy the next girl's ensemble appears.
Keep reading for these incredibly simple tips that anyone can follow to help you feel confident in whatever you wear.
1. Know the Difference Between Cheap and Inexpensive
Growing up, this was one of the biggest issues I encountered in stocking up my closet. Just because something is inexpensive doesn't make it cheap, but just because something is expensive doesn't mean it's not cheap (make sense?). Expense refers to a dollar amount on a price tag and cheapness refers to an item's quality.
There were so many times way back when that I would grab something off a rack solely because it had a big price tag, and then ignore something because it was "cheap" aka not expensive. But really, you need to finely examine your articles of clothing before you purchase. The mistake that's easiest to make when you're still getting comfortable shopping on your own is buying items that look cheap. Legitimately cheap quality stands out like a sore thumb when you wear it, so, continue shopping at whatever stores your little heart desires, but be mindful of the material you choose and how it lays on your body.
Bottom line: Don't base a potential purchase on a price tag (high or low).
2. Don't Wear Something Just Because Your Friend Looks Great in It
We all have different body shapes and assets. In addition, there are colors and styles that look better on some of us than others.
Just because your bestie's adorable pleated skirt accentuates her small waist doesn't mean it's going to do the same for you. And just because that V-neck top really makes your cleavage pop doesn't mean it's going to do the same for her. Even though you and your bestie are two peas in a pod, that doesn't mean you must have the same style. Find out what works for you—and if that does mean emulating the same look as your pal, then we're all for it, as long as you feel your best in what you're wearing.
3. Wear Styles You Are Drawn to off the Bat
Go with what grabs your eye. I love bright, bold prints, and perhaps that's not for everyone, but for me, as soon as I see something, I know instantly I love it. Does it always look the way I want it to once I try it on? No. But at least if I buy it, I'll know it's something I was drawn to right away. As they say, your first guess is the best.
When you find something you're immediately drawn to—even if it's slightly out of your comfort zone—don't be afraid to call over a sales associate to help you accessorize or assist you with wearing the item in different ways. You were drawn to this piece for a reason, now give it a fair shot.
4. Ignore Sizes, Pay Attention to Fit
It's easy to get wrapped up in the numbers game, but trust me, it doesn't matter to anyone but you.
I have plenty of friends who have perfectly cinched waists, but still wear a size L or 29-31 in pants because they've got a booty on them. Guess what? The world does not collapse depending on what size you wear.
Do not strut your stuff in something that is clearly too small, but that you can technically zip or button. Just go up one size and prepare to look your best. If you wear something too small, you're going to walk around all day trying to cover up the area of your body that feels too snug.
Now, that said, don't underestimate how small you are either. If you think you can legitimately fit into a smaller size, go for it. The last thing you need is to look frumpy in an otherwise splendid ensemble.
5. Always Accessorize
Accessories can dazzle up the most simple of selections, but also complement an already-popping look. Whether it's a pair of dangly earrings, a stack of rings or a simple black choker, neck scarf or floppy hat, pairing every outfit with some kind of accessory is sure to add an extraordinary pop to an otherwise-ordinary look. Accessories are easy to wear, they provide a personal touch and they're an excellent ice-breaker.
6. Invest in a Few Solid Staples
This is probably the No. 1 piece of guidance any stylist will suggest: Stock up on the staples. These are the few solid pieces that are worth splurging on because you can pair them with just about anything and they'll never go out of style. Some suggestions for you? A white tee, a faux leather jacket, a black blazer, a denim jacket, a pair of skinny denim jeans, a pair of black skinny pants and a pair of black booties.
7. Develop Something Signature About Your Look
Even if you feel like you don't have the most vibrant style, you can still make your look you. I, for example, can't leave home without a bold lip. Purple, magenta, orange, metallic blue and everything in between are with me at all times. So, even if I'm keeping things casual on a particular day, I can give that laid-back look a kick with some instant color. I'd say if there's one thing my friends associate with my "look," it's bright pops of color.
My coworker Allison, on the other hand, is known for her incredibly vibrant red hair. It's a tough look to pull off, but she's mastered it. Whether she's headed to pilates or running errands at Trader Joe's, her signature hair color is sure to keep her from going unnoticed in even the most mellow environments.
8. Don't Leave the House If You Feel Uncomfortable in What You're Wearing
Okay, this sounds like a no-brainer, right? Um, well, sometimes it's easy for us (myself included) to get all ready to go somewhere and then second-guess what we're wearing, but leave the house wearing it anyway because we put in so much effort and it'll seem like a hassle to change.
Bottom line: When in doubt, change! Nothing is worse than being out somewhere and constantly adjusting yourself or constantly looking in the mirror for hopeful reassurance. Seriously, even if you've already worn a particular outfit this week, it's much better to throw it on again than to wear something that's going to make you dread getting through the day.
Once you feel confident in what you wear, you'll want to read THESE reasons why dressing up every day will improve your life.