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Good fashion sense never goes out of style

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Though daunting at first, updating your wardrobe can be an enjoyable and empowering experience.
Though daunting at first, updating your wardrobe can be an enjoyable and empowering experience.
Photo: Unsplash

As shallow as it may sound, looking good generally makes one feel good as well. As such, it is not uncommon to feel out of sorts when experiencing a bad hair day or when your clothes do not match.

Looking fashionable, however, can be more challenging than expected. Thankfully, there are ways to figure out your personal style and finding specific wardrobe pieces that highlight it.

Know yourself

Consider your age, your occupation, and your lifestyle. Have your outfits suit your stage of life, and use your profession as your guide when shopping. When updating your style, bear in mind that fashion combines form and function, and should fit well with your surroundings. Consider the persona you want to present to the world.

Know what you want to accomplish

Write down your goals – in life and in fashion. If you want a better job, consider adding pieces to your suit collection. If you are headed back to school, trade in your suits for more casual items and jeans. Once you have your list, take it with you when you shop (pictures or detailed descriptions of what you already have in your wardrobe can also help). Ask the salesperson to help you pick out pieces that will enhance your current wardrobe and help you accomplish your goals.

Look for inspiration

Find pictures of a celebrity or model that capture the style you want to emulate. Keep those pictures in a binder to inspire you. Do not copycat – just use elements of that celebrity’s look as a springboard to create your own style.

Highlight your best attributes

What are the best parts of your body? Focus on the areas that you like best, and choose clothing and accessories to highlight them. Know your measurements so you can find clothing that fits well. Write said measurements down and bring them with you when you shop.

Take style lessons

Brush up on your fashion literacy by looking at different fabrics. Figure out how to see the difference in an outfit’s stitching and cut. Look for a variety of fabrics when you shop. Choose cotton pieces for everyday wear, silk ones for dressing up, wool for the winter, and linen for spring and summer. Learn how to care for your fabrics and know which fabrics and textures are most flattering.

Study magazine ads and articles, including picture captions, to see what colours and fabrics are “in” this season. Use the designs of well-known fashion designers as inspiration to create your own fashionable look more affordably.

Assess your current wardrobe

Look through your wardrobe to identify your current style – what you like about it and what you would like to change. This will give you a sense of what you feel most comfortable wearing, such as your clothing style, colours, shoes, and accessories.

Also, use this opportunity to do some spring cleaning. Pull out each piece from your wardrobe and ask yourself:

  • Is it worn out, ripped or stained?
  • Is it more than three years old?
  • Is it out of style?
  • Does it fit?
  • Does it match anything else in your wardrobe?
  • Has it been hanging in your wardrobe for more than a season?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, put that item in a bag and get rid of it.

Make small changes

Update your wardrobe by introducing a few up-to-date pieces that reflect your current style. Shop in places you would not normally go. You might find that you enjoy taking risks with your wardrobe.

To save money, try updating what you already own. If, for instance, you have a pair of trousers that no longer fit, have them tailored to look like new.

Although change is good, it is important to maintain a core wardrobe composed of well-designed and constructed pieces. Keep some classic staples that you can mix and match to get the most out of your current wardrobe.

Stay in your comfort zone

Wear what makes you comfortable. If you are unsure of what makes you comfortable, look to your wardrobe for inspiration.

Sift through your clothes and pull out your favourites. Ask yourself why you love them. Do the fabrics feel good on your skin? Do you like the way the clothes make you look? Do you receive many compliments when you wear them? Use those favourite pieces as a springboard when you shop for new looks.

Do not rush in and out of stores when shopping – take your time when trying on clothes. Consider the ease of putting on the article of clothing, how good you look in it, and how well it fits in with your current wardrobe and needs.

Trust your instincts

Ultimately, the only person you have to please is yourself. Buying an article you hate just because it is trendy is never a good idea. Do not give in to pushy salespeople that are trying to convince you that they know what looks best on you. If you do not like what you see in the dressing room mirror, you will not like that outfit any better once you get it home.

  • Turn to people you trust to single out items in your wardrobe that do not reflect your best judgement.
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