Updated: Dec 12, 2019
Did you know?
As humans, we operate on default mode; what we eat, how we behave and respond, our thoughts and feelings are all well practised and therefore undertaken, mostly, without thinking and without much effort. Our default mode is like a blanket that covers everything we do, including what we choose to wear. This is because on a subconscious level we as humans are trying to save energy. Other factors that may come into play include:
- We simply do not know what suits us
- We don't know what our style is
New thoughts, new behaviours, including different ways and more successful ways of communicating, healthier eating, and coming up with ways to fit exercise into our busy schedules all take up that vital thinking energy. Furthermore, when we are undertaking new tasks we use up even more energy. Our brain works on depleting our energy resources faster until our neural pathways have created a new way of thinking and doing, and so our conscious habits become effortless. But this takes time and work.
Are you a thoughtful dresser?
When it comes to getting dressed on an average morning how much thought goes into it? I am betting the conversation in your head goes something along the lines of: what is clean? what doesn't need ironing? and what do I feel fairly comfortable in?
When I work with my clients we take into account what you are doing that day, the locations, who you are meeting and ultimately how you want to feel. There are other things we consider too like who you are, your goals and your emotional appeal to others, but, dear reader, I don't want to bamboozle you with criteria in one blog post which will just confuse you and muddy the dressing waters even more. I also don't want to overwhelm you and this all sounds very tiring, doesn't it? I promise it doesn't have to be, just like driving a car, once you have the know-how and the support from an image consultant all of this information becomes easy to put into practice. It becomes fun too.
Below I have put together some dressing habit tribes. Can you relate to any of them?
The jeans and t-shirt tribe.
You're most comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. You may work from home for most of the week or be someone that is home during the week due to family commitments. You may be a homemaker or have a job that demands comfort over anything to structured like an artist or graphic designer. Ask yourself have your jeans and T-shirts seen better days? And does your image make you happy when you look in the mirror? If it doesn't you may have tried to rationalise that it doesn't matter, that it's what on the inside that counts. Your personality and how you treat others is so important. But why not care about what you wear? You can have style and substance. In fact, I endorse both, together. How do you feel about what you are wearing? How does it affect your body language and your thoughts about your day, about yourself? How does it affect your outlook?
I believe our image should spark joy, for all of us. It's not vain, it's self-respect. You can look great in joggers and a t-shirt. I would draw the line at joggers with a hoodie but I know that a great pair of trousers with a great hoodie can look fabulous.
How to do it beautifully
The 'Non-descript Suit' tribe
Dark suits in grey, navy and black in your size for the win? Yes? No?
It's true that currently, the suit is on the backfoot when it comes to working attire, but make no mistake about it, the suit will be back, albeit in an updated form. During the Spring/Summer 2020 catwalk shows beautiful tailoring was seen on many models strutting down the catwalks in all four major cities.
Yes, the serious suit no longer meets our lifestyle requirements. Particularly in an age of flexible working, and under the meteoric rise of streetwear. Add in the fact that our values reflect that we want out workwear to seamlessly transcend into leisurewear due to our increasingly busy lives. In short, we have become more casual, but the super casual streetwear look is something that will evolve and become something different. This is why it is so important to dress authentically so that your look reflects you in our current times, and yes this may include tailoring.
How to wear it well
The 'Shapeless Tracksuit' tribe
Comfort is so important, isn't it? But the shapeless tracksuit is a look I have failed to get on board with and one I have seen taken to the nth degree and to the detriment of my client's motivation. The shapeless grey tracksuit signals to me that they have given up for a little bit. That life has got to be too much. An all in one tracksuit is always a practical sports look and perfect if you are heading off for football or netball in the cold. It's designed to keep people warm during and after sporting events. At home during downtime, however, it is the equivalent of a hug, but if you want to be productive during your day the tracksuit is best saved for the evening or the gym. I would suggest looking for comfortable, cosy and luxe feeling leisure wear as opposed to the oversized tracksuit. Think leggings, or silky jogging bottoms, cashmere vest tops and cosy cardigans.
How to wear it well
The 'My Clothes Don't Fit Me Properly' tribe
That beautiful skirt that you love that is just too tight, those trousers that don't seem to come up high enough and make you conscious of your tummy. Your sleeveless tops in the summer that make you hyper-aware of your arms...
We all have these items in our wardrobe, and the thing is we don't know what to buy instead. We don't have the knowledge to hone in what we would love to wear, and what will sit beautifully on our body shape. All we know is clothing is confusing but we continue shopping in the hope we get it right at some point.
How to wear it well
Authentic and glorious style is about comfort, personality, fit and lifestyle. Great style is not about dressing fussily or forsaking style for comfort. Nor is it dressing in a dowdy way. It's about taking your basic style and elevating it so that what you are wearing is comfortable and feels great too.
Why shouldn't you feel great in what you wear? Clothes are not just utilitarian pieces, they are items that create emotion within us and for others.
Why not see where you can take your style and book a free, no-obligation phone call with Lizzie today.