How Style Helped Me Build My Body Image
Before each summer and each winter, I have this urge to rehaul my entire closet.
It isn’t prompted by clothing trends, but after wearing the same clothes for a while I start to realize what isn’t really me. Or me anymore.
This starts to show my impulse buys - the shirts on sale, clothes that ended up being cute but not comfortable, or pieces that were popular at the time.
It also shows the clothes that I wear most - the jeans that I got a couple months ago but are completely frayed from the bottom, or the shirt that’s starting to lose its colour.
I realized that clothes I’m wearing do make a difference in how I feel during the day. The ones that I feel most comfortable in and make me look my best are the ones that contribute to my everyday confidence.
I also realized that fashion can be overrated. But style is not.
Finding and using your personal style to your advantage is a huge confidence-booster.
I’m starting to figure out what mine is.
These are the 5 tips I found most helpful in finding out my personal style:
1. I went through my own closet first.
Like I said, I started to realize what clothes I never wear, and what I wear most. I already had an idea of what they were, because I reached for them immediately, but this time I took notes. I tried to figure out what colours and textures are most common for me. For example, I have a lot of black shirts and jeans. And there’s a reason for it. I feel most comfortable and attractive in them.
2. I learned my body type.
This is still a little tricky for me, but with the help of a couple different clothing store associates, Instagram, and lots of trial and error, I’m starting to get there. Learning my body shape means that I can find form-fitting clothes to flatter it. It has been changing through the years, so something that looked great a couple years ago doesn’t seem as flattering on me now. Focusing on the positive and distinct features of my body makes a huge difference in perspective - for my own confidence and the way everyone else looks at me.
3. I found a style icon or two.
Finding someone I could imitate helped me figure out how I wanted to make my style to look. My favourite place to browse is Instagram. I also try to find someone who has a similar body shape or ethnicity to me, only because what suits their shape and skin tone will likely suit mine.
4. I thought about my daily activities.
I’ve done this on too many occasions - I pick out a cute top to realize that it might not be the best option to wear at work. This time, I gave some thought to the places I go on a regular basis. It helped my narrow down what kind of clothes I need and how to organize my closet so I can find things more easily. I’ve made a separate section for my work clothes and going-out clothes, and I even have a little pile of old t-shirts on my shelf to wear at home or for a quick grocery store run.
5. I stopped over-shopping.
I call this over-shopping instead of over-spending because the pieces I find usually aren’t that expensive, but they make a mess of my closet. My closet starts overflowing with things that looked cute at the time but I only wore once or twice before the excitement wore off. If I don’t find anything that truly makes me happy and excited (not just momentarily), I leave it alone. Right now, I have a leather jacket and a purse that are my staples. I only need a couple pieces that stand out to direct attention to my style.
The clothes that I pick out in the morning do set an intention for my day. I always try to pick something that makes me comfortable and happy.
It does make a difference.