Many of us wouldn’t be seen leaving the house without make-up, it’s our mask of confidence, enabling us to stride out with self assurance to face the world and what it throws at us – do your clothes do the same?
I often hear people saying that they don’t like to wear colourful clothes because they don’t want to stand out, which is one of the reasons why so many of us revert to a uniform of neutral bland colours. And I’d be the first to say that your wardrobe should be built around these staples – the basic clothes in neutral colours you need to suit your everyday lifestyle. But then that’s where ‘style’ needs comes in – you want to build on this to make it yours and express your personality. You don’t have to be as flambouant as Iris Apfel but add a splash of colour or an interesting piece of jewellery can speak volumes.
Whether you’re someone who likes to play it safe and go for a minimal look, French chic sophisticated, or be a bit more adventurous and bolder in your colour statements, the one thing you must remember is – attention to detail! Whether this is in the fit of your garments or how you’ve accessorized them, it’s the difference between being noticed for the right reasons. Don’t ever compromise on fit! You might find it a struggle at times, especially when you’re trying to find the ‘perfect jeans’ but I can assure you they are out there, it’s just how you look for them!
In self-adornment lies self-expression. Even Churchill recognized the power of ‘retail therapy’ – during the war he ensured supplies of lipstick and flowers remained forthcoming to fuel moral. And when the Nazi death camps were liberated, observers noticed that the mood became more optimistic not with the arrival of food but lipstick and sanitary towels, which were apparently used as shoulder pads!
Do you remember what you were wearing at significant times in your life – your first date, that all important job interview, when your partner proposed to you? These are often the clothes that you struggle to part with. Well of course you don’t have to, but what I would suggest is that they are packed away in a ‘sentimental box’ and not in your ‘everyday’ wardrobe, clogging up valuable space and making it harder for you to find an outfit to wear.
Oh yes, and talking of clogging up space…do you have clothes in your wardrobe that are not really worn or that may still have their original tags on? I’m guessing you do because most wardrobes I see have at least the odd one or two garments that haven’t been worn.
Ok, so I’m going to give you some advice – when you purchase a new garment and get it home, first check it still looks the same on as it did in the shop (it’s surprising how this can change – it’s true mirrors can lie!!).
Secondly, make sure it goes with existing clothes in your wardrobe and then cut off the tags and wear it – make it part of your life. It will only become ‘valuable’ to you when you start wearing it. And the more frequently you do, the quicker you’ll develop an emotional attachment, it will increase in value for you and you’ll feel less need to go out and buy something new.
Test out this idea of possession rituals – think of one of your favourite garments – has it got a ‘story ‘ to tell, was it what you wore on a special occasion in your life that you remember clearly? The clothes that generate this emotional power for you are the ones that work and that’s what you want to be replicating!
For more information:
Lesley Clarke Style Advisor