So, you’ve shopped until you dropped, you’ve cleared out your closet, and you’carefully studied all of the advice about the closet staples you MUST own…
… and still you don’t feel stylish.
What gives? You feel like you’ve done everything right, and you’re wearing the same clothes you’ve seen other people in – and they’ve all looked amazing. So why don’t you? Here are four simple reasons you still don’t feel stylish – and how to fix them.
01. YOUR CLOTHES DON’T FIT PROPERLY
I’m firmly of the opinion that almost anything can look good if it fits like it was made for you. This is confirmed for me by the sheer number of times I find myself scrolling through Pinterest (follow me here!) and stopping to pin some fabulous outfit – which, on reflection, I’ll realise is just something like jeans and a sweater: the kind of clothes I have already hanging in my closet. So why don’t I look like THAT in my simple jeans-and-t-shirts, I wonder? Well, some of the time it’s because I’m not a model, and the girls wearing those looks are (or, at least, they look like one). More often than not, though, when I really study the photos, I’ll realise they all have one thing in common: the perfect fit. Jeans that are just an OK fit, just look OK. Jeans that fit perfectly, on the other hand, are the difference between am amazing outfit and an average one – and the same goes for other items of clothing, too.
THE FIX: It’s much too easy to just say “buy clothes that fit perfectly”, because we all know how hard that can be, right? What I DO advise, however, is NOT buying the ones that don’t fit perfectly, unless you’re prepared to either have them tailored – or to do it yourself, if you can. I once read that celebrities have absolutely everything altered to fit them, right down to the simplest looking t-shirts and tank tops. You might not be able to afford to have someone go through your entire closet, but many alterations are the kind that don’t cost too much, or which you can learn yourself. And if you CAN learn to do it yourself, it’s a skill you’ll use for the rest of your life, trust me.
02. YOU’RE DRESSING FOR SOMEONE ELSE
It’s hard to look or feel your best when you’re dressing for someone else: and by that, I’m not necessarily talking about a literal “someone else” (although it may well be), but simply that you’re trying to BE someone else, by wearing styles that aren’t really “you”. This might sound silly, but it’s really easy to find yourself doing it, either by unconsciously trying to mimic styles you’ve seen other people wear, or by just not stopping to think about what YOUR style is.
Before you can be stylish, you have to stop and think about what that actually means to you, and how it will work with your lifestyle. If your idea of “styish” involves lots of pencil skirts and strings of pearls, but if you’re a stay-at-home mum who spends her days scrabbling around on the floor and chasing after toddlers, that style probably isn’t going to work for you – and you’re not going to feel very stylish in your rumpled pencil skirt, are you?
THE FIX: Defining a style that works for you can be easier said than done (there’s a post here that might help), but it’s absolutely essential if you want to feel stylish – and to feel stylish EVERY day, rather than only when you’re “dressed up”
03. YOU HAVE TOO MANY CLOTHES
So, you think you cleared out your closet, do you? I’m willing to bet you still have way more clothes than you need: and the fact that you’re reading this article is a good sign that you don’t have the RIGHT clothes yet, no matter what you thought when you did that closet clear-out.
THE FIX: It’s time to go back to the drawing board, I’m afraid, and this time you’re going to have to be really ruthless/honest with yourself. Having too many clothes is one of the things that makes it hardest to know what to wear every morning, and until you’ve cleared out all of the things that aren’t working for you, you’re not going to know what you need to do to fill in the holes that are left. (This post might help.)
04. YOU’RE TRYING TO FOLLOW TRENDS
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be particularly fashion or trend-oriented, it’s easy to get swept up in them, and to find yourself buying clothes that don’t really suit you, thinking you’ll be able to find a way to make them work. A simple truth to recognise here is that you shouldn’t HAVE to try to “make things work” when it comes to clothes: they should just WORK. If they don’t, it’s time to put them back on the rail, and walk away – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with following trends you genuinely love: but following trends purely for the sake of it will just make you feel uncomfortable, and fill your closet with clothes you’ll never wear.
THE FIX: Be picky about trends: if they don’t work for you, don’t give them a second thought.