The beginning of a New Year is a great time to do a style overhaul and reevaluate your wardrobe. If you can afford to hire a stylist to help you, then go for it. But if your purse strings are a little tight, especially after splurging on holiday gifts, then my advice to is to DIY it.
Do it yourself by styling yourself. With the right amount of information, dedication and strategy, you can reinvent and upgrade your look all on your own. Here’s how to do it:
1. Get a fashion and style education. No, you don’t have to go back to school. But you do need to develop a basic understanding of top designers, retailers, design elements, silhouettes, personal style categories and trends. Take the next month or so to study fashion and style and beef up your knowledge. You don’t need to enroll in your local fashion institute (unless you’ve got fashion career goals). Just give yourself a crash course that you can easily fit into your schedule. You can watch a marathon of “What Not to Wear,” read fashion blogs and magazines, and buy some helpful books. Try these:
2. Define your personal style. The above list of books will help you do that. Basically it boils down to this: are you preppy, sporty, bohemian, classic or trendy? We’re all a mix of these, but one category is always the most dominant. For example, I’m mostly trendy, but I do incorporate classic pieces into many of my outfits. Here’s a fun quiz to help you figure it out: Define Your Fashion Style.
3. Love and accept your body the way that it is today. I don’t know how many times I come across a woman who denies herself new clothes because she’s waiting until she loses weight. And while I certainly applaud anyone who makes a decision to lead a healthy, active lifestyle and drops a few dress sizes as a result, this type of body transformation could take a while to complete. So dress for the body you have now and stop punishing yourself. You deserve to look good, no matter your size.
4. Come up with a plan of action.
5. With great personal style comes the need for great self-discipline. That means you have to set rules for yourself and not allow yourself to stray away from them. Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. If it doesn’t complement your figure nor your new personal style, then it’s not a bargain. And don’t buy something just because it’s the latest and greatest trend. Some trends are great for all women, such as peplum. But other trends, such as leather leggings, are not meant for everyone.
Lastly, don’t be so hard on yourself (see number 3 above), be realistic (no one expects you to start dressing like Nicole Richie) and remember that you are a work in progress. For now, just focus on these easy tips to develop and improve your personal style. Practice, practice, practice… and soon, you’ll be able to style yourself like a pro!