Whether or not you're into fashion, you're probably into feeling happy, comfortable, and confident in your own skin. Your clothes can seriously affect this, and above looking trendy, feeling confident about what you wear is the most important thing to dressing yourself. If you don't love how you look in something, the world will know. If you hate how that new trend fits your body, that feeling will manifest physically. Here's my guide on how to wear what makes you feel and look amazing and proud to be you.
A note starting off...
It's SO important to dress positively. Wear what makes you feel good, not what covers up the bad. So many guides will tell you to dress a certain way to cover your "problem areas." Why is that a concept? Instead of trying to identify those areas (everyone is self-conscious about some part of their appearance; you don't need to focus even more on it!), look at the parts of you that you love and want everyone to see. Even if you don't want to go part by part, think in terms of what makes you LOOK GOOD, not what you think makes you look LESS BAD. You don't look bad. Dwelling on the negative will lead you to dressing how you think you should dress to cover yourself up, which does your body no favors.
Decide if you like loose fitting or body hugging.
There's a huge difference between picking a loose fit because you hate your body and want to cover it up, and feeling like your skin can breathe in a loose top. I'm not asking you if you're bigger or thinner, because that's not what determines if a loose or fitted garment will flatter you. There are so many nuances to body type, and the most important thing is how you feel about your body. Curves are often best emphasized with a nipped-in waist, but do you feel best in a tight dress that hugs your curves, or a loose dress with a belted waist? Do you wish you had more curves, and hate a tight fit because it emphasizes your twiggy frame, or do you love showing off your slim hips in a gathered fit? Decide this before determining your wardrobe.
Pick your go-to bottoms.
Are you more comfortable in pants or a skirt? This doesn't mean you can't own the opposite, or even wear both often and with ease. Most women can identify the silhouette they go to automatically, when sartorial inspiration isn't striking or they just want to be comfortable. Dresses get a bad rap for being less comfortable than jeans, but plenty of people hate the tight fit of skinny jeans and would pick a soft dress over leggings in a heartbeat. I personally wait for the summer to end and the temperatures to drop so I can slip back into my perfectly fitted jeans. After picking a basic silhouette, narrow it down a bit; maybe you love pants but hate skinny jeans, or you love a dress or skirt but hate a-lines. Once you know which you like, you can build more outfits around them.
Keep your casual staples.
Classic items like a button-down shirt and a pair of jeans can be made in so many styles, but are necessary to keep in your closet. Whether your style is classic or edgy, masculine or feminine, colorful or understated, you can find variations of these items that will last in your closet as tried and true necessities:
* Jeans (skinny, flares, bootcut, boyfriend, etc.)
* Button-down (white, printed, crisp, silky, etc.)
* Leather boots (heeled, ankle booties, cowboy, combat, etc.)
* Non-denim, work-appropriate pants (tailored, cropped, culottes, palazzo, chinos, etc.)
* T-shirt (see below)
Find your favorite tee.
Everyone needs a comfy, cotton t-shirt to throw on for a casual day, to dress down a skirt, or to pair with printed pants. A comfortable tee can mean so many things, depending on your own body type. If you're bustier, you may pick a soft fabric with some spandex in it, so it skims over your chest but doesn't hang too far away from your body. Or maybe you'd rather pick a thicker tee that cuts straight down and flattens you a bit. There's no wrong or right answer, but there are softer and starchier tees, v-necks, scoop necks, and everyone has a preference. White or a color, solid or striped, find a tee and stock up on that style. You can wear it alone when you're lounging, on casual errands, or dress it up infinite ways, but you'll thank yourself for sticking to that style you love.
Find your go-to color
So many people wear black because they think it's slimming, and that's okay. But what if you love color and think you can't pull it off? You can. Even if black is your go-to, that doesn't mean you can't have great colorful pieces as well, but it's great to identify a color (or lack of color) that you feel yourself in. This isn't just about what seems flattering, it's about what seems right for you. Your personality as well as your body. If you know red looks amazing with your skin tone, keep a fair number of red pieces in your closet. If you're feeling out of sorts one day, throw on a top or dress in your go-to color, and remind yourself why you feel great in it.
Know your favorite kinds of pieces, and fill your closet with them.
If you love a-line dresses, why buy a dress in another silhouette? If shell tops are your thing, keep more than one. Skinny jeans, swingy skirts, black pieces with mesh inserts... if you gravitate toward a style, there's nothing wrong with wearing and rewearing it. Similarly, if you have favorite pieces, don't stop wearing them because you worry about repetition. If you love that one pair of pants so much that you want to wear them every week, go ahead! You'll feel happy, comfortable and confident in your favorite pieces, and you'll develop a style that feels all your own. There's nothing better rocking a look and knowing it's yours and you own it.
Above all, don't conform your style for anyone but yourself.
If you loved a style five years ago, and you still love it, don't stop wearing it because of what the trends dictate. Not everything that's in style will feel right on your body, or fit with your personal style, so don't buy into it all! You know you above anyone else, and even the trendiest women will know what's right and wrong for them. Wearing something that you felt pressure to wear, or bought because it was trendy but not quite you, is like wearing something that's not your size. Keep yourself looking and feeling great by sticking with exactly what you want to wear.
Go forth and dress with confidence!