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I can't create outfits that magically seem to go together, I don't particularly enjoy shopping for clothes, and being on the cutting edge of fashion isn't something I'm super worried about.
But then I see others who were somehow born with this amazing skill. I start comparing my simple outfits to their trendy ones, and feel discouraged that I can't rock a jean jacket or flowy top like they can.
A few years ago, instead of wallowing in that sense of comparison, I let it motivate me to make a better effort with my personal appearance.
I was tired of wearing tees, gym shorts, and yoga pants every day, and wanted to at least try to put some semblance of an outfit together….even if I didn't quite know where to start!
Thankfully my good friend, Trina, wrote a book called, Embracing Beauty: Practical Style for Every Season and Shape of Motherhood, and even though I'm not a mom, I found it SO helpful in finding my personal style.
So if lack of time, money, effort, or a consistent waistline is keeping you from looking your best, you're going to find the following tips super helpful. Be careful though, you might just find yourself enjoying your journey to fashion more than you thought you would!
1. Find Inspiration that Flatters
Fashion inspiration is everywhere — a quick search on Pinterest will bring up hundreds (if not thousands) of results. But what looks good on all those models in the pictures, doesn't always look good on you or me. And why should we expect it to? We all have different sizes and body types!
Find inspiration that flatters by searching for outfits on bodies who mirror yours. Pin those to your boards rather than shapes and sizes that don't reflect who we are right now.
It might take some digging, but I encourage you to try and find a style blogger who has a similar body type and watch closely to see what she's wearing. You might just find a new favorite outfit that you never would have thought of before!
2. Establish Your Neutral Color
When you first hear the term, neutral color, you automatically think black, brown, white, or maybe even navy, right? Wrong. A personal neutral can be any color that you love and that flatters.
For me, it's coral — I love the bright happy feeling I get whenever I wear coral, and it complements my pale skin too. In fact, if you came over to my house today, you'd see my closet is full of coral-colored pieces!
Establishing a personal neutral is a very good thing. It means less decisions when you go shopping (you can pass by all the colors that don't flatter), and you can mix and match items in your closet that go with that specific color.
3. Add a Little Personality
Scarves, belts, and other accessories can do wonders for a basic ensemble. In fact, I feel so much more “put together” when I'm wearing a fun necklace or ruffly scarf!
However, accessories can lend themselves to going a little overboard, especially since there are so many options to mix and match, so I recommend you start with a few basic gold or silver pieces (whatever metal you like best), and add a few statement necklaces, bracelets, and earrings in for fun.
I'm sure you have a ton of accessories in your closet or jewelry box that you haven't worn in a while, so now's the time to bust them out! And if you're looking for a few extras, Charming Charlie is my favorite shop to find great styling inspiration and inexpensive accessories.
4. Experiment, Experiment, Experiment
The best way to find your personal style is to simply experiment. You can pin inspiration all day long, but if you don't get out and start trying clothes on, you're not going to know what looks good and what doesn't!
The thrift store is a great way to do this on the cheap, (and for moms of littles, Trina has some great tips in her book about how to shop without losing your mind). Plus, you can get a feel of what designers give you the most flattering shape so if you do decide to buy new, you know exactly who to try first.
If heading out to the store and shopping for clothes sounds like your worst nightmare, ThredUP is an online thrift store that I have had great experience with, and everyone gets $10 to spend if you haven't tried it before!
5. Don't Equate Style with Worth
It is very easy to get caught up in the comparison game, but having a different style (or none at all) doesn't mean you're any less of a person. Instead, it's the confidence in which we wear those clothes that makes the biggest, and most attractive difference.
As you explore your own journey to fashion, learn to love your body for the shape it is right now, not what you want it to be. There is no “ideal” body type as much as culture wants you to believe there is. In the 20's it was boyish figures and flat chests. Today, it's more Beyonce and Kim Kardashian. Doesn't that tell you how much “ideals” can change?
Culture's opinion of our shape should not define our shape. It's time to be confident in who you are….because you are more than enough!
In Embracing Beauty: Practical Style for Every Season and Shape of Motherhood, Trina Holden packs practical suggestions for styling your ever-changing shape, and well as a perspective change every women needs to have in order to clothe her body well. Every chapter ends with a “Mommy Makeover”, which includes 5-15 minute activities to complete as you read! Get Your Copy HERE
How would you define your personal style?
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