Have you ever compromised your sense of style in order to dress to impress?
You’ll never be happy if you always dress to impress other people. At the end of the day, happiness is a destination arrived at through authenticity. By dressing according to your own style, you’re simultaneously boosting your confidence, and how you carry yourself is what people really pay attention to.
Follow these tips to create an impressive appearance when you dress to impress while remaining true to yourself:
1. Use shapewear as a base layer
Shapewear is popular for good reason: it makes you feel good because it makes you look good. In recent years, shapewear has become a standard built right into certain styles of clothing, including yoga pants.
Rather than squeezing into an outfit that makes you feel uncomfortable, and covering up your mid-section with extra layers, use shapewear as a base layer. If it’s been years since you’ve used shapewear, you’ll be happy to know not all of it is bulky. There are shapewear garments designed specifically to wear under skirts and dresses like these full-body slips, and leg shaping garments that hold in your mid-section.
Using shapewear as a base layer makes wearing smaller-fitting garments more comfortable and look SO much better. The shapewear holds you in place underneath your chosen outfit. You don’t have to sacrifice your sense of style for an outfit that flattens your tummy. When you use shapewear to flatten it first, you’re free to wear whatever strikes your fancy.
2. Love the way you look
If you don’t love the way you look in an outfit, don’t wear it just to dress to impress someone else. Wear something that will impress yourself. How you feel when you wear an outfit is of vital importance because how you feel influences how you act.
Research shows that the clothes we wear have the power to influence our own behavior. If you don’t like the way you look, you’re more likely to behave in a negative way. Self-perception is everything.
Psychologists Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky from Northwestern University experimented with this notion and tested whether wearing a lab coat could trigger specific behaviors. The psychologists asked participants to complete tasks while wearing the lab coat, looking at the lab coat, or doing neither. Performance improved significantly when a subject wore the lab coat with one catch: performance did not improve when told they were wearing a painter’s coat.
The moral of that experiment is, It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing the most expensive, popular outfit in the world – your perception of how you look is what matters.
3. Break the rules
When was the last time you broke the fashion rules? Who makes those rules, anyway?
Ariel Stallings from Offbeat Home & Life suggests that style isn’t about clothing – it’s about confidence. Fashionistas are living proof of this statement. They wear some of the most unflattering, ugly clothes, and yet they walk with confidence that somehow makes it work. Ariel tells her readers to “wear what makes you feel confident, and you’ll look stylish.”
If you feel confident wearing baggy jeans and a t-shirt, wear it. If you feel confident wearing a short skirt and a long jacket, wear it. At the end of the day, the people you meet will remember you based on your level of confidence, not the specifics of your outfit. In other words, you don’t need to dress to impress anyone other than yourself.
4. Stop going places that force you to be uncomfortable
If you’re spending a lot of time dressing up to go to parties and gatherings that make you uncomfortable, perhaps it’s time to question why you’re going in the first place. If the required attire makes you uncomfortable, and you can’t express your own sense of fashion, it’s probably not the right group for you.
5. Ignore other people’s opinions
No matter what you wear, someone is going to think you look weird. You can’t get around this fact. You can follow all the latest trends or wear the same outfit a famous runway model wore last night, and somebody will point out why it makes you look stupid.
Wear what makes you happy. Your opinion is the only opinion that counts.