9 Fashion Mistakes That Might Be Hurting Your Image
Most women put a lot of effort into looking their best. After all, image is important. But try as we might, we don’t always succeed. It’s often simple to figure out what’s a little “off” about another person’s style, but when we look in the mirror, it can be quite complicated to see ourselves clearly. Not to worry! Although everyone has minor fashion blind spots, there’s often an easy fix that doesn’t require a massive closet overhaul. With a few minor tweaks, everyone can maximize their look. Remember, knowledge is power. It’s important to be aware of the style pitfalls out there and make sure you avoid them. Here are nine factors that could be stopping you from maxing out your image potential, along with quick and easy fixes to help the real you shine through.
- Your clothes don’t flatter your body type. If you’re wearing clothing that doesn’t compliment your body type, you’ll never look or feel as great as you could. What flatters a petite woman just won’t have the same effect on a taller frame, for example. And wearing a belt around your midsection isn’t flattering if you carry your weight there, while a belt at the waist is a nice accent if you have a small waist. Be sure to research the basic style parameters for your body type, so you can zero in on what works best for you. And for those beautiful items you love that don’t quite fit properly, a trip to the tailor can perfect the fit and make you look like a million bucks.
- You’re too focused on comfort. When they’re off the clock, many women prefer to gravitate toward comfort. As understandable as that impulse is, running errands looking like you’ve just rolled out of bed sends the wrong message to others. The good news is, style and comfort don’t have to be mutually exclusive. For instance, a broken-in pair of jeans, a fitted cotton t-shirt, and soft leather loafers or ballet flats feel just as comfortable as gym clothes, but look much more put together. And if you choose to wear the ultimate comfort item—leggings—be sure to wear them with a longer top, tunic, or dress; you don’t want them revealing more than you intended!
- You overaccessorize. A great statement necklace, chunky colorful bracelet, or extravagant pair of earrings can complete an outfit, but adding too many dramatic accessories at once can be overwhelming. Limit yourself to a single standout accessory per outfit and you are sure to shine!
- You’re too trendy. It’s only natural that women want to keep up with the current standards; that’s why fashion magazines have so many loyal readers. There’s nothing wrong with trying to stay in style, but if you’re too committed to the current trends, it’s easy to veer into unflattering territory. For example, you don’t want to put together ensembles that are not age appropriate, or create looks that are unflattering for your body type. It can also be unwise to switch styles every season, sending others the message that you’re inconsistent or don’t have a true sense of self. A far better method: Develop and express a personal sense of style and supplement it with trendy pieces that work for you.
- Your undergarments are making an unwanted appearance. It’s undeniably frustrating when errant bra straps, unsightly back bulges, or unwanted panty lines ruin your otherwise flawless look. The worst part about these fashion faux pas? They often occur without your knowledge, and can show up in hard-to-see areas on your body. The solution to this problem starts in the store. Ask sales associates or an image consultant for their professional opinions on what’s most likely to stay hidden while providing the shape and support you want. And finally, before you leave the house, give yourself an honest once-over in front of a full-length mirror.
- You’re a little too neutral. Neutrals are easy, and so we often love to fill our closets full of them. However, many women end up with closets packed with blacks, grays, browns, beiges, whites, and other muted tones. There’s nothing wrong with neutrals, but it’s important to make sure you aren’t totally blending into your environment each day. Don’t be afraid of a little color! Even a small pop, like a scarf, a handbag, a belt, or a piece of jewelry can go a long way in making your look more memorable.
- You’re stuck on size. To the frustration of women everywhere, sizes are far from standardized among different brands. Therefore, it’s important to avoid buying clothes based primarily on the size on the label. Remember that others see only how you look in your clothes, not the sizes printed on the tags. Don’t let your pride prevent you from going up a pant size. Likewise, don’t walk around in a tent because you’re so used to buying larges that you would never consider trying on a medium instead. Instead, pay attention to fit and how the garment makes you feel.
- You’re stuck in the past. As busy as most women are today, it’s no wonder that paying close attention to fashion developments often falls by the wayside. You may think you’re in style, while, in reality, you could use some subtle updates to keep your wardrobe up to date. Every once in a while, ask a trusted friend for a constructive critique on your look to make sure you haven’t fallen behind. Better yet, hire an image consultant who can suggest strategic pieces to buy to help the rest of your closet transition gracefully into the 21st century.
- You don’t make time to edit. Say you’ve put on a jacket in the morning, only to discover that it has a small stain. Do you have time to choose another one that works with your outfit? Or what if your pantyhose has a run, or an outfit you imagined in your head looks wrong in real life? These unexpected snafus happen all the time, but can often be remedied if you have an extra five minutes to spare. Build in a little extra time in the morning to refine the details of your outfit. It can make a huge difference in your overall look.
The image you present to the world tells others a lot about you. Therefore, you owe it to yourself to make sure it reflects exactly what you want it to. These strategic adjustments to your fashion routine are sure to catapult your look from average to amazing and leave you feeling confident and positive every day.