One of the questions I get asked most often as a fashion blogger is, “How do you have the confidence to dress the way you want to”. It seems as though so many people are petrified to walk out the door in an outfit that differs from the norm.
And that’s fair enough. Expressing yourself through fashion can be scary. It brings up all kinds of questions and insecurities. Do I look good in this? Is what I’m wearing appropriate for this place/event/crowd? Is everyone staring at me? It’s difficult not to ask yourself all these questions (and then some) when stepping out in something that’s a bit left-of-centre.
Here are five little tidbits of advice to help you to overcome those worries and to wear your gorgeous outfit with confidence.
1. Make sure you love what you’re wearing.
The most important first step to dressing the way you want to is to make sure that the outfit you’re walking out the door in is truly something that you love. It’s hard to feel confident in something that you’re wearing just because it’s trendy, or because you’ve been pressured into it or because you feel you should. Likewise, it’s hard to feel confident in an outfit that’s ill-fitting or uncomfortable.
Make sure that you’re in love with the outfit you’ve chosen. If you truly adore the clothes you’ve put on your back, it will be so much easier to carry them off confidently.
2. Mix scary items with old faves
We all have a few ‘scary’ items in our wardrobes. They might be garments that are slightly more daring or garish than what you normally wear. You might have a special vintage piece or an item in a colour that’s brighter than your norm. Stepping into new fashion territory can be intimidating.
To tone down the fright-factor, team your scary items with your favourite wardrobe items. Incorporate a bright shirt into an otherwise black outfit. Team those skyscraper heels with your favourite jeans. Pair a revealing mini with a pair of gorgeous tights. Your old favourite items can act as a security blanket, soothing you into incorporating new styles into your wardrobe.
3. Do a trial run
It can be intimidating to throw together an eye-catching outfit and then parade right out the door. Often, we worry about what our friends or family might say, or how the locals at our favourite haunts will react. My solution to this is to take your outfit for a trial run. Wear it at home for a little while. Then wear it out somewhere inconspicuous where nobody knows you. You’ll catch glimpses of yourself in windows and mirrors, strangers might give you little nods or compliments. You’ll begin to feel more comfortable in your outfit. All of these things will boost your confidence until you’re feeling daring enough to take that lovely outfit to a family gathering or out with friends.
Here’s the funny thing about a smile: sometimes, all it takes is an ear-to-ear grin to trick yourself into thinking that you feel great. Studies have shown that the mere act of smiling can actually turn a bad mood on it’s head. So if you’re feeling a little bit wobbly about rocking your outfit in public, whack a gorgeous grin on your face. This will do two things. One: it will make you feel more confident and self-assured. Two: it will send a message to everyone that you meet that you are happy and secure in yourself. Sometimes, you just have to fake it until you make it.
5. Dismiss the haters.
Let’s be honest, you’ll never be able to please everybody. If you dress in a way that bucks convention, there are going to be some people who aren’t pleased with the way you look. And that’s O.K. Really. It’s fine if not everybody thinks you look fierce. As long as you’re happy with what you’re wearing, the world isn’t going to cave in if a couple of people don’t approve of your outfit. Shake it off, take it all in your stride and remind yourself of how happy you are with the outfit you’ve chosen. The only person you have to please with your outfit is yourself.
If you’d like more advice on being confident and stylish, check out my e-book Nessbow’s Guide to Developing Your Personal Style. There’s an entire chapter about pulling off an outfit with confidence, as well as loads of fab advice.