Confident Style – Your Way Every Day

Five Steps to Develop Your Style Sense

FIVE STEPS TO DEVELOP YOUR STYLE SENSE

This Five Steps to Develop Your Style Sense post has been incubating inside my head for months. Let’s start by identifying what I mean by ‘Style Sense.’ ‘Style Sense’ refers to how our five senses can support and guide us to understand the elements of our individual and unique dressing style or as I am calling it ‘Style Sense.’ It is all about identifying and choosing your personal preferences so that your clothes are supporting who you are as a person, your NOW body and your lifestyle requirements.

Let’s explore how your senses can contribute to your ‘Style Sense.’

STEP 1. SIGHT – What do You See? 

The sense of sight relates to understanding how to dress your body shape, proportions and variations in an enhancing way.

We use our sight to interpret what we see when we look in the mirror, wardrobe, shops, magazines and at others. Quite often this leads to thoughts of comparison which leads to undervaluing yourself.

Many women avoid looking in the mirror and when they do, they focus on what they see as perceived flaws and the lumps and bumps that may be covered by the clothes. When you do this you are missing a great opportunity to change your focus from  your body  to the clothes and observing how the clothes are working with or against you. It is worth noting that other people don’t notice your ‘perceived flaws.’

Sometimes shopping purchases are made on the premise that the clothing fits and looks okay – (a friend or shop assistant said so) and then the purchased item remains in the wardrobe not worn. Beware that clothing can fit the body and look good but still not appeal to the wearer. This is where your sense of taste becomes important.

STEP 2. TASTE – What are Your Personal Tastes?

You are probably thinking that the sense of taste has nothing to do with getting dressed and developing your style. Taste is the sense that traditionally relates to eating and enables us to distinguish between food items we like or don’t like.

I am going to stretch the interpretation of this sense to relate to recognising the elements in clothing that relate to  identifying your Style Personality.

The elements that make up your Style Personality include:-

  • colours,
  • patterns,
  • shapes,
  • fabric,
  • accessories,
  • patterns and prints,
  • hair style,
  • levels of detail,
  • comfort levels,
  • underwear style,
  • scale.

These elements become your unique style fingerprint and tell the story of how you wish to be perceived.

Your visual appearance and ‘Style Sense’ is not just based on your outward appearance but comes from the inside out through your personal preferences.

The chances are you have clothes in your wardrobe that fit you well, look good but you still do not wear. This is because there are aspects in these unworn clothing pieces that are not part of your Style Personality.

Understanding your Style Personality is an important element and influences 80% of your shopping choices. When you know your Style Personality elements you will save time and money when shopping. You will also have less unworn orphaned clothes hanging in your wardrobe.

Take notice of the elements listed above and identify which ones relate to you. Let these items guide and influence your future shopping choices. If you try something on and it fits and looks good but you just don’t feel right in it, it is because something in the clothing / outfit is not relating to your Style Personality elements.

STEP 3. TOUCH –  How does it feel?

The sense of touch also relates closely to your Style Personality. Wearing clothes is definitely a sensory experience. Everybody is different and unique in their preferences for what fabrics & materials they prefer to wear and have different comfort level requirements.

I have a very high comfort level requirement which has resulted in a wardrobe with mostly stretch fabrics and some linen. I cannot tolerate any shapewear / spanx garments as I feel like I have been put in goal. I do not buy online because I have a strong need to touch the fabric before I try it one. My tactile sense is high when it comes to the clothes I wear.

Do you have clothes in your wardrobe that you are not wearing because they do not meet your comfort and tactile needs?

A very important question to ask yourself when shopping or creating outfits from your wardrobe is ‘How do I feel?’ I call this the ‘Goldilock’s Principle.’

Do not purchase any item that doesn’t feel just right. If it is not just right then you are wasting your money and it will take up valuable real estate space in your wardrobe.

STEP 4. HEARING  – What do You Hear?

The sense of hearing relates to the voice inside your head, what others are saying to you as well as your personal noise barometer. What are you saying to yourself? Start to listen to that voice inside your head and take notice to whether your thoughts and comments to yourself are being positive or negative.  This inner critic voice will always want to foster negative thoughts if you let it. 

It is time to start to reframe your thinking when looking at your body and outfits. The other day I tried on a jumpsuit that I didn’t buy because it was just a little firm around the hips. When I came out of the change room and the sales lady asked , ‘How did it go?‘ I replied ‘This jumpsuit wasn’t made for my hip area.’ My words were not focused on my body not being right but on this article of clothing not being the best choice for the look I wanted and needed. It is possible to change the focus of your inner critic from being negative to being supportive.

What do you do when someone pays you a compliment? Many of us usually argue against what was said. Take notice of compliments and be accepting of them with a thank you and a smile.

Some accessories and fabrics can be distracting for the wearer and others because they can be noisy. Do you have some accessories or clothing that you are not wearing because it makes a noise. I had a pair of shoes that I loved wearing but they were so distracting because they made a squeaky sound.

STEP 5. SMELL – What are your preferences?

This sense is not quite as significant as the others. If your sense of smell is strong then you may find that some fabrics may not appeal to you. The other area that this sense can impact on is our personal hygiene and perfume preferences. It is important to remember to not over or under do the amount of perfumed products you wear.

Take a look in your wardrobe and notice the clothing that you are not wearing. Create outfits with the unworn clothing and try to identify what is not working for you.

‘Style Sense’ needs to start with recognising the elements in the clothing  you wear that you love, bring you joy and confidence. When you recognise these elements then use this knowledge to inform the outfits you create and the clothing you buy. Become more aware of YOU.

A professional style consultation explores how you can combine these elements to create a harmonious, coordinated and balanced outfit that enhances who you are, your NOW body shape and supports your work and social lifestyle.

FURTHER READING

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