It’s 2011 and the standard New Years resolution is to lose weight. How many people actually stick to that? Let’s try something that is just as good as losing weight, can last a lifetime and doesn’t require an hour of visiting the treadmill each day. Style and Fashion are closely related but are two separate entities. It is typical to fall in love with those 5-inch stiletto heels and that perfect little black dress- but what you see isn’t always what works and defines you as a person. Take a moment and analyze your wardrobe. How many things are in there because you
a.) Saw it on another person and had to have it,
b.) It was on sale and seemed like a good buy at the time or
c.) Because it clicked and you couldn’t live without it?
If you answered mostly A’s and B’s, then maybe you should re-evaluate before you drop the dough.
I’ve been through countless fashion “phases” throughout my life and along the way I have learned that if you’re going to buy something, make sure it’s not going to go out of style in a year. Pieces that will be multi-functional and last a long time in your closet are what you should really hunt for. Recently, I invested (yes, Invested) in a black blazer. The great thing about this piece is that you can play it up or dress it down. It looks good with jeans, business pants, or even shorts. It’s a good thing to have in your closet if you’re looking for a last minute outfit that looks well put-together.
In our image-obsessed, materialistic culture, it’s a good idea to take a step back and realize what style is really about- it’s about being comfortable in your own skin. Expressing yourself through fashion and finding your style is fantastic. Everyone tries to find his or her own personal style and it takes time, but when you finally find your own original style, it’s a great day!
It’s not about being a size 0 or having supermodel legs. It’s about accentuating what you’ve got and being proud about it. I believe that every woman and man should walk out of their homes feeling confident and comfortable in their own skin every day of the week. Now, I know that everyone has their “off” days of sweats and a T-shirt, and that is absolutely acceptable, but when you want to look your best, you must feel your best first.
Rule #1.) Always try anything on before you buy it.
I live by this rule and will never buy any clothing item without trying it on first- this also includes shoes, which I will get to later. You never know what kind of fabric will cling to those places that you don’t want showing. Everyone has a different body type- so something that looks great on a mannequin isn’t nessicarily going to look the same on you.
Rule #2.) If you have second thoughts at any point before you hit the cash register, maybe it’s time to re-consider
This is a no-brainer. If you find something that catches your eye and you think you can’t live without it: walk around the store for a little bit with it in hand- if you have any doubts about it or second thoughts on your way to the check out counter, just put it back- You’ll regret your impulse buy later.
Rule #3.) If you can’t move freely in it or wear it for more than 4 hours, then maybe it’s not for you.
Ah, the joys of comfort! It IS possible to look good and be comfortable at the same time. I once wore a dress to a wedding that had an empire waistline and I decided to accompany this dress with a belt around the rib cage. I ended up having to super glue the button in the front of the belt to keep it from coming open when I sat down. By the end of the night, I was dying and very uncomfortable. Lesson- if you’re going to be somewhere for a long time, and can’t keep it in for too long, go with comfort. (Or invest in some Spanx) This rule also applies to shoes!
Rule #4.) Cleavage doesn’t always equal confidence. Class first ladies!
Oh the days of cleavage… Alright ladies, unless you’re going out to get noticed or putting on a burlesque show, keep a leash on your girls! I’m not implying that you should wear turtlenecks all the time, (because they are a sin to begin with) but you should know when it’s a little too much, or a friend should be honest enough to tell you so.
Rule #5.) BE ORIGINAL. Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
If you don’t have your own style, now is your day to make it happen! Style requires creativity and exploration, and it doesn’t always come instantly, so don’t be discouraged. Look for colors that compliment your skin tone/hair color and also steer clear of things that highlight the areas you aren’t fond of. If you have curves, please for the love of Jesus, EMBRACE them! Women aren’t twigs, people, and if you think they are, you are sadly mistaken. Lastly, you should always walk out the door with confidence; never leave that on your nightstand.
Now go out there or raid your closet to find something that defines your style. It’s not about money and it’s not about name brands, it’s about the feeling you get when you feel good and you know you look good-and everyone can see it through your confidence.
(c) Ashley West All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce photos without Ashley’s permission.