Since appearance unfortunately does matter (At least at first impression) you are sending a message to others about who you are, through the way you look. If you want to meet new people or get ahead at work, you don't want to look unapproachable or send the wrong message. The best course of action would be to figure out what you want to signalize and combine that with looking healthy. Dress for success!
If you're too busy or just don't care about appearance and fashion, at least don't pull yourself down by wearing the wrong things (I'm not saying you aren't good enough the way you are. But since it's not socially acceptable being in the nude everywhere we go, we must put clothes on. Why not make the best of it?).
For starters, light or no makeup, a ponytail, jeans, simple top, or a comfy dress, is far better than the wrong makeup, unflattering hairstyles, and too large, too small or ill-fitted clothing.
If you take the time to figure out what works for you, it will be a lot easier to feel good about the way you look on an everyday basis.
The biggest fashion mistake we make is trying to look like someone else, so choose your subject of inspiration carefully. People come in so many shapes, sizes and colors, and what looks good on one may fail miserably on another.
Looking back, I have definitely made some errors. For example, I thought I could pull of the "tiny and cute" look (As I've mentioned before, I'm 6 feet / 182 cm and have been for a while), and there was a baggy pants faze, which was even worse.
Luckily, my clever cousin gave me a book called "The Body Shape Bible", and I came to realize that there was nothing wrong with my figure - I only needed to dress to flatter my shape. Knowing your fashion is not always enough to do it justice.
The authors of "The Body Shape Bible" (Trinny and Susannah. A pair of british stylist's) has divided our figures into 12 body types. Straight figures: The Column, Brick, and Cornet, The top heavy: Lollipop, Goblet, and Apple, The bottom heavy: Pear, Skittle, and Bell, and The curvy: Hourglass, Vase and Cello.
In my previous post about "Body Image", I wrote some guidelines. I will repeat them again.
Step 1. Who am I, what style do I like?
Step 2. What flatters my figure, looks, and colors? (This is where the 12 Body Types, face shape and color rules come in).
Step 3. Make step 1 and 2 work together and for you.
To better achieve the desired results, you should know that:
- If you are petit, large prints will make you look even smaller, and small pattern make the large, larger.
- Dark colors are slimming and shiny material, light and bright colors draw attention to the area and make it look larger.
- A hat can emphasize height, by making the short look shorter and vice versa.
- A cut, belt, or a hemline can broaden or slim the targeted area.
- Details like flowers, bows and pockets will draw attention to the spot.
Figure out what your like, use the rules as guidelines, and edit until you find a way to make the style look good on you.
There will always be new trends, but they might not all be for you. If you find your best look, you can still apply elements of these trends to better suit you.
Nonetheless, it is important to stay true to yourself. There's a difference between taking pride in your appearance, and feeling like you have to hide what sets you appart from the rest to fit in. Dressing to flatter your shape can make you feel good/better about yourself, but do it because you enjoy it and not because of outside pressure.
Last but not least! The most attractive thing you can ever wear is confidence and empathy.
(The images of all the pretty ladies in this post are borrowed from Google. Unknown source.)