Every woman asked, believes she knows who she is, but how come the world never gets to see her as she sees herself? The trick to having a good self image at all times comes down to identifying who you are, what I like to call the “I AM” and using the I AM as a foundation for all your fashion, style and lifestyle choice.
Below are five tips that will help each of you identify, build and master your unique self-image.
Quality over Quantity
When buying clothes, remember its quality over quantity. Having a wardrobe full of cheap looking clothes is as good as having no wardrobe at all. Spending lump sums on what feels like few pieces of clothing may not always feel like the perfect shopping experience but when you do shop those items, they will be for the long haul and will last longer. The trick is to look at the construction of the garment, the quality of the fabric and the little details. – Bearing your style personality in mind of course.
So when buying a black pencil skirt, a white shirt or a pair of dark blue jeans, which are part of your 12 wardrobe essentials, consider the quality if you want it to should serve you for years to come. The more attention you pay to the quality of your clothes, the better your self-image and over all appearance will be.
Accessories are one of the best ways to add your “I AM” to your look. They can elevate a mediocre look when used right. They are focal points and affordable tools needed to transform an outfit from out-of-date into current, or to blend a traditional look with a modern flair. The key is to understand that accessories are not always about functionality, they must give your outfit an umph, no matter how minimal.
To portray your personality, you must buy accessories that are true to who you are. Pay attention to the accessories you buy (belts, jewellery, scarfs, hats, shoes etc.) Be aware of how you can use the said accessories to enhance your wardrobe and create a unique self-image for yourself.
So guess what? It’s time to become an expert in accessorising.
Wearing makeup sends strong messages about credibility and health to everyone around you. Although we tend to find the “natural” look appealing, we must understand that the “naturalness” that is celebrated isn’t really natural. Celebrities have images stating “no makeup look” when in fact, they have a full face of make-up on, and it’s only been applied strategically.
The point is that not all makeup sends the same message and it’s the application that determines perception. So avoid overly dramatic looks (false eyelashes, smoky eyes, red lips) at a traditional office. Instead opt for a neutral eye shadow, light rouge and bronzer on the cheeks, mascara to enhance the eyes and a lit tinted lipstick that suits the tone of your skin.
Keep your matte powder and lipstick in your office drawer or makeup bag and be sure to apply some after lunch to brighten up your face. Remember to check for lipstick in your teeth and any other make-up smudges that may have occurred throughout the day.
Take time to groom yourself. Looking good can be a chore and I’m definitely not suggesting you go over and beyond your abilities and finances to groom yourself. But prioritizing tasks and creating efficient habits around those grooming rituals would help. So a grooming ritual would be to use a face scrub 3 times a week, or to wax your body every 6 weeks (depending on how fast your hair grows), another could be monthly manicure and pedicure routine.
The tip is to ensure that you can maintain whatever grooming habit(s) you decide on. You do not have to look like you walked out of a hair salon everyday, but identifying an everyday and functional hairstyle that suits your face and enhances your over all look is key to identifying your unique self image. In many ways, consistent grooming trumps fashion: everything from healthy skin to good hygiene sends a message of attention to detail about you.
Think of Michelle Obama, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Think of Oprah Winfrey, what comes to mind? Think of yourself, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? The point is that you master and demonstrate style by creating an independent visual identity for yourself. So for Michelle Obama, it is wearing sleeveless dresses with studded belts rather than the traditional suits worn by most first ladies. For Oprah, it’s her big, full and bouncy hair that frames her face perfectly. What is your distinctive style?
Developing a go to look helps you stand out for the right reasons at all occasions. Whether it’s a colour preference or an era-inspired look you must have a signature look that is easily attributable to you. This recognisable, predictable visual identity communicates consistency and reliability. An added advantage is self-knowledge because over time you’ll learn how to dress like a boss, save time and not stress out at last minute situations.