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A Better You
by Jo Ann Fore

A Wardrobe that Works

Do you, like most of us, have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear?

After hours contemplating what to wear, do you find you’ve spent the majority of time picking apart the things about your body you don’t like? ‘My belly is too big, my hips are too wide, or my legs are too short.’

When you have that special evening ahead, do you find yourself frantically in search of the right outfit – yet walk away not really certain if the one you picked is it?

The way we dress has a direct impact on the way we feel. Nothing eats at our confidence level more than the way we look.

Critiquing Our Wardrobe
Let’s step inside your closet. Take an inventory of what you have. Do you wear only a small percentage of what’s in there? You’re not alone. Let’s find out why.

To get a real assessment of how your clothes look on you – you need to buy a full length mirror. Nothing else will do. Stand about four feet away and take a good look – a thorough one. Does the outfit flatter your body style? Does it fit your personality? Does it suit the occasion?

Are you dressed for style? Whether it’s a casual event or professional one, do you have outfits that work well for you?

Pull aside the outfits that easily got a “Yes” to your questions. Now, what do you like about them? Is it the color, the style, or do you just feel comfortable in it? Use these selections as a template for wardrobe confidence-builders.

Now comes the hard part. If you don’t use it – lose it. Really. If there are outfits in your closet that just take up space, get rid of them! It’s ok if your wardrobe looks a little empty when you’re done. Think quality not quantity. You don’t want clothes to fill a closet; you want clothes that work for you.


It’s Ok to Cheat Nature
One of the toughest challenges we have is to find clothes that compliment – not broadcast – our body’s imperfections.

Sue Donnelly, a qualified image consultant, life coach and fitness instructor has a passion for helping clients look and feel good about themselves. In The Art of Illusion: How to Cheat Nature Just by Changing Your Clothes, she shares the following tips:

All of us have parts of our bodies which we don't like. Try the following to disguise any figure challenges:

Legs:
Boot cut trousers will make legs look longer. Turn ups and tapered trousers will shorten. Try stripes as an alternative to plain fabrics. Make sure the hem falls onto the crease of the toes. Higher heels will help, but not shoes with an ankle strap, as these will make the leg look shorter.

Bust:
Large busts look best when dressed in a V neck. Try a crossover sweater. Smaller busts can be enhanced by wearing pockets or logos in this area or by wearing lots of thin layers to add bulk.

Tums:
Avoid belts that cut round the midriff. Men - try braces for a funkier look. Wear clothes that skim over the area and that aren't tight. Buy jackets that move with you and don't pull from the back. Double Breasted suits and jackets are a definite no-no, especially if left unbuttoned. A waistcoat can be a craft addition to your wardrobe.

Hips:
Wearing clothes that cut across your widest part will only accentuate the problem. Use lighter colours on the top to detract the attention. Ladies, widening the shoulders using scarves, or by carrying a bag under your arm, will also work.

Whether critiquing our wardrobe, or learning to cheat nature: With a few changes, we truly can increase our confidence in the way we look. The importance of a wardrobe that works for us cannot be overemphasized.



Jo Ann Fore welcomes your comments about this article or suggestions for material you would like to see in future articles. Email her at: JoAnnFore@msn.com. A Better You is published every Saturday.

 


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