The clothes we wear are the first layer of self-expression. While it is true that we should never judge a book by its cover, looking at someone’s outfit can give hints on the person who wears it. You can immediately tell things like if they are creative, sporty, or reserved.
Dressing for success is one of the confidence boosters previously mentioned
As it turns out, the outfits you choose to wear also have an impact on your performance, too. A study cited by Inc. Magazine highlights the influence of your clothing on making important decisions. According to the research, people who dress more professionally tend to have a wider perspective, which can determine the choices they make. Conversely, you can also use your clothes to sway people’s perception of you. For instance, if you’re a leader trying to appear more relatable to your subordinates, you don’t want to be dressed to the nines. Choose clothes that don’t make you seem intimidating.
There are many ways you can use clothing to your advantage but it can be tough for people who don’t fit a certain ideal. For instance, a plus size woman who has all the credentials might end up not performing well in a job interview due to a lack of confidence. Here are a few ways to prevent that.
- Dress for your body type. This is one of the secrets to finding clothes that always look good on you. The main thing is to not get too hung up on sizes, so instead focus on the fit. What might look good on someone who is a few sizes bigger might not be flattering on you. For instance, because apple-shaped women have a bigger top half, Style Craze suggests going for clothes that elongate your torso, such as deep necklines. On the other hand, loose tops paired with tight-fitting bottoms look good on pear-shaped women. Pay attention to fit as well as color, patterns, and texture and ignore the numbers.
- Embrace your features. It’s easy to pinpoint your flaws but harder to appreciate your own features. Think of the body parts or qualities that you do like and dress in a way that showcases them to slowly build your confidence. If you like your broad shoulders
forinstance, wear light-colored tops and thinner straps to accentuate them. Eventually, you can be more comfortable wearing dresses and body-hugging pieces. Woman Within shows how plus size women can rock midi dresses, which come in different styles and designs, including the cutout shoulder, slit-front and ruffle sleeve. These can highlight body parts like your legs or collar bone. In other words, ensure that it has the proper cut and style that complements your body.
- Try not to compare yourself to others. We’re all guilty of comparing
ourselves to what we see in the media but that can be very deceiving. Researcher Martin Graff explained that social media
in particularis curated to portray people in a ‘positive light’. Not everyone looks like they stepped out of a fashion catalog all the time. One way to become more comfortable in what you wear personally is to cultivate your signature style. You can turn to other people for inspiration, but not as a mold to base your entire wardrobe on. Have a few key pieces that you feel confident in wearing and adapt it to fit different occasions
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t let others dictate what you wear. Beauty and confidence emanate from within yourself, and clothes are just a way to express them.
Jenna Simon is a personal stylist and body-positive activist. Through her articles, she aims to help many young women boost their confidence by finding their own style.