By Cathy Neich – Colour & Style Consultant
Over time almost everyone develops a preferred style of dress, this style is usually a reflection of their inner personality. It’s important that the clothes you wear make you feel happy, express who you are, fit with your personality, goals and lifestyle. You must wear your clothes, they must never wear you.
Feeling self-conscious destroys any hope of style. Dressing in a way that pleases others and not you leads only to inner confusion and discomfort with yourself and your situation.
Finding Your Own Style
By the time most women are in their 30s, they have discovered a dressing style that feels comfortable. Dressing to be fashionable gives way to more important aspects of life and a sense of self has made life less stressful. Most women are essentially on the ‘right track’. However, this track can often become a rut. When this happens, a style, image and colour consultation can raise you out of the rut and set you back on the style highway and open up an incredible landscape of fantastic choice.
If you are unsure if you have found your style, first take a good look at the clothes in your wardrobe. Ask yourself:
• Do you feel happy and comfortable in them?
• Do they project a look that you feel gives a true impression of your personality?
If your answer is ‘yes’ then you are probably well on the way to having your own style. Maybe all you need to finish the picture is an understanding of how to put everything together on a daily basis. Or maybe you just need a little help with understanding fashion trends and how to use trends wisely within your budget and lifestyle.
If your answer was ‘no’ you need to undertake a journey of style discovery starting with a study of the different fashion looks in shops and magazines. Then try on as many different styles as you can, including the classics, until you start to get an idea of the styles that not only look good on you, but that feel right with your personality.
Buy a scrap book and fill it with pictures of clothes, accessories, hairstyles and make-up looks that make you say ‘wow’. Look at the pictures after you have collected about fifty and compare them to the following 7 dressing styles described to see which two or three style categories they fit into. No one will be just one style, rather a blend of a major style and one or two minor influences.
Great style doesn’t require lots of cash. A limited budget will force you to be disciplined and make you think more carefully about every purchase you make. Does the piece you are about to buy work with a majority of your other garments or is it a fad buy (a look that will be outdated in a few weeks or months)?
Rather than going all out on strong short-lived fashion items, choose accessories that will turn existing items of clothing into the fashion look of the moment. This is a far less expensive way to remain fashionable. If you are going to go out and buy a fashion fad, try not to spend too much money on it as it will most likely be a short-lived look.
There are 7 main style personalities. Classic, Feminine, Dramatic, Natural, Creative, Elegant and Sexy. While most women have one particular style that they feel best in, many will combine two and sometimes three styles to suit the different environments that they find themselves in.
One such example is a business woman who likes to dress in a feminine style with pastel colours, lace and fluffy sweaters. While this is great for home and entertaining, when in the office, to gain posture, authority and the confidence of others, she will need to dress in a more classic manner.
Visual Impression: Tailored and Business like
Psychological Impression: Credible, Conservative, Practical and Trustworthy
Greatest Positive of Style: Appropriate in almost any situation
Greatest Negative of Style: May end up with a look that is too safe and conservative – even BORING. This will result from the wearers complacency, shopping only when absolutely necessary, at the last minute and often with a frugal attitude. This can lead to some women looking dated, boring, unimaginative, and even older. To combat this, it is imperative that they regularly restock their business and casual wardrobe with good quality, current, classic garments
Visual Impression: Soft and Romantic
Psychological Impression: Warm, Youthful, Caring and Calm
Greatest Positive of Style: Inspires co-operation and openness
Greatest Negative of Style: The wearer may be judged as immature or weak and not able to cope with difficult or complex tasks
Visual Impression: Confident and Commanding
Psychological Impression: Independent, Influential, Strong, Aggressive or Exciting
Greatest Positive of Style: Star recognition, gains attention quickly, memorable, automatic respect
Greatest Negative of Style: May alienate themselves by appearing unapproachable or superior
Visual Impression: Informal and Unpretentious
Psychological Impression: Friendly, Relaxed, Athletic and Practical
Greatest Positive of Style: Easy approachability
Greatest Negative of Style: May be seen by some as ‘lazy dressing’
Visual Impression: Unconventional and Innovative
Psychological Impression: Imaginative, Eclectic and/or Confrontational
Greatest Positive of Style: Gains attention quickly, memorable, unique
Greatest Negative of Style: May be seen as confrontational and anti-establishment
Visual Impression: Sophisticated and Stately
Psychological Impression: Influential, High Social Standing, Wealthy and Meticulous
Greatest Positive of Style: Gains trust quickly
Greatest Negative of Style: The perfection of this style may make others feel inferior
Visual Impression: Seductive, Glamorous and Daring
Psychological Impression: Provocative, Exciting, Desiring sexual encounters
Greatest Positive of Style: Gains attention quickly
Greatest Negative of Style: May irritate other women, distracting
Personal style is also all about the way you wear your clothes and their condition. Insignificant details become finishing touches that can make all the difference between a striking and an ordinary impression. It will involve effort, but it is worth it and will quickly become second nature to you. Take time to look after your clothes. Clean and well pressed clothes will always make a better impression than those that are dirty, creased or worn out.
As a qualified Colour & Style Consultant & Professional Make-up Artist, Cathy Neich is available as a workshop presenter and for group or one-on-one consultations. Please see her website for further details – www.cathysniche.com.au