The more confident you feel, the more you smile, and the more you smile the more people will positively remember you. When you’re wearing an outfit that you know suits you, confidence follows. Along with the morning basics – from making sure your hair looks groomed to knowing your teeth are clean and your smile dazzling – getting dressed is crucial to how you’ll behave all day.
That’s why it’s vital to know your body shape, says personal stylist Gabrielle Teare, a stylist with 10 years’ experience. “People often wear clothes that do not fit or flatter them – sometimes out of habit or just because they don’t know what suits their shape.” Here are her five indispensable tips for ensuring every day is a good outfit day.
- Know your body
It might seem old-fashioned, but the body shapes Trinny and Susannah used to talk about still apply. There’s the apple, which tends to be rounder in the centre third of her body. A pear shape tends to have a larger bottom half and smaller top, while an hourglass has a small waist and relatively even bust-to-hip ratio. The rectangle has an athletic figure without a defined waist, and an inverted triangle tends to be bigger on the bust with narrow hips. None of these body shapes is negative – but knowing which you are is key to making your daily routine more efficient.
- Dress for your shape
Now for the good stuff. “Let’s start with apple shapes first,” says Teare. “A great tip is to use draped styles to disguise the middle area if you’re self-conscious about it. And accent the face with colour, collars and jewellery, which draws the eye upwards.” Pears, take note: “Wear darker shades on the bottom half if you want to flatter your shape. And look for dresses that are fitted under the bust if you have a small waist.” Lucky hourglass figures suit most styles: “Always wear clothes that fit at the waist to accentuate it – shift dresses work very well.”
Rectangles can create the illusion of a waist with suits and drop-waisted styles that other shapes would find tricky to pull off. “You can also use belts,” says Teare. Finally, she advises inverted triangles to wear darker colours on the top half. “That proportionally evens out the body shape, as does wearing brighter tones on the bottom half.
- Boost your confidence with clothes
Now you’ve got the tips, it’s time to go shopping. Teare has some practical advice for navigating the high street. “First, only buy what suits you. Trends come and go, but key pieces will be in your wardrobe for a while. Buy for style, rather than fashion, and you’ll look more stylish at a result.” Think about where you shop too – spend a day browsing in different stores and getting to know their sizing. Take your phone and snap pictures of yourself in the mirror so that you can evaluate when you get home.
- Get some insider style tips
Teare has one killer style tip that everyone needs to remember. “We make decisions about people within 30 seconds of meeting them, and the phrase ‘dress to impress’ is so crucial. My advice is to always dress a bit smarter than you think you need to.” That way you’ll always be smart, but never scruffy or underdressed. Another brilliant tip is to think of your clothes as a complete collection, rather than just stuff. “I advise my clients to spend money on ‘clothes’, not just trends. That way you will build a wardrobe of pieces that you love and want to wear.”
- See a professional every five years
Sometimes it’s hard to evaluate your outfits and body shape yourself, so call in the pros: “See a personal stylist every five years. People buy the same things over and over but a professional can get you out of that rut and is way more knowledgeable and objective than a pal.” Teare is passionate about how big a difference a few style tweaks can make: “If you change the way you look, you change the way you feel about yourself. People tell me they got the job, the partner, whatever they wanted to achieve because of the confidence boost that a change of style gave them.”
Confidence definitely comes from within, so knowing you have a great wardrobe full of pieces that suit and flatter you takes the hassle out of a morning and boosts the way you feel about yourself. Who doesn’t want that?
Have a good morning
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