What we are wearing makes a big difference. Clothes tell the world who we are, what we do, what we care about, and what our hopes are. Garments can also add confidence and improve one's self-image. I will share with you my story of style improvement that ended up affecting me on a profound level.
Bright, vibrant colored clothing was not my thing for the longest time. In my early life, I gravitated towards neutral shades of black, grey, beige, and brown. I found these muted colors to be versatile and safe as well as easy to mix and match. Bright patterns and colors came to my life later. It coincided with me growing older, more confident, and financially stable.
Dull fashion and safe choices marked my early adulthood. I wore classic-cut dress pants or boot-cut jeans with various neutral-colored tops that were mostly turtlenecks. I chose a safe fashion. My goal was to be well dressed but do not stand out, not to be a girl who draws attention to herself.
As years passed, my style changed little. For the longest time, I lived in jeans, ignoring a stylish sea of possibilities that skirts and dresses provided. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment when I started to venture out of my safe zone. It must have happened after I got my first full-time job. The steady paycheck must have nudged me towards more expensive stores, brands, and beautiful designs.
When I entered the more expensive fashion-forward world, I noticed dresses with exciting patterns, prints, color-blocking accents, and textures. I saw flowy skirts with flowery prints, abstract designs, and asymmetrical hems. I suddenly realized that I do not want to live in denim most of my days. I wanted to live in color, soft materials, flowy skirts, and feminine statement pieces.
Another light bulb went out in my head: I did not want to wait for an occasion to wear a dress I loved. I wanted to wear what I loved when I felt like it. Even if that meant I was overdressed. I stopped dividing my closet into two categories of casual/business casual and fancy/night out outfits. Every item that I bought deserved to be worn every day regardless of an occasion.
I love all the colors that pop out at me when I open up my closet. A burnt orange skirt that works well with a blue chambray shirt. A canary yellow summer dress styled with blue pumps radiates sunshine and fun. Navy top with bright pink and deep red flowers paired with wide-leg trousers or knee-length skirt makes my day. Exciting patterns and bright colors make me smile no matter what my mood is.
My brighter bolder closet coincided with me growing more confident. Did I become more confident and then started to wear bright colors? Or was it the other way around? I began to buy and wear more elaborate clothing and then grew more confident. I think that my style change helped me to become more confident. People say that it is essential to dress for the life you want, and I believe it is true.
"What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language." —Miuccia Prada
"You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it." —Edith Head
So, maybe, my confidence materialized after I had started to dress in a more stylish bolder way, in a way that represented who I wanted to be, who I wanted to become. Tailored elegant blazers and jackets provided strength when I needed it. Perfectly fit bright colored dresses made me feel like I belonged even when I felt exactly the opposite.
I learned that bold color choices are not scary, that standing out in a beautiful dress is incredible, that living in color is gorgeous. I adore, and treasure many of my pieces and that in turn translates into positive emotions which radiate outward attracting new connections and positive energy.