Over time, everyone develops behavioral habits from exercise routines, the way we style our hair, the route we drive to work when we want our coffee or need a cigarette. Likewise, we have style habits that govern the way we dress. Some of these are good like always getting things altered to fit, seasonally editing your closet and taking a final look in the mirror before you leave the house and some are bad and even self-sabotaging.
Our bad habits hold us back, preventing us from reaching our social or professional potential. So, ladies, it’s time for some self-evaluation. Once you identify a bad habit and correct it, you’re sure to experience an elevation in your style and a change in how others react to you.
1. Wearing the same styles over and over
Sure, having a signature ‘uniform’ can be seen as having a strong personal style but it can get also get a little oh-hum after a while. All closets need a jolt of new trends from time to time to ensure we look in touch we the times. So, if you think this is you, step out of your comfort zone, experiment a little, I’m sure you’ll be able to find at least one new style, accessory or color you can successfully import into your closet.
To discover what type of shopper you are, try my quick quiz.
2. Wearing one color all the time.
It’s hard to move away from black, believe me, we know. Black is slimming and is so versatile. Wearing black, or one color all the time for that matter, can and will get stale. Having a signature color is great, but sometimes breaking that color habit and slipping into an unexpected hue can work wonders for your confidence and style.
3. Not knowing the styles and colors that suit you
I admit to being one-eyed about this but not taking the time to know the styles and colors that best suit you is a sure way to end up with a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear. If this is you, seek out a fashionable friend or an image professional to help you discover the styles that suit you best. It’s way too easy to fall into a style rut when all you’ve got is your own subjective opinion on fashion. If you dare, this calculator works out for you the amount of money you waste on clothes.
4. Getting sucked into sales
I’ve met many a woman who were guilty of this. It’s all too easy to lose sight of the longevity or the suitability of an item when a bright red price tag is screaming out massive savings to you. If you buy things at a sale just for the sake of buying, you end up wasting money in the long run. Give sale items some serious thought before rushing to the register, if it matches with your lifestyle and if it matches with existing items in your closet then go for it. If not, put it back and spend your money on items you will actually use and enjoy. My mother taught me “love it madly or need it badly? No? Put it back.”
5. Buying items too small for you
Telling yourself that an incredible dress will be your inspiration to lose weight is the wrong way of thinking. It isn’t just a bad style habit, it’s a bad habit period. Love the body you’re in now and dress for what you have NOW. If you make a healthy lifestyle change and lose weight in the process, then let your style naturally evolve with it.
6. Saving your best things for special occasions.
“Saving” dresses or accessories to wear for special occasions can be good up to a point but if you consistently do it, you’ll end up with a closet full of beautiful things gathering dust. Enjoy your fashion picks and don’t wait for the red carpet to roll out before you strut them.
7. Not considering quality
My mum always used to tell me “you get what you pay for” and it’s always proved right. Quality always comes first when shopping. Whether it’s the quality of the fabric or the workmanship of the item, quality will dictate the monetary and long-term value of your purchase. Clothes and accessories that are of high quality will not only last, but their look will leave a lasting good impression on other people as well as you, the wearer.
8. Buying a second item trying to make a bad purchase work
A bad purchase cannot be reversed. If an item doesn’t fit you right, or if you go home and you end up not liking it for whatever reason, your best option is to return it or exchange it. No good will come out of buying more items trying to make a bad purchase work. If you can’t take it back, cut your losses, learn a lesson and donate it to charity.
9. Ignoring some stores
Great items can be found in the most surprising of places. Don’t discount certain places just because of how they look on the outside, or simply because you don’t usually shop there, or you think it doesn’t fit your style. Fashion and dressing up is about experimentation. Don’t box yourself in by going to the same stores. Step into new stores, and you may have your next fabulous find.
10. Wearing only flats
We all love flats, they’re comfortable and great for running about. But for special occasions you’d be remiss not to have some heels to strut in. While high heels can be a little uncomfortable, for special occasions, a little discomfort is worth it when you witness how great they make your legs look.
OK, so I already feel the wave of comments coming my way. If you really can’t wear heels then be sure to wear an amazingly trendy pair and/or add something eye-catching high on your body to pull all the attention towards your face.
11. Not wearing shapewear when it’s needed
Shapewear is underrated. When wearing snug skirts or dresses, even the fittest ladies will benefit from shapewear to smooth out and firm the lines and make the whole look appear flawless and seamless.
12. Wearing badly fitting lingerie
What you wear underneath, although not seen by the naked eye, affects how your clothes fit, drape, and hang on you. A poor fitting bra or visible panty lines can ruin even the best outfit and image
13. Waiting too long between haircuts
There is nothing alluring or sexy about having damaged ends or shapeless hair. Maintain the volume and health of your locks by keeping a strict 4/6 weekly appointment with your stylist.
14. Shopping with no regard to your goals or lifestyle
When you’re out shopping, bear in mind that every single item you decided to take home will contribute to your overall style and will inform your goals and lifestyle. For example, if you are aiming to climb the corporate ladder, it is best to stick to classic silhouettes and professional looks, even when dressing up for socializing.
15. Wearing jeans or gym attire all the time
Jeans and yoga pants can only take you so far. While those pieces are certainly comfortable and casually chic, it’s not appropriate to wear everywhere and all the time, especially not to a dinner at a nice restaurant or in a professional or formal setting.
16. Looking 1999 when it’s 2016
It’s so easy to become so familiar with your look that you forget to notice that you don’t look in sync with the times. As a stylist, we call this an image blind spot and it’s a big reason why women lose their mojo. Every few years after 40 it’s wise to invest some time and money in updating your look and reexamining your closet. Fashion is ever evolving and so should you be. Oh, and when you get an update, you’ll probably look at least 5 years younger.
17. Not dressing your personal style
Always keep your own style top of your priorities. Trends may come and go, but you should always adapt them to fit what YOU like and what works for YOU. If you’re not sure what your style is here is a quiz I developed a few years back to help you recognize your style.
18. Not altering garments to fit
Over the years I’ve hear many women complain that if they are prepared to pay a little more for quality they feel ripped off when they also have to pay to have the garment altered to fit. While I understand the sentiment I also want to slap her around the head (sorry, I’m not really into violence). You see, women’s bodies are very complex and have a lot more areas that can alter in shape than say men do. This means that it’s almost impossible to buy an off-the-rack item that will sit on your body perfectly. Alterations are worth every cent when you realize and experience the great improvement they make. In fact with the right alterations, an inexpensive garment can be make to look expensive.