“Help! I Have No Style…”
It can be hard to transition from high school student to college student to young newlywed to career woman to mommy on the go. Many women’s closets are still harboring pieces of clothing from each time period, including many too-young pieces that don’t fit properly anymore, are out of style, or are just plain too young. If your closet looks like a mishmash of a tween/teen closet, a college grunge collection and a mom trying to figure out what her style is, this guide is for you!
When you look good, you feel good. The manner in which you package yourself often times dictates if you will be taken seriously and treated accordingly. We want to feel modern, in control, and productive when transitioning from carpool to work to errands to dinner preparation. Trying to dress in too-young clothes can age a woman and leave the impression of an older person trying (unsuccessfully) to look young. Shapeless, oversized or overly-casual clothes (pajamas and workout clothes) will make you look like a harried, tired, overwhelmed woman who just can’t keep up with life. If you need to break out of the “tired mom” rut, read Don’t Look Like a Tired Mom: 13 Quick Mini Makeovers.
Creating a new identity with a new clothing style is possible, even with little time for shopping and a small budget. Clothes that look great can cost the same or less than clothes that look inappropriate or unflattering. We all know that the right clothes can make or break the woman in terms of how she is seen by others, and in turn how she is seen by herself. With this in mind, choose to make time for yourself and make your style makeover a priority. Transform your wardrobe into a powerful tool that works FOR you, not against you! You’ll look good, you’ll feel good, and your clothes will let the world know to take you seriously. Use these 8 quick rules to start growing up your wardrobe and finding your own personal style right now:
8 Quick Rules to Grow Up Your Wardrobe
1. Cut out the cartoons. Throw out all clothing with pictures of cartoon characters, even if it was purchased as a souvenir. (If you have a hard time parting with clothes, especially souvenirs, read Declutter Your Closet: Why is it So Hard to Let Go of Clothes?) Nothing says junior high like a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. Keep your favorite characters in your kids’ rooms, NOT on your clothes.
2. Stick with solid colored socks. Socks with crazy heart prints, ducky designs and fuzzy pom poms may look cute on a 6 year old, but are not appropriate on an adult woman who wants to be taken seriously! Stick with solid basic colors such as black, white, grey, beige, and chocolate brown that match with a variety of outfits.
3. Trade in hoodies (hooded sweatshirts) for jackets. Whether you’re hooked on childish hoodies or big baggy sweatshirts, there are plenty of other ways to stay warm and layer your clothing. Jackets are easy to throw on over a top with pants or jeans and instantly add a put-together look.
Just Say NO to childish hoodies and shapeless sweatshirts:
Just say YES to fitted jackets, blazers and coats:
4. Say goodbye to sweat pants, track pants and workout pants. Put the sweat pants in a box in the garage – reserved only for wearing while CLEANING out the GARAGE! Sweats are sloppy and unflattering on every figure, and workout pants should only be worn – you guessed it – while working out. Opt for a stretchy wash-and-wear pair of khakis or straight-legged dark wash jeans for a sophisticated, modern look. Remember that regular pants take the same 2 minutes to put on that sweats do, but look worlds better!
5. Donate all your tee-shirts and shapeless tops (hint: they look like rectangles with arms when placed flat on the bed). Shapeless, boxy shirts not only add the illusion of carrying extra pounds, but also look very young since many are designed for the yet-shapeless tween/teen body.
6. Choose fitted shirts that add shape to your body. Tops don’t have to be clingy to fit right – choose a top with structure to accentuate your figure while camouflaging any extra weight around the midsection that you don’t want seen. As seen in the photos below, choose styles that emphasize a small bust with shirring, create the visual of a small waist with horizontal seaming, have banded necklines on sophisticated tanks, and create a feminine look with draped necklines.
Don’t pick this young boxy style:
Choose tops similar to these flattering styles:
Non-athletic sneakers come in all different colors and are meant for running errands in, not for running a marathon! These shoes are a great alternative to dirty sneakers in your new fashionable wardrobe for a hip mommy-on-the-go.
8. Jeans with holes are for teens. Distressed does not mean the same thing as ripped! Holey jeans contribute to a very young and overly-casual look. Jeans can look worn, weathered, and distressed straight off the rack without having holes in them. Opt for dark colored jeans that are still in one piece when you purchase them, and leave the holey jeans for the teens.
Choosing the right clothes that project you as a capable superwoman is easy when you grow up your wardrobe. Use the 8 quick rules above to start making over your closet and developing your new style today!
We originally published “8 Quick Rules to Grow Up Your Wardrobe” on Home Ever After on September 10, 2008.