I’ve been trying hard to put together a style for myself and I can’t seem to make it work. My outfits are a mess and nothing really goes together. What do I do?
Desperate in Delaware
I know this answer implies that I’m still clinging to the Olympic Games, but it’s an addiction. Like shoes. So I know you’ll understand. If you listen to post-race interviews with winning athletes, one theme comes across most distinctly: “I crossed a big finish line today, but it was the little finish lines along the way that got me here.”
It’s the same with the elements of style and dressing. You don’t arrive at a personal style like you’re getting off the A train and “Poof, you’re the Duchess of Windsor!” It takes time, trial and error. You might do well to go into training. In the training camp of style, here are some of the little finish lines to cross along the way:
Find out what you like
Try it on. If you’re having trouble assembling a style, break it down and take it piece by piece. Explore one classification at a time. Try on jackets until you find the shapes that suit you and the brands that suit your budget. Do the same with pants, skirts, button-front blouses and knit tops. It costs you nothing to do this and lays the foundation for a superstructure of style.
While you're doing this you can…
Find out your real size
This is the prerequisite to, “Buy clothes that fit you.” Sizing has gone all out of whack again and now the kicker is that some lines are changing their fit by the season. Invest some time at your local mall to ascertain what fits you, at what size, in what brand. Bear in mind that there seems to be a corollary between size and price tag: The higher the price, the bigger the size. You might be a two in mass-market styles but you may find yourself buying sixes on the designer floor.
As a bonus, you’ll be able to order online with impunity.
I know. The horror. But then, so are wind sprints. You just have to power down and do it. I buy several pairs to take and try on at home where I can have a quiet little nervous breakdown in the privacy of my own dressing room.
Buy a proper bra
Actually, three proper bras: A smooth cup for knit tops, a lace cup for woven shirts and dresses (plus they have greater entertainment value for your significant other) and, if you are endowed with a C cup and above, a sports bra with structure. The sports bra will be worn for, well, sports. In addition, it’s recommended that you wear the sports bra for sleeping. This keeps the girls from ‘traveling’ in your sleep, which can lead to stretching and micro-tears in the tissue that eventually will change the shape of your bust.
Put together a wardrobe of bras. Bras are like shoes. The more you spread out the wear, the longer they will last.
More red carpet secrets
Join me for more of the tips, tricks and star-dressing strategies on Secrets of the Red Carpet: Style from the Inside-Out LIVE Saturdays at 3 p.m. PST, 6 p.m. EST at (link to emPOWERme.tv/live) and on demand here.
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