Don’t buy clothes that don’t fit
One of the most crucial concepts of dressing well and looking good that many people, and in particular many women miss is that the thing that makes the most difference between looking like a classy, professional lady and looking like a stressed, past-her-prime old harridan is the fit of the clothes that you’re wearing. Most successful men, probably because their work-attire choices are much more limited, intuitively understand that wearing well-fitting clothes that match their body type matters a good deal more than just colors and stylings. I’m sure every single gal reading this blog has at one time or another in their life come across a guy wearing a loose or ill-fitting suit, and I’m equally sure that this guy was viewed by the majority of us as a chump, even if his suit was off-the-reservation expensive or he was wearing some insanely priced watch.
The same general principle applies to women. The most basic way to apply this is to know your sizes, and to not compromise on them. Don’t buy anything that’s not your actual size – obviously we know different stores and brands have slightly different interpretations of sizes – but if you’re someone who’s generally interested in clothes, you know what fits and what doesn’t. The mistake that many women make is that they buy stuff even if it doesn’t fit properly because ‘this top is so cute’ or ‘I can’t not buy this skirt’. Clothes that are too big for you make you look like a slouch. On the other end of the spectrum, clothes that are too small, far from being attractive, often accentuate the worst parts of your body, and on top of that can border on being inappropriate in a professional context.
OK. So, that’s the first tip – don’t buy or wear clothes that are too big or too small. Pretty basic stuff. If you feel like you understand this we can move on to the next thing.
Consider Your Body Type
This next concept can be a bit more difficult to grasp for those of you who aren’t really into fashion – but there are certain designs of clothing that work better with certain body types. This goes beyond just sizes – for example, a skirt can be the correct size, but you still might not look good in it due to the shape/style of that skirt.
Women generally fall into five different body types – the Pear (wide hips, narrow shoulders), the Strawberry(wide shoulders and narrow hips, like a V), the Hourglass (self explanatory), the Apple (Added weight clusters around the torso – more of an orange in my opinion) and the Banana (body shape is relatively straight rather than curvy). If you’re not sure which body type you are, you can follow the steps listed in this wikihow article.
Here’s a few basic tips for each body type:
- Pears: Clothes should be lower waisted, and don’t wear things that are lose around the torso – this will make it seem like your torso area is as wide as your hips are. Also, bright colors on top and darker colors on the bottom is a good rule of thumb.
- Apples: Avoid tops that are too tight – looser on top and tighter on the bottom is a good idea. Try to highlight your bottom half and take attention off your torso. Also, if your arms are slim, you can highlight them with bracelets and interesting sleeves.
- Hourglass: Many people view this as the most desirable body shape – the other girls in the office probably resent you for it ; ). Hourglass girls have the luxury of looking good in most clothes – avoid anything overly loose that will hide your body shape, but also don’t go too tight – showcase your figure but don’t flaunt it.
- Bananas: Wear clothes that help create the impression of curves – things that taper in and out, Also, loose sleeves that fan out help make your shoulders look slightly wider, which in turn helps the torso look slimmer. In general, you can also dress in a more feminine manner.
- Strawberries: Dark tops, light bottoms is the way to go. Don’t wear anything that will make your shoulders look wider – ruffled sleeves and jackets with angular shoulders are a big no no. Also avoid distinctive or adventurous collars.
Use Jewelry to Your Advantage
Another thing to note is that you draw attention away from your flaws with the right jewelry placement. For example, if you have a pretty features but a boyish figure, earrings and tighter-fitting necklaces can draw attention to your face. Bracelets on the wrist draw attention to slim and toned arms, and similarly, more adventurous shoes can draw attention to the legs and away from other parts of the body. Lastly, every girl knows that longer, hanging necklaces can draw attention to the chest, which can be a good look for curvier gals. In an office setting, it’s also a much more appropriate way to emphasize your curves than a plunging neckline.