I’m having one of those weeks where I just want to bury my head in the sand and deny that I have anything to do. If only I could go on strike for a day, but I don’t think anyone would care. My little boss Maya wouldn’t have a bar of it.
But anyway, I’d been trying to think of what style-ish posts I can write that might be useful and I had a vision of Maya as a young woman going out into the world as her own. It’s a very, very strange and scary thought seeing as she’s only just turned two.
I like to imagine one day she will ask me how to know what to wear and how to put it all together. At least I hope she asks me, god help me if she buys one of those ridiculous girly fashion magazines to educate herself from and learn a hundred ways how she is lacking.
This is what I would tell her.
My ten top tips on how to dress like a strong confident woman.
- Strong posture. It doesn’t matter how you feel inside, how nervous you are, how much you wish a black hole would open and swallow you up. In nerve-wracking situations which could be anything from walking into a bar alone, to a job interview all you have to do is lengthen your spine, shoulders back, head up and smile like you know something no one else does. Technically that’s true anyway. Great posture, or carriage as they used to call it in the dark ages can make you look composed, confident and strong even if you’re a trembling mess inside.
- Know what you like. Ever since I saw Katherine Hepburn in a white shirt in an old 40’s movie, and Audrey Hepburn in a black long sleeve top and pant, I’ve incorporated it into my everyday style . I love the simplicity of it. When I dress in what I love, I feel great. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s in fashion or not. Black and white never lets me down. Your thing might be bohemian, or vintage, or the classic jeans and t-shirts. All that matters is that you love it and you own it.
- Dress for your shape. Knowing what suits you will help you find gorgeous designs to flatter you. I would love to be able to wear body con dresses but alas, my body doesn’t look good in them. Why would I make my poor body unhappy and uncomfortable? On the other hand a dress I recently purchased from Asos looks great on and I feel so damn good in it! The amazing Sophia Loren said that a dress should serve it’s purpose without obstructing the view, which is true of my lovely wiggle dress. Although, I don’t always follow this rule. Most of the time I run around in oversized shirts dresses and oversized tops with jeans. I love the feeling of loose fabric swishing around me but I also know that I’m tall enough to carry the extra volume off. So, know what suits you.
- .Choose one bit of skin to show. This one is simple, show off either your boobs or your thighs. Trust me you can look amazing even all covered up. As shown by Audrey Hepburn above.
- The ‘one fitted one floaty’ trick. If you have a two piece outfit a really flattering way to style is to pair a loose top with a fitted bottom or vice versa. For example a fitted top with an a-line skirt, tunic with leggings or fitted pencil skirt with a shell top. This rule helps to show of your curves and always makes for a lovely silhouette
- Make only 1 item the hero. It could be a statement piece of jewellery, a sequined jacket or an amazing print dress. Let everything else compliment that one piece instead of competing with it. Ofcourse I wont be following that rule when I’m a little old lady. I fully intend to wear all my big rings at once, huge necklaces and earrings, red lipstick and Chanel suits. Bring on the eccentricity of old age!
- Start and end your outfit in the same colour or theme. This is a really easy formula for instant polish if you feel like you need something extra. If you’re wearing a plain outfit of white tee and blue jeans, layer on a couple of long bohemian-ish necklaces (start of outfit) and a pair of bohemian sandals (end of outfit). Or, with the same outfit a black jacket (start) and black shoes (end). My favourite look at the moment is a gold and silver statement necklace with jeans and a tee, finished off with a pair of gold flats.
- Choose your shoes wisely. Do your back a favour and don’t wear heels that you can’t walk in. I always see impeccably dressed girls in their mega heels tottering precariously along. It doesn’t make you look confident or sexy when you are wobbling like a hunched unbalanced toddler. I used to only wear the super 10 inch heels when you know you’ll be sitting or standing in them for most of the time. For walking I used to carry flats. I knew my limitations.
- Shop well. Dont spend your money on clothes that look cheap. Even if you’re on a tight budget, there are ways to shop smart. Look for good fabrics that will launder well and always try everything on. Most internet shopping sites allows free returns in order to allow you to try on at home. Indicators of ‘cheap’ clothing are usually ill-fitting garments, puckered seams, baggy shoulders and sleeves, loose threads, uneven hemlines, blacks usually have a reddish our brown tint to them, and stretch fabric doesn’t bounce back after you stretch it. If you only get one wear out of it before it falls apart it’s a waste of money. Consider Cost per wear.
- Build your perfect capsule wardrobe. Meaning each item should be able to create many outfits. For example a fantastic jacket – one of the most versatile and worn pieces in anyone’s wardrobe. It can be worn with jeans, trousers, skirts and dresses. Nikki from styling you has just done a great example of creating a capsule wardrobe with 17 pieces creating 28 outfit combinations.
.And please for the love of all that is good in this world, don’t hide yourself for the sake of fashion rules. If it’s a hot day and your arms don’t look thinner than a hungry catwalk model, go ahead and wear a sleeveless top because your comfort should always come first. Also because really, no one cares. Everyone is too busy with their own lives and their iPhones anyway. The people who look up and judge negatively are either secretly wishing they had your confidence or are just dicks.
Have I forgotten something? Do you have any more wise tips I can pass on to my child one day?
PS. I would love you to come and join my Facebook family for a bit more of Starring Maya fun. Or if you're more of an Instagram person then right this way 🙂 See you around! xxx Shereen