I want to be a stylish woman. That does not mean I’m obsessed with fashion, especially love shopping or want to spend a lot of time or money on my wardrobe and outfits. It does mean that I know the value of dressing stylishly and looking my best, and I’m willing to learn the principles of good style so I can accomplish that. If that describes you, join me as we unlock 5 secrets the most stylish women know.
Welcome to the 2024 Dressed for My Day style series, Define Your Style…Refine Your Wardrobe. Today we’ll begin with broad brushstrokes as I introduce our topic. But you can expect practical, hands-on take-away in future blog posts and videos. And I’ll also provide downloadable and printable helps as we continue through the series, so make sure you’re signed up for my daily or weekly newsletter so you’ll have the password to access the Library. And by the way, the password WILL change throughout the series.
The photos in today’s post are pulled from other previous blog posts. I’ve provided links in the captions of the photos so you can visit the original post if you’d like more information about the outfit shown.
Throughout the year I’ll be sharing the Dressed for My Day Style Principles. Honestly, I’m building this list as I go, so I don’t know how many style principles we’ll have on our list ultimately, but I’ve already got 9 and I’m not even half way through creating our style series outline. I’m assuming we’ll probably have around 25-30 at year end.
Today I’m sharing the first 5 Dressed for My Day Style Principles as we kick of the Define Your Style…Refine Your Wardrobe style series. And those first five principles are secrets that I believe every stylish woman knows.
DFMD Style Principle #1 – We all have a personal style that communicates to others who we are and what we think of ourselves.
Notice that first principle is that we all have a personal style. It doesn’t say we all have good style. But whether we put in the effort or not, we all dress fairly consistently in a way that says a lot about us.
The way you put yourself together tells people a lot about who you think you are, how you see yourself, how you intend to relate to other people and even where you want to go in life. Your style even communicates things like whether or not you care about other people, whether or not you want any attention at all, how you feel about your body and how much you value what you “bring to the table.”
Stylish women know that style is personal, and they’ve taken charge of their own personal style to make it reflect well on them, not poorly.
DFMD Style Principle #2 – Stylish women know that first impressions matter and repeated impressions tell their story.
It’s true regardless of how we feel about it: People size us up in the first 7 seconds of meeting and, because people instinctively get very attached to their first impressions, it’s difficult to change their opinions once they have been formed. (SOURCE) “They” do it, but so do you and I. We were wired to measure people we meet quickly. So rather than get mad about it, we need to accept this principle as true and use it to our advantage.
If we know that first impressions matter, it should compel us to put our best foot forward. And if we know that repeated impressions just solidify those initial ones, we are wise to consistently present ourselves in a way that reflects on us well.
And yes, those first impressions are mostly formulated based on what someone sees, not what we say or do. After all, generally we don’t have the opportunity to say or do much of anything in just 7 seconds. So appearances matter, whether we want to come to terms with that or not.
The stylish woman knows that it’s not enough just to put together one great look to wear on, say, Sunday or the first date or the job interview or the first time you meet the in-laws. Stylish women have taken this second principle seriously and have developed the skill of dressing themselves over and over and over in a way that makes good first and lasting impressions.
DFMD Style Principle #3 – You can define your personal style to tell the story you want to tell authentically and consistently or you can default to a style that communicates a false narrative.
So yeah, we can get mad about the principle of first impressions or we can use it to our advantage. We can understand that appearances matter and then use that information to shape the way people see us through the appearance we put together. Or we can play the victim, throw our hands up in disgust and say people shouldn’t judge on appearances. Lord knows, literally, that they (and we) shouldn’t. But we do.
So the good news is we get to define our style. Maybe you’ve been defaulting to the style in which you “used to dress,” one that hasn’t evolved as you have grown and matured and changed, or as the times and fashions have moved forward. Or maybe you’ve been defaulting to the way other people have defined you. Maybe you’ve heard someone – even someone close to you – say something like, “Oh no, that’s not you. I can’t see you wearing that.” Well guess what. They don’t get to decide your style…unless you let them. You can define your style to tell the story you want to tell.
Now the wise woman won’t try to tell a story that isn’t true with her personal style. Truly stylish women know that good style can’t be a costume. It has to be authentic. Yes, we want our clothes, accessories, hairstyle and makeup (or lack thereof) to tell the story we chose, but the truly stylish woman makes that story believable and all the more beautiful by defining her style in a way that…fits her.
So during this yearlong Define Your Style…Refine Your Wardrobe style series that will be our goal: to define our styles in a way that is authentic, it fits. Otherwise, you’ll soon grow tired of what you’ve created and ditch it, only to return to the false narrative you’d defaulted to earlier. And I’m not going to teach you how to dress in my style. That would be silly. I want you to develop and define your own personal, unique style.
DFMD Style Principle #4 – Defining your personal style helps you shop smarter, dress more authentically, build a more cohesive wardrobe, feel more confident and enjoy getting dressed for your day.
Stylish women know the value of defining their personal style. If they’re going to put in the time and effort it takes to make good first and lasting impressions, then they want their efforts to count for something. You see, good style is not about vanity. Sure, there may be some fashionistas out there who are motivated by vain things. But truly stylish women know there are bigger dividends to personal style than having their egos stroked.
When we take the time to define our own personal style we gain so much. We shop smarter because we’re no longer feeling the need to buy “all the things.” Instead, we’ve narrowed down our shopping list to match our style. It’s so freeing…and cost effective!
With our style defined we can dress more authentically every day. We can feel like ourselves in our clothes. For that matter, we can feel like the best version of ourselves. That’s empowering!
When we pause to define our own style we become equipped to build a wardrobe that is more cohesive and enjoyable. Things go together and mix and match. And we’re able to carry much from our closets to the next year and the next because, while we may enjoy trying a trend or two, we don’t feel compelled to recreate our style with every passing fad.
And when we define our own personal style, we gain a sense of confidence. We own our style and we politely say no to the styles that don’t resonate with us. That doesn’t mean the other styles are bad; they’re just not ours. And so we can enjoy wearing our clothes and feeling good in them. And that leads us to our fifth DFMD Style Principle.
DFMD Style Principle #5 – A stylish woman is one who has intentionally and thoughtfully defined her own personal style and leans into it consistently, expertly and confidently.
The truth is it takes a little time, effort, practice and money to define our personal style. This won’t happen overnight. But as we think through a few things, make a few choices, try some things on, look at ourselves in the mirror and photos, try some more things on and say “no” to some things, we’ll eventually nail down our personal style. The stylish woman has put the work in.
And part of that process is learning to be okay with not wearing some things, maybe even some things that you really like…but you don’t so much like them on you, if you’re honest. The stylish woman has learned to lean into her own personal style…even when pretty things catch her eye or other people try to convince her to wear something or, worse yet, someone tells her she’s too old for something. (Oh my…)
As we start this style journey together…
This is totally optional. But if you’re one of my readers who is really trying to nail down her style and get her wardrobe in shape, I’d like to recommend a few things.
First, invest in a good full length mirror if you don’t already have one. Don’t know where to put it? The guest bedroom or on the back of a bedroom or bathroom door are great options.
Second, learn how to use your cell phone to take mirror selfies. No, I’m not going to tell you how to do that here. Find a young adult or teenager and they’ll easily show you how. Or Google it!
Third, maybe even invest in a tripod to take selfies without a mirror or at least with better lighting. I use this selfie tripod with remote to take my photos. It’s really not that expensive, and it’s worked great for me. I sometimes even take it shopping with me, and I definitely travel with it (because, you know, I gotta do all the blogger stuff!). You can see the remote in my hand in the photos above. It connects with my cell phone by Bluetooth, so you will need Bluetooth capabilities on your phone or device.
I suggest these things because I can’t express to you clearly enough how much taking outfit photos will help you. Having photos to see yourself in outfits is a game changer. I ALWAYS take photos of myself in the mirror when I shop. I daresay, many stylish women do, too. Mirrors lie; photos tell a more accurate story.
If you enjoyed today’s post and you’re looking forward to our yearlong style series, Define Your Style…Refine Your Wardrobe, I’d love for you to spread the word to other women. You can email or text friends a link to this post. Here it is; just copy and paste: https://dressedformyday.com/?p=30706 . And you can also pin the image above to your Pinterest board. There’s a Pinterest icon at the end of this post under the email signup form. In fact, you can share on Facebook, too.
Thanks so much for reading today. Finally, I would like to encourage you to sign up for my daily or weekly email (you choose the frequency) so you’ll be notified each time I share a new style series post. Have a great day!
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Blessed for My Day
If you ever question whether or not you are rich, stop counting the money in your bank account and instead number your blessings. Foremost among those blessings are things God has done in your life. Consider the numerous times He has miraculously answered your prayers, made a way when you thought there was no way, guided you through stormy seasons, sent people into your life who proved to be instrumental in your growth and joy. Can you add to that list the times He has spoken to your heart, whispered assurances over your anxious mind, provided the courage to move forward or gently held you back, preventing you from making a terrible mistake? Isn’t it amazing to look back over our lives and see the handiwork of God?
Even when we didn’t yet know or follow Him, He was there. And when we look back now we can see His fingerprints throughout our lives. Our stories are really just vignettes of His story. And when realize that His glory has been displayed through our hardships and our joys alike, we understand what a rich privilege it is to walk with Him. If you can look back over your life and count the blessings of God only to realize that they are too many to name, you are a rich woman indeed.
In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. ~ Psalm 119:14