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Five Common Fashion Mistakes

#1 The Fashion Victim

One of the many fashion mistakes women make is relying too much on the fashion media to choose what they wear. Keeping in touch with the changing styles is great but following them to the extent that your clothes are outdated by the end of the season can cost you money and leave you feeling like you never have anything to wear.

A woman who has developed her personal style has something to wear for every occasion, feels good about her purchases, can mix and match easily and always looks great and in style. She does all this and still manages not to break the bank.

To develop your personal style and not become a fashion victim:

1) Decide if your fashion personality is dramatic, casual, classic or romantic.

2) When you have determined your fashion personality decide which clothing items you have now that fit your style and which should be replaced.

3) Start with your clothing staples – jackets, pants, skirts and tops - and build around them.

4) Decide if you need to make any changes to your hair, makeup or wardrobe colors. Do they suit your fashion personality? What are they saying about you?

5) Use accessories to personalize and update your look.

These are just some of the steps you can take to develop your style. Looking your best is easy when you get to know what styles looks best on you (don’t give in to following fashion trends without giving some thought to how they will make you look), the styles that suit your lifestyle and personality and how to put it all together.

#2 Improper Fit

Brand names or the latest fashion doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be well dressed and look great if what you are wearing doesn’t fit. Wearing ill-fitting clothes is a common fashion mistake that many women make. To look great, your clothes must look like they are made for you – not too tight, not too small and hang perfectly.

When choosing clothes it is also important to take into consideration your body shape. Women are different shapes and what looks great on one can be unflattering for another. The lines in clothing draw the eye in different directions creating illusions. What you wear on top, for example can make you look larger or smaller depending on the garment lines.

Here are some guidelines to get the perfect fit:

1. Don’t wear clothes that are too small or too tight. You’ll know if what you’re wearing is too small or too tight if it creates a bulge.

2. The sleeves of your jacket should end just below the wrist bone.

3. Prevent having your blouse gap at the buttons by choosing a size larger. If a size larger makes the blouse too large at the bottom consider having it tailored.

4. Choose a bra that fits well and keeps your bust where it should be. A sagging bust will add years instantly.

All skirts should hang straight around and a pencil skirt should be loose enough not to show lines and not ride up when you sit.

#3 A Wardrobe That Is Thrown Together

You are probably thinking, “What exactly is a wardrobe that is thrown together”? If your wardrobe is thrown together you probably spend more than you need to look good and finding something suitable to wear every morning is driving you crazy. It doesn’t mean that you don’t look great if your wardrobe falls into the ‘thrown together’ category – it does mean that you have to put too much thought into what you will wear and you have created a headache that you don’t need.

This headache begins when you shop without a plan; buy tons of clothes that don’t match anything else and buy anything that is on sale without thinking. What happens? You have these cute shoes that don’t match anything, a dress that you will wear if that special event comes along and lots of odds and ends.

If you want to look great and do it easily you’ll have to start now to change your habits and get someone to hold you back from the sale rack (I don’t mean to imply that buying on sale is always a mistake). A bargain is sometimes a bargain or it can cost you dearly. You can start today and get yourself back on track if you:

1. Clear out your closet and get rid of everything that you haven’t worn in a year or doesn’t fit. Make a list of what you have left.

2. Make a list of the items you need to complete your wardrobe and establish a budget.

3. Plan your wardrobe around a solid color and choose two other colors that complement that color (choose colors that also match what you already own).

4. Don’t buy sale items unless they fit well and match three things you already own. It’s not a bargain if you don’t wear it. Update your wardrobe every season.

#4 Being Inappropriately Dressed

First impressions are so important. As they say, ‘you only get one chance to make a first impression’. Within 3 seconds of meeting, people make evaluations of who we are based on body language, appearance and what we say. Only 7 percent is based on what we say leaving the remaining 93 percent being based on our appearance and body language. The bottom line – make sure what you’re wearing is sending the message you want.

Being inappropriately dressed creates unfavorable impressions and leaves us losing out. For example, you might be looked over for a promotion if you are not in the habit of dressing to company standards. Wearing sleeveless and low cut tops, bare legs, short skirts and sweatshirts in a business environment are just some of the clothing items that can create unfavorable impressions and interfere with your credibility. You wouldn’t think of wearing a suit and pumps to the beach, so why would you wear flip flops and capris to your office?

What you are wearing can keep you from a job promotion, your ideal mate, great service or destroy your credibility. If you are not already doing so, learn how to dress appropriately for the occasion. Before you leave home ask yourself these questions:

1. Is the occasion casual, formal, semi-formal or business?

2. Will I know the people who will be there or is this a time when I’ll be creating a first impression?

To gain credibility and make a good impression, know your personal style, know the occasion and pay attention to the message your body language is sending.

#5 Being in a Style Rut

You’ll know if you’re making this fashion mistake if what you’re wearing looks boring, is a fad from three or five years ago, looks like it is from another era or if you feel boring. Sticking to classics is a great way to stretch your clothing budget and make shopping easier. The drawback is a never changing wardrobe can get dreary. You feel like your wardrobe lacks excitement.

Here are some suggestions to add style and pizzazz to your dressing. Before you get started remember for best results make subtle changes over a period of time. Rushing in and making drastic changes could leave you feeling uncomfortable with your new look.

1. Start by buying a few fashion magazines to get an idea of the current trends.

2. Add a couple of different stores to your shopping expedition. You might find an item you like that you would have never seen if you hadn’t got off the beaten path. If you always buy a certain brand, try a different one.

3. Use color and accessories to spice up your wardrobe. In your accent pieces (i.e. camisole or scarf) pick up the new color of the season. The latest styles in handbags, shoes and necklaces will bring your look into the current season.

As you get out of your style rut, act slowly and remember some things do not change. In particular, the cut of the clothing that is best suited to your body type will not change. Use what you know about the styles that are most flattering for you when you decide to change your look. The most flattering cuts for your clothing will remain the same and the newest styles will not necessarily be suitable for your body type.

©Copyright 2007 Sheila Dicks
Sheila Dicks is an Image and Wardrobe consultant who helps men and women reach their full potential and gain greater self-confidence by finding their beauty from the inside out. You can find her at http://www.sheilasfashionsense.com, http://www.mensfashion101.com, http://www.sheiladicks.com

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