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  • Writer's pictureStephanie West

Finding Confidence with Style

Updated: Jan 6

How you can boost your confidence with these 3 steps!

I kind of gagged at that subtitle but I do believe that if you do just a few things you can feel better form the inside out. Guess what? If you feel better on the inside, then you radiate that energy ! Insta-confidence :)

Why should you care about what's on your body?

I share this with you not as any kind of ad, but only because I know what it feels like to walk into my closet and feel like I have to cobble together pieces that I will feel comfortable in vs having multiple pieces I love to wear. "ok, today it is going to be hot so maybe I an wear this tank and these shorts. Ugh, these shorts always always ride up my thighs and cut into my stomach but I'll be so hot in pants." After getting dressed I would constantly be aware of my shorts riding up, pretending I wasn't thinking about how my thighs looked rubbing together. I would also try to keep my shirts down to beside every bit of squishy-scare covered stomach was hidden away. Once I started wearing things I loved, things that fit my body, I felt, well, let's just say I wasn't going back. Ever!

Tip 1# - Do YOU like it? 'Nuf said!

"Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning who you are, which takes years. There's no how-to road map to style. It's about self expression and, above all, attitude." —Iris Apfel

Something I hear very often is, "oh, I wish I could dress like that." Guess what I say in response, "You should" or I ask "Why don't you then? Life is too dang short" and I smile hoping I've encouraged my new friend to lean into what she loves. If there is something you like, something that lights you up inside, then there is absolutely no reason why you should not do the things that set your soul on fire. Ok, maybe murder and other similar terrible-human-type things should be avoided. *wink

Come on though, this is clothing! It's nothing crazy or intense. What is does require is your ability to consider your wishes above your fear of anyone's opinions. I am by no means above these fears, but I do have experience in working past it as I embody the person I use to hide away. I hope you will work to shift into the version of you that might be hiding. No one deserves to live this way, doll! Think about the things you've worn that have made you proud and walk taller. Think about that shirt you wish you had more of, those adorable flats that make your heart smile. What's something you've put on that made you feel like a goddess? Don't have one? Go window-shopping and try something. I am willing to bet that thing you put back saying, "mmm, maybe not" out of fear of judgement is the very thing you'd love. In fact, bet it would look amazing on you and because YOU loved it, you'd glow and receive reassuring compliments and wish you'd had done this sooner.

Here is how the shift of wearing what I wanted happened for me.

One night I was sitting near my husband, sucked into a Youtube how-to video of a 50s hairstyle. I sighed saying that I've always loved this style and wished I could dress like this. He said exactly what I say now, "why don't you?!" I came up with excuses relating to money, fluctuating weight, etc. He called shenanigans of course . Thankful for my incredible partner-in-life for his encouragement, I started watching different YouTube videos about where to shop for different items and what kind of things I should be starting with. I started by purchasing things on sale or inexpensive retrodictions items to see if I really liked it. I would say the rest is history but I still do this. I am always finding some new company and making notes.

Tip 2# - The clothes should fit your body, not the other way around.

"The dress must follow the body of a woman, not the body following the shape of the dress." —Hubert de Givenchy

I saw somewhere, probably social media, about how we don't force a shoes to fit us. The shoes need to fit our foot not the other way around. Why, then, are we so poopy about fitting our body to clothes. Don't get me wrong, I still have an inner monologue that critiques my body screaming, "you'd be able to actually buy that piece from Miss Candyfloss if you just lost a dress size." What I do now is find items that fit into the style, that make me happy, from brands that I have found carry sizes that do work for me. I know the latter part of this may not be the easiest thing and take some time. I guarantee once you've done some research and find what works for you then you will find yourself walking into your closet asking, "what do I want to wear" vs " what can I wear?" This feeling is everything!

A Bit of background on my body shape and how I fit things to my body.

No, I promise you do not have to dress in some vintage-inspired way to feel a pop in your step. This is just what I do for me. I have a longer torso, I am curvy, and the bulk of this falls around my tummy area which is loaded with scares from 3 babies. Shirts always seemed to creep up to my girls while my pants didn't come up high enough to stay in place. My mom used to pick on me, all in good fun, back in high school saying, "oh-p, there she goes again. Pull up the pants, pull down the shirt." This was me every time I got up from any kind of seated position. SO ANNOYNG. Allow me to illustrate something. If I wear a circle-style or gathered skirt with a tighter fitting top, I fit the curves of my body better than if I attempt a dress. The skirt sits at my waist and because by design it allows for variations in hip size, I do not have to think much beyond my waist measurement. A dress would match a specific sizing ratio but I am not some ratio. I am between sizes and using separates allows me to fit my body best. Depending on your body, you may want the dress or maybe some leggings with a flowing tank and a leather jacket. Do you!

Tip #3 - How do you find the things?

"Style is something each of us already has, all we need to do is find it." —Diane von Furstenberg

Start with something you already have that you love. Like I mentioned before, is there something in your closet that you really enjoy wearing? If you are not sure, do you have a friends or family member who would truly be honest with you and support you? Shopping with someone who serves platitudes out of love is not going to help you in the long run. Having someone who can say the cut of that item is not flattering yet encourage you to keep looking for the things you love. I did not have this. Yes, my husband is supportive but he didn't know what to look for either. I've made mistakes and learned what works for me. I asked, "How do I feel? Do I feel confident or pretty? Do I feel powerful or carefree? AM I HAPPY!? I know that may not seem like much help, but it really can involve some trial and error. Regardless, it comes down to your happiness.

"Don't be into trends. Don't make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live." — Gianni Versace

Stop Hiding!

Life is too short! This is a cliché for a reason. It’s true! Do love with regrets. Stop wishing you could or would have_____. Start taking steps to be the you we are all waiting to see! I be the response to your shift(s) will be amazing and the only regret you will have, is not having done it sooner!

Live a brilliant, bold, and beautifully empowered life!


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