Start strong in curating your dream wardrobe with these fashion tips for beginners.
Are you ready to get your style on after being in the trenches for years? Is it time to take care of yourself, but you just don’t know where to start?
This is for you if have no idea what to do and how to get a grip on your personal style. In today’s episode, I’m going to share five amazing texts from real women, just like you, to help you figure out what to do first and what to really focus on when you’re learning about style and fashion.
Would you love to have fun fashion and hang out with like-minded women, come join the Radiantly Dressed Facebook group to get feedback with your personal style, ask questions, learn about color, capsule war drives, personal style, and all the things. Hope to see you in there.
I’m back again with some more fashion tips for beginners. A couple of weeks ago, I polled my Facebook group and I shared with you five fashion tips for beginners from these wonderful women who are a little bit further along in their journey.
When you’re just starting out on your fashion and style journey it can be really overwhelming. There’s so much information out there. We are bombarded daily with images and concepts and ideas from all over the place, including Facebook or Pinterest. Even when you’re out in public, you see so many different ways to approach style and fashion.
So, what’s the most important thing? What should you do first? Everyone has a little bit different opinion, but these are some great pieces of advice from my wonderful, amazing community of women.
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Tip #1: Avoid Trends and Add Accessories
The first piece of advice is from Kelly, and she says, “Just because it’s ‘in’ doesn’t mean it works for you. Outfits can go from frumpy to fabulous with just a few tweaks. Accessories and complete pieces are really that important.”
There are actually two pieces of advice in this particular comment. The first one, just because it’s in doesn’t mean it works for you. This is so true.
When we’re young (I am over 40 so I’m talking to myself) it’s really easy to adopt all these trends because everything looks good. But as we get older, we have to be really intentional and mindful about the trends that we choose to put on our body.
The hard truth is not all of them are going to be flattering on you; they are not made to be flattering on everybody. If the trend doesn’t look good on you, it is definitely not you!
It’s not you. It’s not your body. It’s the clothes, so just let it go.
Be content with what you already love and stop chasing trends that don’t work for you.
The second half of her advice references accessories and completer pieces. I agree that these are definitely the things that finish your outfit. You can wear a simple graphic tee, leggings, and tennis shoes and adding one simple accessory can really take your outfit to the next level. Things like jewelry or shoes can be a great accessory to add personality and fun.
Layers (completer pieces) are the bee’s knees when it comes to your outfits. A cardigan or a well-fitting jacket can make it look like you did a little bit more than just throw on the first clothes that you found. If you don’t have a couple of completer pieces that you love, your first order of business is to grab at least one that you absolutely adore.
Tip #2: Wear What you Love
Melinda is giving us our next piece of advice, which is, “Wear what you love, in natural fibers, and don’t be afraid to experiment and re-wear your favorites.”
Sometimes that when it comes to fashion, we have a mindset that we can’t ever be seen twice in the same outfit. There’s a concept called the spotlight effect, which says that people are not paying attention to you the way that you think they’re paying attention to you.
I’ve seen this play out in my own life during style challenges wearing the same dress every day, and no one really notices because they’re not paying that much attention to you.
This is your permission to wear what you love, even if you were the same thing last week and the same thing the week before. If it’s your favorite piece of clothing wear it as much as you want it to enjoy it.
No one is going to notice. All they will remember is being with you and the experience of being in your company, They’ll remember the great time they had with you and the way that you touch their heart.
They’re going to remember you the person. They will not remember what you’re wearing, so be a proud #outfitrepeater.
Tip #3: Your Dream Wardrobe is Possible
Our third piece of advice is from Katie,
“It is possible to finally curate a closet full of clothes that you honestly can say you would wear each piece happily…but sometimes you have to cut yourself off.”
Raise your hand if you have a closet full of clothes but you probably only wear about 10 to 20%.
That is so common. Statistically most women only wear about 20% of their wardrobe, which means that you have a whole closet full of clothes that you don’t like.
Imagine what it would be like to have a closet full of clothes that you actually love and you do wear 80-90% of the time.
That’s what she’s talking about here. The process of building a wardrobe: curating it carefully, making good, thoughtful decisions, choosing items of clothing that fit your personality and your lifestyle. Choosing clothing that is perfect for who you are today, not yesterday and not 10 years in the future.
This is the kind of happy closet that she’s talking about, and the reality is that this takes time. You have to hone your instincts and you have to learn what works for you.
But it is possible to build this closet, and once you’ve reached this pinnacle of closet building – where you love and wear 90% of what you own – it’s really easy to add in new pieces. You can also let go of things that are no longer serving you because you really understand yourself and you understand your style.
You know who you are and that your clothes are really just an outward expression of who you are on the inside.
Tip #4: Create your own version of normal.
Joanna gives us a fun tip, “Just don’t be weird (smiley face). Find a version of normal that you love and make it yours.”
Fashion should be unique, but sometimes we just want to conform to what everyone around us is doing. Sometimes it needs to be really simple because we’re in a season where things are really complicated. We need our closet to be simple because we just don’t have the mental bandwidth to make these decisions about what to wear.
In those seasons, you can find something that’s simple and classic, and make it uniquely yours and authentic.
Earlier I gave you an example of a graphic T-shirt and leggings. This is a really basic outfit when you’re at home taking care of the kids. You don’t want to ruin your nice clothes; you want something really simple. Something normal and acceptable, essentially what everybody else is wearing. Imagine going to your mom’s group and everybody’s wearing the same thing, everybody is dressed the same.
You can still be unique and let your personality shine through in the accessories that you choose. From the shoes that you wear to the jewelry that you choose, these make you uniquely you. Take that basic normal look and make it your own.
When it comes to fashion, especially high fashion, there really is no “weird.” But if you look at it from the perspective of your average woman living life in suburbia, these haute couture choices are weird to us. I have seen some crazy stuff on the runways each season, some things that would never work in real life, but to someone else, they are art.
Think about style and fashion as being a creative outlet from the Creator. He gave you this desire to make things beautiful! If you consider that your fashion is a part of this, then you can be yourself and not have to worry about being weird or fitting in.
Tip #5: Do the Heart Work
The final piece of fashion advice for beginners comes from Jonelle. This is another really beautiful, deep and thoughtful pieces of advice. She says, “Do the work you need on your heart and mind that needs to be done because it won’t be solved by putting stuff on your body. And just realize it might take a long time because you might have a lot to work through.”
There is a spectrum of how people approach fashion. On one end you believe it’s just clothes, it doesn’t matter. You have to get dressed because it’s society’s rule, so you’re just gonna do it.
On the other end of the spectrum are those who are very caught up in fashion, always searching for the latest trend, trying to adopt all these things, copying outfits from Pinterest, constantly trying to find a style and be in fashion.
No matter where you are on this spectrum, how you feel about how you look – from the shape of your body, the clothes that you choose, the way you wear your hair, your make-up, the accessories you choose, the shoes that you wear – all of these tiny little elements are a manifestation of what’s inside the heart.
So if you’re struggling with your wardrobe, it’s probably because there’s stuff inside you that’s messy. It’s hurtful and it’s painful. This includes all kinds of things from losing somebody you love or PTSD from something that’s happened in your life.
It could be in your head, like those words you hear over and over that someone has said to you to make you feel less than, to make you feel bad about your body and bad about how you look in your clothes.
It can come from so many areas, and all of us have experienced these hurts in our lives. How we internalize them as who we think we are and who we believe we are comes out when we try to get dressed.
Because getting dressed, no matter what you think about it, communicates a message. Getting dressed says something to the people that you meet. Even if you don’t want to, or you don’t mean to, it’s doing it anyway.
You can’t help that because it’s an outward expression and everyone is unique.
The hard, honest, raw truth, is that when you start to go on this journey, it can be messy. When you really start to look into what clothing suits you, what makes you happy, what you want to wear, how you want to show up, how do you wanna communicate..it’s ugly!
It’s ugly because we have to go in there and we have to talk about those things that you don’t want to talk about and those feelings that are uncomfortable for you.
You have to learn to reframe those thoughts to view yourself as God does, precious and beautiful. His child, not perfect, messy and relying on the blood of Jesus. You have to stop those thoughts and you have to learn a new way of looking at yourself so that you can simplify what clothing means to you.
Fashion and style is a life-long pursuit. She said it might take a long time, but it’s actually going to take your whole lifetime because you’re going to change and you’re going to have new experiences. Some of them may create more trauma, more negative thoughts in your head, more things that you have to overcome yet again. It’s never just a one-and done thing.
Your style, your self-image, is constantly evolving. You’re going to face things like aging, menopause, weight gain, weight loss, health issues. All kinds of things are going to come up and you’re going to have to deal with them.
You’re going to have to make adjustments, but it is totally possible to be authentic with your clothing, to be authentic in how you present yourself, and to make sure that the message you’re sending is intentional.
I’m here to talk you through all these wacky things in your head that make it hard to get dressed to help you break down those thoughts that you have so that you can feel good in your clothes.
You can love what you’re wearing, love your closet, love getting dressed again. You can enjoy the artistic, creative nature of style, and be at peace with yourself and your body, with your clothes and how you look to the world.
Final Thoughts on Fashion Tips for Beginners
When you’ve been without style for awhile, it can feel overwhelming to start to take in all the things. From color analysis to body type and personal style, it can be confusing to know where to focus your energy.
Real women, just like you, have been there, and offer up their best tips for getting started on building a wardrobe you love.
Which one do you love most? Let me know in the comments.
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Use these 5 fashion tips for beginners to build a wardrobe you love without wasting time and energy.
Stacey is the owner and creator behind Radiantly Dressed. She is a certified image consultant and AICI member focusing on creating simplicity in wardrobes via color and style.