My wardrobe is full of clothes and I still have days I don’t know what to wear! The most important period of the year is approaching, the time for dressing up and stunning in your party outfits. What are you going to wear for Christmas and New Year’s? In our daily life, the pressure is already high for women to look good and to be slim. But this pressure increases during the festive season. We have obligations to attend to, family dinner gatherings, company functions or Christmas and New Year events.
It is a very busy period of socialising and “get togethers” for everyone. Some functions might be more formal while others are informal. They all have one thing in common though… you have to look fabulous! Here, I am going to try to give you a few tips on how to look amazing, glamorous and fashionable. First of all, you look as good as you feel. Your exterior is a reflection of your inner self. Do not underestimate the value of your self confidence. In my opinion, you can wear old clothes but still make them look like a million bucks. As a businesswoman who has worked in fashion for more than 25 years, I sincerely believe in this principle.
No matter what brand or designer item you wear, if you wear it without confidence, you will not rock that piece of art! Before you read any further please reflect on this first principle. Where are you on the self-confidence spectrum? More importantly, how can you improve it? Work consciously on a daily basis and step-by-step you will increase your confidence level. If you find it hard or you don’t know where to start, get yourself a mentor or a coach. Investing in yourself is going to boost your confidence because now you are going to give yourself the time and effort you deserve. You are worth it.
Once you have tackled the confidence issue, the rest is easy! Your self-confidence is the foundation of the house and the other tools I am going to give you will help you to build further. The second most important challenge we face as women is our body. More precisely, the shape of our body and everything that comes with it. There is a deep discontentment about the proportions or the look of our body and face. You can be Miss Universe or a top model and still feel unhappy about some aspect of your physical exterior. It can be the length, the width, the colour, the shape, the texture of any of your body parts.
I have seen the most beautiful models in the world depressed about their, in my opinion, perfect bodies. Your body is the temple of your soul. So, if the soul is unhappy and restless, your body will never feel good either. Now you might understand why I started with the first principle “self-confidence”. A few tips, tricks and tools about how to handle your body… In order to find the perfect solution, you need to know beforehand “what is your shape”?
The fashion business defines five different body shapes:
The body shape infographic below is a general guideline. When you classify yourself, be realistic and honest with yourself. Your body is what you see now and not what you want it to be. Ask for advice from a partner, a good friend or a professional if you are not 100% sure. Research online and find the shapes that fit your body type. There are different shapes for different garments like dresses, skirts, trousers, tops, etc. Also look at lengths that go better with a certain body type. Do not worry if that particular length or shape is not a trend this season. Fashion
means: “what suits you the best”. If you emphasise your body strengths and use the garments suited for your specific body type, you will look stylish anyway! Now you know your body type or shape. Let’s go to the next essential tool: colour. I want to ask, what is your favourite colour? Answer this question for yourself and then walk to your wardrobe. Look at your clothes, footwear, bags and accessories. How many items do you have in your favourite colour? Not many, right? During most of my workshops either for corporate employees or for individuals, I receive a very similar response. We, including myself, do not wear enough of our favourite colour. My most favourite colour is red. I love the warmth and energy that colour gives me. But when I open my wardrobe, I have only one or two red dresses and maybe two tops, one red pair of shoes, one bag and zero red jewellery! Of course, a few red lipsticks. Does that count?
Here are the main colours and their meanings:
Why is it crucial to wear the colour we love the most? Because that colour is going to give you the radiance, the energy that makes you glow. If something makes you feel good then it will definitely look good too! Reflect on why a certain colour is your favourite colour. What does it mean for you? With what do you associate it? Women especially have a favourite colour for one reason or another.
When I think about my Mine, I remember the conversations I had with my girlfriends in primary school. We would ask each other frequently which colour we liked the most. Then we would copy each other or change the colour because our best friend had chosen that one. We also had to explain to each other why we choose that specific colour. As I grew up with two sisters, we also talked a lot at home about our favourite colours. I guess that is what girls do.
When I had my daughter and she started talking at the age of 2, I would ask her about her favourite colour, food, animal etc. This question is part of raising a child and a growing up ritual. Get to know your colours and choose which one you like the most. How to wear your favourite colour? This is the trickiest question. Let’s say you are not such a flamboyant person, maybe even a bit shy but your favourite colour is red. Will you ever dare to wear a red dress for example? Probably not.
My advice would be to wear red as an accent colour in your accessories. It could be a scarf, belt, necklace, handbag or even shoes. The other option is to wear it in an outfit combination and together with a “safer” colour. For example, wear a red blouse with black trousers. So, when you start wearing and using your favourite colour in your outfits, does it mean you can ignore fashion colours? As a fashion professional, of course I have to say no! The fashion colours are only important for a certain period of time and you will find many clothing items popping up in that specific colour during that time window.
I would only advise you to try one or two items in a fashion colour of the moment but not buy your whole wardrobe just in that trendy colour. Also, when a designer or a buyer defines the colour palette for next season’s collection, they will select a whole colour portfolio and not concentrate on one hot colour. From a business point of view, this is very risky and will generally lead to low sales. When it comes to colour, do not get carried away with what you might see on the catwalk shows as this does not always reflect what is available in the stores.
Last but not least, a tool neglected by many people is fabric. I could write a whole separate article about fabrics since this topic is fascinating. Recently with all the latest technology developments, a whole new area of possibilities has opened up. In addition, on a topic very close to my heart, sustainability and recycling, more and more natural fabrics are being created from plants and even fruits. I am often astonished when I come across certain people in the industry who have such little knowledge about fabrics.
Even some designers have not been taught about crucial nuances of fabrics and the fabrics’ impact on body shapes. Of course, as a fashion consumer you can educate yourself about fabrics and actually you must educate yourself. Fabrics can give you what your body shape needs. Fabrics sometimes define colours too. For example, you cannot get linen in every colour. Fabrics define what you should wear in a certain climate or should avoid in a certain climate. In a hot and humid climate like Thailand, wearing cotton makes sense.
On the other hand, wearing polyester can be suffocating. Yet, I do come across may garments and clothing brands that sell mainly polyester here in Thailand. Obviously, it is a financial matter too. Natural fabrics are simply more expensive, although the price of cotton garments has come down a lot over the years. The last few practical tips… when looking for your next fabulous, festive outfit, consider tailor made garments. Living in Thailand gives you the best opportunity to have a personal styled item made according to your specifications and your unique body shape for very reasonable prices! What a luxury to have.
There are plenty of talented tailors in Bangkok. You do need to get references and again the most important factor is choosing the right fabric! Where to shop? In luxury shopping malls, tourist markets or online? Well, this is what we call omni-channel in the retail fashion business. As a consumer you have so many sales channels to choose from. It can be overwhelming sometimes but on the other hand it gives you so much more power as a consumer. My advice would be to try different channels, be adventurous and find out what channel works best for you. Have a fabulous shopping time and I am sure you will look absolutely stunning!