apr 22 2014

It happens more often than you might realize. What someone’s wearing can be a stumbling block for clear communication. If something about your outfit is “off” or confusing, the result can be that you appear unapproachable or out of touch with your own identity. On the other hand, when clothes fit, flatter, and express your personal style, people are drawn in and want to know more about you.

Here are some ways that clothes can be a distraction.

1. Bad fit

If the sleeves on your jacket or blouse are way too long for you or the pant legs on your slacks are dragging on the floor, you look swallowed up by your clothes. Our view of you is obstructed.

If pants, skirts or tops are too binding around your middle, you look uncomfortable. Your audience sees the misfit and feels uncomfortable for you. This isn’t how you want people thinking about you.

It’s hard to assess fit by yourself. Someone with a professional eye and experience with current fashion can make these assessments for you.

2. Age inappropriate dressing

People can make this mistake at any age. A woman moves into her 30s and is still dressing like a college student. The downside is that she isn’t being seen for the woman she’s blossomed into. A sixty-year-old tries to capture a memory of her youth by wearing trendy clothes from the junior department. She could end up looking like a character and not a genuine person. In both of these examples, the clothes aren’t appropriate to where these individuals are in life.

When you leave one chapter of your life and enter another, your wardrobe needs to follow and support your transition. Having a wardrobe coach can be immeasurably helpful at times like this.

3. Wearing unflattering colors

When you wear clothing in colors that are too strong for your complexion, hair and eyes, they are the attention getters, not you. Bright or neon colors can seem to enter a room before you do. All anyone can see is the color and you go missing.

Clothes in muted or faded colors can be gorgeous on some people. But if you’re not someone who lights up a room wearing dove gray or putty, these colors could make you look sickly or invisible. In this case, it’s impossible to exude presence or power.

Too many colors worn at once can make someone think you’re wearing a costume not an outfit. Your clothes create a spectacle rather than a connection.

Flattering colors aren’t hard to find. A color expert can clear up any confusion you might have and make finding “your” colors a joy.

4. Expired style

When people have neglected themselves for a year or two or more, it shows. Personal style requires updating to avoid getting lost in a decade. What you wear offers clues about you. If all your clues point to 1995, the subliminal message you’re sending is that you’re out of date with your self, and possibly business life and other relationships.

It can seem like it would take a lot of time, effort and money to update your style and present yourself in the most flattering way, but in the right hands you could be looking like your best self in the next week. You deserve to enjoy all the benefits that come from owning your current personal style.

When someone’s outfit isn’t making sense, it sends a warning to be on high alert. Don’t let this happen to you. With some education and a few adjustments to your wardrobe, you can be in clothes that fit, flatter and suit you best. And even better, it’ll all look effortless on your part. I’d love to help you make it happen. Call me and we’ll set up a review session and get started.

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