Most New Year resolutions focus on goals or activities designed to make us look and feel better about ourselves. And no wonder! There are a lot of impossible standards that women (especially #over40) feel the need to conquer. But there’s no need to turn to risky procedures or money-wasting trends and gimmicks.
Below are the Top 10 personal image tips I give to clients. They may seem too easy, but the positive feedback proves that they work.
1. Visit a professional bra fitter. Eighty percent of women wear the wrong size bra. A proper fitting bra will make your clothes fit better and shed visual weight from your torso. Visit a boutique that carries dozens of brands, measures you, and helps you find designs that fit your shape. Avoid wearing the same bra two days in a row, and replace them after 6 months of wear (or when the hooks are on the tightest setting).
2. Wear matching bra/panty sets. Once you find brands & sizes that work for you, look for matching panties. “But no one sees them!” you say? Well, YOU do. When you feel sexy, you project a certain confidence that others can’t pinpoint but sense. I like Bare Necessities. Some women swear by adding body jewelry under their clothing for that extra zing.
3. Ditch clothes that don’t fit RIGHT NOW. “Goal weight” clothes are demoralizing. “Fat clothes” set you up for failure. Go through your wardrobe and ask yourself “Do I look and feel incredible in this right now?” If not, donate it, resell it, or alter it to fit.
4. Create a capsulized wardrobe. It’s the easiest way to avoid shopping mistakes and save money. There are a few ways to do this. I like the seasonal color-coordinated method. Choose a neutral and two colors that you’ll focus on for the season. It may sound boring, but you’re probably already doing it (which is why so many clothes go unworn).
5. Exchange black for color. Choose colors that complement your eyes, hair, and skin tone. Here’s a guide based on choosing party dresses. The principles apply to daily wear. For best results, call a certified image consultant for a full color analysis.
6. Stop trying to “hide.” Hiding usually translates to unwanted volume to your silhouette or translates to a flat appearance. Form-fitting (not tight!) designs are flattering when you choose them based on your body type. Add various fabric textures for dimension and interest.
7. Focus on your assets. This is part two of not hiding. My Classy vs. Trashy Formula takes you from frumpy to fab. Use bright colors, shiny materials, or embellishments on areas where you want to draw the eye. Great legs? Slide on sparkling sheer hose. Killer bust? Sport a v-neck with a statement necklace. When you draw the eye to one area, you automatically minimize other areas and create balance.
8. Don’t buy into “must have” trends. It’s an evil marketing ploy that implies you are irrelevant if you don’t buy into the trend. What nonsense! Incorporate trends that work for your color scheme, body type, and personal style. Again, a certified image consultant can provide detailed guidelines for putting together updated outfits that work for you.
9. Get your eyebrows shaped by a professional. “You look 10 years younger, what’s your secret?” For weeks after my first brow shaping, people asked me this question daily. Brows anchor your face. A properly shaped/filled brow lifts the eye, minimizes the need for heavy makeup, and appears youthful. Enough said.
10. Find and flaunt your signature style. Signatures center around a particular theme or piece. Iris Apfel’s eyeglasses. Anna Wintour’s haircut. Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits. Stevie Nicks’ shawls. Gwen Stefani’s red lips and punk influences. Tilda Swinton’s gender-bending minimalism. There are no rules– ask Madonna who changes her signature style regularly. Just be sure it’s a reflection of who YOU are, and you can’t go wrong.