Fashion and how it can boost your confidence

I hail from a city known for its sparkling fashion, its unique trends and personal styles. A quick survey of the supermodels-in-disguise on any bustling NYC street and you’ll notice how they emit an air of individualism, of flair, of rooted authenticity. As Chuck Klosterman writes in, “The Ethics of Paradox”, in this month’s issue of Esquire:

“[New Yorkers] usually think their personal opinions are more interesting than any movie ever made.”

We know we’re full of ourselves and darn proud of it. That said, our sense of fashion is no different.

In my opinion, fashion, along with body language, is a reflection of self-importance. To quote from “Ugly Betty”, if anything, “fashion is good for the soul” (and to some, so is compulsive shopping). Putting on a crisp new shirt, stepping outside and subtly strutting your suavity down the street, silently humming “I’m Too Sexy” to yourself, and feeling comfortable in your skin because you feel comfortable (both tactually and emotionally) in your clothes.

PickTheBrain writes that one way to boost your confidence is to dress sharp.

Although clothes don’t make the man, they certainly affect the way he feels about himself. No one is more conscious of your physical appearance than you are. When you don’t look good, it changes the way you carry yourself and interact with other people. Use this to your advantage by taking care of your personal appearance. In most cases, significant improvements can be made by bathing and shaving frequently, wearing clean clothes, and being cognizant of the latest styles.

Here are my tips on how to rock the runway:

  • Wear your clothes, not swim in them.

    Don’t wear sizes that obscure your body frame (unless that’s your personal style of course). Your clothes should compliment your body figure even if you’re not too proud of it (in which case, these tips should help). As the legendary designer Tom Ford says, “Americans have grown too accustomed to being comfortable. I find a different kind of comfort when I know I look good.”

  • Buy clothes that you like, not what magazines endorse.

    If you think black, skinny tights remind you of “Swan Lake”, don’t wear them. For the guys, if plaid is impossible to wear without a Scottish bagpipe, ditch it. However, don’t go overboard and buy something without trying it on; try to find a balance between what you like and what actually looks good on you (similar to the tug-of-war of identity between you and everyone else, as posited by some sociologists), which leads us to our next point:

  • If you think that polka-dot shirt is a bit too much, it most likely is.

    Style doesn’t mean extravagance. Find clothes that complement you and your style, not those that upstage you.

  • Find inspiration in others.

    Be sensitive to the clothes that dress mannequins in store displays. Take notice of certain patterns, looks, color combinations, clothing matches. take the vanity down a notch and be open to inspiration around you; make mental notes when you see something striking.

  • Plan your wardrobe.

    If possible, spend a few minutes the night before planning what you’ll wear. This saves you from looking like you dressed in a hurry (and saves time in the morning).

  • Personal grooming
    Your wardrobe is only one element of how you appear to the world. Personal grooming is another. Wearing a slick suit won’t do anything if you haven’t shaved for days or if you reek of body odor (do us all a favor and invest in a decent cologne or perfume).
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