Change Your Look, Change Your Life
Looks Do Matter
As much as we may hate to admit it, looks do matter. Clothes aren't just clothes, because they make an impression about who you are. "If you present yourself to the world the way you would like to be seen, it will change your life," says Jennifer Scott, fashion blogger at The Daily Connoisseur and author of the upcoming book, Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris (Simon & Schuster Nov. 2012). "Coming into your own true style changes everything from your posture to the way you speak to people, because you'll feel more confident. Try Jennifer's tips to simplify your get-ready routine and make your wardrobe better reflect your best self.
Reassess your look
"First impressions happen only once, so you should take the time to find outfits that speak to who you are," says Jennifer. This is why it's so important to regularly reassess your look. "You need to adjust your look every five years at least to better reflect your station in life," says Jennifer. Those mini-jean skirts you wore in your twenties probably won't help you convey the look you want to after age thirty. Update your clothes and overall look so that your style fits your life-stage.
Label your style
"Knowing what your 'look' is makes shopping easier so you won't have a schizophrenic wardrobe where nothing really goes together," says Jennifer, a 32-year-old mom of two kids under two who calls her style "laid-back luxe." Though she often wears jeans and tee, Jennifer ups her style-quotient by adding nice earrings, a statement handbag, and colorful ballet flats. To label your own style, ask yourself: How much time do I have to get ready in the morning? How do I spend my day? What's the weather like where I live? Who are the style icons I most admire? (Jennifer names Alexa Chung, Sofia Coppola, and Kirsten Dunst).
De-Clutter Your Wardrobe
To clear an overcrowded closet, determine which items you're wearing for the wrong reasons and donate them to charity. It might be those pants you're hanging on to because they were expensive, but that just don't fit right. Or the sweater your mother-in-law gave you that's the wrong color for your skin tone. Or a blouse that better reflects your twenty-something rather than thirty-something style.
Find your basics
"Every woman should have her 10 capsule wardrobe items -- core pieces that are high-quality, interchangeable, and reflect the style label you gave yourself," says Jennifer. "It will make choosing a fashionable outfit so much quicker and easier." Your capsule pieces will depend on your lifestyle -- a lawyer in Manhattan will have a very different core wardrobe than a stay-at-home mom in Atlanta. Still, go-to core items often include a dark pair of well-made skinny jeans, black wool trousers that fit like a glove, a navy blazer to throw on over a white tee or blouse, a tailored trench coat, some fitted sweaters, and a neutral pencil skirt.
Determine your go-to colors
Wearing the right hues for your individual skin tone can make you look more awake and approachable. "Incorporate those colors into your wardrobe so that you feel great and make a bigger impact on others," says Jennifer. To determine which ones work best on you, hold fabrics of different shades to your face. Note which colors make your eyes pop and skin glow -- and which make you look pale or tired. For example, a blue-eyed blonde with warm skin tones may look best in bright colors such as cobalt blue, lemon yellow, and coral pink. A brown-eyed, dark hair woman with olive undertones may look best in earth tones such as gold, autumn red, and olive green. Whatever your best colors, start adding them to your wardrobe with accent pieces.
Have statement accessories
Accessories help round out your core wardrobe pieces and add diversity to your outfits. Take a cue from Kate Middleton who repeats outfits, but switches up her extras."Accessories keep you from getting bored with your wardrobe," says Jennifer. Don't be afraid to go bold! Whether you're wearing dark skinny jeans and a white tee or a shift dress and heels, adding accessories that fit your style is key for tying an outfit together and looking perfectly polished.
Scale back your makeup routine
"Making sure that you always look presentable does not mean your get-ready routine has to be high maintenance," says Jennifer. Perfect a two-minute, five-minute, and 15-minute makeup routine, depending on your schedule. Finding the right products for you is the key to achieving a natural and polished look. To save time, use cosmetics that multitask. We love Sun Defense Minerals SPF 30 because of the built-in, easy-to-use brush, delicious-smelling ingredients that provide natural-looking coverage, and sun-protection.
Always wear your best
Life is short, so don't save your favorite pieces for special occasions. Go ahead and wear them to the dentist! "I learned from living in Paris that you should wear your best every day," says Jennifer. "French women shun trends, don't obsess over how they look, and don't spend a lot of time getting ready. Rather, they wear high-quality clothes that make them feel good."