how_to_dress

The “Right” Proportions

Life is a balancing act. Many of us are looking for the right proportions of all sorts of things. There are four I’m going to cover today:

The proportion of clothes you own, that you actually wear.

Cluttered closet = cluttered mind

“Yeah but my closet is pretty organized,” you might be thinking. Clutter, in my opinion, also means having lots of clothes you’re not wearing. How would it feel to open your closet and drawers and only see garments you not only wear on a regular basis, but ones that you actually love? Getting to this point is a lifelong process, but committing to a bi-annual closet edit is a great way to minimize the urge to buy new stuff, and a way to stimulate your creativity.

I challenge you to go through your wardrobe and pull out all the items you’re not wearing. Two to three times a week, work one of these under-worn items into an outfit. If you’re happy with the result, take a photo and work it into your rotation. Any items you haven’t worn in six months can be donated, sold, or, post-lockdown, throw a party to have an excuse to wear them.

Unworn clothes = money wasted. Here are two common ways we wind up spending A LOT of money on clothes we hardly ever wear:

Emergency Shopping

Emergency Shopping is when you’re desperate and under time pressure, you race to a store or scroll online and wind up buying stuff that doesn’t actually suit you, which you in turn regret and remain irritated about.

Shopping on Impulse

Shopping on Impulse is what happens when you see something online that looks attractive and, without stopping to think how many outfits you can create with it, you order it. Once you’re/it’s home you realize you’ve bought another “orphan” and after three wears, it winds up in the back of your closet.

Every time you buy clothes you don’t wear, or wear too seldom, you’re throwing away money you could have spent on a stylist and personal shopper to help you: buy less; buy only items that suit your body, personality and goals; buy efficiently, After all, your time = money.

The proportions between the different garments that make up an outfit.

Why do you combine some items in your wardrobe together to create outfits, but not others? Because the colors, styles or fabrics clash with one another? The more clearly you’ve defined your style, the less “orphan” items you’ll have hanging in your closet.

One way to get more mileage (outfits) out of your existing clothing is to play around with proportions. Have you heard of the Golden Ratio? Basically it’s the rule of thirds — a shape divided in thirds (in this case your outfit/body) is most pleasing to the eye, rather than one divided into any other proportion. 

I challenge you to experiment with the Golden Ratio with a shirt, pants and a belt. The hem of your shirt forms a dividing line. Does this line cut you in half visually? If you tuck your shirt into high-waisted pants, you change the proportion of your shirt to your pants. Untuck the shirt again, but add a belt over the shirt. How does a thick belt vs. a thin belt look? And a belt that matches vs. contrasts with the shirt? What happens when you add tall, contrasting boots over the pants? Do you look taller or shorter? See! The possibilities are limitless…

Your makeup in proportion to your clothing.

Makeup artist and educator Natalie Setareh helped me see this as a “duh!” concept. I write about it in detail here . If your outfit is 💯 but you haven’t put as much effort into your makeup, you’ve just downgraded the outfit significantly. Bummer! It doesn’t have to be that way.

I challenge you to revisit your skincare and makeup routines soon. When was the last time you evaluated if your current beauty routine is serving your lifestyle and helping you meet your career goals? I’m a big fan of outsourcing and do not want to spend hours watching YouTube videos, then guessing what might apply to me. If you like to do-it-yourself, I can wholeheartedly recommend Natalie’s book Be Your Own Makeup Artist.

If you want expert advice that takes into account your personality and special circumstances, ask an expert! It will save you money and time (which is also money) and give you a big confidence boost.

What proportion of your time you spend on yourself. 

Are you a Wonderwoman or Superman or a non-binary Superhero that’s always putting everyone else first? I’m waiting for the day when self-denial goes the way of “the glorification of busy”, but even in a post-covid world, that day is a long way off. 

If you have been denying yourself self-care, I urge you to stop. Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s a necessary step in the process of serving others. The cliché exists for a reason: put your own oxygen mask on before helping others.

Neglecting our physical appearance sometimes seems justified. How we look often falls to the bottom of the list of priorities, especially, for instance, during a global pandemic. I’m not going to tell you that nonverbal communication skills are more important than home-schooling your child, or working extra hours when your partner loses their job.

But after enough months of neglecting how you’re showing up physically, the outside and the inside will no longer be in alignment. What you see in the mirror affects your mood, and hence, your behavior, not to mention how others react to you.

Yes, go for that extra long walk; lie in a hot bath in silence; but also consider how updating your image can affect your mental health and the way those around you react and behave towards you.

Create Your Signature Look

Do you spend the right proportion of your time on your image? How do you know? It’s human nature to judge each other visually first. Do you feel like how you’re showing up physically sends an accurate message to your audience? Does your outside match your fabulousness inside? How do you want to be perceived? Is this what your “look” says?

Natalie Setareh and I are teaming up to help you update your image to support your career plans. Our 12-week VIP virtual program, works with you individually, step-by-step to Create Your Signature Look. In two-three hours a week, you can transform your image into a confidence-boosting secret weapon. Built around eight hours of private, 1-on-1 makeup and style consultations, this bespoke program tailors all of that advice coming from all corners of the Internet specifically to and for YOU.

No more guesswork, and no more feeling uncertain about whether your image is truly reflecting your personality, intelligence and ambition. Click here today for full details and to sign up. Don’t wait , because doors close September 20th and won’t re-open until next spring. The program starts 26 September, and we’ll have Your Signature Look ready for the holidays. Sign up today