Is it just me or does a new year seem to bring with it a ton of pressure? Resolutions, goals, diets, exercise and (worst of all) dry January. All of a sudden perfectly happy people are holding themselves to unrealistic standards that, if not met, leave them feeling worse than before. So this January, why not resolve to skip the declarations, disregard the lofty ambitions, and when it comes to your style, screw perfection.
As a stylist I meet many women who get so caught up with the idea of perfection that if they feel they can't achieve it, they give up altogether. They have looks they'd like to attempt and styles they'd love to try, but the mere thought of making a mistake or getting it wrong, keeps them from taking the plunge. Some also feel that trying something new means that they'll have to commit, or invest significantly (whether it be time or money) in this new endeavor. That just adds to the pressure.
Here's the thing: style is completely subjective. It's also ever changing. Yes there are (so-called) rules and guidelines, do's and don'ts, ins and outs, but style itself is, or should be, a personal, individual thing -- an expression of and extension of the self. Of course you could say that some people have great style, while others, not so much, but if you think that you need to get it 100% right, just know that you never will. There's no such thing.
If you do, however, want to get as close to the 100% as possible, there are a few things you can do ensure success (at least in your eyes -- which is all that matters).
1. Know what works for you. Are there certain cuts or styles that work for your body shape, your lifestyle and your personal aesthetic? Keep those in mind. Even when you try new things, it's always good to stay within these parameters.
2. Be yourself -- 100% you. Be creative. Express yourself. Show the world who YOU are. Trust your instinct and go with your gut. Never get talked into anything that doesn't align with you. No one knows you better than you, so stick with what resonates and you'll never go wrong.
3. When it comes to style, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. There's no need to commit or go all in, so start slowly. Think baby steps. Pick one thing and go from there. If that first thing works, choose another. Implement things one at a time, or piece by piece and build upon them.
Remind yourself repeatedly that style isn't about perfection.
Remember to keep an open mind when trying new things and don't set unnecessary limits upon yourself. If I had a dollar for every time a client was afraid to try something I suggested, only to realize that they loved it once they did, I'd be a very wealthy girl. How will you ever know how something will look unless you try?
Also consider that things might not work out as you had imagined or planned. And that's OK. Release the need to get it right on the first try, especially when you're trying something new. Nothing wrong with a little trial and error.
Remind yourself repeatedly that style isn't about perfection. It's about being yourself, expressing who you are, and having a healthy dose of fabulosity. No matter what you wear.
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