Raise your hand if this sounds familiar...
"I go shopping but come home empty handed or buy the same things."
"I get dressed but never feel put together."
"I don't feel comfortable in my own clothes."
"I'm confused, frustrated and a little discouraged."
Whether you've raised your hand or not, I can pretty much guarantee that at least one of these statements rings true. Hey, as a Stylist even I can relate. Sometimes you know what the problem is but don't know how to solve it. So, what do you do when you don't know what to do? You go back to basics.
Step 1. The first thing to do is get clear on your style. You need to know what's you and what's not. This isn't something anyone else can help you with. It's got to come from within. You can always get help fine tuning later, but the likes and dislikes need to be all yours.
Not sure what your style is? Start observing others, browse through the shops, take a look on Pinterest or Instagram. Start compiling photos or images of items that catch your eye or that you like. Once you've got a number of them, look for similarities or try defining them with words that describe the look or feel of the style.
Don't worry if you find that you have more than one style. Most of us do. Just get very clear on the absolutes or you'll never be able to shop effectively, dress in a way that feels like you or feel comfortable in your own clothes.
Step 2. The second thing to do is learn how to dress for your body shape. If you're wearing something that doesn't suit your shape or if you don't know how to wear it so that it does, it's not going to look good on, and you won't feel good in it.
Furthermore, if you don't know which cuts or styles suit your body shape, you won't know what to buy. Shopping will continue to be a challenge and you'll end up doing what you always do - buying the same things and being disappointed when you still feel like you have nothing to wear.
Step 3. Once you've got the first two steps sorted, it's time to clean out your closet. Get rid of all the clothes that aren't suited to your style or your shape. Leave behind only the very best pieces for you.
The last thing you need every single morning is to rifle through a bunch of clothes, trying to figure out which work for you and which don't. How frustrating and time consuming is that?
Step 4. The last step is to learn how to put outfits together. If you consider yourself completely useless when it comes to this final step, don't be discouraged. Either get some help or do some research. Flip through some magazines or hop onto the internet to find outfits that you like and dissect them. Break them down to see which pieces are used and how they're worn.
When it comes to creating outfits, the key words here are layering and accessorizing. Many women feel that their outfits are incomplete because they don't take this final step. Think of it this way -- putting clothes on and being dressed is like a simple, plain cake. Layering and accessorizing are the icing and decorations. Sure the plain cake will do, but how much better will the fully iced and decorated one look?
Can you see how important it is to go back to basics when you're feeling stuck or struggling? If you don't have the fundamentals figured out, you can't possibly shop or get dressed with ease, and you definitely won't feel good in your clothes.
So the next time you find yourself standing in front of your closet, confused, frustrated and a little discouraged, remember this -- go back to basics, start from scratch, and you'll be the best looking cake on the block. With sprinkles of course.
Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook