You want to leave the house everyday feeling like you look the best you can. What you may not realize is that you could be committing style faux pas without even realizing it. Check out these 25 fashion mistakes that might be ruining your style.
On a side note, I will be taking some time off over the holidays and will be back after the New Year! Spending this past year with you has been a wonderful highlight of 2016 and I thank you all for your loyal readership and support. Here’s to an awesome 2017!
25 Fashion Mistakes That Might Be Ruining Your Style
Okay, back to the list. Check out if some of these fashion mistakes might be ruining your style.
1. You don’t embrace your shape
Weight gain often leads to dressing in shapeless clothes. Believe me, I have wanted to hide out in my fair share of muumuus because there is nothing like dressing like a pup tent when you feel like one. Despite there being some logic this approach, hiding out under shapeless clothes won’t cover anything, they will only make you look bigger than you are. Trying to squeeze yourself into clothing that doesn’t fit certainly won’t work, but choosing styles that graze your body, shape your waist and have some structure will.
2. You don’t shop realistically
We can all use a little retail therapy from time to time and there is nothing wrong with ogling something that has absolutely no business being in your wardrobe. This is often how we learn about our style and what we’re drawn to. However, if your closet is full of gorgeous things that you either don’t or can’t wear, it’s time to consider if you’re not shopping realistically. I call this Wishful Wardrobing, which means to shop for the life you wished you had not the life you actually do.
3. You limit yourself by your age
There are all sorts of myths out there about fashion and aging, citing things that women of a certain age shouldn’t wear. You probably have heard a few of your own or had them instilled in your when you were a kid. Perhaps at one time these rules were followed, but not anymore. Before you just assume certain aging rules are gospel, check in and see they really are rules you want to follow. At your age, you have earned the right to decide for yourself.
4. You long for the body you used to have
It’s impossible to look at an old photo of yourself and not be reminded that there was a time you were younger and thinner. It’s not fun to accept you’re getting older, but it’s not exactly productive to long for it to the point that you don’t work with the body you have now. It’s okay to have progress pants in your closet that you try on occasionally to see if you have lost those few pounds and reminisce every now and then, but don’t beat yourself up for the fact that your body isn’t the same as when you were 20.
5. You think black clothes are the only answer
Black clothes have their places in most wardrobes. Wearing black clothes isn’t the problem, it’s the knee-jerk reaction that it’s the only color to buy that is. More often than not, what you want to buy not only comes in black but it comes in a variety of other colors too. Instead of getting lost in a sea of black clothes, why not try a little variety. If you choose to wear a lot of black by choice, that is fine, but if you just find yourself constantly buying black because you refuse to think outside the box, you may be a blackcident.
6. You are risk averse
Do you feel like your wardrobe is just a variation of the same? Do you go shopping and buy what feels safe and know will work? Staples are good, as is having your trusted “you’niform“, but not taking chances and getting stuck in a rut isn’t. Every once and a while take a chance. As long as it is something that belongs in your wardrobe, you might surprise yourself with some new wardrobe ideas.
7. You worry about what others will think of you
When clients tell me that they’re concerned what others will think about they are wearing, I tell them not to worry about it because those people are too caught up worrying about what you will think of them. Self awareness is once thing, but becoming obsessed with the way you will be perceived by others is a waste of time. As I like to say, if you don’t feel it, nobody else will. Focus on how you feel about your self and others will feel it too. I offer a whole online course about dressing for success and that the core of dressing this way is rooted in how you feel.
8. You hold on too long to things you don’t need
They say that women wear 25% of their closet 75% of the time. Having worked with women and their wardrobes as long as I have, I am inclined to agree. I constantly see clothing hanging around long past their expiration dates. The reasons why my clients can’t let go vary, but the results are often the same, including chaos, disorder and just too many choices, which can lead to wardrobe paralysis. Think you love it all? Think again.
9. You put too much sentimental value in things
Having lost my father 19 years ago, I understand and appreciate sentimental items, especially shortly after a loss. However, there is a fine line between being sentimental and being surrounded by so much of the past that life feels like a rerun. If you have been feeling stuck or in need of change, check in to see if you have been clinging to the past too strongly in your physical items. Remember, memories do not embed themselves in the fabric of your things. Here is an amazing story about a client who was stuck until she let go of one sentimental piece from her wardrobe.
10. You cling to fashion advice you got when you were a kid
Did you hear rules as a kid that still ring in your mind? Rules about certain colors you are or aren’t supposed to wear or rules that seem to have been handed down, through the generations, like some sort of heirloom soup tureen? So often these rules are bunk and need to be broken. If you hear yourself following a rule because your mom told you so, consider the source. Remember, my mom suggested I wear blue eye shadow when I was 15.
11. You try to impress people with your clothing
Do you get caught up in labels? Is it important for people to know how expensive your clothes are or where you bought them? Being able to afford nice things is one thing, but being showy about it or finding your own personal value through material things is often a sign of low self esteem. Enjoy your valuable clothing, but pay mind to just how much these expensive things mean to you. If they were taken away, would part of you go with it? I call this closet personality type The Identifier, which you can read more about here.
12. You wish for a different body shape
If you have wished for a body other than you were born with you’re human. Everybody thinks it would be easier if instead of having XX they had XX, but, really, it wouldn’t be. When I wrote my book, Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want, I polled women about having certain body characteristics. Women who complained about having certain body parts wished for ones that other women complained about. We always want what we don’t have, but, as the saying goes, the grass is brown everywhere.
13. You don’t trust your instincts
So often when women hire me they seem to just want validation for what their instincts are telling them about their clothes and how they look in them. Honestly, if women trusted their instincts more I’d be out of a job. If you feel something doesn’t look right, it doesn’t. Want to ditch something from your closet? Ditch it.
14. You don’t ask for help
While instincts can be helpful, sometimes we’re just not good at something. If you struggling, ask for help, either by asking friends or by hiring a professional. The alternative you’re probably all too familiar with, like a bloated closet containing clothing with the tags attached, fruitless shopping trips and more. If you need help, ask. You can read more of my tips here.
15. You don’t buy something because you worry it will go out of style quickly
Trends are fickle. One day they’re in and the next day they are out. This can make even the most stalwart trend seekers a bit gun shy. Nobody wants to waste money on things they’ll only get to wear for a season, at best. When clients pose this concern to me, I always tell them that designers get paid a lot of money to follow the trends and put in the stores what is trendy. Trust me, I had that job at one time. If something is in the store, it’s trendy. As far as how quickly a trend will die, well, trends don’t die overnight, they peter out slowly, giving you plenty of time to enjoy them. Don’t pass up a trend that you are interested in for fear of it going out of style. Even if it does go out of style, which it will, you still had time to enjoy it. Better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all, as they way.
16. You don’t take time to really get to know your style
How well do you know your style? Have you ever bothered to really think about it or take time to see what you are drawn to and why? Style often changes over time so this is something to think about more than once in your life. Additionally, knowing your style is one thing. Knowing how to incorporate into your ver real life and on your very real body is another. Here are some of my tips on finding your style.
17. You don’t know how to properly care for your clothing
Clothing needs to be handled with care if you want it to last. Do you have proper hangers? Do you let your clothes breathe by not keeping dry cleaning bags on your clothes? What about your drawers? Are they neat or are is “balled up” your idea of a folding strategy? Your clothing will last longer if you take good care of it, and you will look better too.
18. You think clothing has to be washed each and every time it is worn
Laundering your clothing too often can wreak havoc on your clothing. Unless it sits right against your body, you can wear it at least twice before washing it and dry cleaning only clothing can be worn even longer before you drop it off at the cleaners. When I wear merino wool sweaters I always wear a cotton tank under them so they don’t have to be cleaned as often and when I do wash them I use delicate soap and hand wash them as opposed to dropping them at the dry cleaners. I wash my jeans once a week and not much of my clothing sees the inside of the dryer. Be kind to your clothes by limiting the amount of time your launder them and when yo do clean them choose the gentlest form of cleaning you can.
19. You think comfortable shoes have to be ugly shoes
When I was a kid in New Jersey, I used to see billboards for this shoe store called Globe Shoes. The specialized in comfort and special sizing the shoes displayed on the billboards were absolutely heinous. I felt bad for people who had difficult feet and had to shop there. Years later, thankfully, not only am I pretty sure that Globe Shoes has long gone out of business but comfortable shoes have come a very long way. With comfort brands like Rockport, Cole Haan, Gentle Souls, Söfft, Aerosoles, Clarks, Born, Me Too, and more, out there, you don’t have to sacrifice your style for comfort.
20. You buy more for less instead of less for more
Do sales suck you in every time? Do you buy needlessly simply because the price tag is too good to pass up? Sales are good when you buy things you need, but if you choose cheap over value you run the risk of loading up your closet with things you’re not passionate about. A sale should be a bonus, but it shouldn’t be the single indicator as to whether or not you should buy it. You should want to buy it even if it wasn’t on sale. Here are more tips on building a wardobe that you value.
21. You believe some people were born with style and others weren’t. You weren’t one of them
You feel like you missed a class on style and fashion and assume that either you were born wtih style or your weren’t. This isn’t true. Everyone has style. It’s the inability to express it that some people struggle with. Sadly, this may be you, but that is okay. You can learn, or you can hire someone. See my tip #14. It’s okay to ask for help.
22. You treat your good clothes like fine china
Do you buy something new for your wardrobe and then keep it tucked away for nice occasions and then wind up wearing the old stuff because you don’t want to ruin what you really like? I call this the china syndrome because it’s like fine china that you only break out for nice events. Just like your fine china should get used more often, so should your nice clothes. You can read more about this here.
23. You think accessorizing is challenging
Women so often feel challenged by accessorizing. If this is you, you’re not alone. Most women feel this way, but it’s really not that hard. Trust me. I give tips on my blog all the time on how to accessorize with the understanding that most women find it to be a chore and I understand that it might not come easy for you. However, if it helps, instead of getting daunted by accessorizing, look to it like an easy way to add personality to your outfits, change up your looks and get more with less.
24. You hate shopping, yet shop the same way each time despite it continuing to fail you
So many women hate shopping because they find it a waste of time. Yet, when they go back to the stores they approach it the same way and then wonder why they come back with the same paltry results. This is why you fail when you shop for clothes. I am a master shopper because I have learned how to do it effectively and quickly. Get my tips here.
25. You think buying more will solve the problem of having nothing to wear
Having nothing to wear? Let’s go shopping, because that solution has served you well in the past, right? Obviously, there will be times when shopping is necessary, but I’m willing to bet you it’s not as often as you think it is. Why? Because I’m also willing to bet that you aren’t properly using what you already own or getting the most out of it. And if you aren’t getting the most out of what you own, what makes you think adding more will necessarily solve your problem? All I am saying, before you hit the stores the next time you feel out of something to wear, take another spin in that closet of yours…and maybe read a few of my blog posts.
Remember, we all make fashion mistakes and there aren’t any that are irreversible. Just keep these tips in mind the next time you are trying to make a style upgrade.
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Great article to finish a wonderful year!! Your fans have enough links to keep us busy during your sabbatical, as you are always missed. Merry Christmas to you and Frank, but most of all “thank you” for your generous gifts all year long. Have a very blessed holiday and a much deserved rest.
See you next year,
A faithful fan,
I have stumbled on your site tonight and read just the “25 mistakes…” not even the explanations. I am retired and not expected to look like much but somehow I care more than I used to. Therefore as soon as I have a little extra money I would like to take advantage, Bridgette. Being a clothes decorator and sewer from way back I say coodoes to you for taking the path you have.
Hi Mary Lee! Thanks so much! Taking this path has not been an easy or bump-free one but it has been rewarding. When you said retirement I thought about this post I wrote on the topic: https://bridgetteraes.com/2016/11/01/retirement-style/