People’s first impression of us and what we are about is often based how we look and dress. New statistics show that over 55% of your message is projected visually, says Jennifer Butler. This is why having a well-crafted image is important. The better we look, the more effective we are in our professional and personal lives. These top five fashion tips, the tricks of the trade that only the best stylist will know, can help you on your way to discovering the power of projecting the inner you. We hope to help you become your own stylist and show you how to choose the look that is right for you.
1. BE AFFIRMATIVE! DISCOVER YOUR NATURAL LOOK
When we look at ourselves in an outfit we might say, well, if I were just thinner, younger, in better shape, or better looking the outfit would work. Says Butler, you are always congruent and you always look beautiful. If a particular outfit doesn’t work it is not your fault. This outfit just did not live up to your organic beauty. A good stylist will tell you to discover your natural look and focus on what works well on you, not the things that don’t work.
2. KNOW YOUR NATURAL “CONTRAST”
What is the color balance between your hair, skin and eyes? Is your hair light (blonde, champagne, gray or mushroom), medium (light brown, pecan, strawberry blonde, amber) or dark (auburn, mahogany, black)? How about your eyes and skin. Then, put it together. If you have dark hair and light skin and dark or medium eyes, you have a high contrast look. If you have medium-brown hair, medium-light skin and medium-dark eyes, you are a medium contrast person. You are a low-contrast look if your hair, skin and eyes are softly blended, such as blonde hair, light blue eyes and light skin.
These fashion tips do not just apply to those with light complexions. If your coloring is dark, look at the contrast of your hair, skin, and eye color and compare that to the whites of your eyes and teeth. Although it may not seem like it, there are many color ranges in these features. If your teeth or eyes are bright white, it is high contrast with your complexion, soft bone to soft gray would be medium contrast and deeper gray or beige is low contrast.
3. PICK YOUR WARDROBE TO MATCH YOUR “CONTRAST”
How many times have you been complimented by someone saying they liked your outfit or the color of your dress rather than complimenting you, asks Jennifer Butler. When this happens, your clothes are over-powering you. The opposite can happen as well. If you wear too low of contrast both your body and message will get lost. In both cases you need to work twice as hard to get your message across. One of the best fashion tips any stylist can give you is to pick colors that match your contrast. High contrast individuals can wear high contrast color combinations such as black and white or navy and pink or dark brown and ivory. Medium contrast individuals are best with brown mixed with camel for example or brown and orange. If your overall look is low contrast, you are best wearing soft, blended combinations.
4. CELEBRATE YOUR NATURAL “TEXTURE”
Some people have curly hair, some people have straight hair; some have smooth skin, others have freckles. Does your hair have a smooth color texture or are there highlights? All these are points of interest. Take what beauty nature gave you and work it into your accessories, clothing patterns and fabric textures. Any good stylist will tell you, the right texture can add to your look. If you find that your hair is straight with minimal highlights, you can wear clothes with a smooth texture like satin and velour. If your texture is more of a medium, you will look best in a light corduroy or suede. For those with a more rugged texture, a heavy corduroy or herringbone would look great on you.
5. YOUR PERSONAL, VISUAL COMPLEXITY
Much like the previous fashion tips, tip five involves visually interesting design attributes. But unlike texture, complexity takes into consideration your own personal energy. There is an amount of design one person can wear and look congruent and interesting, but not be overwhelmed by too much bulk. Any stylist will tell you that this is different for each person. Some naturally feel comfortable wearing multiple designs and lots of accessories while others prefer to wear solids and minimal jewelry. Jennifer Butler says, Your clothes become the marketing tool that announces who you are and what you are about.
One of the best fashion tips to remember is you can make the wrong first impression by wearing something that is incongruent to your energy. An example would be a shy person where flashy clothing. People may assume that the shy person is outgoing by what this person is wearing. It gives others the wrong impression. Since over 55% of your message is projected visually, it is important that your image reflects the real you. Your personal energy is something you must discover on your own. Not even a great stylist can tell you who you really are.
By utilizing things like contrast, complexity and texture, you too can look like you have your own professional stylist. The most important of these fashion tips, however, is to always be affirmative. Remember that you are beautiful and no stylist or fashion tips will change your natural beauty. Respect your inner energy and focus on the message you want to project. We hope that these fashion tips helped you on your way to crafting the image that is right for you.
Editor’s Notes: After Fifty Living thanks Jennifer Butler for this informative article. She is the leading expert in the sociology of style, color and make over. Her experience lies in the art of visual communication. Jennifer leverages over 35 years in the fashion industry.