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Personal Style as Your Super-Suit

Dress for the job you want.

By PKpix/Shutterstock
By PKpix/Shutterstock

When you get dressed in the morning, do you think about the message you are sending?

If you’ve seen Captain Marvel or read any of the reviews about it, you know that her super-suit is inspired by her past as well as how powerful she is right now.

Your style can be your super-suit.

When I put on my blouse with an image of Florence’s Duomo, I am telling you about my past as well as a belief I have about right now. I’m communicating my belief that we can build amazing things — even if we don’t know how — from our imaginations. My red trousers add energy to the statement and my cream cardigan frames it.

The outfit makes a statement, as well as serving as a conversation starter. Taking ownership of your message can be confronting. However, it can also be empowering. Why? You are in control.

Looking our best.

You may be confused about the cuts, colors, and styles that will flatter you most. Because every woman’s body is unique, it can be overwhelming to parse which styles are the most flattering for you. Add to that the fact that styles change from season to season, and you are left feeling totally frustrated.

I get that. Retailers offer this amount of variety precisely because women’s bodies are so varied and it’s impossible to mass-produce pieces that will fit every woman. At the same time, the sheer volume of options leads to decision paralysis — not to mention its impact on the planet.

Putting in the work to clarify what flatters you clears away your confusion and allows you to make choices with confidence.

Feeling your best.

You know that feeling of lift you get when you put on your favorite outfit? It’s been proven that clothing can improve your outcomes and change your physical performance. You can definitely trust that particular look to change your day for the better.

As a middle-schooler, I had this fantasy that everyone would open up their locker and find exactly the look that would be most powerful for them. Like Captain Marvel needs her super-suit, I knew that clothing has the ability to elevate each and every one of us. While I had a strong desire to fit in — as most teenagers do — I intuitively understood that power pieces are different for each of us.

Allowing your wardrobe to do some of the hard work for you means using its power to uplift you so that every day feels like you’re wearing your super-suit.

Putting your super-suit together.

As you put your looks together, you are making choices informed by how you see yourself and how you want the world to see you. You want the way you look on the outside to match how amazing you are on the inside. Your hard work, effort, hopes, dreams, and aspirations all make up the person you are today. Use your super-suit to see that awesomeness conveyed.

I can call in what I need each day and assemble an outfit to change the way I feel for the better. Wearing red trousers amplifies the energy I have — even though I’m feeling sluggish. Seeing the Duomo on my top reminds me to trust that we can make dreams come true — even if we don’t know the way forward right now. Wrapping up in my cream cotton cardigan to ward off the chill evokes my core belief that every day is a new day and I am surrounded by the love and support of my family.

You can create a wardrobe that lifts you up every day.

How we make it happen.

I may not be able to make your super-suit magically show up in your locker. But, I can help you learn how to do this for yourself.

  1. Acknowledge how clothing makes you feel. This is the first step in owning your personal style. Clothing can be uplifting, or it can bring you back to darker times. Your wardrobe can reflect how you were taught to see yourself, or it can express how you want to be. It’s up to you.
  2. Identify your favorite outfit. In my talks, I ask the audience to identify their favorite outfit. Then, I ask people to share what it is and how it makes them feel. It’s different for everyone. For some, the most telling element is that they cannot think of a favorite outfit at all!
  3. Analyze your favorite outfit. What are the elements to your outfit that stand out to you? Is it the color or the cut — or both? Are these things you can duplicate in other outfits? You do not need to re-invent the wheel every time you get dressed. If you love wearing trousers and blouses, you can do that every day and still have an infinite variety of looks! Simply clarifying one element that makes you feel good and doubling-down on it will help.
  4. Make it super. Whether it’s a top with a photo of your favorite place, a scarf with your favorite pattern, or something entirely different, use your wardrobe to amplify your story. If your approach is minimalist, ensure your look is, too!

Originally published on Ellevate.

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