What We Wear to Work//

Here’s Why Style Is Actually a Mindset

How I learned to dress with confidence.

Oscar Fuertes / EyeEm / Getty Images, In story: Courtesy of Tammy Brook

I’ve spent my whole life admiring female power women; I have studied their poise and their ability to articulate thoughts and turn them into action. As a businesswoman whose entire business is sold on the idea that I am a culture expert, looking like I am part of the trendsetting community is critical to the dream that I sell.

Over the years, as I have focused on connecting pop culture to fashion, and found myself at Milan, Paris and New York fashion weeks, I have been exposed to leaders in fashion who lead with confidence and fearless style. Each season as I watch collections no one has seen before, and seen all the risk taking up close, I also have come to understand the psychology of the fundamentals of style. If a designer leads with confidence, the world gravitates towards and believes in the beauty of what’s being presented. This is how trends are set — by fearless fashion leaders.

In the beginning of my career, I would wear black, be safe, be beige and blend in. But the more exposure I got to fashion leaders, I realized I needed to emulate that same confidence.

Here’s how I did it: I mentally wrapped my brain around the idea that this was going to be a fun game of dress-up. Each time I would go to fashion week, taking a work trip that required more than five looks, I picked out a theme and committed. I spent time curating the “fashion feeling” I was going to present, and packed my bags with no turning back. This concept translates to my everyday life. I realize as a woman we have a 1000 thoughts that go through our head daily: is my hair styled right; do I have too much makeup on; is this outfit too tight; did I wear this the last time I met with this client? I made a conscious decision that as a woman running a business the last thing I had room in my head for was second guessing my style. In order to thrive daily, we must know that when we’ve left the house we look great unequivocally so we can have that confidence box checked, and be ready to conquer the day. Here are the steps I have taken to get me through the door each day with the self-assurance to walk in any room with a presence of style. It is a fact that when you feel good, you look good, and when you look good you feel good, and by the way, other people think you look good and feel good about you too! Having an element of style confidence as part of the professional brand you present not only is empowering but is so effective in getting peers in business to believe in you. So lean into this concept and master it to take on the world in style!

Here are my go-to tips on mastering the psychology of style:

1. DAILY EXERCISE AND DIET – To feel good about yourself and the clothes you put on, being in shape and making time for exercise is key. They’re also key to good mental health. The resulting confidence translates into looking and feeling amazing in clothes.

2. BUY A ROLLING RACK – This rolling rack is your “go-to” spot for your next 20 looks, spend a Sunday selecting the next 20 looks that you will wear, try them on, assure yourself that you love the looks, take a photo of each look and let go and move on. Now you have just created your style “lookbook” and relieved yourself of that ridiculous extra hour of second-guessing yourself by trying a million outfits on until you have the one you feel best in. So many women are victims of this epidemic of trying 20 pairs of jeans on before they finally leave the house — exhausted before the day has started.

3. BE YOUR BIGGEST FASHION ICON – Embrace your own style with confidence, own your style, or even better, mentally convince yourself that you are a Parisian designer or muse of a designer! Let this evolve so you can walk into any room with the mental state that you are a trendsetter straight off a Paris runway.

4. PACK ONLY THE LOOKS YOU WILL WEAR – Years ago, I made a commitment to myself to not give myself the option of spiraling into second-guessing my style. I try on every look before each work trip, and pack only one option per day. It works and I feel fabulous every time.

5. MAKE TAKING FASHION RISKS AN ADVENTUROUS FEARLESS MIND GAME – The more fashion risks I take, the more confident I feel as a woman. Now I find joy in discovering new style trends, experimenting and owning them as my own. I have so much fun pulling out vintage pieces I wore 20 years ago that are back in style and combining them with new trends like white ankle boots! Mismatching is the ultimate form of style confidence. And most importantly, have fun!

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