“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress, dress impeccably and they remember the woman”, the words of the famous Coco Chanel. This phrase could also be applied to men. Not only does this profound statement apply to the way we dress, but also to everything else we do.
Column by Heather R
Think of monumental events like weddings, where if you serve bad food everyone remembers falling ill or going home hungry but if you serve good food, no one really remembers what they ate but the memory they forever possess is that they enjoyed your wedding.
The way we dress communicates a lot about us, the same way our body language does. Take some time to think through anything you are going to wear.
Some might think they need to break into a bank so they can afford to dress impeccably, but that is not necessarily so. Here are a few tips to accomplish dressing impeccably:
Know your body
Often I find that people do not know their bodies. By that I mean they have not taken the time to analyse their bodies in a mirror and know what they need to wear that accentuates their best bits while camouflaging their worst bits. When you dress you want to put your best foot forward.
Know what you want to communicate
Know what message you want to put across when people meet you. This may be difficult to do at work because Zimbabwe is quite a conservative country, as are some professions, while other businesses just wear uniforms. If that is the case with you, use your hair or accessories to express yourself. Failing to do that, make sure you go all out after work or during the weekends.
Do not be a slave to fashion trends
Trends are great for the less creative. If you do not know what to wear you can just follow a trend. Just because “everyone” is wearing something does not mean you should just jump onto that bandwagon blindly. Does the trend suit you? It is futile to wear something because it is what’s in at the moment and look foolish while at it. It is more than ok to let a trend pass you by. If you feel you want to follow a trend, personalise it.
Mix it up
Designer clothes are fantastic but their cost is not easy on the pocket. So the wise thing to do is to mix it up. Decide which aspects of your wardrobe are worth splurging on and which ones are not. For instance, you could splurge on your boyfriend blazer and buy a low-priced tank top to go with it. Handbags and shoes tend to serve you better if you buy a more expensive, good quality one. In Zimbabwe, the market is flooded with counterfeits so you may pay a higher price for something with a short shelf life, so choose wisely. With the influx of clothing brought in bales you can find good quality clothes at give away prices, the only catch being you may not be the first to wear them. Sometimes, you may be in luck, as the clothes would not have been worn before.
If coming up with your own style is not your forte, just find someone whose style you appreciate and copy it. As your confidence grows you can add your personal panache and before you know it, you have your own style. Magazines are also good for ideas on how to wear certain items of clothing, so buy one a month and it should keep your fashion sense alive.
Confidence makes anyone look good. Even if your clothes are somewhat “iffy”, wearing them with confidence detracts attention from the clothes to yourself. Wearing an impeccable outfit makes you forgettable. No one will remember the dress or suit.