Can A New Style Really Build Your Self-Confidence?

2019 is just around the corner. Cue the self-improvement articles.

10 steps to your hottest body ever. 7 tips for steamy sex with your man. 3 ways to land your dream job.

If you didn’t think your life was bad, come December 31st you’re certainly giving that a second thought.

There’s a unique pressure that comes with New Year’s resolutions.

The expectation of new beginnings and fresh starts can leave you filled with dread, unease, and panic.

For most of us (myself included) these so-called goals are nothing more than empty promises we make to ourselves or worse, others, to fulfill some odd sense of tradition.

What if this year instead of starting 2019 off with a grandiose attempt at overhauling your life (which, let’s admit it, is already pretty fantastic right?) you start with one small change that could have a huge impact?

I know you’re eager to find that special something that makes your style unique.

But something is holding you back.

You’re not 100% sold on why you should be spending the extra time or money on updating your wardrobe or finding your signature style.

Well, that’s the focus of our discussion today.

I’m going to show you how style and confidence are inextricably linked - the reasons for taking the time to look your best can change how you see yourself.

What is self-confidence and why is it important?

"Low self-confidence isn't a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered--just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better." - Barrie Davenport

Photography:  Aidan Wagner /Clothing and Accessories provided by  Bella & Wren

Photography: Aidan Wagner/Clothing and Accessories provided by Bella & Wren

Self-confidence is a way of being in the world that allows you to know and take care of yourself.

It’s having the courage to believe in yourself and live your truth.

Self-confidence is a muscle. We need to challenge ourselves to grow and define it.

Over time it builds, and we morph into who we aspire to be.

As your confidence grows, your self-perception also changes.

This self-perception has an incredible impact on how those you interact with see you. The more you believe in yourself, the more self-confidence you have, and the more comfortable you become in each situation you find yourself in.

So, as you can see, working on your self-confidence creates a positive loop between self-perception, self-talk and ultimately determines how you interact and build relationships.

Embracing a personal style will empower you

Photography:  Aidan Wagner /Clothing and Accessories provided by  Bella & Wren

Photography: Aidan Wagner/Clothing and Accessories provided by Bella & Wren

You don’t need to lose weight. Or gain weight. Or be taller. Or shorter. Or anything other than you.

You can change your own perception of yourself and control how others perceive you, just by finding your unique style.

Start with finding clothing that complements your body - as it is now. Explore how to enhance your features using a style you naturally gravitate towards.

You can increase your confidence by finding your personal style.

Being able to decide what you want to show or hide with clothing gives you power and assurance.

When your style comes from a personal place you’ll naturally exude an authority you didn’t know could exist, you just need to understand what parts of you to highlight.

Here are a couple of ways to start:

Get to know the skin you’re in

This is all about trial and error. If you’ve spent the last decade in the same black pants and a variation of sweater or blouse, it’s time to experiment!

Try a range of different styles and cuts to find what works best on your shape. It’s so easy to get stuck in a style rut. We all get comfortable with what’s easy, or worse, become afraid of trying something new.

Keep an open mind and start taking risks. Walk into that shop that’s always seemed a little intimidating or try on that piece that looks a bit out there on the hanger – it’s time to try new things!

Speaking of beautiful shops: How about getting out of your regular mall routine and going local? There’s a whole world out there that doesn’t involve overcrowded escalators and generic items. One of my favorite stores is located in Fort Langley and they’ve put together a space for women to be inspired, encouraged and make you feel great about yourself. They choose ethical clothing brands that cause little to no harm to other people or the planet. You can learn more about Bella & Wren right here.

Photography:  Aidan Wagner /Clothing and Accessories provided by  Bella & Wren

Photography: Aidan Wagner/Clothing and Accessories provided by Bella & Wren

Know the effect of color

How many of you open your closet only to be assailed with shades of grey, black and navy? I know I’ve got my hand raised over here!

There’s always going to be a place for neutrals, but it’s color that makes you feel alive.

Each of us is instinctively drawn to certain colors, even patterns because they evoke feelings within us.

When was the last time you put on a beautiful bright sweater and instantly felt your mood lift and your confidence soar? We need more of that in our lives!

Color can work in the exact opposite way as well. Certain shades may be Pantone's color of the year, and no matter how much you LOVE it, it does you no justice. Those are the years when you grab a new throw for your couch or pillow for your bed - it can bring you happiness in your space, just not near your face 😉.

The right colors will make your eyes shine and your skin glow – give you some pep in your step and a boost to your confidence. Take some time and start to inject those hues into your wardrobe, so the next time you throw open your closet doors, it’s not a monochrome of dullness staring back at you.

Rediscovering your style will encourage you

Photography:  Aidan Wagner /Clothing and Accessories provided by  Bella & Wren

Photography: Aidan Wagner/Clothing and Accessories provided by Bella & Wren

When was the last time you were truly inspired by your personal style?

Was it in the days before you became a mom? The moments prior to your corporate life taking over?

Rediscovering your personal style can cause an influx of self-confidence. It lets you put yourself first, giving you back control over a part of your life that many of us brush off as frivolous and not worthy of our time.

But ask yourself, what’s more important than self-confidence?

On your journey back to finding your personal style you may see that the lifestyle you’re leading now warrants a different wardrobe that you were anticipating. One that’s reflective of your current personality, needs and attitude.

You should create a wardrobe that you’re pumped to face every day. Fill it with pieces that build your confidence when you wear them. Put the focus on how you feel in them and try not to lose any thought over what others will think about you in them.

Try something daring with your style to elevate your confidence. When you’re willing to be audacious with your look, there’s a chance you’ll be bold in other aspects of life as well. It’s the ultimate trickle-down effect.

Here are three ways to start rediscovering your style:

It’s all about the attitude

Photography:  Aidan Wagner /Clothing and Accessories provided by  Bella & Wren

Photography: Aidan Wagner/Clothing and Accessories provided by Bella & Wren

We’ve all heard it. You have to “fake it til you make it.”

Well, it’s a famous saying because it’s true. To be confident you have to act confident – and if you can’t, then sister you need to fake it.

And the same goes for your clothes. You gotta wear your clothes, you can’t let them wear you. You have to own your look!

If you focus on how big you think your butt looks, or on that tummy roll only you can see – you aren’t owning anything.

No one else focuses on the flaws only you can see.

It’s time to get comfortable in your body, your clothes and start rocking it!

Be confident in who you are and what you’re wearing.

Life and fashion are supposed to be fun, so let it go!

Start with a solid base

I know you’ve heard this advice 100 times before, but I’m telling you again.

If you don’t start with the proper foundation, your clothes just aren’t going to hang correctly.

Every woman needs to have a collection of well-fitting bras in neutral shades along with shapewear & slips for special occasions.

You need to get yourself to see a bra professionally once a year to make sure you’re wearing the correct size - no more guessing girlfriend!

Chances are the size you were last year, before the baby, after the baby, in high school - is not what you are now. And ladies, if you’re shocked, saddened or embarrassed by the number/letter, just cut out the tag, hold your chest high and move on!

And lastly, when it comes to lingerie, there are no rules.

Sexy vs. cotton, daytime vs. nighttime: whichever makes you feel like the beautiful, confident woman you are is the one you should be proudly putting on.

Dress for your comfort

Photography:  Aidan Wagner /Clothing and Accessories provided by  Bella & Wren

Photography: Aidan Wagner/Clothing and Accessories provided by Bella & Wren

There’s nothing worse for your confidence than tugging and pulling at the clothes that are too tight, too short, too…anything.

Comfort dressing isn’t just about wearing yoga pants and a hoodie. It’s about feeling at ease and confident in the clothes you’re wearing.

Each of us has different levels of comfort, for some stilettos are a way of life, for others the thought of putting on a skirt gives them hives.

Find what makes you comfortable, and everything else will fall into place.

You’ll find confidence by exploring your different personalities

Photography:  Aidan Wagner /Clothing and Accessories provided by  Bella & Wren

Photography: Aidan Wagner/Clothing and Accessories provided by Bella & Wren

All of us have different characters hiding inside just waiting to pop out and reveal themselves.

The key to making a great impression, feeling powerful and confident is knowing your audience.

If you work in a corporate environment that follows a strict business dress code, you’ll feel like “one of the team” if you dress the part. This could mean wearing pieces like pencil skirts, blouses, and blazers.

Your confidence piece in this environment might be a tailored power suit with leopard print stilettos because for you this exudes assertiveness. You’re staying within audience expectations (read: dress code) but owning your power through your personal style (tailored suit + killer heels).

What if you’re starting a new job and this workplace has a more relaxed vibe?

In this case, overdressing can make you feel out of place. If you’re accustomed to a business dress code, you’ll need to tone things down.

Take some time to reflect on your personal style and see how you can feel confident in your new environment. What about a great pair of wide-leg dress pants (a nod to your more tailored style) with a simple tee and great necklace? Or perhaps an oversized blazer, skinny trousers, and white sneakers? Without the restrictions of business dress code, you can bring more of your signature style into your work day.

No matter the “personality” that you’re bringing forward. Whether it’s your professional, weekend, date night or holiday look – you need to feel good in your skin to be confident.

So, if something doesn’t seem right to you, don’t do it. Above all else – you are the dominant personality.  

Looking good + feeling good = self-care

Photography:  Aidan Wagner /Clothing and Accessories provided by  Bella & Wren

Photography: Aidan Wagner/Clothing and Accessories provided by Bella & Wren

When you’re unhappy, it shows up in all parts of your life – including your wardrobe.

You may suddenly find yourself standing in the grocery aisle wearing sriracha stained sweatpants with sagged out knees - you know the ones – a two sizes too big tee, and unwashed hair hidden under a Cubs hat holding a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in each hand.

No judgment, I’ve been there.

But it’s true what they say: the more time you invest in yourself, the better you feel. And having a personal style is part of this self-care routine.

When you practice self-care, you feel more powerful. You realize you’re taking charge of how you feel about yourself.

It may be clique ladies, but when you look good, you feel good.

Self-care comes in many forms these days, but these are a few of my favorite:

  • Meditation

  • Getting my hair done (not always recommended directly after a major life event)

  • Spa treatments (even if it’s in your bathroom)

  • Vacation

  • Working out

  • Personal style updates

  • Redecorating your space (have you explored how to Hygge your home? check it out Bella & Wren’s post on this exploding phenomenon here…ultimate self-care)

I know it’s hard to set aside time to take care of yourself, but if you don’t who will?

My new year’s wish for you

Photography:  Aidan Wagner /Clothing and Accessories provided by  Bella & Wren

Photography: Aidan Wagner/Clothing and Accessories provided by Bella & Wren

As 2018 ends I want each of you to think about one way your life would improve if you were more self-confident next year.

Not thinner, sexier, faster, stronger or happier. But more self-confident.

How would that change your life?

Now, decide what tweak to your current style will make that happen.

Maybe it’s adding a signature necklace to your look. Injecting millennial pink into your life. Or deciding you need to step out of your comfort zone and try dresses this year.

Whatever it is, let me know. Let’s walk into 2019 together like the stylish badass babes we are.