If you want to gain self-confidence, you should know that the clothes you wear play a huge role in the way you feel about yourself.
The way you dress says a lot about you, as clothes are often seen as an extension of self. They have a way of conveying not just one’s sense of style, but also their level of confidence. That’s why learning how to gain self-confidence often starts with finding one’s personal style.
Have you noticed that it’s often easy to point out people who are more self-conscious or insecure by simply looking at how they present themselves? And if you’re struggling with your own insecurities at the moment and seek to gain some self-confidence, it’s important to understand that this relationship goes both ways.
Your own choice of clothing can be instrumental in improving your self-esteem. After all, fashion has evolved so much throughout history, along with society’s growing acceptance of different styles and body types.
2019 should be the year that we all aim to dress as we please and feel confident in our own skin and clothes.
That said, here are some tips for those who want to gain self-confidence:
1. Embrace your features
Freckles, olive skin, broad shoulders, wide hips — you can always find something to hate about the way you look. But if you learn to embrace your features, you can also make them work for you and, therefore, gain some self-confidence.
Instead of picking an outfit to hide away parts of you that you think are your flaws, try and dress in a way that highlights the parts that you’re proud of. Remember that the way you dress should come from a place of self-love, not of self-hatred.
2. Find clothes that fit well
Many people, especially women, think that if they dress in oversized clothes, they’ll de-emphasize the features they don’t like. While this makes sense in theory, the end result is not always very flattering. Instead, fashion designer Zac Posen explains that tailoring or finding clothes that fit you perfectly is the key to instantly make you look better.
He adds, “It can make you feel confident — especially when, these days, a lot of clothing is two-dimensional, but in real life every body is different, and women have curves.”
With this in mind, ignore the numbered sizing. Instead, try on pieces when you go shopping so that you can see if these look good on you. Another trick is to focus on your biggest body part and have the rest of the items altered for a perfect fit.
3. Stop comparing yourself to others
It’s no question that comparing ourselves to others too often is a toxic trait. Life Advancer previously looked at the factors that contribute to low self-esteem, such as mainstream media and impossibly thin models.
When you come up short of these ideals, you feel insecure about yourself. This is when you lose the spark that makes you unique in the first place.
Moreover, author and psychologist Suzana Flores also explains that you can lose confidence by comparing yourself to your own online profiles. When you portray a certain image and don’t live up to it, your self-esteem plummets and manifests in your real-life fashion sense.
4. Curate your own style
Many people use others as fashion inspiration. However, mimicking the way someone else dresses too closely can lead to bad results. That’s because you might not look the same way they do in similar clothes, and will end up feeling bad about yourself.
Instead, focus on creating your own trademark style. Shop for pieces that make you feel secure and attractive and build your wardrobe from there.
5. Step out of your comfort zone piece by piece
That said, it does not mean that you should always stick to wearing the same clothes over and over again. It’s also important for your self-esteem that you step out of your comfort zone and experiment once in a while.
If, for example, you’re uneasy with the idea of being too exposed at the beach, you can supplement it with other pieces. With the right cover-up, you can still rock a bikini, something that you may have never thought of wearing in public.
Maybe someday, you’ll be more confident and ditch the overgarment. And when you do, it helps to take baby steps and know that the cover-up is still there if you need it.
Follow the same logic for different settings and different outfits. Hopefully, it will help you realize that all of the fears you have of wearing particular clothing are mostly self-imposed.
6. Ditch clothes that don’t make you feel good
Because an item looks good on a mannequin doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be right for you. Clothes are meant to make you feel good and happy with the way you look. So don’t force yourself to keep up with trends and let go of the items that don’t.
In the spirit of Marie Kondo, make sure that the items you do keep are those that “spark joy.”
7. Dress for success
Different people have varying ideas of success. To you, being successful might mean conquering the business world. But to another person, it might be becoming a great yoga instructor.
A study featured by Inc Magazine highlights the importance of dressing for one’s goals. By doing this it tends to affect the way you think and performs in a given situation, as well as the way you are perceived by others.
So if you want to know how to gain self-confidence, put more effort into the way you present yourself. It might be just the thing that makes you feel good about yourself, while also bringing you closer to your life goals.