When I tell people I am an image- and life-coach, I often get a blank stare, followed by the expression that shows an “ah-ha moment.” Image and life: they go together so powerfully; yet they are seldom considered a pair.
Your life is judged by your image
Right or wrong, human nature has a tendency to judge others within six seconds of meeting them. I do it. You do it. All the people we meet us judge us as well. So, what do others assume about your life because of your image?
- A care-free casual image may say you are simple and unconcerned with other’s judgment. Or it may say you don’t care much about yourself–or the event you are attending.
- A carefully composed image with coordinating accessories and perfect makeup may say that you are deeply concerned with looking good. Or it may say that you have great respect for yourself and the people in your presence.
- A strong, bold, colorful image may say that you are a fun and vivacious person. Or may say that you are loudly trying to be someone you are not.
An image that authentically reflects your life says something positive; an image that is false will be judged negatively.
Your image should reflect your life
Are you a casual person? Then dress casually because if you wear colorful, bold or glamorous outfits you may be assumed obnoxious and loud. If you are strong and theatrical, then include excitement in your image, because if your outfit is plain and casual, people may feel you are holding back something and not being real.
A false image makes others feel they can not trust you.
As a culture, we are taught to dress for the occasion–or at least we used to be. Enter a court room, fine restaurant or place of worship now-a-days and it becomes obvious that dressing properly isn’t as important as it used to be. Dressing up, however, will always display (and command) respect.
There is also a lot of emphasis on dressing “in style.” Being fashionable may always be an influence on culture–especially when we are young and still experimenting with our identity. If we are unsure of who we are and what our style is then we are more apt to follow the trends without even considering what kind of impression they make. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying following fashion is foolish. In fact, staying current is an important part of being relatable, as long as what’s “in” actually compliments your authentic style (or Personal Img.ID). If, on the other hand, the trends compete with your beauty then they will create false first impressions and you will not feel confident.
Your image influences your life
Most image consultants will guide you in following the rules for fashion, fit and edict, but dressing for the occasion and staying current are only two important criteria for being a woman of Confident Beauty. It is far more important that your image is a true reflection of your personality, because your image cannot separate from your life. You must understand who you are in order to dress your best. (note: Proper fit for your figure will have to be another blog, sorry.)
An image-coach may tell you to dress for success because it has been proven that dressing up empowers you. Whereas dressing down makes you feel like a slob and others judge you as a slob, which naturally causes a slob-like self-image. Of course a coach will tell you to dress up!
Sometimes dressing up conflicts with who you are.
A carefree gal at a formal occasion will not be confident if her outfit makes her feel awkward–no matter how appropriate or “in vogue” it is.
There are too many casual gals who feel embarrassed by their lack of formality and too many formal gals shamed for their passion for fashion. This is why I am an image- and life-coach. I help women and girls unveil their personal Img.ID by learning and accepting their physical attributes, personal preferences and clothing personality. Becoming a woman with both confidence and beauty begins with knowing who you are.
Your personality is a big indicator of your Img.ID: C: Proper, educated, tenacious, professional (The Classic) N: Practical, laid back, faithful, true (To the Natural) D: Expressive, compelling, respected, fun (The Dramatic) I: Carefree, creative, gentle, sweet (The Ingénue) R: Compassionate, comforting, caring, homebody (The Romantic) G: Hardworking, dogmatic, entertaining, free spirit (The Gamine) Click the letter, or visit my Pinterest boards to learn more about that Image Identity, including What2Wear.
BE and LET BE
If you ever feel awkward or out of place even though you follow image rules, I encourage you to get to know your personal Img.ID. (click the link to take a simple self-assessment). When your image is a true reflection of your life, others will feel you are true to yourself and they will make accurate judgments of who you are. We all want to be beautiful, but following the rules of fashion, fit and edict are not enough. We must first BE who you were designed to be. After all, Confident Beauty doesn’t go out of style like fashion does!
As an author and speaker, my passion is in helping women and girls overcome confidence conflicts, especially those involving rejection, betrayal and loss. After 30 years in the beauty industry as both a cosmetologist and an image consultant, I love to use my profession, along with my experiences and training as a Biblical life-coach to help others struggling. If you want to make difference, too, would you become part of this movement and connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads or consider having me speak at your next event. Visit https://catrinawelch.com for more information.
2 thoughts on “The Secret to Dressing with Confidence”
Thank you. I Like your post. Your listing of personality characteristics is helpful to me because I am working to “restart” my life; making sure my outer image matches my inner self. This includes the “decluttering” of my stuff; including my “closet” to doubly insure I only “possess” what is really me and gives me “unlimited joy.”
I have an idea for a “post” Although, it is obvious, we each have one of the six styles; sometimes, we have to adjust that style to fit another style for many reasons; job, family, certain occasions, etc. For instance, how might a style not Classic stay true to herself yet dress for a job interview that basically only accepts the Classic Style. Some styles look like they playing “dress-up” when dressed in the Classic Style. Thank you.
I am excited for you as you restart your life, there is nothing like a fresh, new beginning. Like rebranding a business, you are wise to include your image on the renewal. Enjoy the process. (btw, here’s some advice on doing a wardrobe weeding http://catrinawelch.com/4-criteria-for-keeping-your-clothes/)
Thank you for the post idea, I shall address the challenge of dress codes that class with your personal style, but for now I would say, follow the job requirements and keep your motto. For example if you are a Natural but must dress professionally, then just be sure your Classic suit is simple and has texture.
I wish you the best.