Whether you’re the girl that can make a fast friend out of the person sitting next to her at the coffee shop or the type that prefers to keep to herself, it’s safe to say that no matter the energy of personality, we all need to find ways to boost in confidence every now and then. It could be because of something simple like a Wednesday slump, or maybe because of something a little more nerve-inducing like the first date you’ve had in months. Whatever the reason, it’s nice to have an arsenal of tricks that give you a boost in self-esteem. While sometimes it takes more than a slick of red lipstick to change things around, it does do a little in terms of making you feel more like yourself and a little more willing to throw your head back and take on the world.
To get your mind in the framework of “I’m wonderful, I’m brave,” there are certain cheat sheet moves to get you there. So square your shoulders, look straight ahead and prepare to get a new pep in your step. Here are five styling moves that will boost your confidence up a notch or two.
1. Wear Comfortable Shoes
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Whether you know how to sprint across red lights in heels or can only make it down as far as two blocks without hobbling, the first styling trick to boost your confidence is to wear comfortable shoes. This means that unless you’re a Carrie Bradshaw-level pro, you should ditch the heels at home. There’s nothing that will wipe out your confidence faster than worrying about tipping over on your way from the dinner table to the bathroom, or having your mind preoccupied with the blister forming on the back of your foot.
Instead, go with a comfier pair of shoes, whether that’s a lower, more manageable stiletto, or a pair of stylish close-to-the-ground sandals. According to fashion writer Meghan Blalock of WhoWhatWear, “Few things make you feel worse about life than walking around all night in a pair of heels that are just killing your feet. And on the flip side, few things will give you the sense of being on top of the world like a pair of shoes you’re just really working.” When you’re sure-footed you’re more confident and aren’t as worried about your appearance.
2. Wear One Luxe Item
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Wear one thing in your outfit that makes you want to toss your hair like a street style star. Confidence is all in your head, so if you mix in an item that you think is next-level stylish, you’ll feel like you exude that same kind of class. Pair your outfit with your sharpest bag, your most clean-lined blazer, or your most polished booties. Maybe you have a trench coat that could make the most sophisticated Londoner weep, or a pair of sunglasses that make you feel like you could have been part of James Dean’s close circle of friends.
Whatever the item, find a way to weave it into your outfit for that little boost of confidence. For example, every time I need a pick-me-up, I put on my gold grandfather watch. It’s big faced and masculine, but it’s so beautiful and on on-point that I instantly feel more pulled together and like I have my life in order.
3. Accentuate Your Best Feature
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We all have parts of ourselves that we think make us into complete babes — use those features to your advantage by playing them up. According to style writer Jessica Padykula from SheKnows, “The more you accentuate the positive, the better you’ll feel about yourself and the more confident you’ll be.” Do you love your long, burlesque-worthy legs? Stick them underneath a shift dress or a flirty mini. Do you love the sweep of your back or the way your hair dances around your shoulders? Go with something backless and simple, allowing your clothes to accentuate that strong line. Do you love the shape of your lips, or the color of your hair? Choose a bold lipstick that would bring attention to your pout or complement the shade of your locks. If you feel like your best asset is polished and highlighted, that’s the only thing you’ll be able to focus on — not any nervousness.
4. Don’t Deny Yourself A Trend
The fastest way to lose confidence is to think you’re not the right type of person to pull off a trend. You alienate yourself by thinking along those lines and make yourself believe that it takes a better type of woman to rock something so different and bold. Instead of putting yourself down when a certain trend fit wrong — let’s say wide leg pants — shift your perspective and realize that it wasn’t the trend, it was the version of the trend. Wide leg pants come in so many different variations: They come high waisted and low riding, in denim or in airy silk, in long, heel-skimming lengths and in cropped culotte hems.
According to style blogger Jena Gambaccini of Chi City Fashion, “If it’s totally outside your comfort zone and in no way relates to your current personal style, see if there’s a way you can make it your own. For example, if you tend to dress pretty feminine, I wouldn’t go for a leather pants / leather jacket / biker boots combination. You will feel ridiculous and therefore look it too. If you want to wear leather, try one of your feminine dresses with a leather jacket.” If there’s a will, there’s a way!
5. Don’t Wear Something That Will Make You Fidget
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Are you self-conscious when your hem is too short, or are you constantly worried a boob might pop out from underneath a plunging neckline? Do you feel like you make too much noise when bracelets jangle against each other, or are you constantly fixing the line of a fussy pencil skirt? If you know that there’s one item of clothing that constantly forces you to fuss, just skip it. You don’t want to feel like everyone on the street is staring at you while you battle with this internal style faux pas, and if you’re wearing something you’re comfortable with you’ll be able to maneuver through the day with a more confident air.
According to Jess Kirby, style blogger behind Prosecco Plaid, “Comfort is key no matter what. If you feel good in what you’re wearing you’ll look good; confidence is everything.” So keep the tricky pieces for a day where you’re willing to trial and error and learn. If you need a confidence boost, stick to the pieces that won’t make you self conscious.
Feeling confident shouldn’t be something that seems unattainable. Everyone has days when it seems impossible to feel that extra burst of self-love, but it’s totally possible to train yourself to feel more positively about yourself — and tips that involve emphasizing your personal style just makes the whole process that much more fun.
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