Dressing Joyfully Fashion Tips Personal Style Strategic Dressing style

Dress Strategically – What Does That Even Mean?

A woman in red dress standing next to other people.


Dress Strategically – What Does That Even Mean?

One of the concepts that we talk a lot about when we style a client is the idea of learning to dress strategically. So, what does this actually mean in practical terms? Dress strategically implies three techniques.

Put the emphasis on the parts you want to emphasize

Part of how you develop your own style involves thoughtfully considering what you put on your body instead of just throwing on whatever is closest. When you dress with intention, you can control the particular side of yourself that you want to feature. Emphasize your narrowest part with a studded belt, lengthen your leg line with a long skirt covering high heels or wear a top cut to highlight your collarbone. Use these ways to dress strategically.

A woman standing on the sidewalk talking on her phone.

photo: myshowroomblog.es

Part of cultivating your personal style is knowing what works as a highlighter and then using that to your advantage. A general rule of thumb is that light colours advance and dark colours recede. To feature your slim legs, wear jeans that are faded right down the front of your leg. If you want to highlight your face, put on a bold necklace or scarf in colours that compliment your features. In the way a theatre places lights around their marquee, adding sparkle will draw attention to whatever it is placed near. Bold rhinestone earrings draw attention to your beautiful smile. Wear a metallic leather belt high on the waist of your dress to highlight your curves.

A woman in a colorful scarf standing next to some bushes.

photo: katiesbliss.com

Dress to convey a particular message

You are in control of what you are saying to the world with your clothes. We often say to our clients that 12 decisions are made about you by someone within the first 7 seconds of meeting you. What are your clothes saying about you? When you are cultivating your personal style, this is a vital question to know the answer to. When you know the answer, you can be in control of the message you send.

A woman in red dress standing on the red carpet.

photo: Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Dress strategically to move you forward in your life. To gain a promotion, carefully cultivate the message your clothes make. Modify your message to convey warmth and approachability on a date. To appear edgy, sleek and modern on a daily basis, cultivate your wardrobe over time to include clean lines, revolutionary fabrics and architectural details. If you are easy-going, free-spirited and earthy, find pieces you love that fit with this aesthetic. Pick clothes that are drapey, soft and eclectic.

Three models are posing in different outfits.

photo: the-dvine.com

Know the “rules” for dressing your shape and them bend them strategically

In North America, we see that the hourglass is the most conventionally desired body shape for women. It is frequently viewed as the most feminine of proportions to have. It is certainly not the most common female shape. The “rules” about dressing for your shape, whatever shape that may be, involve accentuating the curve at the bust and hip while defining the waist. This, however, is not the only way to dress stylishly.

Dress strategically using unconventional outfit proportions. As an example, many retailers feature cropped pants this season. That mid-calf length can visually shorten you. There are ways around this, if you really want to wear those stumpifying pants and still appear as long as possible. Specifically, choose cropped pants in a colour that creates low contrast between your legs and the fabric of the pant (darker skin, darker pants and vice versa). Wear them with a shoe that has a heel for added height. Additionally, the colour of the shoe could also be low contrast with your skin colour.

A woman in white pants and grey sweater holding a purse.

photo: net-a-porter.com

Bend the rules of common figure flattery with voluminous tops and dresses. To dress strategically in an oversized top, make sure the garment is fitted in the shoulders and the sleeves. Wear this away-from-the-body top with close-fitting bottoms, like skinny jeans or a stretchy tube skirt.

A woman standing in front of a building wearing jeans.

photo: gabifresh.com


Let us help you define and hone your personal style. We will peek in your closet and show you all the ways you can dress strategically. Most of all, The Joy of Style will help you cultivate the most stylish version of yourself.

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