5 Steps to Great Style

People say to me all the time, “I wish I had your sense of style.” I always tell them to develop their own sense of style and wear what makes them feel the most confident.  It’s a proven fact that when you know you look good, you feel good. And you don’t need to have access to an unlimited budget in order to have great style. Here are 5 of my best tips to help you cultivate your inner fashionista.

1. Organize your closet.

Nothing makes you feel like you’ve got your life together quite like having an immaculately organized closet. Spending a few hours (or even an entire day) getting your closet arranged precisely the way you want it will pay off on a daily basis. For me, having everything in my closet completely visible and easily accessible is very important. I like to display belts, scarves and jewelry on peg boards, like this easy-to-make DIY jewelry organizer. I hang all of my clothes on velvet covered or wood hangers and arrange them according to sleeve length. Cleaning out your closet is also a good time to get rid of clothes you no longer wear and possibly even make some money by selling them on Tradesy.

Here are a few closet-organizing items to get you started:

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2. Plan and prep your outfits the night before.

It’s hard enough to get motivated every morning without the added stress of  standing in front of your closet for ten minutes saying “What am I going to wear?” Not only are you apt to throw a half-assed outfit together that doesn’t make you feel fabulous, but you’re also likely to make yourself run late, which is never a fun way to start out the day. By taking the the night before to check out the weather for the next day and plan your outfit accordingly, you can hit the ground running and start your day with a perfect outfit that makes you feel confident and happy. I also make sure that I have my purse packed and ready to go with everything I need for the day and make sure that I have my keys, subway pass, etc. in plain sight. Trust me – anything you can do the night before to make your morning run smoother will be well worth the effort.

Add these titles to your fashion closet library help you plan your outfits:

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 3. Wear high heels (at least occasionally.)

Okay, even I – the stiletto-loving shoe queen – have had to mix up my shoe wardrobe recently because my feet (and back) were hurting so bad. I work from home most of the time, but on the days I’m working in Manhattan, I usually choose either flats or a chunky heeled shoe, as single-soled stilettos, while sexy and beautiful, are just not practical for all the walking I do around the city. However, I do make it a point to wear my higher-heeled stilettos when going out to dinner or girl’s nights out, simply because they make me feel so fabulous. There’s just something about slipping on a gorgeous pair of high heels that infuses a woman with an extra dose of confidence. Why not make it a resolution to try it at least once a week? That’s 52 times a year you’re guaranteed to feel great about yourself.

Why not add these gorgeous (and totally affordable) stilettos to your newly organized closet?

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4. Invest in a great handbag.

Think about it…you carry a purse every single day. You may as well make it one that you love and one that looks great with all of your outfits. Whether you prefer a large roomy tote or a small cross-body, do your online shopping research and find a nice designer bag in a classic style and color. I’m a sucker for the Michael Kors Hamilton tote and Zac Posen’s Americana duffle bags. Both styles are big enough for me to carry everything I need for those days I work in the city, including an extra pair of shoes, my Macbook Air, my iPad, iPhone and wallet. Find your dream bag and make the investment.

Check out these classic bag styles:

                    

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5. Get inspired by street style.

I’m not just talking about street style blogs or street style editorials in your favorite fashion magazine, which can both be great resources for inspiration. Although a word of caution – a lot of street style blogs and magazine articles only showcase women with the same anorexic body type – super tall and skeletal thin. The goal is to get inspired and not to look at photos that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Try looking at plus-size blogs as well to get an idea of what women with more “average” sized bodies are wearing. Also be sure to take note of women you see in your daily lives. When you see a woman wearing an outfit that you like, ask her about it. Ask if you could snap a photo for your personal style inspiration board (oh yeah, you should have one of those in your perfectly organized closet. Here’s an example of one of mine.) Not only will you be getting fashion inspiration for yourself, but you’ll be complimenting another woman on her style. And come on ladies, we all know that women dress for themselves and for other women, and NOT, contrary to popular belief, for men. Update your “street style” inspiration board on a regular basis. Soon, YOU’LL be the one being stopped on the street and asked “who are you wearing?”

Check out some of my favorite street style blogs:

The Sartorialist

A Girl, A Style

Girl With Curves

Song of Style

Once you get your fashion life organized, you’ll find the rest of life becomes a little easier. Plus, you’ll have the added bonus of a sudden increase in confidence because you know you look your best every day. And nothing is sexier or more stylish than a confident woman!

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