How to Improve Your Self-Esteem Using Fashion

Styled For Confidence Series

Like any other day, I prepared myself for a shoot. Last minute choices and last minute setups— I’m always behind. Nonetheless, I met up with my photographer (m.exquisitecreations) who ended up being a major catalyst in this new pursuit to boost self-esteem through fashion.

Little did I know that today would be the first (I hope of many more) installments of my Styled For Confidence series. Stepping into a new medium, I’ve always opted for dealing with woman’s fashion.

But alas, men must wear clothes too, no?

So…This is Mo [Before].

Photos Shot By: @m.exquisitecreations

Mo is a young man with a funny personality and a witty sense of humour to lift your spirits. This just so happened to be the very first time that we met. And for that reason, this was a completely spur of the moment idea. After meeting for the first time and taking these first two photos, the idea was born and we went to the shops! I’m honoured that he had faith in me to give him a style makeover.

Mo gave me the opportunity to dress him however I liked…just as long as he looked stylish. I’ll be one to admit that I wanted to give him a more business casual transformation, but I quickly learned that wasn’t exactly the fit he’d love the most. And after speaking for a while, we settled on more of a street style for him.

How to Improve Your Self-Esteem Using Fashion

Outfit Details – Sweater: H&M | Demin Jacket: G-Star Raw (Original is sold out, but here are some look alikes!) | Biker Pants: H&M | Shoes: Nike

Model: @mooeeeyy | Photos Shot By: @m.exquisitecreations

Now I know that I could have given him a nice “businessman look”, but that wouldn’t express his personality nearly as much. Being a stylist and business woman, a reoccurring element is to be able to understand what your client wants, likes, and/or needs. Although this may not be the easiest thing to transpose, you have to have patience. Because in the end, it’ll save both you and who your working with loads of time.

Let me share a small secret with you. Ask yourself these simple questions next time you’re trying understanding your self-image: What types of clothes or who do you seek when it comes to fashion inspiration? Are there certain colours or shades that you are drawn to? How would you define comfort with regards to wearability?

Outfit Details – Frayed Top: Forever21 | Leather Pants: Sirens | Shoes: Zara (Look alikes)

Photos Shot By: @m.exquisitecreations

Once you’ve generated your answers, take a mental note. This is essentially a mini style guide cheat sheet. And as simple as it sounds, if you ask yourself those questions when deciding what to wear, you’ll find yourself curating outfits that cater to your core. Whether that means you have a desire for a laidback contemporary style, being minimalist, or dressing up in super funky colours, this is a starting point that will help to emulate what’s on the inside.

Clothing can be used as a confidence booster

How to Improve Your Self-Esteem Using Fashion

Photos Shot By: @m.exquisitecreations

How to Improve Your Self-Esteem Using Fashion

If understood properly, you can use this as an advantage when building self-esteem. What good would it bring Mo if I dressed him how I wanted him to look? He would look stylish. Awesome. However, it wouldn’t be as great because of his lack of control from the perceptions in the environment. I’ll touch more on this later, but bare with me for now.

Back in the day, I’d find myself binge watching episodes of ‘What Not to Wear’. Bless your soul if you’ve seen the show and had a major obsession over it like I did. But if you haven’t, the main focus of it was to give makeovers to individuals who’s style needed a little, for lack of a better term, “spice”. I’ve come to conclusion that there’s two ways that one could have interpreted this show:

1. If an individual chooses to dress a certain way, then that’s their prerogative.

How to Improve Your Self-Esteem Using Fashion

Photos Shot By: @m.exquisitecreations

All fair and all true as most individuals work, pay their own bills, and therefore, purchase their own clothing. Who can really have a say in the way you dress? I mean speaking as a stylist, the only authority I govern to you is to express my own personal suggestions. The rest is up to you to decide whether you find my advice plausible.

2. People on the show genuinely need help with their style as a result of lack of self-esteem

A lot of the time people on this show had lovely personalities, but a slight shyness or disconnect (at least from what I observed) when it came to portraying it to the world. Let’s be truthful, as humans we judge and the easiest way to do so is through eye sight.

One crucial thing that I recall from the show is that there was a high-rate of fashion turnover. Meaning, that as soon as individuals on the show would return back to their regular lives, a multitude them would end up reverting back to their old style.

So what was the whole point of going on the show?!

Here is where I think the hit or miss moment comes into play. Just like how I had my perceptions of how Mo should dress, the show lacked in certain areas for ensuring that clothing truly represented and was a comfortable space for the individual.

Why is style important?

I live by the notion that “you never know who your next potential [blank] will be”. This could mean future spouse, business partner, client, etc. And for that reason: are you ready? Well, you don’t have to be. But if you appear to be, that’s sometimes just as good enough. With good style comes outward confidence. Look good, feel good, be good.

How you feel vs. How the world sees you

How to Improve Your Self-Esteem Using Fashion

Photos Shot By: @m.exquisitecreations

How to Improve Your Self-Esteem Using Fashion

This brings me to my next point. The way in which you carry yourself will have a major effect on how the outside world sees you. Perception is in the eye of the beholder. Let’s say for a second that you want to minimize this. Why? Well, I’d like to think of this as a sense of power.

How to Improve Your Self-Esteem Using Fashion

For example, you’re going for a job interview. You’re going to want to have more control of how a potential employer will view you than the other way around. I’m not saying this is manipulation, but rather a sort of mitigation. Think of it as a strategy, which will give you the upper hand. The more control you possess, the more you translate confidence, which in turn will increase your chances of landing that opportunity.

Is this a stretch? I wouldn’t think so.

But I’d love to here about any experiences you may have had with understanding your style. Let’s start a discussion!

2 Comments

  1. theyoungnarrative
    June 21, 2018 / 9:01 pm

    I totally understand what your talking about. When I was in 7th grade, I started establishing my own style. I was a heavier set young lady so I hid under giant clothes from my father since I lacked the confidence to show myself off. It wasn’t until I started wearing the more feminine but quirky clothes that I do now that I gained the confidence to look pass the societal depiction that only skinny women look beautiful. And no, I don’t only choose clothes meant for curvy women to look thinner, I pick things that express the art I am trying to portray. Fashion is for everyone and can make people build their confidence to be themselves, just like it did for me. I love that you pointed this out in this article.

  2. June 26, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Love this post! Great points. Thanks for sharing ♥️ ♥️ By any chance you are interested on doing collaborations, you can check out the collaborations portal of Phlanx.com and connect with amazing brands!

    Xoxo,
    Tiffany

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