Outfits are important. They are often the first thing someone notices when meeting a new person for the first time and can cost you a position. Learning to match clothes well, including finding the best color combinations, are very important to gaining confidence in your body.
If the thought of matching outfits is overwhelming, then you are in the right place. This article will give you tips to learn how to match your clothes well, make great first impressions, and find your inner confidence.
Before we get deep into how to dress well, we need to get a good understanding of the basics.
1. Color Combinations
Understanding how to appropriately match colors in your outfits is vital to dressing well. Let’s be honest, there is nothing worse than wearing an outfit that stops you from making good first impressions with the people you meet.
Figuring out what color combinations work may be overwhelming at first, but there are simple rules that can make mixing and matching colors easy!
- Rule 1 – Neutral Colors:
Regardless of your style or preference, you always need to have a few neutral staple items in your wardrobe. Brown (beige, khaki, tan, etc.), navy, black, white, and grey are considered neutral colors. These colors are always safe to mix and match with both colors and neutral pieces, because they will never clash.
- Rule 2 – Mixing Colors and Neutrals:
If you want to experiment with brighter statement pieces but are nervous to match colors, play it safe by matching your statement piece with a neutral color to even the color distribution. Neutral colors can tone down an extremely bright statement piece while keeping your look professional.
A great way to match color choices is to wear a neutral bottom with a colored top, sweater, or jacket. Obviously, you can also wear a colored bottom with a neutral top – you aren’t limited to try this combination on clothing either, you can mix and match shoes and accessories using this rule as well.
- Rule 3 – Stay within the Same Color Family:
With that being said, you aren’t limited to only wearing colors when matched with a neutral piece. You can match different colors and still look classy and put together, as long as you don’t go overboard. Essentially, when planning an outfit with different color combinations, make sure to stay within the color family. A color family encompasses all the shades of a specific color. The red color family, for example, consists of all shades of red. It is also a good idea to stick with the same undertone as the color you are matching. There are three color undertones: warm (reds, oranges, and yellows), cool (blues, purples, and greens), and neutrals. As a fashion example, if you want to wear a warm yellow cardigan, match it with a different shade of warm yellow.
2. Wearing Patterns
There are plenty of ways that you can mix and match clothes and patterns and continue to look sophisticated. When matching patterns, you need to shoot for wearing 2-3 distinct pieces of clothing with distinct patterns. For example, you can mix polka dots and pinstripes in your outfits but remember to block the patterns off with solid colors. Also, incorporate colors that match the pattern in your outfit to keep your look polished and neat.
3. Matching the Fit
When planning your clothes for the next day, make sure to keep your outfit balanced by pairing a less fitted article of clothing with a tighter fit. Wearing a loose top and bottom together, will make you look sloppy and unpolished. On the opposite end, pairing a tight fitted top and bottom can be seen as unprofessional and not appropriate for the workplace.
Always balance your look by wearing a loose-fitting piece of clothing with a tighter fit article, whether it be a jacket, trousers, or blouse.
Match Clothes for your Body Type
Learning how to dress for your body type can immediately boost your self-confidence through accentuating the parts of your body that you love while taking attention off the areas you don’t. Everyone has parts of their body that they dislike for one reason or another – for some people, those “problem areas” can greatly lower their self-confidence in themselves and their outfits.
Fortunately, there are specific styles of clothing for each body type that will help you feel more confident in your body and emphasize your curves.
1. Mix and Match Clothes for Height
Dressing for your height can be a complicated process, especially if you fall on the more extreme sides of tall or short.
- For short women who wish to look taller, wear vertical stripes that create the illusion of a taller silhouette. Monochromatic color schemes along with choosing high-waisted pants also give the illusion of height.
- For taller women, you should opt for skinny jeans to show off your long legs. If your pants are too short and hit near the ankle, cuff them to an appropriate length, making the shorter length look purposeful. Find blouses or dresses that cinch the waist or tuck in your blouse for the same effect. If your sleeves hit too short, cuff them to a conservative ¾ sleeve.
2. Match Outfits for Shoulder Width
Many women don’t like their shoulders and are reluctant to wear daring styles that could bring attention to their broad shoulders. There are ways to draw attention away from your shoulders through various clothing styles.
If you want to hide your wide shoulders, opt for scoop and V-neck shirts that accentuate your bust and neck. Additionally, styles that emphasize the waist – such as a waist cinching blouse, will help divert attention from the shoulder area. Broad-shouldered women should stay away from clothing that have detailing on the shoulders, like shoulder pads, because they will draw attention to your problem area.
3. Dress Well with a Thick Waist and Bigger Bust
If you have a wide waist and feel self-conscious, camouflage it through wearing flared pants instead of skinny or straight leg jeans. Stay away from detailing or ruffling that draws attention to your midriff and opt for statement pieces on your lower half.
If you are endowed with a bigger bust and want to hide it for whatever reason, go for simple lines that hide your body’s shape and stay away from embellishments on your bust line.
Things to Remember
Regardless of your body type or personal style, there are always a couple of fashion don’ts that you need to be aware of:
- Always pay attention to formality and dress codes. If you are unsure of the dress code, try to lean toward more formal styles. It is always better to be more formal than underdressed.
- Be comfortable. You need to be comfortable in your outfit of choice, your confidence and personality can’t shine through an uncomfortable outfit.
- Dress for the weather. Always be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and keep you comfortable. Meaning don’t wear heavy or thick fabrics in the heat of the summer and make sure to wear warmer clothes in the winter. If it has rained and you are going to be walking a lot, don’t wear super high heels — opt for simpler choices to keep you safe and comfortable.
Always dress for you and never for someone else. Your clothes are an extension of your personality so, show it off through your own choices and preferences.