It goes without saying that your wardrobe can have a huge impact on how you feel, and fashion confidence can be hard to come by. "Fashion wellness" is a phrase we have been using a lot this January, as what you wear each morning can arm you with the confidence to tackle that day. Here we have spoken to some of the most inspiring—and stylish—women we know to discover how and when they became truly confident with their style. You might assume that these women were just born with this confidence, but they also had to learn what works for them and the clothes that always make them smile.
Don't Look at Other People's Style Too Much
The clothes that make you feel the most powerful… "It doesn't really matter what I wear, as it really depends on my mood. I wake up and feel a certain way. So the most important thing is that I listen to my needs, and then dress accordingly. Very rarely high heels make me feel confident and powerful, but on the contrary, I often feel confident in clothes that are suitable for any situation. For example, running around day-to-day with my kid. I refuse to dress differently when with my son."
At what point in your life did you feel effortless and comfortable with what you were wearing and why do you think that was? "Definitely when I became a mother two years ago. When I was pregnant, getting dressed was an absolute pain. I felt sh*t in everything. But since having my child, I feel more sophisticated in my style and truly dress however I want. It's also my husband who taught me to always stick to my intuition when it comes to style and not worry too much about trends. He is a very fashionable person but has nothing to do with fashion itself. I love that about him. And he keeps me grounded."
What do you think is the key to being confident in what you are wearing? "Don't look at other people's style to much. Trust and listen to yourself and dare to have your own style without jumping on every trend."
Style Should Be Shaped By You
Lyn Slater created her fashion blog Accidental Icon three years ago, and the 64-year-old grandma quickly became an Instagram sensation thanks to her amazing ageless styling. She explains how fashion confidence to her is all about power…
The clothes that make you feel the most powerful… "For me, it means I am wearing my 'uniform.' Beautifully draped and tailored long black trousers, a perfect white shirt and black leather, high heeled lace-up boots. Add a pair of my statement hoops and sunglasses, and the world is mine."
At what point in your life did you feel effortless and comfortable with what you were wearing, and why do you think it that was? "When I was able to have control over choosing and buying my own clothes. In my day, parents did not give you too many choices, and I did not always agree with the outfits that were chosen for me. I always knew how I wanted to dress and had a very good sense of what was stylish, I just needed the power and resources to do so."
What do you think is the key to being confident about what you're wearing? "I think my two previous answers give some clues. Sometimes simple elegance can be more impactful than drama, particularly if you accept and love yourself. This will animate any garment you put on. Second, do not let anyone dictate to you what you should or should not wear, and let your style be shaped by who you are and not who others say you should be."
Find Your Comfort Zone
Kat Farmer, fashion writer, personal shopper and blogger of Does My Bum Look 40, reveals how to her fashion confidence was something that came with age…
The clothes that make you feel the most powerful… "For me, it's one that I know I look good in right now—a midi or maxi dress. The bigger the print the better, I usually add heels for extra confidence and a biker jacket gives it an edge."
At what point in your life did you feel effortless and comfortable with what you were wearing, and why do you think it that was? "I would say it was reaching my 40s and finding a style that works for me on every level. So one that with a slight tweak can go from relaxed and dressed-down to appropriate for work meetings and then out in the evening. I also think that finding a versatile style that works hard for you means you can invest in pieces that are just that little bit more special and last."
What do you think is the key to being confident about what you're wearing? "I think the key is to find a style that you love and you feel comfortable wearing. Then adapt that style for the different occasions in your life—a different jacket, change up the shoes and play with different accessories. Once you've found your comfort zone, it's much easier to always get it right and build a wardrobe that you love seeing every day."
No One Will Scrutinize Yourself as Much as You Do
Freddie Harel, fashion influencer and founder of Big Hair No Care, explains that fashion confidence comes with not holding yourself back…
The clothes that make you feel the most powerful… "Definitely a suit! Add shoulder pads, and I feel invincible. It forces this power strut on you while making your silhouette long and classy—I've started a collection of them!"
At what point in your life did you feel effortless and comfortable with what you were wearing, and why do you think it that was? "I think I've always felt comfortable with my style, my idea of fun has always been clothes. It's with basically everything else that I was uncomfortable with, but realising a few years ago that what was special about all of us was our uniqueness taught me to be happy with my whole self."
What do you think is the key to being confident about what you're wearing? "Just do you. People actually don’t have the headspace to care about what you wear. We get so distracted. We’re constantly hunched over our phones. WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook—our attention span is at rock-bottom. No one looks at you with as much scrutiny as you do. So don’t hold yourself back for people who don’t care enough to notice. Instead, have fun with it and you’ll be surprised at the smiles and compliments you get when you just own it!"
Next up, the 17 trends you need to know for S/S 18.