It may sounds obvious, but an often overlooked rule of formidable fashion is “stick with what works,” and this applies in a variety of ways.
To begin, honestly acknowledge your body shape and own it! Then figure out what styles of clothing best suit your most eye-catching traits, what flatters you. There are a wealth of resources out there, but here are two that I found to be particularly helpful in performing this exercise myself.
The Joy of Clothes: Guide to Bodyshapes (a whole website ready for perusing dedicated to helping you explore your style)
She Knows: Find Fashion That Flatters (a quick read to highlight some easy ways to identify your body type and find the right clothes for you)
All too often, I see women wearing clothes that may look great on others with vastly different body shapes but that do nothing for their own style or appearance. (In many cases, those failed attempts can quickly become style disasters, and that certainly won’t be facilitating that next big promotion.) So even if you love how something looks on your best co-worker friend or your beloved older sister, consider how it will look on you and then decide if it might be a bit off base or provide just the right finish to flatter your figure.
After determining which options work well for your body, only grab items off the rack that truly speak to your preferences. Something may be the trendiest item at every one of your favorite fashion joints. But if you don’t really love it, the item will either collect dust in your likely-overcrowded closet or you simply won’t feel your best wearing it. And all too soon it will end up in that donation box waiting to be carried off to someone else who might just love it more (or at all). Just because Pantone’s color of the year is puke green (it’s not, but let’s say it was) doesn’t mean we all need to wear a boatload of puke green for the next twelve months. I hate this color for me – it doesn’t match my skin tone or hair and it’s just not up my alley. So no matter how popular this color grew to be, it wouldn’t be garnering space in my closet.
In the end, combine what suits your style with what flatters your figure. It may result in less variety in your wardrobe than chasing each of the latest trends or trying out every silhouette that hits the shelves at your favorite store. But I trust you will be far more satisfied with the items you encounter each morning while perusing through your closet and, undoubtedly, your bank account will thank you! Maybe you’ll even love your corporate closet so much you’ll be ambitious enough to try a 30×30 “corporate style.” (This challenge has intrigued me but I have yet to take the plunge. I am thinking I might try it down the road as a shared blogger challenge… hmmm.)