30+ Style Mistakes that Completely Sabotage your Outfit (Part 1)
So the other day, I was invited to a birthday, and the host had prepared the room beautifully, with elegant pieces of decoration, fresh flowers and sophisticated music. The food was also very nice – all vegan, of course! -, and the drinks were delicious and at the perfect temperature. But then one detail ruined it all, one little mistake that basically sabotaged the whole thing… I know it’s not the norm everywhere, but here in the UK, it’s quite common to ask people to take their shoes off when entering your house – so I suggest you always have beautiful and clean nails or socks in your bag. But anyway let’s get back to the detail that killed it… Even though the house was beautiful, smelled nice, and the ambience was on point… The floor was oh-so-very-dusty…!
And for me and my bare feet on the floor, I can tell you, it was a significant turn-off. My host probably didn’t think of it and put so much effort into presenting the house in the best possible way. She might have cleaned the whole house earlier during the day, but when you’re preparing for something like that, dusting should be the last thing you do before your guests arrive.
Well, I’m sorry to say, a lot of us make that exact mistake when it comes to our looks. We put the most beautiful outfits together, and we overlook one thing. Just one little thing that completely ruins the experience and the party. And when we walk out, all the people we meet have the feeling of their dusty feet, and that’s all they can think of, even though we’ve just thrown the perfect party.
Putting together an outfit can be easy, but it’s even better if you have a few tricks and tips on how to make the perfect outfit. In this series, we’re going to have a look at more than 30 style mistakes that completely ruin an outfit, and how to avoid them. Let’s dive in today, by focusing on the mindset, with the first 11 ways of completely sabotaging your style.
Mistake #1 – Forgetting to Update your Wardrobe
Right so… I’m going to be blunt. If you still wear today things that you were wearing 10 years ago – unless we’re talking about a denim jacket or that kind of basics-, then something is wrong. Not because you should follow trends; you know how I feel about following trends; but simply because your style needs to evolve with your personality.
Unless you’re in the exact same situation as you were 10 years ago, then you need a wardrobe update. And it does not stop you from having a signature style or a favourite piece – we all do. It just means your wardrobe is reflecting your life, and that’s how it should be.
Mistake #2 – Being Closed to New Ideas
When you’ve found your “style”, I understand that it might feel counterintuitive to try new things. But the truth is: your taste will evolve with your lifestyle; and sometimes, sticking up to your old beliefs about your style might hold you back.
Now I’m not saying that you should go crazy and try every trend you see everywhere, but keeping an open mind will help update and maintain your wardrobe fresh, modern and alive.
Mistake #3 – Caring too much about what others are doing
I’m not contradicting myself here. Yes, I said you should keep your mind open, but it doesn’t mean you should lose a sense of who you are. (Side note: If you are looking to know how to find your signature style, hang tight, I have something for you coming soon.)
So what do I mean exactly here? Well, your style is not about others, it’s not about what your friend is wearing, what’s on-trend or what’s being recommended by the media or the best fashion magazine/Instagram accounts/influencers. You can get inspiration from everywhere, yes; but keep in mind, we are all offering (with different body shapes, different tones, different style personality, different lifestyles, etc.). So it’s very likely that whatever looks good on your best friend, will look completely different on you!
Mistake #4 – Caring too much about what others think of your style
Let’s put it out there: your style is nobody else’s business. Here, I said it. Yes, people will see it; yes people will have an opinion on it; some people will like it, some won’t. But the truth is: your style is your image; it’s your brand, and it reflects who you are. So be confident in who you are as an individual and don’t let other people’s opinion change who you are.
Mistake #5 – Not considering your lifestyle
Your style is basically the image you portray to others, yes. But it’s also what you wear every day; it’s also the extra layer of “skin” you put on to love your daily life. So… As much as I want to look as beautiful (?) as the MET Gala red carpet celebs, it wouldn’t be very appropriate for me to be running in the London Underground with my gown on; if you know what I mean.
Now obviously, this is a stretch, but it’s a style mistake that a lot of us make. We have a wardrobe full of clothes we love and that look beautiful, but they are just not relevant to our lifestyle. If you work from home, you do not need the same style as somebody who works in the corporate world. If you have three kids, you probably don’t need the same wardrobe as a young and single entrepreneur coming straight out of university and working in the PR and fashion world.
Your lifestyle matters, when considering what can make or break your style.
Mistake #6 – Loving too many things and too much of everything
Right, this one is tricky. Especially for the fashion lovers out there – including myself. But it’s important! We care about curating the right pieces for a sustainable wardrobe, so…
Loving and looking at everything and anything is a style mistake, and it can ruin your outfit. And not just your outfit: your entire style. Again, if you are looking to find your signature style, then you’ll need to narrow down what you like best and what works for you best.
In my article about working with a Personal Stylist, I point out how your style is your visual brand, and how any brand needs consistency. Well, I’m going to repeat it. Without consistency in your style, you look just like a tech company that all of a sudden decides to sell baby food, before turning to skincare: confusing! And not only confusing in the image you portray but also confusing for yourself. I would definitely freeze every morning wondering “what should I wear?” If my wardrobe was like that.
Mistake #7 – Overdoing it… Less is more
I know, we’ve seen it and done it before, and we’re still not 100% convinced. But honestly, there is no need to go overboard with your style, unless it reflects your personality – which means it’s not overdone, it’s just who you are, and that’s perfect!
When you’re trying too hard, it’s visible to everybody; and, likely, you won’t be comfortable. Less is more…
In my case, I like always to be slightly underdressed – not messy, but just… cool! Haha! And I tend to be very minimalist when it comes to makeup and accessories. Maybe the French part of me?
My advice: choose pieces that shine by themselves, so you don’t necessarily need to do too much in terms of layering, association, accessory, makeup and hair. Yup! Less is more.
Mistake #8 – Just going about it blindly
Well, I know I say it quite often, but I’m going to repeat it: styling is a science. When we go to the supermarket, we don’t just blindly buy food and hope it’s going to work. Well, it’s the same when it comes to personal styling.
If you don’t know where to start when putting an outfit together, start by choosing one piece. Whether it’s the shoes you want to wear, or this new top, or that beautiful vegan leather bag. From there, add the other pieces one by one, until you find the perfect combination. And you’re sorted!
Just having the right pieces available is not enough. It’s about how to style them together.
Mistake #9 – Choosing the wrong colours
One of the biggest style mistakes I see way too often is that of colours. I know there are seasons, and people tend to believe that specific colours need to be worn at certain times of the year (I mean, the industry pushes these beliefs too, to be fair). But it’s not true..! Did you know you had a colour palette? Based on your skin tone, your hair colour, your undertone and your eyes?
The must-have little black dress? It’s a myth! And if you are very fair, with pale skin and red hair, you probably know by now that black is not the most flattering colour on you.
Not knowing which colours to wear and which ones to choose is definitely a style mistake. Even with the most beautiful pieces in your wardrobe.
Mistake #10 – Not considering your body shape
A bit like the style mistake that happens with colours, this one is about your body shape. Not everything suits everybody shapes. It’s just fact. No body-shaming here whatsoever: all bodies are beautiful. When I talk about body shape, I’m talking about what we commonly call: triangle, inverted triangle, apple, pear, hourglass… You’ve probably heard of these before. If not, then it’s merely the science of dressing the natural shape of the body to create visual balance, accentuate certain areas, or move the eye away from specific areas.
Just think about your body shape and dress accordingly, this is a game-changer when it comes to personal style!
Mistake #11 – Forgetting what it means
“It’s just clothes, I don’t care”. “People shouldn’t judge a book by its cover”. And while I agree with the second statement, I definitely disagree with the first one.
We shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,
So here it is