Most people don't have time to pull a full Marie Kondo on their wardrobe or apply and star in a television show to revamp their image. So we've rounded up some quick tips for boosting yourself and your style from Minnesota-based image consultant Jill Swanson.
1. Demote some things in your closet. Bling up others.
No, unlike some scenarios in Netflix's "Queer Eye," you don't need to dismantle your entire closet. Swanson advises, instead, that you work with what you have. Consider how you can add or take small things to or from a piece, to change it into something you would wear more. That shirt you used to love wearing to parties, but now you don't get out as much? Take off a bit of the bling, and see if you can bring it down to a regular Friday-night level that still feels fun with jeans. The blazer with boring buttons? Sew on some better ones. That said, Swanson warns, "if you see somebody who is 20 to 30 years older than you wearing it, you probably want to get rid of it."
2. Think about what you're dressing for.
What's involved in the day ahead, and what are your goals? Swanson tells people there are four ways of dressing in the morning — for function, fashion, passion or reaction. Function could be targeting clothes that let you easily move around. Fashion is dressing to look good, whether for work or a special occasion. Here, you want to dress from the top down. No one will remember if you wore the same pants three days in a row, she points out, but think about snazzing up your shirt. Passion is dressing your personality — sometimes you just want to wear what you want to wear. As far as dressing for reaction, ask yourself, what kind of reception do I want from people today? For example, if you're planning serious conversations with people you want to open up to you, consider beige, which Swanson said can feel nonthreatening or neutral.
3. Tailor, tailor, tailor.
Taking clothes to a tailor is something many people don't do, but it is a simple way to take an outfit purchased even at a thrift store and make it look like a million bucks. Swanson said to not underestimate the difference it can make to have clothes that have been molded by someone else to fit your exact proportions. "If you look good, you feel good," she said. Plus, once you're wearing clothes that are tailored to your body, you might find it's one of the easiest ways to appear trimmer and sharper. "Getting clothes to fit your body gives you a lot," she said.
4. Wear something that matches your eyes.
Swanson knows that people want to know what colors look good on them. Her advice? "If you want to get people to really listen to what you're saying and pay attention," she said, "the most believable color you can use is your eye color." When you're wearing something that matches your eyes, she said, the other person will automatically look at your eyes, which boosts eye contact. "You'll notice it," she said. "You're talking to somebody else, and they have blue eyes and a blue shirt on — you'll just keep looking at their eyes."
5. Constantly re-evaluate your clothing choices.
To assess which clothes you wear more regularly, turn all of the hangers backwards. Then, when you wear clothes, flip them. This will show you what you're wearing and what you're ignoring. At the beginning stages of the clothes circuit — at the mall, while online shopping — consider how you shop. Don't just fill up your closet with things that are cheaper. That's an easy trap to fall into, Swanson said. To avoid it, she suggests asking yourself if you would buy the item if it were full price. "If you would not be willing to pay full price, then don't pay the sale price."