So you’ve popped the cork on another new year and are ready to tackle some resolutions like losing weight, getting a new job, or finding a soul mate. Great! But instead of working on those goals individually, perhaps you should just resolve to work on your image instead. For once you get your outside reflecting the qualities of your inside, it’s amazing how many of those other things quickly fall in line – like higher self-esteem, more job opportunities, and eligible men coming out of the woodwork.
Think I’m joking?
Stroll through a mall or department store some time and look at the displays. Do they entice you? Call to you? Lure you in? They should. There’s a long history of salesmanship wrapped up in all those displays, tempting you to spend your money. Ever since that first farmer in some ancient market discovered that shining his apples made them sell faster, retailers have long used the power of image to sell more and increase their bottom line.
So should you.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Here are ten easy and budget-friendly image resolutions you should make this year that will help make reaching some of your other goals that much easier:
1. Organize Your Closet
Let’s get the most labor-intensive one out of the way first. If you take an afternoon to clean your closet, you’ll benefit for months to come. Go through and get rid of the stuff that you don’t wear or that doesn’t fit, organize what’s left, and make a list of things that you need. (Wardrobe Magic can show you how) When you can see what you have in an instant, it makes getting dressed a snap.
2. Get Properly Fitting Undergarments
Want to visually drop ten pounds and ten years in an instant? Wear properly fitting undergarments. Yes, they’re THAT important. Bras and panties should fit snuggly without binding, riding up, or creating unsightly bulges. If your bustline doesn’t hit midway between your shoulders and elbows, you need a new bra. If the elastic is shot on your underwear, replace it.
3. Stand Up Straight
Shoulders back, chin up. If you strive for proper posture, you’ll look taller, thinner, and more confident. You’ll also have stronger back and stomach muscles, and probably fewer digestive problems. Slouching is easy, which is why so many people do it. Don’t succumb. Instead, remember what your mother told you: stand up straight.
4. Get in Shape
There are SO many benefits to having a healthy body that it’s shocking that so many people neglect theirs. From being stronger and resting better to having more endurance, you deserve the life that comes from being physically fit. You’ll feel better, you’ll turn heads – and, in keeping with our fashion message, you’ll open up lots of clothing options with a smaller, toner body.
5. Cut the Vices
Cigarettes, alcohol, too much caffeine – there’s a price to pay for all those vices: your health. Yes, they feel good NOW. But bad behavior ALWAYS comes back to haunt you. If the health risks don’t frighten you, perhaps a ding to your vanity will. People who smoke, drink, use drugs, or sunbathe excessively tend to look older faster than those who don’t. Forty may seem like a long way off when you’re in your teens or mid-twenties, but that’s the age when all those bad habits start to show in your face. Want to look younger longer? Kick the habits.
6. Update Your Hair and Makeup
Hair and makeup styles change every six months, just like clothes. So what season are you sporting: Fall 2008, or Spring 1992? If you haven’t updated your look in a while, now’s the time to do it. Both HairBoutique.com and Sephora.com can help.
7. Get a Current Pair of Jeans
The most flattering jean style for most women is mid-rise, boot cut. No high waist, no peg leg, and no back pockets if you have a large bum. Darker denims are more flattering than lighter ones, as are sizes that fit without gaping or pinching.
8. Invest in a Great Bag
A great bag doesn’t have to have a designer label, but it should hold your stuff, work with most of your clothes, and fit you proportionally. It should also be durable and wash easily. I find that a dark leather for fall, winter, and spring, and a light leather (or straw) for summer work well for most situations.
9. Upgrade Your Business Attire
If you want to be paid more, dress like you’re worth it. Your clothes don’t have to be expensive, but they should be appropriate for your position or the one above it. We’ve become so casual these days that some think “anything goes” when it comes to business. The reality is that those who know how to dress for business usually excel the fastest. Business Wear Magic can help.
10. Get Proper Clothes for Every Occasion
Ever been invited to something at the last minute and declined because you had nothing to wear? Stop missing out! Make THIS the year you round out your closet with clothing for every occasion. You don’t need a lot but you DO need to cover the bases: something casual, something business, something cocktail, and something formal. Jeans, a jacket, a little black dress, and a lace (or beaded) top and evening skirt or pant should cover you for any situation.
See how these goals spill into other areas? If you resolve to make 2009 THE year to upgrade your image and make the time and effort to follow through, you’ll be ASTOUNDED at how quickly all those other resolutions fall into line. Packaging yourself properly will attract people and opportunities like few other things do, so take the time to do it.
Need more help in pulling your wardrobe together? Download a copy of WARDROBE MAGIC:
to see how easy dressing well can be.