Despite what the media tells us, true style has nothing to do with having a perfect body or becoming a slave to fashion. It's actually about being comfortable in your own skin and expressing yourself with confidence.
We probably all know a few women who seem to have been born with style and good taste. They are the sort of women who always look great and fit in wherever they go. What do these women have in common? Chances are it's not a size 0 body, a huge income or their own stylist.
What they share is a defined personal style and the ability to dress in a way that makes them feel comfortable and confident.
Women have long been seduced into believing that their external appearance is everything. And if we believe what mass media tells us, we're all abnormal if we don't look like a supermodel.
From an early age, we are influenced by the likes and dislikes of our friends and parents and later, our partners. Our education, family/social situation and career also play a part in telling us what we should look like and how we should act.
The problem arises when we allow all of these external factors to take over and we lose sight of US. When this happens we get stuck in a rut; shopping becomes stressful and frustrating; and our catch-cry becomes 'But I've got nothing to wear!'
To develop style means to marry what suits our height, personal colouring, shape and age from what's currently in fashion, and to understand which 'looks' are appropriate for what occasions. In other words, to become a woman who understands fashion without becoming a slave to it.
The fact is that any woman, from any background, and any size, age or shape has the ability to dress in a way that is fashionable, flattering and in good taste.
Gaining this knowledge, and experiencing more shopping success, will allow you to express the woman within - the real you. And in turn this will then give you the confidence to become more creative with your wardrobe.
In essence, there are five key points to remember when it comes to personal style:
Appropriateness: for your physical shape, age and the occasion;
Simplicity: less is more. Choosing simple, clean lines and accessories;
Poise: carrying yourself with grace and confidence in any situation;
Authenticity: expressing the real you both in the way you dress and behave;
Courtesy: good humour and respect for others.
As you can see, style is about much more than just the clothes we wear. It is everything that makes us unique - from our personality and lifestyle, through to our education, experiences, values and goals. Apart from body shape and colouring, it is these things that will make or break style success.
Dressing in a way that doesn't fit with who you are as a person means not only will you feel uncomfortable but you will be sending very mixed messages to everyone around you. Feeling self-conscious will destroy any hope of style.
Being able to look in the mirror and like what you see is a very important factor in self-esteem for women. When you know you look good you walk, talk and think differently. Once you understand the basic rules of colour and style and apply them to your wardrobe in a way that suits you as an individual, you will be amazed at the positive changes that come about in your life.