Fashion Magazine

Are You Letting Fear Hold Back Your Style?

By Imogenl @ImogenLamport

What has fear got to do with your style?  

Turns out for many of us, a whole lot!

Watch the Video to Find out Why


The author Daniel Pink recently released a book called The Power of Regret: How looking Backward Moves Us Forward all about our biggest regrets, what are the most common regrets (the world over) and how we can be happier by understanding our regrets because they tell us what we really value.  

Interestingly the biggest regret we all have is not the things we did do, but what we didn’t do.  The actions we didn’t take haunt us more.  Fear is something that holds us back from doing many things, one of them may be your style.

Is Fear Keeping You Stuck?

You can easily worry about looking foolish in some way, I hear it said frequently, and so this fear means it’s super easy to get stuck in a style rut.  

I often hear women say things like “I’d love to wear something like that but I can’t”.

That’s often fear talking, rather than anything else.

Sure not every outfit will suit us, but there are ways of adapting clothes and outfits to make them work for us.

Not feeling confident enough is the most common reason (excuse) that I hear.  That’s your fear talking.

Writer A.J. Jacobs talks about his discovery that it’s actually easier to change how you think by changing your behaviour first (rather than the other way around).  He spent a year living biblically (and dressing in a way described in the Old Testament).

You Become How You Behave

What you wear on your outside affects how you see yourself.

When you’re dressed in an outfit that you think is stylish and makes you look your best, then this actually improves your confidence and raises your self-esteem (there is plenty of research to back up this statement).

Yet, so often we keep our “good clothes” for “special occasions” rather than wearing them every day, when we actually need that confidence boost.

Every time I shop with a client and they put on an outfit that really works, I see a physical change come over them and can feel their self-esteem rising and confidence improving.Wear something that scares you - I used to be scared of wearing large scale necklaces, yet now I'm known for them!Wear something that scares you - I used to be scared of wearing large scale necklaces, yet now I'm known for them!

You may find it hard to believe, but before I became an image consultant I only wore small-scale necklaces, never anything that stood out at all, most of the time almost not visible. It was during my image consultant training that I learned how to create a focal point and distraction and use scale to my advantage, and so I bought one larger scale necklace (nothing huge, but big for me at the time).  What was interesting, is that when I started wearing it, all I got were compliments, and this gave me the confidence to try even larger-scale necklaces, which as you can see with this one above, I’m completely over that as a fear!  I’m now the kind of person who is confident enough to wear a large-scale necklace!

Get Rid of the Sloppy, Frumpy Clothes

They will never do anything good for you psychologically.  They will actually undermine your confidence and self-esteem.  So why would you want to wear them?  

I want you to start dressing in a way that is relevant to you and your lifestyle but that is the very best version of you in every situation, rather than the “it’ll do” or “just ok” version that you may more frequently be sporting currently.

Sure, not every outfit you try is going to be as great as you’d like, but if you never try, if you never experiment, you’ll never learn, grow and improve.

Wear the clothes and accessories that excite you (and yes it may be a little scary, but that’s OK), what will happen is that you’ll be exercising your style muscle, and just like doing any sort of exercise, it gets easier over time, those muscles grow and your comfort zone expands and it stops feeling so scary.  The fear starts to dissipate.  

Excuses are often a sign of fear (or that it’s not something we really want at all), but if it’s fear that is holding your back, and you know the difference between fear and disinterest when you’re making excuses, then I want you to take the knowledge learned from Daniel Pink’s research, that it’s inaction that creates our biggest regrets in life, and instead, decide you will take the actions that scare you.  Wear the dress, the hat, the necklace (or whatever it is that you don’t think you can do), and become the kind of person who DOES wear those things you’ve admired so much on others.

Do you avoid and wear black all the time because you're scared to stand out?Do you avoid and wear black all the time because you're scared to stand out?

So many women wear black most of the time because they feel that if they wear colour, they’ll stand out too much, or that whatever colour they choose will be the wrong colour and they won’t look good, and they are under the misguided idea that black is always sophisticated or appropriate or that you can’t go wrong with black (because they are scared of being wrong in some way or other).  This fear makes it so easy to get stuck in a black rut, yet that black is highly likely doing you no favours.

Get Dressed as a Confident Person Every Day

Rather than waiting for the confidence to come, dress like a confident person and you will start to feel more confident.

Decide what it is that you want, to be more creative, or powerful, or friendly, or successful, or brilliant …. whatever it is – dress in a way that you think someone with that trait has and you will start to inhabit the feeling, and you will change and become that person you’re putting on on your outside.

Be the person you want to be.  Build a personal brand image that expresses who you are and lets the world see your true expertise and beauty.

Not Sure Where to Start as You’ve Lost Your Sense of Style?

If you feel completely lost and have no idea where to start, the first place to start is with a good style education, as knowledge is power (and in fact, I recommend not shopping until you get a great grounding and have defined your personal style).  This is why I developed my personal style makeover program 7 Steps to Style – to give you the knowledge about which colours, styles and shapes make you look gorgeous so you know what to wear for you, in a way that feels authentic and looks great on you.  Find out more here.

How to Be a Style Magician

Why Black May Not Be Your Best Friend- Busting the Black Myth

Are You Letting Fear Hold Back Your Style?Are You Letting Fear Hold Back Your Style?


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