Top 5 Mistakes You Make When Coordinating Outfits – And How to Avoid Them

Mistake 1: You’re not focused on one thing at the beginning.

I’ve seen many of my clients get overwhelmed when trying to pick out what to wear or coordinating an outfit for an event because they don’t know where to start. It’s easy to open your closet and want to turn around and walk away or exclaim “I have nothing to wear”! The solution is to pick one item that you know you want to wear for sure, and then work around it.

Here is an example that had I not followed my own advice, I could have easily bowed out and not attending this event because I had “nothing to wear”. I recently was invited to a high tea fundraising event that had a “bow” theme. It was a last minute invitation so preparing ahead of time was not an option and because “bows” are not my fashion personality, it was a stretch. With the “high tea” theme, I centered my focus on one hat from my wardrobe that had a small bow. You can see from the picture that with it being red and white, I had a focus and found items already in my closet that would compliment the colors and work around the theme.  I could have easily spent a lot of money last minute trying to buy something with a bow that would have taken a lot of time and energy running around to get and that would probably hang in my closet never to be worn again! Focus, focus, focus!

In Step #4 of my 5 step system to “Attack That Closet!”, we talked about how I helped

Kelly coordinate an outfit with her pantsuit as the starting point, but . You can also start with a jacket, shoes or a piece of jewelry as your main focus. Pull together all the elements from head to toe to make the outfit complete.

Mistake 2: You forget that you’re on stage all the time.

We are selling ourselves all the time. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the stage or at the grocery store, you are always making an impression on everyone you met. Plus, you’ll never know where you’ll be when you meet your next client or find a new opportunity.

I’ve made some wonderful networking connections while working out at the gym! That’s why I always wear my colors wherever I go – because it’s important to look polished. I’m not saying you need to dress to the nines to run errands, but keeping yourself open to new opportunities includes making sure you look nice to make a good impression.

Mistake 3: You don’t think about the audience or your environment.

Who is in your audience? If you are speaking to a group of men, you want to be aware of the amount of skin you’re showing. In order to be taken seriously, you might want to limit the amount of cleavage you reveal with your clothing choices. (Unless cleavage supports your message, in which case, carry on!)

If you’re wearing a sleeveless top, what happens if you get hot and want to take your jacket off? Can the top you chose stand alone without your jacket? If not, you’ll have to grin and bear it because taking the jacket off could throw off your whole look. Or, if you’re at a formal event, a knit top might not be the best option. These are things you want to consider when you think about your environment.

Mistake 4: Not aligning your outfit with your message.

You want to make sure that your outfit is in alignment with your message. As an image consultant [is that the title you use?], I need to make sure that I’m dressed better than the audience, because this is what I do! A meditation teacher may choose to wear comfortable clothing that projects an air of freedom and relaxation, while a consultant should wear something that conveys authority.

Mistake 5: You neglect the details.

Don’t think of your accessories as an afterthought. Have you ever picked out a gorgeous outfit, only to realize that you don’t have the right purse to go with it? How frustrating is that?! Your handbag, shoes, makeup and nail color are all an integral part of your look, so don’t make the mistake of neglecting the “little things.” Chipped nails, a broken heel, or messy hair won’t do you any favors, both on and off the stage.

Now that you know the top 5 mistakes you make when you coordinate outfits and how to avoid them, you’ll be miles ahead of all the other people who’re trying to pull together a polished, flattering look with confidence and ease!

So take this newfound knowledge and confidence and start coordinating your outfits today!