Finding what's right for you...
By Saundra Heath
Does this sound familiar? The coolest girl in the school walks in one day with a fab new hairstyle. Her cascading locks have been twisted and braided to give her what can only be described as an African/Egyptian Diva Goddess look. Looks great on her, you agree, but not your look at all. But by the next week at least two girls in your class are sporting the same look and a month later, while the Diva Goddess has moved onto something else, half the girls in the school are rocking her look. You can't believe it at first. So many Diva-Goddess-wannabees, you cluck to yourself. But soon you find her look as it spreads like wildfire around the school, kinda growing on you. Some of the girls actually look kinda cute.
Before you know it, you start thinking about how the look might look on YOU. So you save up your allowance and/or cajole Mom or Dad to slide you some cash, bolster the courage to try something new, swallow your be an original affirmation and head as fast as you can to the nearest hot salon.
What style do you ask for? You got it! The African/Egyptian Diva Goddess look. Her look.
You rationalize that it will look like your look on you, until the stylist hands you the mirror with that big, love it pullease in her eyes. You almost faint when you look in the mirror and see this stranger with the Medusa hairdo and features pretty similar to yours.
Oh My GOD, it IS you!!! But NOT you at all!!
A bad cut does grow out. And thank goodness for hats, scarves, headwraps and gelees. A lousy style can be hidden or undone. A crappy outfit, wrong lipcolor or nail color can all be returned, trashed or given away. But oh-what-a-waste of your precious time and money. Not to mention the big letdown when the fab picture of yourself that you've been holding in your head crumbles in the face of the disaster you see in the mirror.
So what can you do in the future to make fashion disasters a thing of the past?
Looking good consistently has everything to do with discovering your own personal style. How do you find your style? Start by taking inventory of what looks great on you, what feels good to you and what you really love.
Once you've got your own style down you can be as hot, cool, phat, butta, peace as you'd like to be or not.
Whatever your personal style, there's a look for you, whether it's truly original or a little something borrowed from here and there. As you discover, explore and create your look, don't hesitate to continue to try something new. Experimenting with new looks (at home or in the dressing room) is all part of the fun!
But first you'll need to figure out your figure type. Is your shape rectangular, hourglass, triangle or inverted (a triangle turned upside down?) Different clothing styles flatter different figures.
You'll also need to know your face shape. Is your face long and narrow, a rectangle? Or is your face square, round or heart shaped. The shape of your face will assist you in finding a hairstyle that will show off your best features.
The right colors for both your clothing and hair is important. Certain colors will flatter your skin tone giving you a healthy glow while other colors can cast an unattractive pallor they can cause you to look tense, tired and drained.
Once you've determined your face shape and figure type gather up fashion magazines, mail order fashion catalogs and department store circulars and pull out any looks that appeal to you. Take these pages along with you and try on similar looks in a department store. Take along a good friend who will provide a second pair of eyes about what looks good on you. You'll quickly become an expert on what type of clothing does and doesn't work on you.
When her style is all the rage, you'll know in an instant if it's right for you and what adjustments have to be made to turn her style into YOUR style.
You can also try on hairstyles. Stop in a wig shop. Take a photo for Instagram. It's really a blast. Compare your face shape with those of the models in hair magazines to get the best idea of what will work.
You can take your personal style a notch higher by developing a signature look. Celebrities spend a great deal of time and energy developing a signature look, often hiring professional stylists to help them find the hair cut and clothing look that can be their own. Part of our fascination with celebrities has to do with their personal style. Think about Beyonce with her microbraids, Pink's platinum blonde short, short cut, Taylor Swifts bright red lipcolor, Christine Aguilara's blonder than blonde looks and Left Eye's rectangle beauty mark.
These diva's have all found a signature look that they can claim as their own. You can too!
Your signature may be the way you wear a certain color, a bold accessory, an article of clothing or even a special fragrance.
You may already have a look that's working for you. Understanding why it works so well for you allows you to make it work even harder by adding new twists. Your personal style is another way to celebrate who you are, being a girl who is both seen and heard. Have fun discovering more unique qualities about yourself. Never again do you have to wear her look. Just think, you might find her wearing yours!