Dressing to boost your confidence

Stylist Ozuola Martins gives some tips on matching your clothes to your attitude and bringing joy to your wardrobe.
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Many people have returned to some level of in-person work – whether a day or two in the office, coffee meetings or networking events – and the age-old question has returned: what to wear? Getting back into the style swing of things after an extended period of working from sweatpants may feel like a challenge, especially as personal style and trends have changed. But a few simple tricks can help make your wardrobe work for you.

Ozuola Martins has been a stylist and image consultant for more than 20 years, working with corporate brands like UK broadcaster the BBC and clothes retailers Browns and Space NK, as well as individuals. No matter the initial cause for the call when people hire her to style them, she says that everything ultimately comes down to ‘people wanting to be confident’. Here are Ozuola's first three steps to finding your sense of style and gaining confidence with what you've already got.

1. ‘Firstly, think about what you want to communicate. The reality is that our visual self will always be what makes the first impression on someone before we speak, so let your clothing talk for you. Trends come and go, so find your own personal style by looking at what elements of an outfit bring you joy and make you happy.’

2. ‘Ensure that everything in your wardrobe functions the way it should. Think of it like a fridge and keep only what you're going to use. People are, of course, attached to clothing on an emotional level but, if it doesn't fit, keep it out of sight. Keep only what you need front and center, which will ease that anxiety of thinking you have nothing to wear.’

3. ‘Now that your wardrobe contains only items that make you happy, fit you and convey the confidence that you want to present, think about outfit building. This comes down to mixing layers, textures and accessories. Look at the five items you wear most and ask yourself why you're drawn to them and how they make you feel when wearing them.’

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