When someone sees a well-dressed person, they may immediately assume that it is the clothes that make her look nice. But that’s not necessarily true. A dress only becomes popular when it is worn appropriately by a “fitting” person. Buying a dress just because it looks good on someone doesn’t mean it will look good on you, too. Like jigsaw puzzles, only the right pieces that can fit together can create a complete, beautiful picture. Individual pieces may look similar, but they do not match every single void. The same applies to clothes and their wearers.

What many people don’t realise is that our dressing actually says a lot about who we are and what we do! As the saying goes, ‘Do not judge the book by its cover’ – the root of this saying stems from the fact that human beings are indeed very visual! Our first impression is not based on personality, intelligence, or values but rather on appearance.

Dressing up is a form of non-verbal communication. It speaks a lot about us and what we do. It communicates to others about the wearer’s emotions and intentions are. Dressing is a choice. Dressing well is an attitude. And dressing to communicate is an art that can be learned, cultured and perfected.

The first step to dressing well requires you to have an understanding of your own profile, without being easily influenced by fads! Dressing well starts with you coming to terms about the fact that not all styles and colours suit you. You will also have to accept that you actually have a restricted style of clothing and that you may not be able to wear everything and anything that you fancy – in order to bring out the best in you.

You can be dressed in simple clothes and yet stand out among those who are lavishly clothed because you know how to make yourself look SHARP! Read: Smart, Hip, Attractive, Real, and Polished.                                 

You can only look Smart when your clothes fit you well in the right size and cutting. You can only look Hip when you know what is in trend and yet not fall victim to fashion fads. You can only look Attractive when you are dressed to suit your lifestyle and profile. You can only look Real when you stop mimicking others and know how to accentuate your features. You can only look Polished when you know how to choose materials and cuts that flatter your features.

So what is the secret to dressing well, the holy grail of fashion, the wise preaches of style, you ask? The ‘secret’ lies in a learning a technique which neither require you to break your piggy bank or change your lifestyle. The secret lies in “tricking” the eye or using Optical Illusion Dressing (OID). OID refers to the art of dressing, using styles, colours, fabric and the silhouette of your outfits to create an appearance that is flattering and appealing.

Before we start applying the OID technique, you need to first find out what your Unique Selling Profile (USP) is, taking into consideration individual factors like body sizes, body frame, and body proportion and then combining it with clothing silhouette, forms and structures, in order to ultimately form a perfect, beautiful fit on the body.                                           

Article by Angeelia Phua, founder of KHARACTORZ boutique and consultant-trainer-coach with Breakthrough Academy Asia.