There are many, many ways to assess the success of an outfit. Does it fit? Are the proportions flattering? Do you like the colour? Is it practical? Is it comfortable? Is it appropriate for the occasion? Is the style integrity in line with your current style goals? Does it meet your laundry requirements? And importantly, do you feel great wearing this look, or just so-so?  In other words, what is the “happiness-factor” of the outfit. 

I believe that a high happiness-factor increases the style quotient of an outfit. Fashion and style, although extremely visual, are also wrapped up in an attitude and state of mind. As the happiness-factor of your outfit increases, so does your confidence. You hold your head up higher, there’s an extra spring in your step, and you are quite invincible. It often even has a ripple effect on others because people react positively to your state of mind. It’s a powerful feeling. 

I know that with my own outfits, the happiness-factor starts slipping when I wear heels higher than one and half inches. Although my three inch heeled Kate Spade pumps look fashionable, elongating, calf-muscle enhancing and appropriate with dressy outfits, I’d be much happier wearing a lower heel or flats. My happiness-factor also increases as soon as I’m wearing a top with a turtleneck or shirt collar. Or when I wear black and white combinations, ink blue, or sour brights.

As soon as I wear ultra trendy pieces from head to toe, my happiness-factor decreases. Add a modern classic component to the outfit and the happiness-factor is back. Wearing body con pieces, apart from a form fitting turtleneck, decreases my happiness-factor. Add in a bit of slouch, roomy tailoring, and it skyrockets. Wearing many visible outfit components decreases it. Pare down the look and we’re back up there. 

The more we are in tune with who we are, what makes us happy and unhappy, the more our style becomes a no-fuss natural extension of our personality. All of a sudden life becomes less complicated and it’s a joy to get dressed each day. 

I am continuously asking my clients how they feel when they wear certain outfits because the happiness-factor is as important as its fit, colour and proportions. Sometimes it takes a while to pinpoint what it is about an outfit that makes you happy, but it’s worth pondering this question for future reference. After all, a big part of life is about reaching a state of happiness.