This post isn’t about wardrobe items that are physically uncomfortable, like an itchy sweater, shoes that rub, a waistband that is too tight, or a jumpsuit that drives you bananas when you’re in the loo. I’m talking about wardrobe items that are physically comfortable, and look great by most people’s standards, yet you don’t feel fab in them. On some level you are emotionally uncomfortable wearing these items despite what others say. This comes up a lot with my clients and friends, and I bet you’ve experienced it too.

As an example, one of my clients looks smashing in pants. Trendy, classic, wide, slim, solid, patterned, cropped — you name it — it’s a flattering silhouette on her. She’s easy to fit into pants, and has the corporate lifestyle to wear them. Yet she wears skirts and dresses exclusively because, emotionally, she doesn’t feel fabulous in pants.

Another client with a narrow waist and streamlined midsection wears tucked tops with the best of them. Yet she feels awfully un-fab in a tucked top because it’s fussy, prim and proper, and feels too dressed up for her very casual lifestyle.

I wear solid black tops, outerwear and dresses well, but I seldom feel fab in them. The solid black seems to drain my energy, and is also a little hard-edged for my sartorial preferences. If the solid black is broken up with a pattern, a pile of white pearls, some skin, or colour block, it’s a whole lot better. Wearing a solid black top as a layering piece under a contrasting neutral or non-neutral also works well. But generally, it’s better and easier if I wear a dark blue solid top instead of black. It’s subtle, but makes all the difference.

Just because you can wear something, doesn’t mean that you should. I’m always on the side of the wearer, and respect when a client tells me they don’t feel great in a look, even when I think they wear it well. You should listen to how you feel in an outfit. As far as possible, you should feel confident, authentic, powerful, attractive and fabulous in what you wear. 

Over to you. Are there items that look fab on you, but don’t make you feel fab?