“Confidence” is becoming a buzzword these days. It seems like everyone we know is buying self-love books, posting Instagram captions about body positivity, and retweeting quotes from celebs like Mindy Kaling or Demi Lovato about self-acceptance. Now, this is a trend we can get behind, and we hope it’ll stick around permanently!
However, retweets and Instagram captions are easier done than believed. Confidence is something most people strive for, but many people lack. Whether it’s you, your sister, your work wife, or your neighbor, we’re sure you know someone that could use a confidence boost. Though outfits and clothing do not necessarily lead to confidence, we like to employ the fake-it-til-you-make-it mentality. The most confident and successful women have go-to outfits that they look to, time and time again, to help them feel confident. What you wear really can help you feel confident, and feeling confident will help you actually be confident. For a confidence boost, try out these outfit combos that confident women swear by (and don’t forget the body-positive Instagram caption with your #OOTD!).
1. The Work Outfit: Pencil Skirt and Button-Up with Rolled Sleeves
This is a classic outfit for a reason! A pencil skirt is universally flattering, and a crisp button-up looks presentable and #boss-worthy. Cuffing sleeves to hit at mid-forearm will take away that awkward what-do-I-do-with-my-sleeves issue, give the outfit easy and effortless style, and will look like you’ve been busy getting stuff done (even if all you’ve done before 9am is get Starbucks). Navy and charcoal have proven to be the most universally flattering colors, so you don’t have to stick to the same black pencil skirt. Or if feeling extra confident, opt for a printed skirt, à la Victoria Beckham.
2. The Weekend Outfit: Go-to Dress and Flats
Researcher Dr. Tombs says, “A dress that enhances the body can be valued not only because it makes the wearer feel more confident, but also because remembering the confidence and admiration these garments brought is valued long after it has ceased to be worn.” So find a dress style that makes you feel amazing. It doesn’t have to be a bombshell slip dress; it could be a feminine minidress to show off your legs or a waist-cinched sundress to define your curves–whatever you feel best in. Not only will you know you look great, but it’s also the easiest thing to put on and wear, and will make you look more put together than jeans and a t-shirt would. Flats ensure you remain comfortable and are able to dance all night or walk to brunch, whatever your weekend plans may be.
3. The Date Night Outfit: Skinny Jeans and Leather Jacket
We all need confidence on first dates — spending time with someone new is nerve-wracking for even the most expert daters. While a tight dress might be a tempting way to impress your date, it may feel more like a bad idea when you’re actually on the date and feeling conscious about your food baby after a big Italian dinner, or you can’t get out of the car without flashing the valet guy. Skinny jeans are flattering on everyone and will make you feel confident, without a doubt. A leather jacket is a cool and trendy addition that will add intrigue to your classic skinny jeans. Wear with heels and a nice blouse for a fancier occasion, and ballet flats for a more casual date. Trust me, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is saying the wrong thing or whether or not your breath smells. But that’s a whole other thing.
4. The Casual Go-To Outfit: A High-Quality Knit with Jeans
As you can probably tell by now, comfort is key when dressing confidently. But baggy sweatpants and UGG slippers don’t elicit the same kind of confidence as if you were wearing something you know looked stylish and chic. You still have to wear something you are proud to be seen in. So when Casual Friday rolls around or you need a casual outfit for errand running or a coffee date, opt for the easiest Confident Girl go-to; your favorite jeans and a well-made knit is a foolproof combo that is comfortable for walking around all day, but will look extremely chic. Pair with booties or white sneakers. If it’s too hot for a sweater, swapping a nice t-shirt or blouse will have the same effect.
5. The Gym Outfit: Flattering Leggings and a Bra that Fits
You may have heard that working out improves your confidence, but do you know that confidence can improve your workout? If you feel good about yourself going into the gym or barre class, it will affect how much weight you think you can bench, miles you can jog, or reps you’ll be able to complete. Rocking leggings and workout tops that you feel awesome in might push you to work harder than if you were hiding behind a slouchy t-shirt and ill-fitting shorts. High-waisted leggings are most flattering, but there are many other flattering styles that will make you feel good, no matter your body type or preference. Confident women always have a sports bra that fits and actually does the job (because nothing is a confidence-killer like a bra that doesn’t hold down “the girls”). Wear with whatever tank top, athletic wear, or t-shirt you feel best in, then add your favorite pair of sneakers. The most confident women look and feel confident everywhere from the boardroom to the gym.