Style and Styling

Take a Selfie a Day

For better style!

Happy day, reader dear!

I have to be honest. I know this might be a hard sell! Whenever I start work with a client and ask them to send me a week’s worth of selfies, I get some uncomfortable looks… Yes, it will make your camera roll look like you are incredibly self-absorbed, but that’s okay! It’s YOUR camera roll. If it makes you feel better, just imagine what mine (or that of any other style blogger for that matter) looks like!

Please give a selfie project some serious thought. If you take selfies only on days you think are selfie-worthy, you are selling yourself (yourselfie?) short! You are selfie-worthy every day. I kid you not. The other problem with only taking selfies on good-hair days, or skinny days, or mani-pedi days, is you don’t give yourself a (or a stylist) a clear picture of your real life and your wardrobe needs don’t come through. If all the pics you share with an image consultant or stylist (I’d love that to be me!) are date nights with hubby, the wedding you went to last year, and brunch with your besties, then you aren’t going to have the clothes you need for everyday life chasing littles around for your career as a home day-care provider.

What 5 things can taking selfies more often teach you? I’m not listing these in order of importance, merely alphabetically. Because the order of importance depends on what YOU need!

Accountability

Some days we all need a reminder that those yoga pants haven’t seen the laundry basket in who knows how long. That tee shirt is past it’s prime, and you haven’t put on shoes (that aren’t flip flops) in over a week. Not to mention lip balm. Knowing we are going to take a snap makes us look more critically at what we are putting on our bodies AND see what simply needs to be thrown away/recycled. If you won’t take a picture in it, should you still own it? I would posit that answer is a big “no.”

Face Focus vs. Body Focus

Looking at ourselves from a distance makes it easier to see if an outfit creates a Face Focus or a Body Focus. In this post, I talk about the difference and how to tell which your outfit is creating. In general, we want a face focus, because that’s our communication center! That’s where we want people to look. There might be times that a body focus is preferable. They are few and far between: On a stage in front of hundreds/thousands, yes. No one will be able to see your face, so you want to keep them focused on you as you move about. If your body is the merch, you want a body focus. That might be at an athletic competition or possibly an audition. Starlets often want to create a body focus, because that’s part of what a studio is paying for.

Give You the BIG Picture

Looking at a picture helps us disassociate and allows us to look more objectively at ourselves. When we look at ourselves in the mirror, we generally look to make sure the thing about which we are self-conscious is covered up or camouflaged. AND we overlook all the good things! That sleeve length that draws the eye perfectly to your waist. Those shoes make your legs look miles long. The color that makes you look like you’re madly in love. The earrings that make your eyes sparkle. It’s easier to see the good in a photo! And see the bad less personally…

Notice Patterns in What You Wear

By noticing patterns, I don’t mean prints and patterns, but you’ll probably notice those, too! What I mean is what you wear, where, when, and why. If you’re really good, you’ll jot down some adjectives each day describing how you felt in your outfit! You might discover that on Fridays it’s all you can do to put on clothes, but that on Thursday, you are looking great. Maybe you only dress for work. Or when you have a meeting with the boss. Or a conference with your son’s teacher. The list goes on… You might realize that you have great days when you wear pink, and lousy ones in grey. Observation is the beginning of mindfulness! And I am all about mindful dressing

Value Contrast and Overall Value

This is related to the Face Focus vs. Body Focus entry. We look our best (And the focus stays on us.) when we dress in harmony with our overall value and our natural value contrast. This is a part of our coloring, but isn’t about what family of colors look best. Lighting can give us false cues about color, so color determination photos have very precise parameters! On other color fronts, photos can be fabulous to determine whether the color contrast of a print or pattern you are wearing is too high or too low for you.

5 Hints for Good Style Selfies

These are hints for good STYLE selfies, not necessarily the kind you want to post on social media! Yes, there is a difference!

  • Set your camera at waist/hip level. This gives creates the most accurate proportion. Windowsills are often a good height, as are tables. If you don’t have a phone stand, lean your camera on the window or a stack of books.
  • We want a shot that shows your feet, too, so don’t leave them out! (You’ll hurt their feelings…)
  • Use the timer on your phone. That avoids distorting your image with an outstretched arm.
  • Lighting is key! Sunlight from your window is best. Avoid direct overhead lighting if possible; diffuse overhead light also works well.
  • If you are going to be wearing outerwear, take two pictures, one with and one without. Depending on where you live, the world may see you most often in your outerwear. We want to take that into account!
  • Laugh! It’s okay to laugh at yourself. We aren’t going for moody photo editorial shots. We just want to see the outfit. And besides, we all look more relaxed when we laugh.

Bonus: You’ll get more comfortable in front of the camera. Which will make you look better in ALL the pictures you take and that others take of you!

So how about you? Do you take outfit selfies? Regularly? (And by regularly, I don’t mean once a month!) Does it make you feel uncomfortable or vain? If so, I’d suggest it might be a great first step to acceptance and self-love. I know I’m not the only one who has found that to be true! If you do take selfies, do you post them on social media? Or share them with friends and family? Or are they just for you? Do let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear about your experience…

Stylishly yours,

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2 Comments

  • Leslie Susan Clingan

    Glad to know that the camera should be held at waist height for the most accurate proportion. I just put my camera back on the tripod now that I have my remote figured out. Hope to get back to trying to take better selfies. When I ask PC to take my photo, he often cuts off something or fails to realize my hair is standing straight up or my necklace is lassoing a breast. Do your take your photos? They are always spot-on and portray your energy. You video tape so well, too!!

    • Liz K

      Thank you for visiting, Leslie! I do take my own photos with a remote, and it has taken some getting used to. I still feel a right fool every time. I think the key is laughing at yourself. (And tightening your core helps create a sense of energy, too…) I LOL’ed at the breast lasso! I can’t tell you how many of those shots I’ve deleted!

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