Exclusive: Designer Indroneel Mukherjee on Dressing to Make an Impression Part 2

By Indroneel Mukherjee

In my last column, I spoke about the importance of dress to impress. Few people have asked me about how to find out their individual style, as they were not sure of what it really should be. Well, we naturally have the tendency to adhere & not stand out. This is particularly evident in our personal style. Some are wary to dress differently as they fear of ridicules. In school, we were trained to look, act and think alike in our school uniforms. But we always did become judgmental if a girl sported the hem of her skirt above the knees or the guy gelled his hair in a different fashion.

In fact, even in social gatherings my friends used to plan up what they were wearing so that they could show up at a party in almost identical jeans, sneakers and collared shirts. They would prefer uniformity to individuality. So it was only in the early adult years that we explored and experimented with countless fashion choices. I guess I was an exception, as I always loved to stand out & be different.

Mentioned below are few general personal style archetypes, which we generally come across. Many of us are a mix of various personalities. Remember that there are no strict rules in making an impression by the way we dress. The most important thing is that you should feel confident and comfortable, no matter what the circumstance is.

· Classic: Dominated by wardrobe basics such as shift dresses, striped tops, ballet flats. Clean and straight lines,neutral colors such as black, gray and white.

· Dramatic: Likely to make a strong statement. Styles tend to be glamorous and intimidating. The use of bold jewelry and straight lines.

· Romantic: A love for everything pretty and nice. Delicate jewelry. Ruffles, lace, pleats, soft fabrics.

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Sporty: Boy or Girl next door. Easy-to-wear clothes like casual tees and jeans.

· Trendy: Conscious of the latest IT items.

· Eclectic: Mixing different styles in one. Usually creative people like myself like to contrast various styles.

· Bohemian: Leans toward exotic pieces and hippie vibe.

· Urban: Edgy and modern. Inspired by music and street. Staples include cargo pants, tank tops, sneakers, gold hoop earrings.

Developing your personal style is an ever on-going process & is important for developing self-confidence. Developing personal style also provides you with a sense of comfort and lots of self-satisfaction. It helps in crafting an image of you. The way you dress and project yourself is a way of communicating your personality, values and lifestyle to the world around you.

Here are seven major questions that you need to answer to discover your personal style:,

1) Who am I? An important aspect of dressing and style is self-awareness. The way you dress should reflect your tastes, interests, desires, aspirations and background. Understanding yourself is crucial to making style choices consistent with your lifestyle.

2) Who I am not? Take an honest look at your closet & give away the stuff you bought at a whim but never wore. If you still haven’t worn that sexy short dress, you probably never will. No matter how great a dress is, it may simply not suit your personality. You may never feel comfortable wearing it. Pass it on to someone who will enjoy it more.

3) Who inspires me? Find a celebrity or role model whose personality and lifestyle you can identify with. Observe the clothing choices and combinations he/she makes and try to incorporate them in your wardrobe.

4) What is my body type? Dress in silhouettes and styles that flatter your figure. This way, you can make clothing choices that will enhance and complement your shape. The key is to highlight what you like most about yourself. This will help you know which part to focus on when shopping and putting together an outfit. If you have long slender legs, show them off with short skirts to draw attention away from the body areas you do not like.

5) Am I Independent? Getting a 2nd opinion always helps but sometimes its important we go shopping alone. This will let you make independent choices toward the goal of dressing in a manner that reflects the image you want for yourself, not by the standards and expectations of others.

6) Is this me? Find your signature piece or look. One should consider it a compliment when people see a piece and exclaim, “It’s so you!” This just proves that you have a signature style or color people remember you by. Like Hot Pink is ME.

7) Am I comfortable? If you have time on your hands, spend a day by your closet creating various outfit options, down to accessories and shoes. Challenge yourself by putting together outfits you normally would not wear. Mix and match to see which combinations you feel most comfortable in. You may just surprise yourself and discover looks you never thought you could pull off!!

So, just figure out who you are as an individual & understand yourself better & find your personal style. Remember, clothes are not just mere covering on your body, but they are also a reflection of your personality!!

Indroneel Mukherjee

 Indroneel Mukherjee Indroneel Mukherjee is one of India’s most well-known fashion designers who have made a mark on the global scenario of fashion.

This Kolkata based designer is known for his his label, “ IM ”, a unique brand for Women’s Western Wear & Fusion Saaree Blouses, which he initiated in September 2011 after finishing his course at Istituto Marangoni in Milan with flying colors . Exposure and experience at the world’s fahion capital - Milan, has indeed helped Indroneel to create his own distinct style. He firmly believes that fashion is not simply confined to the rich and the slim, but for any woman who emanates confidence and grit, irrespective of her size, shape, background or profession! He can be reached indroneelm@gmail.com .