How to stop comparing yourself to others and be happy where you are right now in terms of style

by Sylvia

How to stop comparing yourself to others | 40plusstyle.com

Does this happen to you? You dress up real nice for a party and you feel really good about yourself.

That is until you arrive at the party and immediately see a few others that look even nicer. Their shoes may be hipper, their outfit so cleverly put together or their silhouette so unique, you wished you would have thought of it!

Although you may still feel great about yourself, it was not as good as before you saw these people.

Why does this happen and what can we do about it?

I think many women, including myself, have a tendency to compare themselves to others. They do it with their looks, their bodies, their achievements and also with their clothes.

The danger is that when this behaviour becomes a habit, you will never feel good about yourself. Because there WILL always be somebody that is cleverer, thinner, younger, more fashionable or better looking than yourself.

You may be tempted to buy even more in the shops and always strive to wear something new whenever you go out.

So what can you do to stop comparing yourself to others and be happy with where you are right now?

  1. Admire the creativity of others instead of comparing it to yourself. Marvel in their choice of color or creation of silhouette and take mental notes or take photographs so you can apply them to yourself later.
  2. Realise that what you are wearing is perfect for you in this moment. You choose your outfit carefully and this outfit is right for you right now.
  3. If you feel, you could have done better after seeing great style on others, accept it as a learning opportunity. Accept that you did the best you could right now and that you are still on a learning journey when it comes to your style. See the challenge of improving your style as a positive learning experience and compliment yourself on the progress you have already made.
  4. Determine what is more important to you. Do you always want to be the most modern in the latest fashions or do you prefer to create a more classic and timeless look with fewer items. If it’s the latter, then accept that you cannot always be the hippest at a party.
  5. Truly understand your own style and your own body. What works for others often does not work for you. Your body type may ask for a different silhouette and your style personality may be too timid for those bright colors. When you are confident with knowing what your style is and what works for you, you will feel more secure about your own outfit and will find you compare yourself less to others. (My style course will help with this.)

How about you? Do you compare yourself to others? Do you have any tips to do this less and be happy with where you are right now?

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Aileen

A very good point Sylvia and well worth remembering.
I think many of us would like to create a sleek classic look with simple lines as we get older, but it is a challenge finding a style that works if you are pear shaped with wide hips. The most obvious dress style for pear shaped women is the 50s dresses with tight bodices and wide skirts.
How do you fit a pear into a column?

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Nicole

Shirtwaists are very “in” right now, and can be dressy or casual depending on fabric. And Diane Von Furstenberg style wrap dresses have been classic since the 1970s and still flatter pretty much every shape out there. Also, a 1950s A-line can be brought into the 21st century with accessories. Look at what Sylvia does with necklaces and bracelets!

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Greetje Kamminga

I agree, wrap dresses (especially the ones of Diane von Furstenberg) can be so classic and sleek and will look good on hourglass figures. Far better than on straight women.
Greetje

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Sylvia

That would be a challenge Aileen, but there are ways to look great as you know. Best tips are in my article on the pear shape but for a long lean line, long vests are great!

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Suzanne

I think this is part of human nature, but as you suggested, also a way for us to continuously improve upon ourselves.

My main goal is simply to never look like anyone else, and to leave a lasting impression. Part of that is done through the clothes I wear, the other part is with the attitude I carry.

bisous
Suzanne

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Sylvia

Well said Suzanne!

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The Style Crone

I try to avoid competitive feelings, but recognize them when they occur and allow them to pass on through. Learning from others and admiring their creativity is my goal. It has become easier as I age. Blogging has provided a window into the self expression of differences, which is part of why I love it!

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Sylvia

Yes that is what I do as well. Very much still loving all your posts Judith including your fabulous photos from your trip! You are a true inspiration.

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Ronna Russell

Recognizing my own reactions of feeling intimidated or self-conscious has helped me change them. It is possible to be happy for someone else, admire their style and be excited about their new idea without personalizing it. NOT liking someone’s style can help you hone your own. It can be information, not judgement. It’s hard to train the idea monster inside.

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Sylvia

Yes realisation is the first step. Also, you make a good point about noticing what you don’t like. Both help you to finetune your own style.

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Greetje Kamminga

When I was 25 I decided that comparing ourselves with others is apparently in our nature. But we usually compare our bad situation with somebody elses good situation (“good” as in desired by you). And I thought: why not compare the opposite? Like your good situation (usually there are good and bad sides to everything) compared to somebody elses bad situation? I got it really nailed for a while. Which made the green grass on the other side look far more realistic.

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Sylvia

For a while? Not anymore then? I think it’s really important to be thankful for what we have and everything that is good about our lives. Which usually is a lot. So yes, being thankful is a very good exercize indeed.

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Greetje Kamminga

I still do it, but not that often anymore. And it is not just thankful. It is really comparing. I will tell you the story one time about me in the sun lounging and my sister in law with the children.

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Daenel T

Oh gosh, all the time. I know I’m “unique” and there are times when I wish my style was more classic but I also know I’m not comfortable when dressed that way. So, yes, I compare and get disappointed but I try not to dwell.

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Sylvia

Thanks for your feedback Daenel. I think it’s always a learning experience. As others have said you learn both from what you really like and what you don’t. Either way you are learning and finetuning which is good thing!

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Connie

I always check out other women and I finally,at the advanced age of 60, have learned to OWN my look. It took me a loooong time to get here. I wish I had had this confidence when I was younger. I could have saved myself a lot of anxiety. Plus I love seeing what other women wear. I learn a lot. Often about what NOT to wear!

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Petra

Would love to see more on this Sylvia 🙂 I’m always comparing but I also admire too. If I really love something I’m wearing then I feel happy and not quite so worried about what others are wearing compared to me but it’s hard to find these kinds of outfits. Once I wore a fushcia pink stretch-cotton tunic with black leggings and silver sandals to a tapas bar with my gorgeous sisters-in-law but they really dressed up all sparkly so I felt super frumpy. Just when I think I’ve got it sussed, something happens! It’s all a learning curve isn’t it?

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Uju nadoma

Women cant stop comparing themselves with others, most of us including myself often attend a very simple function over dressed, to my often embarssment, just to the best dressed. Total useful tips from you,thanks

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Julia

This happens to me all the time. No matter how good I feel at home before I leave, I immediately feel like a poorly dressed rhinoceros as soon as I am surrounded by other people. And I swear I look 20 pound lighter in the mirror at home than I do when I get to the party or event. It’s a horrible thing that I can’t seem to turn off. I have found that it seems to happen more if I try too hard with my outfit. Especially if I’m wearing something new. It’s a confidence thing. At 43 I thought I’d be over it by now.

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Petra

I’m like this too Julia, unless I find an outfit that I really, really like on myself. If my nails are done and I’m having a good hair day, then that helps big time! Also, it depends who’s going to be at the party or event I’m going to – some women I’m more intimidated by than others so when I’m with them, I definitely feel like a “rhinoceros” like you 🙂

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