We often think of the wisdom that experience brings us. Here is what I have learned about beauty and fashion that I wish I had known sooner.

(1) That “beautiful” is not a synonym for “sexy” and that it was possible to be thought beautiful, even in a hip nightclub, without the big reveal.

The truth, that I doubt I was even aware of then, was that it was my heart I wanted people to see.

“Your greatest beauty is in your smile and your eyes. Your smile radiates what is in your heart – your personality and who you truly are. Your eyes are the window to your soul, and they shine forth your light and beauty from within.” – Carol Tuttle, Dressing Your Truth: Discover Your Personal Beauty Profile

(2) That black does not look good on everyone and that if I insisted on a mostly black wardrobe, I would actually be hiding my beauty, not expressing it. You know how the story goes: it’s slimming, we all need a little black dress and it hides a multitude of sins.

Unfortunately, that’s not true for everyone. Only a small number of women can wear black well!

(3) That soft, muted colors do not make me look mousy and powerless. Red might be a power color for some women, but the bright, vivid red I hid behind was not a power color for me. It wore me and got lots of compliments, but the real me was not noticed peeking out from behind it.

For my energy type, softer colors are the ones that empower me and express who I really am.

(4) That the power suit, with structured lines and shoulder pads and tapered skirts starched and ironed before I headed out the door each morning to work were not powerful for me. That based on my energy type, my best suit would have been a swing jacket and flowing knit skirt, instead.

(5) That I really was beautiful. That the whole time I knocked myself out reading fashion magazines and following the advice as closely as possible, learning everything I could about how to become beautiful, was unnecessary.

All I really needed to do was find out what my unique beauty type was and dress my truth to honor it.

Now, a couple of decades later, I know my energy and beauty type and I know I am beautiful. I love the way I look in the mirror and when I step into my closet each day, my choices are between one wonderful and beloved outfit or another.

I wish I had known then what I know now!

To discover the 7 fashion myths that might be holding your beauty hostage, go to [http://www.sevenfashionmyths.com]

Jeanine Byers Hoag helps plus-sized women who don’t feel beautiful in their clothes discover and define their unique personal style and create a closet filled with clothes they love that love them back. To register for her free eCourse, go to Closet of Love.