We keep talking about personal style as if it’s something we are just born with. Some kind of intuition of what suits us the best and will make us look and feel effortless.
… but it’s really not.
Sure, there are some people who come out fashionable from the womb. No denying it. But for most people like you and me, it’s a skill we have to teach ourselves.
The problem with personal style is that no one else can pick yours for you. This is why trends are so addictive! It takes the hard work out of building a wardrobe and dressing, even if it’s shortsighted.
To hone in on your personal style you have to do the legwork. On the plus side – it’s actually really fun. The idea is basically that you have to try on as many different items as you can and judge each and every one of them on these 3 criteria;
- Do I feel great and like “me” in this item?
- Am I comfortable wearing it?
- Will I like it just as much in a few year’s time?
If the answer is yes to all 3 of these questions. Then the item could be style-defining.
Too many people see a style they like on someone else and decide to adopt it. It never works out well. Because you are not in the other person’s mind and you do not have their life or their body.
You are you, so you should look like you, not them. This is why it’s silly of magazines to recommend you to dress like your favorite celebrity. It’s a quick fix that could work for a while, but it will not help you find your own personal style.
…ok so what if you have no clue at all, I mean nada, of what your personal style is?
Basically, that was me a few years ago.
I was lucky enough to fit most types of clothes and clothing and I got away with looking trendy most of the time. But I was constantly flip-flopping between almost stylized versions of other people. I was the rock chic, the cashmere homebody, the cocktail dress princess, the sneaker and hoodie girl, and the classic conservative depending on what my inspiration was for the day.
And it sounds very creative and fun. I’m not going to lie and say that it wasn’t. However, if you would have asked me what my personal style was, I wouldn’t have been able to give you an answer. Nothing I wore truly felt like “me”, I always felt like someone else. Almost like I was playing the role of someone for a day.
…and you can only imagine what a mismatched hodgepodge my wardrobe was. Oh.My.Lord did I have a lot of useless clothes!
So it was really a great challenge the day I decided I had to take the bull by its horns and actually go through the process of finding myself style-wise.
This is what I did;
- I picked out my 5 absolute favorite pieces of clothing and laid them out on my bed.
- From there I began to build outfits. I would put one of the 5 on and then dive as deep into my wardrobe as I could to try to find all the items that would match.
- Every time I put together an outfit I really loved and felt good and comfortable in, I took a photo of it on my phone.
- Every piece of clothing that belonged to one of these outfits were “safe” from my big clear out. And I hung them all up together to get an overview of colors and styles.
- By doing this I could actually physically see my own style take shape in front of me. I really zoned in on cuts, styles, and colors that I truly enjoyed and that looked good on me.
Not only did I have a rail full of the creme de la creme of my wardrobe, but I also had an image library of outfits to go back to when I was lacking inspiration.
I’m not going to lie and say that my personal style always is 100% clear to me. I believe that the process goes on forever. The difference now is that I’m learning from my mistakes. And I’m using my own intuition instead of relying on other people’s tastes.
Are you ready to find your own personal style?
Photo – Rosalind Alcazar. Trousers by H&M Conscious collection and blouse by Troy London (gift).
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