How To Find Your Personal Style
Fashion starts with you, with knowing that your style matches to your lifestyle—not with what you see everyone else doing or copying every trend. Knowing your style will provide you with clarity when you think of one word: FASHION. Having your own personal style provides you with a sense of confidence, because it is a reflection of you. Allow your fashion choices to be your introduction without you having to say anything.
Anyone can build a look, but not everyone knows how to make it their own. This is what this process is all about: how to make your look your own, which begins with knowing what your personal style is.
Do you ever just look at a photo and think, “I wish I could create that look,” or “I want to dress like that”? This portion is all about finding your style inspiration from other people’s styles. As your first step, I want you to browse the web, search blogs, comb through magazines, and pull any and all photos that show a style you would love to emulate OR reference the below styles. This will show you the different styles you gravitate toward and that capture your attention.
After you have completed this assignment, you will have more of an idea of what it is that you like from someone else’s style that may not be reflected in your current style … at least not yet.
What Style Is You?
You live for a simple, effortless and low maintenance look. A casual style is not to be mistaken for thrown together and putting forth no effort in creating your look.
You love taking risks. One day you may want to be decked out in leather pants, a bold color boot to sporting a crop top. You don't like to confine yourself to any garment, you tend to explore different styles.
More is more in your eyes! You love to take something simple and dress it to the nine's or elevate a dressier piece with a touch of glam. Think sparkle, shine, statement to faux fur and everything in between.
You live for your neutrals - simple shapes, simple silhouettes in muted shades.
Whether rocking a pair of sneakers, hoodie or jogger pants you love to mix a bit of luxe with an athleisure vibe.
You love to dress up the most basic pieces and dress down those dressier items to create the perfect mix of both. You like a little of both!
You live for tailored and structured items to pull off a well put together polished look.
Next let’s identify the garments and items that make up your preferred style. Going back to your #stylegoals photos, what are the garments and items that reflect your set of words? It’s OK if you feel your words may be a combined set of different styles.
Label: Casual Polished
Garments: T-shirts, sweaters, tank tops, sweatshirts, jeans, cargo jackets, denim jackets, boyfriend-style blazers, cargo pants, midi fitted skirts, flare skirts, sweater dresses, etc.
Shoes: dressy flats, slip-on sneakers, heeled sandals, sandals, espadrilles, pumps, boots
Accessories: cross body bags, tote, backpacks, black and cognac colored belts, statement necklaces, baseball caps, fedoras
Make a list of all the garments and items that help to create this style in your mind from your #STYLEGOALS photos, be as descriptive as possible. You now have a better idea of the type of items that best reflect your style, and what you need to create this style
No one knows what your day-to-day consists of better than you do, so what do you do on a daily basis? It is time to break down your daily activities and the outfits you typically wear for each activity. This will help identify what you need in your wardrobe in order for it to align with both your new style and your lifestyle. The best part? This will show you what may be missing.
Are you a teacher that wears slacks and a blouse everyday? In the office, wearing a blazer and dress combo? A student in casual wear? On the weekends do you run errands in sweatpants and sneakers?
List out ALL of the details of your outfit (including both garments and accessories) and how you style your looks for each of your weekly activities. These details do not necessarily have to be styles that you like—it's totally fine to be outfits you are looking to change. We just want to list what it is that you are currently doing. We have to begin with the present before we move on to the future!
You have in front of you what your daily activities consist of and the outfits you wear to complete them—whether you like them or not. You can see what type of garments and items you wear.
Going back to the list of garments you created that reflect your new style, does it match to your lifestyle?
For example, if your style/set of words lean more toward a relaxed style, with the garments consisting of mainly jeans and some type of tee or shirt combo—yet you work in corporate America—do these two match? Not really. I highly doubt you can stroll into work in a jeans and tee combo. If your new style does not match to your lifestyle, it’s OK!
Right now, I want you to compare your current style to your new style to see what the commonalities are and what you are missing.
How do you take your current look and transition to reflect your new look?
If your everyday work outfit is slacks, a button-up or blouse, and sometimes a blazer, but your keywords match to a more casual or relaxed style, how do you combine the two and still abide by your employer’s dress code? How can your keywords be incorporated into your current look to transition it to reflect your personal style?
Step One | Refer back to the list of items and garments that reflect your new style
Step Two | Select an item or garment from that list to replace an existing item or garment you are wearing.
Also, remember where you listed out what it is about the styling of the outfit that you like? Think about how you can apply that to your current look while transitioning it.
Going back to the #LIFESTYLE section, you have a list of the outfits that you currently wear on a day-to-day basis. Now is the time to alter these looks to cater to your new style.
Let’s go back to our example: Slacks and a button-up is what I typically wear every day into the office now. But I don’t prefer it and want to transition this look to reflect me better. I am going to pull a garment from my new list—a tee—and add it into the mix. If you’re thinking a tee is not an appropriate garment for work, you are absolutely incorrect. A plain tee on its own might be toeing the line of your work dress code. But there are options:
1. Instead of a button-up, swap out for a dressier tee. Tuck in the tee, add on a belt to help polish the look, and then you have the option to add a piece of jewelry to dress up the tee a little more. You now have a casual, yet chic, work-appropriate look.
2. Swap out the button-up for a tee and tuck it in. (The tee on its own is a casual garment, but by tucking in the shirt, it becomes polished.) Then add a blazer over the tee to make it even more professional. Accessories are also an option in addition to the blazer. You now have a look that is appropriate for the office yet reflects your personal style.
Maybe your keywords catered more toward girly and feminine. Let's break down some of your options for that new style:
1. Swap out the slacks for a pencil skirt, possibly in a color or print. Then accessorize the button-up with jewelry to update your outfit.
2. Instead of slacks, opt for a tailored or ankle pant. Pair it with a colored blouse and accessories, but skip the blazer.
3. Ditch the slacks and blouse altogether, and opt for a fitted sheath dress and heels paired with your go-to blazer.
See how I did that? Now it’s your turn! You are going to fine-tune your current style and transition it to embrace and show off your new personal style.
It is time to start making your look your own!
With any style, and aside from the garments that fit to each, your wardrobe still needs their basic pieces to make it easier for you to mix and match your pieces time and time again to create new outfits around the items you have.
In Building A Wardrobe: The Basics eBook I lay out the 24 pieces, their different styles and over 100 different outfit ideas to help you build a functional wardrobe that'll allow you to show off your style!