How to Define your Personal Style
Updated: Dec 22, 2020
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In a social media-driven world that is constantly blasting us with trends and “life-changing” products, it can be easy to get swept away and forget the things that truly make us happy.
Personal Style is one of the many ways we present our true SELF to the world. When we let others influence our styling and shopping decisions we start to lose ourselves.
While some of you may have had a strong and defined sense of personal style your whole lives, others, like myself, are easily influenced. This struggle with fast fashion left me carrying a load of buyer's remorse, a closet full of clothes, and thousands in credit card debt.
My unhealthy and irresponsible shopping was ever more fueled by my “I have nothing to wear” dilemma. Of course, I had nothing to wear. I didn't even own clothes that actually suited me. I owned everything someone else recommended or wore.
I finally decided to start dressing for my life, my personality, and my body. And that meant a few things:
Defining my Personal Style
Discovering the brands and stores that best represent that style (here)
Slowly building up a wardrobe
If you’re reading this I assume that, like me, you also have nothing to wear.
So, Let's define your personal style in 7 steps.
01. Admit you have a problem and commit to fixing it
(dramatic right?... I know)
Are you trying to mimic someone else’s style? An influencer maybe? A celebrity?
- Stop trying to mimic someone else, you don't live the same lives, therefore you cannot embody their personal style. You also probably don't have their same body type or complexion. Silhouettes and colors you THINK will look good on you, could be all wrong for you.
Do you dress a certain way because you think you can’t afford the style you want?
You can look as expensive as you want with a little training and education on fabrics, hardware and fit. Check out our elegant and affordable board here for inspiration or learn how to shop at affordable retailers here.
Do you have FOSO? (Fear of an item selling out)
Trust me, if it sells out, something similar will pop up elsewhere... or it will be back in stock.
Train yourself to start shopping smarter and that is when you're style will start to reflect YOU.
02. Get organized
How many times have I pulled a shirt from some random pile in my closet and said
“Oh! I forgot I even had this!”
Set aside an hour… or two… or twenty-four and clean out your closet. Let go of everything you don't wear anymore. And organize your closet. Need help?
Check out my Guide to decluttering or request an organizing consultation here.
Once your closet is neat and organized analyze the stuff you kept.
You'll start to notice colors you gravitate towards, shapes, and patterns that suit you.
Start to notice the patterns in the pieces you like.
03. Consider your lifestyle and personality
This is by FAR the most important step and is going to guide how you spend your hard-earned cash.
- If you go to parties once or twice a year then don't buy 5 cocktail dresses.
Instead, invest in pieces you will actually use.
For example: I wanted to have a classic and timeless personal style so I spent a small fortune on heels. Only to use them less than 5 times a year. Why? I live in NYC! I cannot possibly wear these heels to work or out.
Although these shoes are beautiful they do not fit my lifestyle or personality.
I should have opted for elegant wedges, ballet flats, sneakers. They still convey the style I want to achieve while still adhering to my lifestyle.
04. Find your keywords
Choose 3-4 adjectives that describe what you gravitate towards. Keywords you wish your style represented.
Is your true self edgy? Do you like warm colors? Vibrant Colors? Feminine? Girly? Casual? Sexy? Playful? Boho? Free? Flowy? Graceful? Trendy? Forward? Unique?
Any adjective is fine, these will help create your personal style vision board.
05. Choose your color palette
There is nothing worse than getting an awesome shirt and realizing it doesn’t really go with anything you already own.
Establishing a color palette will allow you to mix and match within your closet and get the most out of your clothing.
Keep your skin undertone and complexion in mind as it will guide you in choosing your color palette.
Don't know what your undertone? Find it here.
Related: How to Find your Power Colors
06. Start your own style vision board
Once you have 3-4 keywords and a color palette you can make a vision board either on my personal favorite: Pinterest, a good old piece of paper using magazine cut-outs and pictures or in an Instagram favorites folder.
Check out our Pinterest boards for keyword combination examples:
07. Shop for the essentials
Essentials are pieces that we will always need when putting an outfit together. These are not trendy or overly designed but can be paired with trends if that is your chosen aesthetic.