Four Steps To Find Your Personal Style
Have you ever put something on that you felt "wasn't you" and took it off right away?
This is the perfect example of what personal style is!
When it comes to defining personal style I guess you can say personal style can mean many different things to many different people.
Some will describe their style to be an influence of what they like or dislike. Others will says it's about their life experiences, culture or what surrounds them at any given moment. It could be the weather, location and it may even be based on the state of mind that person finds themselves in.
To sum it up, personal style is just that, personal, and with so many different perceptions on what personal style is or can be, one thing is clear, personal style is an outward expression of who you are.
There is no right or wrong sense of style. What matters is how you feel about what you're wearing and that it truly represents you as an individual.
"Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is ever out of style."
The best part is that everyone has it!
And if you haven't found it yet then guess what? It's already within you.
All it takes is for you to pay attention to your choices and ask yourself a few questions that'll allow you to understand what you like, dislike and why - which we'll get to in just a bit.
But first, you might be asking, "well why does it matter?" I've dressed the same way for years and no one has ever said anything or what I wear hasn't made a difference in my life."
Well I'm glad you asked because let me tell you it matters and it matters a lot.
If you're the type that could care less what you wear, then take a look around or look back throughout your life and if you aren't where you'd thought you'd be or would like to be then the way you dress could be a contributing factor.
I won't say it's the only reason, but I will say it plays a key role and science has proven this to be true. So much so that there is a name for it, enclothed cognition. "The term Enclothed Cognition is used to describe the effect that our clothes seem to have on various psychological processes like emotions, self evaluations, attitudes, and interpersonal interactions". This explains why people tend to judge us based on what we wear and also how it has a direct affect on how we feel about ourselves even how we carry ourselves in certain situations. If you'd like to know more about this topic click the link. I found this article at brainfodder.com that explains it all incredibly well.
"The clothes you wear don't just change the way other people see you, they change the way you see yourself."
Now that we know the what and why let's get to the how.
How can you find your personal style?
To start let me just say, there is no one true answer. Personal style is often described to have two to three different elements or combination of styles. It's hardly ever just one. For example, I would describe my personal style to be edgy, romantic and interesting. Simply because I like the mix of strong and soft elements with interesting details, like a black leather jacket paired with a pink, ruffled blouse. You'll know how to describe yours by the end this of post.
Here’s what to do...
So remember when I asked if you've ever tried something on that you felt wasn't you? This would be a great moment to ask yourself why. Why don't you like it? or what about it don't you like? The same goes for those styles or pieces you do like.
Giving yourself permission to ask these questions is a great way to start becoming clear about your personal style. Don't disregard it and say that you're being picky or you don't know anything about style because again style is personal; there's no right or wrong sense of style.
CREATE A PINTEREST BOARD:
Another great way to get clear on what your personal style is, is creating a Pinterest board!
Simply go through fashion boards, or search for "style icons" and save the images of styles you are drawn to. You'll start to see a pattern or collection of people you are naturally drawn to and who later can look to for inspiration.
SNAP A SELFIE:
Have you ever worn an outfit that made you feel like you had an extra pep to your step and felt super confident? These are the styles that make you feel you're absolute best. Snap a quick selfie and keep those for future reference. Once you have stored a few, take a look to see if you notice any patterns. Here you'll begin can identify your signature look, and start to hone down your true style identity. You can also use these looks as mock ups for future style inspiration.
PUT A NAME ON IT:
Now that you are clear on likes, dislikes, patterns and what styles you are drawn to it's time to put a name on it. Remember it's ok to have more than one word that describes your style - up to three words is best. Here's a list of powerful adjectives to get you started.
If you've followed these steps you are now able to identify a style that speaks to you and captures your true essence. What it all comes down is getting to know yourself. Once you do, you'll have a greater sense of self and be able to wear what you feel is the best version of you. From here you want to continue to cultivate your style because remember it's not completely definitive. Personal style is always evolving from your lifestyle to the seasons of life you find yourself in among others. Simply embrace it and be true to you.
Want to go deeper?
Take a look at your closet and identify any odd pieces out. Is there anything that doesn't mesh well with your overall look? Maybe there's a crazy pattern blouse that stands out in a closet full of subdued colors. If so, take it out. It's likely that it resonates with a style you like but aren't fully comfortable wearing. This will help further curate your wardrobe and avoid any confusion when getting dressed.
To find out more about cleansing your wardrobe refer to one of my previous post about cleaning out your closet: “Your Best Style Year Yet: Starting with a Closet Cleanse”