The Internet is swarming with fashionable outfits and images – celebrities, fashionistas, style gurus and whatnot. But, what do you get from just copying images? Is that really you, or just a reflection of outfits you’ve seen and liked? We’ve all been there, as these images linger in our mind and we subconsciously search to re-enact them through our wardrobe.
Finding your personal style can be confusing, as you’re essentially trying to define the idea of who you are. It’s not about looking good or being able to pull something off, but rather about knowing how you want to express yourself through your wardrobe and accessories. Here are some tips on how to achieve that, so you can love what you wear and be in harmony with it.
1. Figure out what flatters your body shape
Understanding your body shape is the first step to defining your personal style and getting the most from your wardrobe. It’s great if you feel confident wearing anything, but wearing outfits that are flattering to your silhouette doubles that confidence and exhibits a personal appreciation for your body type. Get honest friends to tell you their opinion when trying on outfits and take pictures to figure out what works best for you.
2. Know your staples
There are pieces you like and you’ll want to wear, but creating a foundation that these pieces will go with is the first step to defining your style. That way, you’re not just chaotically putting outfits together and wondering if those outfits are really you, because you have a solid foundation that is ready for mixing and matching. Skim your wardrobe for these foundations and ask yourself what you like to wear as a base the most: black turtlenecks, your favorite jeans, dress pants, favorite pieces of neutral colors, blazers and cardigans, etc. These are the pillars that your personal style will be built on.
3. Style is the vibe you like – not just one specific look
Don’t get fooled into thinking that you have to define your specific style and stick with outfits from that category (casual, business, classy, boho, etc.) You most certainly don’t, and that really wouldn’t be any fun at all. Figure out what it is that you like about a certain style, whether it’s the vibe, the details, the approach to combinations, or anything else for that matter. You’ll find that you can combine outfits that reflect the qualities of different styles that you like – a minimalist piece with an earthy, bohemian underlying, a classy outfit with some quirk, or a casual look with a rock-n-roll touch to it. Trust your instincts, find the pieces in your wardrobe that you like best and think about what vibe and qualities they exhibit.
4. Express yourself with shoes and accessories
Shoes and accessories are the best way to add an extra statement to your outfit and this is where you can get really creative. Shoes with playful prints (like Menorcan sandals or funky booties), your favorite handbag, jewellery that has sentimental value to you – these are some of the things that you can use to express who you are. The way you incorporate statement details into your outfit will be unique to you and these details don’t have to match everything else in a Pinterest-like manner.
5. Get rid of the things you never wear – and ask yourself why
Like most of us who have been searching for a personal style slowly over the years, you may find things in your closet that you never wear, even completely new things with the price tag still on. Ask yourself why you never wear them (especially for those brand new untouched pieces) and you’ll find a lot of clues as to what your personal style is definitely not, and what it could be. Give the pieces another try, and if it still doesn’t work, chuck them. You’ll realise which characteristics make you feel uncomfortable to wear something and that way, you’ll be able to avoid them in the future.
Most importantly, trust your instincts and allow yourself to experiment. You won’t find your personal style instantly, because it’s a rather playful process. Don’t take yourself too seriously or you can fall into the trap of overburdening yourself with finding that one perfect look. In the end, it’s just about confidence and self-expression.