People underestimate the power of fashion. And they usually do it because they’ve dug themselves into such a style rut that it’s easier to chalk it up to fashion being frivolous, or just not having the time.
But defining your style and developing a unique look is one of the most effective communication tools. It’s an expression of creativity, an impactful first impression, and a voice that speaks without words.
If you haven’t started to develop a personal style, or don’t even know where to begin- then this is the place to start.
What is personal style?
Your personal style should be reflective of your likes, creativity, and lifestyle. When you develop a personal style you are curating a unique image and wardrobe that helps you to express yourself and embody the person you want to be.
Not only can it vastly impact peoples’ impressions and judgments of you, but it can also be a tool to advance you in the world and help you find your people.
Your personal style is a unique combination of fashion categories (like classic, trendy, boho, etc) that encapsulates what you do, who you are, and what you like.
While your style may have influences from many fashion categories, you will have one dominant fashion category.
Tips To Find Your Personal Style
1. Know Your Body Type
Knowing your body type is probably where everything starts. No, not because a body type dictates what you should wear, but because you know what kind of clothes would look naturally good on you. It’s more like identifying your strengths and building on them.
2. Scan Your Wardrobe
Skim through your wardrobe and spend a day with your closet. Look at clothes you’ve bought over the last few years, the clothes you’ve repeated the most, the unopened pile, the impulsive purchases, stuff that you one day want to wear or fit into, etc. All of them have stories to tell, and needless to say, the most repeated clothes point towards the style you prefer.
3. Gather Your Looks
Go for a little walk down the memory lane, and make a folder with pictures from the past – photos of yourself that you like the most, dresses you often wear, etc. That gives you an idea of what you want, which means you should probably reconsider your closet, chuck everything you do not need, and build further according to your style.
Work on adding to those looks, and how you can align them with the current fashion trend. Like adding a scarf, a piece of jewelry, boots, etc. After all, it can be quite boring to wear the same kind of clothing.
4. Think About Your Style Icon
Who is that one person alive, dead, celebrity or not, that you look up to as ‘your personal style icon’? That tells a lot about who you are, what you like, and who you want to look like. Well, more often than not, it does. Are you all about elegance and LBDs like Audrey Hepburn, classy and an absolute diva-like Beyonce, eccentric like Lady Gaga, or a girl next door like Emma Stone? Whoever it is you might like, your style icons can help you find your style.
5. What Inspires You?
What defines you? Bohemian chic, yogini, classy and feminine, athletic or casual? This probably is the easiest way to find your style. We all have an innate affinity towards a particular style, sometimes we kind of know it, and sometimes we need to hear it from someone – either way, think about it.
Do you like throwing on a pair of jeans, a plaid shirt, converse shoes and go for light makeup, etc., to meet a friend, or are you all about being prim and proper? That should decide your future purchases.
6. What Are Your Favorite Colors And Combinations?
Are you all about prints, colors, and everything vibrant? Do you like muted and minimal grayscale outfits? Or, are you all about understated elegance with a slightly mellowed down palette which mostly is about pastels or other softer hues? Take a minute and think about it. If you are looking to have a signature style, colors play a huge role in helping you decide.
7. What Accessories Do You Prefer?
Do you like one chunky piece of neckpiece or huge earrings or both? Is fine jewelry your thing? Or, a bare neck with studs on your ears, and a watch? Accessories are a big part of this puzzle and speak a lot about your personality.
Look at your jewelry box or your Pinterest boards, and see what you use the most and stuff that you’ve always been hesitant to try. Usually, this will be in alignment with the other things we spoke about till now.
8. Do You Have Any Ideologies?
Do you believe in slow fashion? Are you all about using cruelty-free products? Is fashion your thing, and do you like being up to date with the latest trends? Understanding this will help you broaden your horizon while narrowing your scope.
Even if you are going trying to try the minimalist lifestyle and see if you can work with a capsule wardrobe, this helps you to a great extent.
9. Look Into Your Shoe Closet
Sometimes, working backward helps. What are your go-to shoes? What do you wear every single day? Do you like flats? Ballerinas or pumps? Boots or Uggs? Flip flops or sneakers? You ultimately have to match your shoes with your outfit, which means one size always does not fit all.
10. Your Favorite Brands
Do you believe that the quality of clothing is proportional to the brand value? Believe that branded clothes enhance your personality?
Or, you don’t care as much about the brand and more about how it looks on you? Do you prioritize a brand or style over comfort? Having favorite brands usually is a big clue to your style, so think about it.
11. Have At Least One Signature Garment:
Do you reach out to a scarf to put together an outlook? Or throw on layers like a chambray or plaid shirt, denim jacket, or a shrug? Wear a specific type or color of jeans or trousers? Are you all about V-neck plain T-shirts or cashmere sweaters? Have one signature piece of clothing type in your closet, which you think completes you, your outfit, I mean.
12. Connect The Lines
Everything should be concurrent with each other and mapped along to arrive at a personality type. Some of us have a particular type while some of us are flexible. On the flip side, some of us undermine ourselves and continue to wear the same baggy shirts and leggings without exploring our options.
The point of this exercise is to take a minute to think, scan your closet, and analyze your wardrobe – and by no means just stick to your comfort zone. It is also for you to go out there and try new stuff while making sure you find your personal style after all!
To Sum Up
Creating a signature look is an important step in your sartorial journey.
Even if you have no intention of becoming a style icon it helps to refine your own unique style and to build a more functional wardrobe. Don’t worry if you are not 100% or even 50% sure about what your unique style needs to look like.
Simply being aware of your go-to pieces and starting the process of developing what suits you best will catapult your style miles forward.