What Is Your Personal Style?
Personal style is defined as: A particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode or form of construction or execution in any expression of art or work.
This is easily relatable to fashion and dress. Consider yourself your canvas & your “look” as your artwork. Since art is relative there really is no right or wrong way but you have to admit that everything is not pleasing to look at. Nor is it the best representaion of our very best personal attributes.
1. Know Thy Self - The very 1st step to defining your personal style is to honestly be in touch with who YOU are, and what image you want to present to the world. Are you the haute fashion type, or do you favor the look of effortless style? Are you wired more toward being on-trend, being comfortable, or a little of both? Examine some basic attributes about yourself with honesty such as lifestyle (or desired lifestyle), age, and/or career and you’re on your way.
2. Know What You Want - What are your style goals? Maybe you want to depart from your look of yester-year. You know that look that was all the rage back in 2002 but just doesn’t work for you anymore. Maybe you want to be taken more seriously on the dating-scape. Maybe your look is quite “stuffy” and you wanna loosen up a bit.
Decide what you want your personal look to accomplish and research looks that represent that. Fashion and style resources are literally everywhere these days. You can’t turn on your TV, laptop, tablet, or smartphone without being slapped with some form of fashion news/commentary!
3. Shop With Purpose - This step pulls double duty, not only can it help develop your personal style, it is also one of the most valuable style tips you ever get. While shopping look for things that accentuate your positives and camouflages your not so positives. Trust me your new look will be a total bust if your new wardrobe contains pieces that are ill-fitting.
If you’ve got killer gams (legs) show em’ off. Nice chi-chi’s… tastefully highlight them. A glutimus beautimus don’t diminish it by stuffing it into too-tight bottoms, or hiding under baggy-saggy ones either. Garments and fabrics that contain spandex are the best bet for curvy figures. BUT PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT SPANDEX ALONE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND!
4. A Little Fashion Literacy… - Goes a long way! You don’t have to be a fashion expert but you should know credible designers from which to draw inspiration. Knowing a little about fabrics and how they behave/fit is at the top of the literacy bullet points as well. Also, know the difference between fashion categories. While it’s cool to draw inspiraton from haute couture & editorial looks, it wouldn’t be very practical to rock such looks “as-is” and on a daily basis. Scale these grand looks down to the “ready-to-wear” level for a more practical approach.
5. Take a Style Inventory - Before you run to the mall to outfit your personal style, inventory what’s already in your closet. Or if you’re like me what’s in your closet, your storage totes, and your space bags!
If what you find doesn’t fit you anymore, or doesn’t fit into what you’re trying to accomplish GET RID OF IT! The “mom jeans”, the shoulder pads, the 90’s bulk, the stirrup pants…. time to go! Worn out, will never wear again, don’t understand why you ever bought it… evict it! Vintage is permissable, flat out of style….. Nope. If you don’t know what vintage is google it & you’ll get the idea.
6. Update Not Re-do - Now that you’ve weeded out the wardrobe undesirables, it’s time to add some new hottness. If you read my last blog post (I Am a Recessionista) then you already know what your wardrobe essentials are. If you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for!
If you don’t already have the essential pieces then this is your first assignment.
Next, think about accessories that can transform what you already have. You’d be surprised at how a new pair of shoes, a different belt, a jacket and/or sweater, or even jewelry can take an old piece & flip it fashion forward in an instant.
Also try mixing & matching pieces. Just because you bought them together doesn’t mean that you have to always wear them together. Experiment with colors, textures, and patterns to come up with something new.
Probably the most overlooked style enhancers are your hair & make-up. A new do & a fresh face can put “hey” in “hey now” when developing a new look.
7. Please Yourself! - Last but certainly not least, DO YOU! Wasn’t that the point of this whole excercise? To find and develop YOUR personal style? It doesn’t matter what I say, what any of the fashion pundits say, or what your friends & family say… If you’re not comfortable and/or satisfied then you haven’t accomplished YOUR personal style. Go back to the beginning and this time HONESTLY assess who you are and what you want accomplish with your look.
On the other hand if you can’t be any more pleased with the outcome then CONGRATULATIONS! Your journey to personal style has been a wild success. BUT don’t get married to this stage of your style. Things inevitably change as we move through life and our personal styles should be among those things. Not necessarily dramatic, but definitely appropriate for who we are in our lives at that moment.
& if it never applied before it sure does now…. After all, styling is everything!
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