Let’s be honest.
Finding your personal style isn’t always the easiest.
Sometimes you think you really found your personal style, only to come to the conclusion that next seasons’ trends suit you a little better. Discovering which items that keep coming back to you isn’t easy. I know there are a lot of great blogposts online on how to find your personal style and I believe all of them can teach you great stuff. Yet, I still wanted to share with you guys five tips I discovered mostly on my own during this quest.
Oh, the holy grail of fashion inspiration.
How did my life look before Pinterest? I can’t remember. Well, actually I do, it consisted of looking forward to Vogue, Elle, Glamour coming out each month and giving me some new fashion inspiration. Cutting out the pictures that inspired me to create a moodboards. Sometimes I still do this, but this is just much easier on Pinterest.
Pinning like hell was actually the first step in defining my own personal style. I went completely crazy and pinned every picture I felt a connection with on one style board. After pinning for a couple of days/weeks I went back to that certain style board and took a closer look. With a little notepad next to me, I wrote down the items that kept coming back:
- A black leather jacket
- Ripped skinny jeans
- White blouses and tops
- Chanel bags
- Black pants
That is how I found ‘my 10 signature items’
These items where the ones I was drawn to the most and that are multifunctional workhorses in my dream wardrobe. They are the foundation of my personal, signature style and almost every outfit is build upon one of these items.
2. See the whole picture
Now, one of the traps I fell into was not seeing the whole picture on Pinterest. Sometimes I’m so focussed on the clothing, I forget to look at everything else in the picture. The mood, a haircut, make-up, the attitude, … it’s all of importance in creating this picture that you’re drawn to.
This is also how it works in real life.
It’s not just about the clothes. It’s about way more than that. I would say that how you feel is most important and will lift any outfit to another level, but also your hair and make-up can work miracles in creating your signature style.
If you don’t really feel your outfit, try looking at the rest.
3. Be realistic
Okay, you can have your dream style that consist of only denim shorts and bikini’s, but if you live in a moderate climate that just won’t do it.
You need to be real about the situation you’re in.
Ask yourself these questions before really getting into it: What does your life look like? Do you have a corporate job or do you work from home? How’s your average climate? Do the seasons change a lot? What’s your budget?
Because there is no use in having a luxury style if you can’t afford it. On the other hand, if you minimize your wardrobe and only buy things that truly suit you, you’ll have a significant larger amount to spend.
4. Find out what doesn’t work for you (even if you want it to work)
This was actually the biggest help in my queeste to find my own style. I kind of always had an idea of what I like and how I wanted to look, but never really felt completely satisfied with what I was wearing and I realized the devil was in the details, like most of the times. I can’t really tell you guys in how to do this, but I will demonstrate with some of my own personal experiences…
For as long as I remember I have loved flowy, floral print dresses and tops. And for as long as I remember I buyed flowy, floral print dresses and tops, but never really felt quite me in them. Even though I loved the prints and colours, they mostly kept hanging in the back of my closet. You know, those pieces you want to wear, try on and than put back to wear something else… It was like I never really felt it with these items. So I started to break down why I was attracted to them and why I didn’t feel good in them.
What I found out is that I loved the elegance of fine prints and the boldness of bigger flowers. I also found out that I loved wearing pieces that feel flowy and just sweep away with that light summer breeze. But how come I didn’t feel good in wearing an item with these characteristics?
Because it was just too much.
When I broke it down, I realized I loved flowy pieces but prefer them without prints or bold colours. I also realized I love fine prints, like floral prints, but they have to really match the other items in my own style/wardrobe. So now, if I want to buy a piece with one of these characteristics, I make much better decisions and really go for the things I know I’m going to wear and can implement in my existing wardrobe.
And I did this for every problem-piece in my wardrobe, which brings me to the last tip in the search of your signature style.
5. Define, define, define
All these previous tips are actually on defining, but this is something you need to do on every level. The first step is defining what style you have, but to really make it your own, signature style you need to take it a little further and take a closer look at the details.
Details like a certain cut, colour or texture. For example, there are thousands of ‘skinny jeans’ but not all of them will become a wardrobe hero. Maybe you like it a high rise or rather lower on the hips. Maybe you want big back pockets, or rather smaller ones that are a little further apart to define your bum. Maybe you like one with a little more stretch to it or a certain washing.
Before buying an item, make sure that every little detail fits who you are and who you want to be.
Know that finding your personal style doesn’t mean you can’t cheat once in a while and discover new things about yourself, but it helps you in building a sustainable wardrobe that will stand the test of time.