7 steps to find your personal fashion style
Whenever celebrities like Kate Moss or Victoria Beckham step out of their house, they look like they just stepped out of Vogues cover page. It's easy to look fabulous all day every day when you have a personal stylist – not to mention a virtually unlimited budget at your disposal.
For those of us with limited bank accounts, however, looking fashionable can be a challenge. Part of becoming a fashionista is figuring out your personal style and finding specific wardrobe pieces that highlight it.
The impact of personal style goes far beyond making a good first impression! Great style is also about approaching each day with confidence, and the ability to feel legitimately beautiful in what we are wearing. Believe it or not, the right wardrobe can make a difference in that department. Wearing basic clothes, but still standing out in a crowd is exactly what separates having a personal style from being a fashion victim.
But which style truly speaks to you? I guess I can help you out with that. I’ve nailed down the steps to find your personal style.
#1 Understand your body and accept it
Knowledge is power. So, the first thing you need to understand is what kind of body shape you have and what works for you. If you have a good understanding of your body shape and your strengths and weaknesses, you can buy the right clothes to either accentuate or camouflage them.
#2 Seek inspiration
Jot down the names of your favorite style icons and do a bit of research via Pinterest, Google, or Instagram to gather inspiration from their looks.
Pulling different types of inspiration from several sources is a great way to figure out what you like and dislike. Pick a few words to describe the vibe of the looks. Are they ladylike, modern, edgy, bohemian, or classic?
#3 Analyze your closet
Take a good, long look at your closet and the pieces you already own. Toss what you haven't worn in the last year, so you can start fresh. Then you can begin to rebuild and refine your wardrobe with a style that truly reflects where you are in your life and career.
If something shows up a lot in your wardrobe, you could choose it to become your staple piece — that is, the garment that defines your style and gives you self-confidence. If your closet is overflowing with t-shirts, it’s probably because you feel very comfortable wearing them, so don’t throw them away, quite the opposite, in fact! Try to understand why you like them, but also whether they flatter you. If one color appears very often, ask yourself why you wear it and if it fits your skin tone.
#4 Choose a signature piece
Audrey Hepburn had her cropped pants and ballet flats and Jackie O. had her oversized sunglasses. All fashionable women own a signature item or two that becomes part of their style identity. Yours can be as simple as a personalized piece of jewelry or a leopard coat.
Is there something people compliment you on? Whether it’s your toned back or your hourglass figure, wearing clothes that play up your best assets always looks stylish.
#5 Shop smarter and take your lifestyle into consideration
The perfect wardrobe should not only represent your vision and creativity, but also be tailored to your lifestyle. Consider the persona you want to present to the world. You want your style to reflect your personality, but it also has to make sense in your field of work, your overall lifestyle, the city you live in and be aligned with your long-term goals. Do you want a better job? Are you trying to make it in a particular industry? Think about adding a few sharp and appropriate professional pieces for interviews in that line of work. Or if you want to work in fashion, add more on-trend pieces. If your work environment is casual, you may want to purchase more knits and jeans.
#6 Define your personal style with accessories
Accessories are, without a doubt, the easiest way to pull any look together regardless of the vibe you want to achieve. You can update jeans and a white t-shirt with a bold necklace or pair layered, delicate jewelry with a dress for a more feminine feel. A cool ear cuff or stacked rings can give you an instant edge and pearls can make you look polished and lady-like in an instant. Add a patterned scarf, opt for edgy ankle booties instead of your normal black pumps or pull out a bright clutch to add more personality.
#7 Be authentic
The single most important thing when developing your style is to be true to yourself. Don't focus on the size or the designer label (this will only hinder your creativity!). Continue to experiment with different patterns, textures, accessories, and shoes. It all boils down to feeling good in your own skin—your style should reflect and celebrate your life, your individuality and personality.
Own your style, be proud of it and embrace fashion as a way to express who you are and who you want to be.
It takes a lot of trial and error to find your personal clothing style, so don't worry about making mistakes along the way. In fact, developing your personal fashion style is a journey, not a destination. Experimenting and just having fun help you get to know yourself better!