4 Easy Tips to Discover Your Personal Style
True story: Freshmen year of high school my Dad implemented a uniform because I had become “too obsessed” with how I looked.
I got a pass on Fridays and spent the remaining four days of the week learning how to change in the bathroom in time to catch the bus back home. If anything, not being able to dress how I wanted, made me even more passionate about figuring out what that even was.
With what I wear representing who I am, it’s very important to me that I’m always dressed for the part. This poses a slight challenge when you’re constantly growing and evolving, but these 4 tips help my closet keep up:
Step 1: Purge Your Current Closet
Out with the old and in with the new. If I find myself struggling to let go of things that I clearly haven’t worn, I put it on and see how it makes me feel. Usually that’s the thing that helps me decide when sentimentality tries to get in the way.
Also if it doesn’t fit, get rid of it. No use in holding yourself to body standards you aren’t at right now. The point of your wardrobe is to accentuate yourself, not make yourself feel bad.
I always take mental note of the things I toss, because more often than not I gravitate to those styles out of habit and I want to be sure I don’t just replace them with more of the same.
Step 2: Do Some Research
First, you need to do a quick visualization exercise of your ideal self. Close your eyes and envision the woman you want to be. How do you feel as her? Jot down notes about what she looks like and how she feels using lots of adjectives. Next, nail down some style musings that are in line with the woman you’re becoming. My personal faves are:
Rihanna: Her bold fashion choices scream confident and risk-taker.
Beyonce (on vacation): I love how carefree and effortless she is on vacation specifically. She’s glowing, she’s happy, she goes with the flow.
The bolded words are the descriptors that come up for me when I describe the woman I’m growing into. Using your style muses as inspiration is a great launching pad for delving into your own style. Find lots of different looks you love using magazines, Pinterest, Instagram, TV shows, etc. Whenever you come across something you like, take note. My phone gallery is currently a mixture of inspirational quotes and outfit screenshots.
Once you have a good idea of your aesthetic try capsule wardrobing. It’s a great way to start small and build from there. Now that your closet is purged, you’ll want to fill it in with key mix and match pieces for each season. The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is that you have a set budget with a set number of pieces that you rotate in as many different ways as possible. Take your newfound signature style and look for pieces that mesh.
When figuring out your new wardrobe also be sure to consider your lifestyle. Personally, I would love to wear heels every day, but commuting on the train makes that a no-go. Instead I opt for things like booties that give the appeal of a heel with the comfort of a flat. Small tweaks like this will help you add your own flavor to your looks.
Step 3: Organize To Make Everything Accessible
The way your closet is organized plays a big role in when, if and how you’ll wear your clothes. When my room is messy it’s so easy to wear the same sweatpants three days in a row because they’re right there on the floor from when I took them off. Be sure to organize your clothes in a way that makes them easily accessible; it’s the only way you’ll wear them.
I recently discovered a great app called Stylebook. It’s taking awhile to get everything in there, but basically it creates a registry of your closet that is a game-changer for getting dressed. Pick out your outfits in the app and go. Plus, you can keep a calendar that shows you which outfits you’ve worn on what day. Beyond that, I have my clothes color coordinated and sectioned off so that I’ll always know where everything is. T-shirts are folded meticulously (thanks to my two-week stint at the Gap) and my shoes live in clear boxes like these. A place for everything and everything in its place.
Step 4: Wear YOUR CLOTHES
Finally, the fun part.
When you love everything you own, you’ll actually wear your clothes. It also makes those nothing-to-wear moments much easier. From this moment on, when you shop live by the same rule you used when purging your closet: only buy it if it’s a hard yes.
Remember that just like you, your style is always evolving. So, don’t be afraid to take risks and try new looks. More than anything, your style should be something you enjoy cultivating and not a burden. If it ever gets to be too much, circle back to the beginning and come up with a look that works for both you and your lifestyle.