Love fashion but need some help navigating all the trends? Not sure which styles, colours and shapes will work best for you? Or maybe you just need some inspiration to rework the pieces you already have in your wardrobe? Don’t stress, I’ve got you! Here’s a list of top tips (and a YouTube video if you prefer) on exactly that! Read on to learn how to find YOUR style, so you can dress well and feel good every day!
How to Find Your Style:
1. Try On EVERYTHING You Own
Ok, so I appreciate this might not be what you want to hear right now – especially as you’re probably not that keen on what’s in your wardrobe if you’re reading this article! But trust me, it will be worth it. To find your style, you need to work out WHY you like/dislike certain things – colours, shapes, patterns, styles and so on. This is key information for beginning the journey to find your style – something that is very unique to you. Here’s some tips to note down as you strip off and try it all on:
- Fit and shape: You’re not just looking for what does and doesn’t ‘fit’ here. Look at the cut of the pieces you own. Are they figure hugging or loose? Do you prefer a stretch, an a-line, or sheath-like shapes, for example? There’s no right or wrong answer. Have a good look in a mirror and you’ll start to notice which pieces work and which don’t.
- Pattern or plain: You may notice as you go through your closet that you have a preference for plain or patterned garments. Perhaps even a tendency for a certain type or size of pattern. Floral prints for instance can be one girl’s heaven and the next girl’s hell. The size of a print can also make a big difference when it comes to our perception of proportion, so keep an eye out for anything that ‘drowns’ you or does the opposite.
- Fabric and draping: Thickness, floatiness and sheerness are all real words, right? Regardless, they’re all key things to notice when it comes to your preferences. Be specific. ‘Denim’ is a fabric but it comes in a multitude of thicknesses, stretches and washes. Knowing the ones that work for you can save you hours when you’re shopping for new jeans later!
- Try things on with your hair up/down, glasses on/off and so on. For dresses and longer tops, perhaps try them with and without a waist belt. You never know, this could be a revelation and transform something you felt ‘off’ about into something that makes you feel fantastic!
- The bits you don’t like or that don’t fit? Get rid of them, now. First though, make sure you’re clear WHY you don’t like a piece as that’s valuable knowledge for when it comes to finding what you do like. And please, sell or donate things that don’t fit any longer. It’s an age old myth that once you’ve lost/gained a few pounds you’ll wear those items again. If that happens, you’ll most likely want new clothes to suit the new you! Don’t let them hang in your closet getting you down – pass them on to someone who can love them and focus on what you have that you can wear now.
2. Colour is Everything
Forget everything you’ve heard about colour when it comes to fashion. We’ve all heard ‘red and green should never be seen,’ but if you find the right shades they can actually look great together! The point is – don’t rule out an entire colour group before exploring various shades and tones within it. For example, mustard yellow washes me out, but neon and pastel? Bombshell! Depending on your skin tone, certain shades may not look how you hoped, but others will make you glow!
The best way to tell if a colour suits you? Hold it up to your face in natural light. Does your skin look brighter or duller? Those colour cards in DIY stores are IDEAL for this – just grab a few next time you’re in store and get testing.
Pro Tip: If you’re not sure which colours are ‘in’ this season, just head to Pinterest and type in ‘Spring Summer/Fall winter [insert year here] colour palette’ and you’ll find handy images that round up the key colours on the catwalk for any season.
3. Take a Pic!
Sometimes it’s difficult to really ‘see’ yourself in the mirror. No, I don’t mean because you need to clean it (although this helps!) but often we’ve developed a ‘blindness’ to the way we really look in the looking glass, due to various body hang-ups and the image of ourselves that we have in our heads. For this reason, it can be helpful to have an honest friend or family member who you trust there to help you when you’re trying things on.
Of course, during the pandemic that’s often impossible, so another option is to take quick snaps of yourself in each outfit and look back at them on a screen. You can do this at home or in a fitting room. It might seem strange, but it works! You will begin to notice how colours react with your skin tone, how shapes work with your figure and so on, with a more objective eye.
Pro Tip: You can also use these photographs to make an ‘outfit log’. Perhaps you’re somewhat on your way to finding your style, but you’re still not 100% sure each time you dress yourself. Take a picture of your outfits every day for a week (or month) and review them to find your favourites, or what didn’t work so well.
4. Find Your Style by Getting Inspired by Others
We’ve all got celebrity idols, or that one friend that we admire for the way they dress. That’s good! You might not be 100% clear on WHY you like their look yet but once you are, you’re well on your way to incorporating elements of their style into your own. Take note though: inspiration means inspiration, not being a copy-cat.
It can help to make a moodboard (or Pinterest board) of your favourite looks to help you. Now, are there any themes? Perhaps it’s a certain colour palette, or a recurring silhouette. Use this information when searching for new pieces rather than trying to get your hands on the exact same outfits!
Pro Tip: If it’s a celebrity whose style you admire, Google their stylist! Chances are they will have at least one and these stylists often have social media where you can get an insight into their work and how they’ve helped to develop that person’s image. At the very least, you’re bound to pick up some more inspiration to help you find your style!
5. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Half the time, we assume we don’t like things without having actually tried them. Case in point: sashimi. The idea of raw fish grossed me out so much before I first tried it, but after that it fast became one of my favourite dishes! Fish aside, the exact same applies to fashion. Never tried a peplum waist top? Add one to your basket, try it on in the comfort and privacy of your own home (and try it with other items you own) – and you can always return it if it’s a disaster. You never know, you might just find your new go-to garment!
6. Practically Perfect
Ok, so you might love Audrey Hepburn’s style in Sabrina, but it is it really going to work for your day-to-day? Job as a sales rep? No. Stay at home mum and entrepreneur? No. Princess of a small European country? Well ok, maybe.
You also need to take into account the climate where you live. Every day I swoon over the ‘winter’ looks of bloggers living in LA, but here in Scotland I’d literally freeze my ass off if I dressed like them. Therefore I take note of the colour palettes I like in their outfits and the garments they style, but choose thicker fabrics or wear tights in place of bare-legged looks that would otherwise turn me blue. You need to find your style without compromising your comfort!
The point is, you do need to be practical and take into account your lifestyle – the trick is to find ways to include elements of the looks you love into your every day life, so your style can be on show all the time!
7. Have a Signature Accessory
One way to create continuity through your outfits is to stick to a theme with your accessories. Perhaps you have a thing for belts, or statement earrings? If so, play that up in all of your outfits and it will fast become part of your signature style. A friend of mine has a chunky gold necklace that she pairs with almost every sweater she owns and it gives her outfits a personal touch. I also admire women that tie vintage silk scarves in various ways with each look, and the same goes for ladies who wear hats. Have a think about your favourite accessories and see if you can give them a permanent (or at least prominent) place in your look.
8. Just Keep Swimming
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you won’t find your style overnight. But neither should you! Part of enjoying fashion is enjoying the journey to finding your own personal taste and style. Your sense of style will – and should – evolve over time. Significant life events such as a getting a new job, having children, moving to a new city and so on – along with everything else you experience in life – will influence the way you feel about clothing. Embrace that! Fashion is meant to be an expression of the world around us, our culture and most importantly, our personality. The key is to question constantly: What do I love? Why do I love it? What does it do for me?
Ultimately, that’s how to find your style.
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