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Since your clothes essentially “talk” to people about who you are, you may want to look at your wardrobe and check what they have to say about you. Do your clothes reveal who you are as a person? Are they expressing your personality, values, and everything you care about? Do you feel like the best version of yourself when you wear them? If you are unsure about how to answer these questions or feel slightly overwhelmed that clothes can have a deeper meaning, perhaps you still need to develop your very own sense of style. So how do you start crafting your very own sense of style?
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How Do You Start Crafting Your Very Own Sense of Style?
The clothes you choose to wear are not mere body coverings to protect your body from environmental factors like heat or cold. They also send messages that influence how people perceive you. Whether you are aware of it or not, the strangers you meet are probably assessing who you are—your character, socioeconomic status, and ability—based solely on what you are wearing. One study published in Nature Human Behaviour reflects this reality as researchers found how people tend to judge a person’s competence by their clothes.
When you have a personal style, you become intentional in choosing your clothes and how you wear them. You buy leggings, blouses, and other clothing pieces and accessories not because they are trendy, but because they are a reflection of yourself. To help you find your unique style, consider the following tips.
Assess Your Lifestyle
Your signature style is not about blindly following trends or looking for fabulous outfits. It is about finding clothing that works for you—pieces that fit your situation and make you feel and look good. As such, you may want to start your style journey by assessing your lifestyle.
What are your daily activities? What matters most to you when picking out clothes? These are questions you may need to ask yourself because the answers will reveal style options that are unique to you.
For instance, if you work from home, you may need to search for comfortable and relaxed outfits that are stylish enough for occasional online video meetings. No matter how much you like the idea of dressing up in power suits and corporate dresses, you may end up feeling and looking uncomfortable because these outfits aren’t ideal for your environment.
Go Through What You Have
Another helpful strategy to figure out your sense of style is going through your closet. Sure, your wardrobe collection may not be perfect, but it can reveal valuable information that can serve as a jumping-off point to discover your distinct style.
Begin by taking out your favorite clothing pieces—those tops, bottoms, and layering pieces you wear most of the time. Examine everything and make a detailed note of the things you love about them.
What are the things they have in common? What features attract you the most? Perhaps you are drawn to them because you love bright colors and they match your cheery personality. Or maybe their cut and fit flatter your figure, so you feel more confident wearing them. Take this exercise seriously, and you will have a better picture of the styles most appealing to you.
Contrary to a common misconception, developing your sense of style does not require creating something from scratch. Think about it. Even fashion designers and stylists look around and seek ideas before they can produce masterpieces. So, why don’t you take your cue from the experts and find style inspirations you can emulate?
It is worth pointing out that seeking inspiration is not the same as copying. When you do the former, you are merely gathering ideas you can use to put-together outfits that speak to you. The result is mere imitation instead of a style that has been carefully decided and curated. The process of developing your sense of style involves studying clothing designs and choosing the ones that best suit your needs. To do this well, you must first be aware of what’s possible and available, and taking inspiration is a way of building this knowledge.
Don’t know where you can find fashion inspirations? Below are things you can do:
- Look around you. Perhaps you have fashionista friends, co-workers, or relatives that you admire. If so, try asking how they put together outfits or the reasons for their style choices, and then select which information resonates with you. You can also observe people as you ride the bus, sit in a café, or attend parties to see various styles.
- Search the internet. Thanks to the internet, you can explore various fashion styles, from casual and sporty to chic and preppy, with a click of a button. You can even personalize your searches to find more relevant information. For instance, you can look for “petite style ideas” if you are on the small side or “comfortable clothing styles” if you value comfort over everything else.
- Check out boutiques and clothing stores. If you have time, you can also go window shopping for ideas. Check out your favorite clothing stores and designer brands and see the hottest trends. Try paying extra attention to their mannequins to see various ways of putting together different clothing pieces and accessories.
- Follow celebs and influencers on social media. Are there celebrities or influencers you admire because of their style sense? If so, scroll through their social media pages to see how they combine outfits, use accessories, or express themselves through fashion.
Invest in Staple Clothing Pieces
Since you are working to discover your sense of style, now is the best time to invest in versatile clothing pieces that you can readily mix and match to create various looks. Look through your closet first to see whether you have items that go well with practically everything. Plain-colored t-shirts, button-down shirts in muted hues, dark skinny jeans, and black leggings are examples of things worth keeping.
Don’t have enough clothing pieces and accessories to put together outfits that make you happy? Explore thrift shops or second-hand stores for staples. That way, you get what you need while sticking to your budget. Or maybe you can organize a clothing swap with your friends to expand your collection without spending a dime.
Experiment with Different Looks
Once you have gathered fashion ideas from different sources and have a collection of versatile clothes, you can start playing with different looks to discover styles that fully express who you are. Try recreating the outfits of your fashion inspirations using your favorite pieces and see what you come up with.
Again, your goal is to transform the idea according to your taste so you can create ensembles that boost your mood and confidence. Don’t worry if the final results seem far from the original. As long as the outfit feels good and looks good on you, then nothing else matters.
But if you think that something feels off, try another style. Remember finding your personal style requires tons of experimentation. So, do not stress too much. Keep trying and enjoy this process of self-discovery.
Keep an Open Mind
Perhaps you realize that you tend to gravitate toward a preppy style as you experiment with various outfits. Maybe you love wearing tailored blazers, crisp button-down shirts, and pleated skirts over more casual pieces. The idea of layering garments appeals to you as well. Although you enjoy the preppy vibe, it does not necessarily follow that you are a preppy girl. What if you miss other appealing options because you stopped exploring?
Ultimately, no rule says you should limit your fashion game to a single category. Your personal style can be a combination of multiple looks. So, keep an open mind and do not shy away from trying something new.
Developing your personal style does not happen overnight. After all, finding clothes and styles that work for you best takes time, energy, and focus. And because what you wear is a form of self-expression, there is probably no fixed end to this journey. Your fashion sense will continue to develop as your needs, preferences, and circumstances change. So, relax, enjoy the experience, and let your style grow with you.