7 Ways to find your personal style
Updated: Aug 6
"Personal style is what drives you to be an individual, whether it be clothing, music, art, jewellery, opinion, etc. It's being who you are and being proud of where you are from" - Jean Paul Gaultier
One of the reasons that I started blogging was because I'd always be asked questions that were related to my personal style. From where I bought my clothing, to how I always make my outfits look so put together. So without a doubt, my niche has been fashion and style and I love sharing my styling tips with others.
With sharing these pointers, I have to keep in mind that my followers, or as I like to call them my online family, all have different personalities and likes. So it's only obvious that they each will have their own personal style. While this may seem like a simple task, some persons actually find it quite difficult to define their personal style.
My style today is a far cry from the graphic T shirts, jeans and over-sized earrings that I loved wearing as a teenager. I noticed a complete evolution in my style choices when I graduated from medical school and now had a degree. I was now a professional woman and felt the need to dress as such. Aspects of this professionalism seemingly translated into elements that I would eventually incorporate into my daily attire.
"Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak" - Rachel Zoe
Now don't get me wrong, there is a lot of sexism experienced in the medical field. It is thought that as a female doctor or medical professional, we shouldn't wear certain clothing items like sexy swimsuits, or a short skirt or dress. This doesn't and shouldn't detract from our capabilities as women. If I wear a bikini or a short dress, it shouldn't cause a stir and be deemed inappropriate. I'm dressing for me.
The process of discovering one's personal style is not an overnight thing. Sometimes it may take years before coming to fruition. But I remained patient with myself, became more confident in my own skin, and the process got easier. So you're probably wondering "what steps did you take to figure out what works for you?". Below I have some general tips to help you find your personal style. These have and still do help me to find items I'd like to incorporate into my wardrobe.
1. HAVE STYLE ICONS
If anyone knows me well, they'd know that my all-time favourite style icon is Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex. Her style from her pre-duchess days to the ones she donned as a Royal have always been so effortless and polished. She is very conscious about quality items but also paying attention to sustainability in the fashion industry.
Another woman that I admire for her style is Victoria Beckham. She embodies a very modern, sleek and classic style. One element that I've grown to appreciate from her is her love of monochromatic outfits - truly timeless.
Casual, cute, comfortable yet sophisticated, and pushing boundaries with her style choices - that is Zendaya. I love the level of confidence she displays with each outfit she wears and that's something I've always aimed for.
2. make a mood board
With so many social media sites and digital outlets available nowadays, it's such a no-brainer to finding inspiration. Pinterest is my go-to source for gathering fashion photos and getting ideas on how to pair accessories with a potential outfit. Instagram, being my most used app, is another space that I'm able to get inspired on a daily basis. I'm able to see posts from bloggers, influencers, models and fashion brands.
The key to using the information you've gathered from these sites, is to determine what type of items you're most drawn toward. Maybe you find yourself loving more basic, neutral pieces, bold colours and prints or maybe it's very polished, classic items. Whatever it may be, keep those items in mind because you're on the right track and a step closer to finding your personal style.
3. GIVE YOUR STYLE A NAME
So you've found the pieces you like and they align with your personality and vibe. Why not put a name to it? For example bohemian chic, minimalistic, edgy or eclectic. This way, it gets simpler when shopping or searching sites in the future; to streamline your search and find those items that cater to your taste. I describe my style as effortlessly chic. I love the items I wear to be classy, well fitted and feminine.
"Fashion has to reflect who you are. What you feel at the moment. Where you're going" - Pharrell Williams
4. DON'T BE AFRAID TO EXPERIMENT
Try some bold colour, a cool print or maybe a different silhouette. Although you've found those key pieces to build your new wardrobe, don't be afraid to experiment. It's easy to give in to trends and buy those items that won't have longevity in our wardrobes. This is common as we're bombarded on social media and clothing sites to purchase items that we "need". Sales can sometimes be our downfall if we don't shop effectively. However, every once in a while, it's totally fine to switch things up a bit and add an unexpected element to an outfit.
Thrift stores, as I would mention in the following point, allow this experimentation at a budget.
5. DO A CLOSET CLEAR OUT
We all have those items in our wardrobes that we haven't worn in months, maybe even years. Some may even still have the price tags on them. Yeah...I know you're smiling right now because it's the truth. These items are the ones that you need to eliminate to make room for your new pieces. Ever so often, do a closet clear out and sell, donate or giveaway those clothing items that no longer have a space in your style evolution.
For example, small local online thrift stores like Trini Wardrobe allow you to sell your unwanted clothing items and you earn 50% of their sale price. Another local thrift store that allows you to earn money from selling your preloved clothing is Renew Consignment. Renew Consignment stated on their Instagram page that "by shopping preloved you are making your contribution towards the #fashionrevolution by diverting clothing and textiles away from our landfills". The fashion industry, unknowingly, is a large contributer to global warming because of their practices in manufacturing.
Another way to do a closet purge is to sort through items that you've neglected because of their fit. One of my best tips is to get items tailored so that they fit well and you can cycle them back into your wardrobe.
6. SPLURGE ON ESSENTIAL WARDROBE BASICS
This has become a mantra of mine as it's a key factor to how I've been able to build my wardrobe. Wardrobe basics are deemed an essential because they act as the foundation to which you are able to build any outfit. A well-fitted pair of blue jeans, a white button-down shirt, neutral cotton crew neck T shirts, solid tank tops, nude heels or flats (black, brown, gold) and a structured blazer are my top picks. Splurging on these items isn't always possible for everyone, but slowly incorporate those items into your wardrobe and you'd see how much easier it becomes to build outfits.
7. STEP OUT WITH CONFIDENCE
So you've defined your personal style and have built a new look, the greatest step is to actually wear your new look out of your house. No matter what you wear, wear it with confidence. Just be unapologetically you, hold your head high and strut your stuff. In the words of Coco Chanel "Everyday is a fashion show and the world is your runway". Always be sure that you're comfortable; whether you're wearing flats, heels or sneakers comfort is key.
"Personal style is having the confidence to be who you are. It can be as simple as turning up a cuff or the contradiction of a weathered motorcycle jacket slung over an elegant evening dress" - Ralph Lauren
Do you have a personal style? If you do, leave a comment below and let me know what you define it as. If you don't yet have one, I hope that these tips have been helpful and that they guide you to finding your personal style.
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Thanks for reading.