Some days, the planets align and you leave the house feeling the bomb diggity. You look great, you feel great, and the world is straight up #blessed to have you in it. How often does that feeling align with a new outfit, your favourite dress, a new haircut, or perfectly symmetrical eyeliner?
Personal style isn't just about making a good first impression - it's so much more than that. It can help you define what kind of a person you are, and what sort of message you want to send out to the world. It can help boost your confidence and give you that extra spring in your step. But how can you get that bomb diggity feeling, if you aren't even sure what your personal style is?
The first step to identifying your personal style is determining who/what you are inspired by. Start by finding celebrities or bloggers that have a personal style you like, and pin the outfits that resonate with you the most. It can be a secret board if you'd prefer - the important thing is to create a foundation of photos that inspire you. Which leads us to step two...
2. Come up with your keywords.
Assessing your Pinterest board, are there certain pieces, patterns, or silhouettes that seem to repeat themselves? Are there certain outfits that you are especially drawn to? Take a good hard look at your photos, and write down some of the words that come to mind. These keywords are the basis of your personal style, and they will help you stay fashionably consistent.
For instance, my words would be something like:
- laid back (I am drawn to looser cuts of clothing, I only ever partially tuck in my shirts, and I love a good pair of Converse low-tops)
- stylish (I never want to wear something that is Fine or Neutral. I often think to myself, "if I saw someone else wearing this outfit, would I give it the mental thumbs-up?")
- with a hint of badassery (I love black leather, ripped denim, and jewelry that could potentially injure someone)
3. Make a list of your favourite clothing pieces.
What pieces do you have that make you go "HELL YES" every time you wear them? And not the HELL YES of comfort or nostalgia - I mean those items that make you feel like a million bucks.
These are your key pieces that you need to build your wardrobe around, and continue buying in the future. What about this piece makes you feel so great? Is it the cut, the pattern, the colour? Make a mental note of what you love most about your favourite items, and aim to find those traits in new pieces of clothing you buy.
4. Analyze your existing wardrobe.
Now that you've identified your favourite pieces and why they make you feel so darn good, go through your closet and pull out the items that a) don't fit with your style keywords, b) don't make you feel like a million bucks, and c) seem to be the odd piece out. Remember that one thing you bought when you felt motivated to do something different, but it sits unworn for some reason you can't quite pinpoint? Well, it's likely because it's not in tune with your personal style. Donate it. We have no room for stragglers in this new world of Fabulously Defined Personal Style.
5. Shop smart.
Congratulations! You have accomplished the most difficult steps of defining your personal style. From here on out, make sure you remember your keywords when you go shopping. If you try something on and don't say "HELL YES" to yourself (unless it's a basic), walk away from it for a little while. And if you aren't sure if it fits with your personal style, review the checklist of your personal style keywords/
And remember, your personal style can, will, and should evolve over time. Maybe your favourite piece this year is a floral blazer, and next year you decide you hate florals and you're all about the geometrics. That's okay! Stay in tune with what clothing makes you feel amazing (and more importantly, what makes you feel like yourself) and you won't be led astray.