A lot of people struggle with their personal style, but you don’t have to.
Having a personal style communicates that you are comfortable with who you are and confident in your abilities even before you open your mouth. It makes getting dressed easier and saves time all while knowing that with whatever you put on, you will look good.
It changes and morphs into different forms over time, but to be successful at it and pull it off consistently, it has to be all you. Or at least a version of yourself and who you want to become. More on that later.
Here are 5 ways to Find Your Personal Style
1. Consider Your Lifestyle
When designing a collection, I always think first of the customer and their lifestyle. What do they do on a daily/ weekly basis, where do they go? What environment are they wearing the clothes in?
It doesn’t matter if I designed the hottest outfit that anyone has ever seen, if its wool and you live in a warm climate it’s not going to work for you, it’s not practical, the cloths don’t serve their function. Once the function is nailed down (your life and all the activities in it), then the fit and fashion come into play.
List all the activities you are committed to down. Once you have that, you can start to build your wardrobe around each activity. Some will overlap, which is good because you can minimize the amount of clothes that you own when they do.
For example, you may have a 9-5, kids play dates, attend a mosque or church, go to yoga and hang out with family and friends. Occasionally you have to go to weddings or special events. That’s six activities. The trick is to have items that can be interchanged between two or more of them. You may have a blazer for work, but you can pair that with jeans and a t-shirt when hanging out with friends. Choose items that work with multiple pieces in your wardrobe.
2. Dress For Who You Want To Be
Do you choose clothes to blend in so you won’t draw any attention to yourself? Is there an inner struggle between wanting to self-express, but not wanting to be the center of attention?
I’m reading a book now from author and business coach Todd Herman called “The Alter Ego effect”. Which is, in a nutshell, how you show up in life to achieve the goals you want by taking on a persona that inhabits what you feel you need to succeed. Here are two examples of the many he gives
Megastar Beyoncé Knowles used the name Sasha Fierce to step into her Alter Ego onstage. As a young girl growing up in a religious family and singing gospel in the choir at church every Sunday, she started out performing in a conservative and modest environment.
So when she started her pop singing career and was asked to perform dance routines and sing provocative lyrics, it only made sense that it would compete with her existing identity. Creating an Alter Ego to more freely express her creative impulses was a natural part of the process. And I love her use of the name Fierce. It has attitude, which I’m sure she needed in the beginning to express this new identity and be intentional about who was going to show up on that Field of Play.
Superstar basketball player Kobe Bryant chose “Black Mamba” as his Alter Ego on the court. Why? In an interview with the New Yorker, Kobe says that he got the idea for the nickname from Quentin Tarantino’s film Kill Bill, in which the snake, known for its agility and aggressiveness, was used as a code name for a deadly assassin.
“I read up on the animal and said, ‘Wow, this is pretty awesome,’” Bryant recalled. “This is a perfect description of how I would want my game to be.”
The same idea works for clothes. Whose wardrobe do you admire? What about it do you like and what attributes do you think that person possesses? Think of how some of the items will work for you. I’m not saying to copy exactly but adapt the look and make it your own. How? If you like the colors, get some items in those colors. Or if you like the silhouette, it doesn’t have to be the same color or pattern. Accessorize differently so it reflects what you like and your personal style.
3. Size Doesn’t Matter, Dress For The Body You Have Now
Yes, we all think we have body issues, but do we really? You think to yourself “I need to lose weight before I buy anything new”. “I can’t donate that because when I lose weight I’m going to rock that again”.
How long have you been saying this to yourself? If you are not actively on that journey while reading this, give yourself some grace and work with the body you have now, in this present moment. You don’t have to go crazy, just get a few pieces that work for your lifestyle and reflects the style that you know you have.
4. Minimize Your Closet
Now taking into consideration your lifestyle, your body and who you want to be, open your closet door and look to see what you have. Separate what you have worn within the last six months on one side and everything you haven’t on the other side. For seasonal and special occasion items, separate those items by what you’ve worn within the last year.
For the items that you haven’t worn, do they fit into your lifestyle now? Do they portray the person you want to be? Do the clothes fit the body you have now? Are they in good condition? If you answered no to any of these questions pull it out and either donate, sell or trash it.
The items that you have worn in the last six months, look through those and go through the same process. What is it about these clothes that make you want to wear them. Do these items reflect how you see yourself? How you want to be seen? Where you want to be in the next couple of months? If you are working on getting a new job, more clients or a promotion do these clothes make you feel confident that you will achieve your goals? If so keep the ones that work, if not put them to the side to donate, sell or trash.
Once the items that no longer work for you are removed, you probably will notice a pattern of the type of style you like and will have to fill holes of missing items you need.
It’s easier and quicker to dress when there are fewer thing to choose from and you love everything in your closet. Who knew having style can save you time and make feel good!
5. Trust Yourself And Dress With Confidence
You know what you feel and look good in. If you are drawn to something new, try it. You don’t have to go all out the first time. Take baby steps with color, accessories and different silhouettes. Don’t do it all at once. Slowly add to your wardrobe, fill in the missing pieces and get a feel for what you want and what feels good to you. Before you shop, take a look in your closet and look for what’s missing so as to add to existing pieces and enhancing your wardrobe further. This will help eliminate impulse buys that wind up having to go back because they don’t work with anything you have.
I would love to hear from you!
Did any of the items listed here resonate with you? Which one? What is your personal style? If you don’t have one, what struggles do you have creating one?
Let me know in the comments below.