There's no denying that I love fashion and as a result, I've tried countless trends over the years - some more successful than others. With each passing year I slowly but surely honed in on my unique personal style until I arrived where I am today. With this journey in mind, today's post strives to streamline the process that took years into a few simple steps.
STEP 1: GET INSPIRED
When trying to determine your personal style, inspiration is key. Whether that inspiration comes from Pinterest, blogs, magazines, YouTube, relatives or coworkers, it is essential to take in as much as possible and always be on the lookout for standout style. This process should last for the rest of your life, but in the interest of identifying your style you should do this for a bit before moving onto the next part of this step. The next part of this step is to take special note of how the pieces you're drawn to are styled and what specifically about each item you like.
For example, if you save a bunch of outfits featuring white shirts, take note of what you like about those shirts and outfits beyond just the white shirt. Do you like that they're slouchy, or structured? Are you drawn to their rolled sleeves or popped collar? All of these details will help you hone in on the WHY you like something rather than just the WHAT. This step is critical because style is all about how you where something and not necessarily what you're wearing.
STEP 2: REDUCE THE CLUTTER
Once you have tons of inspiration and an idea of the types of looks you want to start wearing, it's time to reduce the clutter. With these inspiration images in mind, evaluate the items in your closet and remove anything that doesn't fit this new direction. If you aren't 100% sure that this new style is what you want to adopt, don't get rid of the pieces entirely, just put them away for the time being.
I did a whole post and video about decluttering your wardrobe without losing your mind that you can see here.
STEP 3: PLAN YOUR LOOKS + WEAR THEM
Now that you've streamlined your wardrobe, you can start to plan outfits that align with your inspiration images. Once you have a few outfits and styling tweaks planned, you can wear them! Wear these outfits in your every day life and as you do your normal activities - go to work, clean the house, hit the grocery store, go out to dinner etc. Do this for a few weeks to get a real feel for how these looks work in your everyday life. This process will help you determine if you're possible personal style is only aspirational or something that you can truly incorporate into your real life.
STEP 4: HONESTLY EVALUATE
After you've worn the looks you set aside for a few weeks, you should honestly re-evaluate them. With a clear focus, be as honest as you can about whether or not your life allows for the looks you've set aside or if they need to be tweaked slightly. For example, if you set out to wear structured blouses and kitten heels but realized that your life is better suited to structured blouses and ballet flats, then tweak your looks accordingly. This step is essential in honing in on a personal style that can be fully implemented into your life and feel like a true extension of you and your personality. True personal style should feel 100% comfortable and lend itself beautifully to your real life.
STEP 5: PERSONALIZE IT
By this point you should have a clear understanding of the looks and styling tweaks that work for you and your individual life. Now comes the fun part - you can personalize the whole thing! In order to do this, take the outfits and styling tweaks that you've honed in on throughout this process and put your own spin on them.
For me, this equates to statement jewelry, silk scarves, structured, classic bags and more so I typically incorporate at least one of these in each of my looks. In fact, I love these pieces so much and wear them so often that my looks just don't feel like me without them.
STEP 6: PICK A UNIFORM
Now that you have an arsenal of looks and personalized styling tweaks that feel like you and work with your life, you can set aside one or more "uniforms." These outfits complete with accessories, hairstyle and makeup will ensure that you always have something to wear that feels like you. This step is particularly useful when you're either running late or can't be bothered to put together a unique look. I'm working on a video all about a few of my own personal uniforms that I hope to share soon.
STEP 7: RE-EVALUATE + HAVE FUN
If you've made it this far you've likely honed in on your personal style! Now, all that's left is to constantly re-evaluate and have fun with the whole thing. Our lives are constantly changing and what you like today may not hold true in a few years so don't feel like you need to lock in a personal style that can never change. Instead, I recommend that you take your wardrobe in whatever direction your life goes and always remember to have fun with it.
As always, I put together a corresponding video that you can view below.