How To Find Your Personal Style

By  |  0 Comments

Finding your own sense of style is not only fun – it’s liberating. So today I’m sharing my top tips to discovering your own sense of style.

FINDING YOUR SENSE OF STYLE

If someone asked you to describe your personal style what would you say? This question is often harder to answer than you’d think. We all tend to get dressed without really thinking about what we want our clothes to say about us. Let’s face it, it’s probably because most of us are so busy wearing so many different hats we simply don’t have the time to ruminate on this one for too long. But if we don’t have a clear sense of our own style, fashion becomes a whole lot harder than it needs to be. I really believe the secret to looking fabulous is not about slavishly following fashion trends or trying to look like a supermodel, it’s about finding your own signature style.

While this sounds quite simple, it’s surprisingly tricky to pin point exactly what we want our style to be. And because style is so personal, I’m afraid there’s no magic one-size-fits-all advice I can offer you here. Style comes from within, from knowing who you are and who you want to be, not from following any pre-prescribed trends or wanting to be thinner, taller, prettier or whatever.

But there are a few things you can do to get in touch with your own sense of style. Aussie supermodel Elle Macpherson (who I interview on YouTube here) is a great example of someone with a defined sense of style. She has worn jeans, a white t-shirt, a cashmere jumper and motorcycle boots or ballet flats for 25 years. The only thing that changes is the shape and wash of her jeans and that’s about it. Now I’m not suggesting you clone Elle. I’m just trying to illustrate how easy life is when you understand your own style. Having a good handle on our style personality means we can quickly eliminate the pieces we are drawn to but simply don’t work for us.

This is common a mistake most of us make – just because we like the look of something on a hanger doesn’t mean it will suit our body or our lifestyle. I bet you know exactly what I’m talking about. These are the pieces that we’ve bought with the best intentions but are still hanging in our wardrobe with the tags still attached. We fell for them in the store but because we didn’t have a good sense of our personal style or we hadn’t nailed our capsule wardrobe, they hang alone and unworn until we finally find the courage to notch them up as another fashion faux pas and get rid of them.

So now it’s time to work out our own signature style and discover what we want our clothes to say about us.

Check out my top tips in the short video below.

 

YOUR SIGNATURE LOOK

Personal style can be a bit of an elusive beast. The problem is most of us like a handful of different styles which makes it tricky to pin down a particular look that really speaks to you. Okay you’ll need to put in a little spade work here again but it will be worth the effort.

FINDING YOUR MUSE

Don’t waste your time trying to find a single style icon that defines you. It’s pretty unlikely that one person will tick all of your fashion boxes. But it really helps to work out who your main style influencers are so you can start building a clear picture of your own style. A really simple way to do this is to do a Pinterest search of “style icons” and save images you are drawn too. If you haven’t discovered Pinterest yet, I’d really recommend jumping online and checking it out. It’s a really useful fashion tool but more about that later. Once you start pinning the pictures into your own folder (you can make it private which means it’s for your eyes only) you’ll start seeing a bit of a theme emerging and possibly some repeat people too. The people that keep popping up will become the faces of your personal style set. You can then do a Google search on these individual people and add more of their style pics to your Pinterest folder. What you’re doing is creating style mood board and also creating your very own new look. Also make sure you follow all of your style set’s Pinterest boards to see updates of what they are all wearing. Just remember to keep your feet firmly on the ground when choosing your style mavens. You want to feel uplifted and inspired by their style but you also need to feel that what they are wearing is actually achievable and practical for your body and your lifestyle.

IT’S OKAY TO COPY

I often say there’s no copyright when it comes to fashion. What I mean by this is that even the best stylists and the coolest fashion cats take their fashion cues from the people around them. They may be inspired by images they see in magazines, on runways or simply people they see on the street. A woman I recently styled said she was in awe of one of her work colleagues who always managed to look fabulous. I asked what it was about her style that she most admired and she couldn’t answer. This didn’t really surprise me because we always notice when someone looks great, but what we don’t often do is take it one step further and really break down their outfit into individual pieces. Now this sounds like hard work but it doesn’t have to be. Instead of simply admiring the overall look, take a few extra seconds to cast a fashion eye over the outfit to try and work out why it’s such a winner. 

Even better, take a photo and add it to your own mood board. I have a private style board on Pinterest and I’ll often peruse it for fashion inspiration when I’m feeling a little bit bored with my own wardrobe. I scroll through the pictures I’ve saved and inevitably find a look that I can recreate with clothes I actually already own. It’s a great way to breathe new life into my wardrobe without needing to race out and spend any money. You’ll be surprised how many new fashion options you’ll find on Pinterest – it’s definitely worth the few minutes it will take you to set up online.

LABEL IT

I always think it’s really useful to find a few words that best describe your style. If you can verbalise your look it helps to give you a reference point when deciding on whether something is right for you or not. Pick a few words that describe your style like, ladylike, modern, sporty, edgy, boho, classic. Write these words down as they will help you clarify and define your look. When you are shopping for new pieces ask yourself if the piece you are buying fits those words – it’s all about creating a clear picture in your head of your style.

SNAP YOUR WINNERS

If you put together a great ouLit that makes you feel really good then be sure to take a picture of it and add it to your mood board. It’s so easy to forget some of our fashion creations so this is a great way to keep track of looks you love and it also helps to clarify your true personal style, and can be great inspiration for other outfits.

CHOOSE A SIGNATURE PIECE

Elle Macpherson had her ballet flats, Audrey Hepburn had her cigarette pants and Jackie O had her super-sized sunglasses. All fashionable women own a signature piece or two that become part of their style identity. Yours may be a signature colour, or stripes or a leather jacket or a standout piece of jewellery. Whatever you choose make sure it represents who you want to be and then wear it until you can’t wear it anymore.

PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS

Is there something you always get complimented on? It may be your petite frame, your feminine curves or your great legs. Whatever it is, make sure you take full advantage of your assets and emphasise them with how you dress. Everyone has strengths so find yours and start playing them up.

TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS

It’s easy to lose our style confidence along the way but you (yes you!) actually instinctively know what looks good on you. So remember to trust your instincts. It’s easy to lose touch with what we truly think, believe and feel when it comes to fashion but give yourself credit for knowing what works and let your instincts guide you. You’ve probably already got a great sense of style but may not have had the courage to let it loose. Fashion is about taking a chance and giving things a go. Remember always wear what makes you feel like the best version of yourself.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PERSONALITY & COLOURS

Colour plays a huge part in how you feel in your clothes which is why you need to discover what colours work best for you. Now you can go off and get your colours done professionally but in my experience you can get a really good idea having a bit of a play with colours yourself. Go into a store you feel comfortable in and choose a variety of garments in different colours. You want to select some that are warm, cool, muted, dark and light and test them against your skin and hair. Stand in front of the mirror and hold the different colours up to your face one at time. Natural light is best for this but isn’t always easy to find. After a few minutes you’ll start to see which colours make you look healthy, your eyes sparkle and your skin glow and which colours that don’t. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out truly. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to see what works on you and what doesn’t. You ideally need at least two key colours that really make you look and feel great and a few favourite neutrals to anchor these colours. Remember everyone can wear white too. It’s all about finding the right white for you. Some of us look better in a crisp, clean white and others look better in softer, creamy off-whites. So take a little time to find out what your colours are. You may be surprised to find that some of the colours you like may not be the most flattering colours for you. Approach this process with an open-mind and if you need to, enlist the help of a friend who may be able to be a little more objective than you.

When I style groups of women I take them into a store that has a table of coloured tees or merino tops and place the different colours up to their faces. Usually I don’t have to say a word as the whole group can actually see what works and what doesn’t. Give it a go – I’ll bet you’re surprised with what you discover.

WHEN TO FOLLOW TRENDS

I’ve always believed that true style defies fashion trends. While it’s great to
update your wardrobe with new season pieces, if they don’t suit your style personality or your body type then walk away. Cobalt may be the colour of the
season but if it’s not your colour don’t fall into the trap of buying it because it’s
“in fashion”. Don’t get me wrong I love fashion magazines but I use them to
give me an idea of what trends I can expect to be seeing and from that I can
decide if any of them are right for me. Some seasons you’ll find more will work
for you than others so make sure you read fashion mags with a discerning eye and always refer back to your capsule wardrobe to see if the looks you like work for you or if you actually need them at all before you make any hasty fashion purchases.

Let’s talk style! I’d love to hear your burning fashion questions in the comments below.