Just as life doesn’t seem to have any inherent meaning, until you find your purpose, so also you will never feel comfortable wearing anything until you find your style.
My journey to personal style wasn’t easy. I wore different clothes – athleisure wear, body-hugging miniskirts, pants, and shorts – yet nothing ever seemed to fit; nothing could quite satisfy my taste until I finally figured out my style.
It is frustrating to look in the mirror and get enamored with this awful (argh!) feeling; you feel like, “what’s this hideous thing I’m wearing? I look like a moron”.
The solution, as I mentioned earlier, is knowing your personal style..
What is personal style?
Let’s start by clarifying the word “Style”; What is Style? Style isn’t just the way you dress, it is the overall way you talk, walk, and carry yourself.
Hence, your Personal Style, as the name suggests, is the way you express yourself with fashion – your aesthetic choices, the way you wear your accessories, clothing, and hairstyles; how you talk, poise, and even your demeanor.
Earlier I talked about my journey into personal styling, which was frustrating at first. The thing was, whenever I wore a bold look, everyone seemed to compliment the look, yet deep inside me, I knew that wasn’t the way I wanted to appear – I knew something was missing (I wasn’t feeling like I was expressing myself – it just wasn’t my style).
So, I started looking for ways to get my satisfaction. I looked up fashion magazines, models on runway shows, celebrities, blogs, vlogs, and influencers until I found my style. From then on, it was all sunshine and rainbows in my wardrobe.
How to find your personal style
These are the surefire ways I’ve discovered that can help you find your style in no time.
1. Get to Know Your Body Shape
This is the first and most significant step. Know your body shape and how to dress for it. This will help you avoid a lot of fashion mistakes.
You can’t have a pear shape and wear clothes designed for hourglass shapes – although the body shapes are similar, they are not always compatible.
Have in mind that some clothes are better admired than worn. If you know your body shape you will know those to admire and own.
2. Find fashion inspirations online
You can get inspiration from movies, magazines, influencers, celebrities, fashion shows, and street styles. The internet is a vast place, with limitless fashion inspirations.
Observe people who have your body shape, look at what they wear, and draw inspiration from them. I love using Pinterest because you get to pin images you love on the board and get related ideas recommended for you.
But you may also find inspiration on other platforms like Tiktok, or Instagram. By gathering inspiration you can create mood boards for different events. If you are traveling.
If you are wondering where to start looking for inspiration, you can check out our Thefashionassaultnaija Instagram page.
If you have a casual style you should search for keywords related to it. For example, “jeans” or “t-shirt” are good keywords to search for on whatever platform you are using.
Look at skirts, jewelry, shoes, and other items you like. They can be outfits that you already own or ones you have seen people wear.
If you do this you will hardly waste money on clothes you won’t ever wear. This method will help you know what to replicate and what to just admire.
Note that not every element you find in your inspiration will work for you.
3. Create mood boards
After using relevant keywords to search for inspiration, weed through them to your taste. Once you’re done curating, ask yourself.
Does this dress have a certain silhouette?
Is there a certain combination these dresses have?
Pick out a few of those pieces and make a mood board out of them. You can easily use Canva to create a mood board. All you need to do is find the mood board template, then start adding relevant photos to it.
4. Evaluate your best and worst outfits
Think about the outfits that made you feel confident and the ones that made you feel hideous.
Think about why those outfits made you feel that way.
Was it the slit, statement hand, handbag, or jewelry? You can also think about the color, the silhouette, or the way the pieces were put together.
The aim of the exercise is to figure out which to add and which to remove from your wardrobe.
5. Purge and organize
When you are done evaluating the next step is to purge and organize your closet.
Some relevant question to ask as you edit include
- Is this dress my size?
- Is it damaged?
- Is it a duplicate item?
- Would I purchase this item again?
- Does it have a purpose?
- Have I worn it before?
- Is it sentimental?
When organizing, make sure everything has a place in your closet. Arrange your clothes in a way you can easily tell where to find a certain kind of piece..
Remember, the more you can see things the quicker you get dressed.
Also, remember to set aside the clothes that need to go to the tailor. You don’t need to buy new items simply because the one you have is missing a button or zipper.
6. Shop with Intention
Buy only clothes you need. Look for the items you have previously curated and purchase them in their order of importance. Don’t get the same pair of jeans when you already own one.
Rather than buying the same jeans in a darker shade, opt for other jeans. If your style is casual, and you already own a pair of boyfriend jeans you can try getting a straight-leg jean, rather than a different shade of boyfriend jeans..
Shop for specific items that you have already drafted out. Whether you are shopping online or offline.
As a rule of thumb, if you can’t visualize wearing it in 3 ways, don’t buy it.
7. Be confident about your style
Know you can’t be anyone else except yourself. Put on clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Your style represents who you are – hence, letting what other people think define what you wear is the same as letting others define who you are.
There is even a quote that says, “Dress how you want to be addressed”. Be confident about the clothes you wear. Don’t copy someone else’s style. Research, try out, and research some more.
“Confidence. if you have it, you can make anything look good” – Diane von Furstenberg
Take 20 minutes to try out 3 outfits every day. This tip is helpful because it helps you know beforehand what works with a particular item, so that when you are in a rush, you won’t feel extra pressure in deciding what to wear.
You can try this tip with background music so it doesn’t feel like a chore. You can also Picture a place you want to explore and practice like you are going there.
You will know you’ve found your style when you feel confident, happy, and proud of your choices. And if you follow the steps I have written above you will enjoy dressing up.
“Personal style is accepting who you are” – Diane von Furstenberg