If you have clicked on this article, chances are you like clothing, having fun with your outfits on the daily, but you are also a bit lost. Maybe you feel like the way you dress is all over the place, maybe you are unsatisfied with your wardrobe, and you do not feel like it reflects your personality or what you want to project to the world. Have no fear, we are here to remedy that and help you find your personal style.
Start off with what you already have in your closet: lay out all the clothes that you own and identify which pieces you like and which ones you do not, and why. What pieces do you keep reaching for and why? What pieces on the contrary do you dislike? Perhaps it is a question of fit, color, or cut. Keep those elements in mind.
They will come in handy when you try to find people whose outfits you like. This is a fun step, in which you can go explore profiles on Instagram, Pinterest, your favorite fashion websites or street style blogs to see what style you gravitate towards. Try to analyze why you like a certain person’s style, or an outfit: is it a specific style? Such as preppy, girly, edgy, chic, more casual, boyish, androgynous. Are you attracted by certain colors? For instance, do you prefer neutral ensembles, or printed clothing, all black or colorful outfits? Finally, are there precise pieces of clothing that you keep coming back to: like skirts, dresses, pants or statement shoes?
Create a mood board using images you find online or in printed magazines to have a visual rendition of the elements you like. This will help them stand out more clearly for you and will be useful inspiration when you will come up with your own outfits later on.
From there, identify five pieces of clothing that would constitute the basis of your wardrobe. In other words, choose the five essentials of your style.
Go find those five pieces by shopping, borrowing or repurposing your clothes. Finding your style does not mean you have to buy new clothes, you can try borrowing clothes from family members or friends to see how you feel in them, buy in vintage stores, or online secondhand shops, or do diy projects to give a second life to your clothes and make them fit your style.
If you decide to shop for new things, respect a few rules: shop with a purpose. You do not need ten new jackets to have your own style. A few, precise pieces of clothing can go a long way. Also do not buy things simply because they are cheap, just because a t-shirt is 70% off does not mean you need it in your wardrobe, nor that you really like it. Instead, buy things you can imagine yourself wearing long term, not because they are inexpensive or on trend. Find clothes that are good quality, and that would be easy to wear with the things you already own. As you become more aware of your style, it will be easier to shop efficiently and know which items fit your style or not.
Experiment. If there are clothes you like on others but think you could never pull off, try them on regardless. You might be surprised how something looks once it’s worn, rather than on a rack. Also, try going shopping with a person whose opinion you trust, and whose taste you like, and have them pick out things they think would look good on you. Sometimes this can be a nice way to try on things you would never dare to choose for yourself, but that actually feel great.
Remember, your style does not have to be one clearly identifiable thing, you can change it up on different days. You do not constantly have to wear dresses, or elegant ensembles: some days you might reach for baggy jeans and a loose t-shirt and that will still be you.
Article by Inès Huet