Developing your personal style is most definitely a journey. I don’t even want to look back at some of my old pictures before I discovered what worked for me! Major Embarrassment, party of one. Needless to say, I know how difficult it can be. I also know how easy it is to get caught up in what you may feel you’re “supposed” to wear. Trends and fads are easy to adopt but hard to feel like your own. That’s why it’s very important to find what works best for you. These tips will help you center yourself, figure out what you like, and ultimately help you create a personal style that is as unique as you are.
Find Your Inspiration
The only way to truly get started is to jump right in. When it comes to developing your personal style, look to others. When you scroll through Instagram or TikTok, who stands out to you? Of your favorite TV shows or movies, whose outfits do you ooh and aww the most? Look at what they are wearing – does it make you want to buy something similar?
The best way to start honing in on what your personal style could be is to simply look at what other people are already doing and wearing. It makes the process ten times easier because it doesn’t involve you buying anything. As you start to determine the general framework of your style, you can then draw inspiration from those who may fit the mold. If you can look at something wearing an oversized tee and slouchy pants, and you can definitively say that you don’t like how it looks, GREAT! You have just started weeding through some options.
Determine How You Want to Look
I highly recommend downloading the LikeToKnow.It app specifically for this reason. This app is designed for people who love to window shop, hone in their personal style preferences, and ultimately look for product recommendations from creators they trust or admire for their fashion. You can even follow me on the app for daily looks to see if my style fits your preferences.
Next, establish a general description of how you want to look. Are you more casual, or more corporate? Do you prefer pants or skirts? Do you like bright colors or muted tones? This will help you to set the foundation of your unique style. Try to articulate this style into words too. Choose words that paint a picture of the way you want to feel in your clothes. If you can, write them down and do a bit of a mind map. If you can do this then you will soon find that you are able to come up with powerful adjectives that form the image you are trying to create. Want a unique idea? If you have a denim jacket, you can even buy a Bernina sewing machine to create your own embroidered patches.
Build a Visual Guide of Your Personal Style
I am constantly using the Save Post function on Instagram for exactly this reason. Even though I have a good sense of my personal style, I still am continually developing it. And when I see a cute outfit either from a creator or a brand, I save it. I may never buy that same exact thing, but it helps me visualize something similar when I shop my favorite stores and while I thrift.
Creating a collection of images that reflect your sense of style is very important. Another great resource to browse and save outfits other than the LikeToKnow.It app is Pinterest. Pinterest is a great platform and the algorithm is great if you want to learn your preferences and come up with personal recommendations. The great thing about doing this is that it helps you to come up with a good idea of what you think works and what doesn’t. That way you can go on to create a solid vision for what personal style you want to adopt in the future.
Know What Works for YOU
Easier said than done right? After you have done all this browsing, saving, and people watching, it’s time to start taking action. This doesn’t have to mean buying anything and everything you see. But it is time to spend some time in the dressing room. Start trying on those things that you think work well for your body type and your personal preferences. Better yet, many stores offer great refund policies. For budget-friendly shopping, Shein is a good option. And for higher quality, try Nordstrom or Nordstrom Rack. Both brands have phenonmenal return policies that I have used multiple times. Sometimes what works on the model won’t work on you and that’s ok. Or something you thought would be right up your alley ends up feeling wrong when it’s finally on your body.
I also frequently shop at thrift stores to keep my wardrobe sustainable as well as cost-friendly. The only downside of thrift stores is that more often than not, you can’t try on the clothes. This is where your knowledge of your sizes needs to really be honed in on. If you can go in to a thrift store feeling confident about what will fit you and what won’t, you will dominate your personal style game!
Finish Developing Your Personal Style
If you start this journey with an honest assessment and put the work in to develop your personal style, you will be shocked at how well your closet will start to come together. Remember to reflect on the times when you have felt empowered. What were you wearing? What made you feel good? Because at the end of the day, your wardrobe should be an extension of who you are. It should showcase your features and it should also add to your personality. If you can acknowledge what has been serving its purpose and what hasn’t, this will help you to make better choices in the future!