Have you ever had a wardrobe clean-out and thought, “Jeeze! I can sure buy (and horde) some random things!” or “What in the world possessed me to but that?!” Being able to define your own personal style can really help you to avoid wasting any more money on those random, questionable purchases. And it will also give you a sense of confidence, not only when shopping (since you will know immediately what will work and what won’t for you), but in wearing your clothes (since you will know that everything you have on fits you and who you are, or want to be).
So here’s what you need to do…
- Figure out who your fashion icons are – This is where it all starts…the trendsetters. It’s not surprising that our style icons will change as we get older, and that’s okay. But as an adult, you likely have certain celebs you love to see on the red carpet or in candid shots found in Life & Style magazines. Who constantly stands out (in a good way) to you? Who do you always find yourself saying, “Wow, that is a fab outfit! She looks amazing!” about? Who do you find yourself following, pinning, or sharing constantly on social media? Pick your top 5. Those are your fashion icons.
- Figure out what types of styles woo you – There are several categories of styles to choose from: Ladylike, Glam, Classic, Preppy, Boho, Tomboy, Edgy, Casual, and Eclectic. Your fashion icons might hit on several of these categories, or they might all be in one or two. But once you match your icons to the categories you love, you will have a better idea of styles that woo you.
- Take photos of the favorite outfits you own – You know you have them…those go-to outfits. Ones that you know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you can rock. Those outfits that make you feel over-the-moon fabulous and oh-so-confident. These key outfits are the ones that are actually helping you create and define your personal style. They are also a tremendous jumping-off point for building a wardrobe you can love from top to bottom.
- Make a list of fashion items that make you smile – What are those items you are always pinning on Pinterest? Maxi skirts, cropped cardigans, floral prints? What do you constantly gravitate toward in the department store, even if it’s not always feasible to buy? If it’s pricey, expensive shoes, what styles are you drawn to? Chances are there are very similar styles in more affordable lines out there if you look. If you’re always drawn to the high-end designers, what about their pieces speak to you? These days, almost as soon as the models hit the runways at Fashion Week, there are always very comparable pieces put into the stores in all price points. Love that Dolce & Gabbana Poppy & Daisy Print Charmeuse Dress? You’re in luck! There are about a dozen very similar dresses in store for Spring right now. You should be drawn to the style…not the label.
- Do a hard-core cleanout – Once you’ve figured out what you love, and what you have that you love, now you can do a massive closet clean out. This will not only make space for more lovely pieces to come your way, but it helps you to find what your weaknesses are, what’s holding you back from having a solid, confident style. What have you bought but never worn? What have you only worn a few times, but not in months? Do these items fit into the list you made of things that make you smile…or were they impulsive purchases (due to the fact that they were really trendy or really inexpensive)? If you don’t wear it because it doesn’t fit, can it be tailored, would it be worth it?
Just remember, if it doesn’t fit in one of the above categories, then it’s not adding to creating the true story of your personal style. Therefore, purge it, and try to avoid such purchases in the future. You need not spend a ton of money on creating your personal style, but shopping and spending with that style in mind will definitely help to create a clearer picture of the “you” you want to showcase!