In this little series on wardrobe planning, I have already discussed the wardrobe essentials and how you can create a wardrobe capsule. But how do you really plan a wardrobe? And how can you make sure that you have a wardrobe that you absolutely love?

I believe that the key to getting a wardrobe you truly love is knowing and understanding your style, that fits your personality.

I have written about this topic before

  1. How to define style
  2. How to find your style
  3. What is your signature style
  4. How to discover your style statement

In addition, I have recently been doing another online course and I can’t wait to tell you about that, as it completely incorporates you personality into finding  and incorporating your style. For now I will tell you about my journey with the style statement book.

Finding out more about you and your style through the style statement

I have recently completed the process of finding my style statement and today I will go into a bit more detail on how I found the process and my findings.

You may want to read my style statement article first to learn more about the process in general, but here is a quick overview. The style statement is all about trying to discover your personality and passions in life and then summarising that in 2 words: you fully expressed. There are a LOT of questions you will need to answer, which tend to get very personal. With those the authors are trying to get to the essence of your personality.

As you start answering those questions, you will need to do your own review after each chapter. Which words keep coming up? Which feel important to you? What pattern do you see?

Once you have completed all the questions, you go back to those reviews of your own answers and write down the words that have the most meaning to you or the ones that jump out, the ones that move you. Then you start looking for some synonyms for these words. In the end you will have to pick the 2 words from all these words that will become your style statement.

From the book: “Your first word describes your inner foundation, which is your essence. Your second word describes your creative edge, which is connected to your outer image and persona.  Your foudation word works as your basics do. Your creative edge works as your accessories do. It is the special twist that brings things to life.” But note that the 80/20 principle applies here: “80% of the outcome is created from just 20% of the input“.

My style statement

Unfortunately, nothing really ‘hit’ me as I know it can do for some people. I didn’t feel any of the foundation words was a perfect fit. The closest one that I found is “modern”, but I also liked ‘contemporary’, ‘design’ and ‘genuine’. This is not unusual either as sometimes you just need more time to find the perfect fit. For now I’m staying with modern and this is what the book describes modern means:

Foundation word: “Modern / modernist”

Spirit: “Modern is an idealist and visionary. They are aware of what’s been popular or effective throughout generations, cultures and industries. They predict change; they follow change; and they revere the innovators who have come before them. They are attracted to what works. Modern believes that the greatest concepts, designs and theories are timeless and thus aspires to have or make things that are current and relevant but that will be useful end enduring. They like to have an impact. They want to be in style and in sync with what’s happening and get anxious if they fall out of the loop or out of touch with what’s going on – on personal and social levels – and can become a bit preoccupied with what’s cool. Modern strives to be at the top of their game. They are pragmatic risk takers, calculating but capable of taking an unexpected turn if they are something appealing and potentially wonderful in the distance.”

Look and feel: “Avant-garde, metropolitan, contemporary, clean, streamlined, more negative space than positive. Unique, a bit edgy, noticeable.

Of course it will be clear to you that the look and feel description doesn’t completely fit with how I dress. But your words don’t necessarily have to represent what you are now. They can also represent who you really are or what you want to become. Sometimes they can reflect a part of you that hasn’t fully developed yet.

Although not everything in the spirt description applies to me, a lot of what is described does fit me and resonates with me. What it means for me currently is that I want to focus more on designed clothing and on what’s different (so no more cheap wardrobe capsules!). I feel I want to focus more on less clothing, but more special. Exceptionally designed. I have been able to do this in my house, I feel, but have not quite succeeded with my clothes. Yet. But from the description, you can also see where the need to be current and ‘on trend’ comes from…

Creative edge word: “Freedom”

This is a word that has many meanings to me and a word I always come back to. I’m not quite sure yet, what it means in terms of style, but one way to look at it is that I want to express myself in the way that I want. I want to be free to do what I like, what I love. Free from what others think. Free to make my own decisions. Freedom also means comfortable to me. No restrictions.

So there you have it my style statement: Modern Freedom.

This is brand new to me, so I will need to see how this feels with regard to my life and style.

As mentioned I’m doing a different analysis at the moment as well, so I’m going to throw that in the mix of understanding myself and my style too. I’m finding it an interesting experience that gives more clarity and understanding about myself and my style. Once you do that, creating the perfect wardrobe will be easy.

Stay tuned as I will be sharing it with you soon and hopefully you will go on this discovering your style journey with me.

Have you discovered things about your own style recently? Do you like to analyze your style or are you already perfectly happy with the way things are?

UPDATE: I have made the process of finding your style a whole lot easier for you now! I created the 21 Steps to a More Stylish You style course. In 21 days you will understand so much more about your own body, personality and style and will know what you need to do to take it to the next level. Find out more and get instant access!

Photo: Dior Haute Couture Photograph by Patrick Demarchelier ©



Sylvia is 40+style’s editor-in-chief and has been helping women find their unique style since 2011. An alumni of the School of Color and Design, she is devoted to empowering women of any age to look and feel their best. Read more about Sylvia and 40+style on this page.

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