Creating a wardrobe you love and fits your personality

by Sylvia

Finding your style and personality

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 ©


{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lisa

This is a really interesting approach. I apply a very methodical approach to work, organization and other projects, but never thought to apply such a concept to personal style. Great advice and I am going to be watching as you take this project on to see if you like it.

Love that picture above too…absolutely stunning!


2 Sylvia

Thanks Lisa. It’s all about expressing with you clothes (and all other facets in your life), who you are. I think that’s important. The better you understand you and your taste, the better you will feel and look. More coming soon…


3 Suzanne

I tend to resist “labels” (especially when it comes to fashion) but for the first time, while reading this article, I “get” what you are trying to do. I had a break-through moment when you said “I have been able to do this in my house”. We had our home built 10 years ago and I had to work with so many designers as you must make a decision about each and every paint color, wallpaper, floor covering, fixture, and appliance. Then you do window treatments and furniture. We also have a small but good art collection. I had to bring a decorator in to help me put all of my choices together in a complimentary way. When it was finished she told me it was “Eclectic Elegance” and I remember thinking that was a perfect description. Those words might apply to my wardrobe too. I have many types of clothing for the various activities in my life but all of my outfits need to be polished and have a certain level of sophistication. I plan each detail from head to toe even for sporting events. This has really given me something to think about.


4 Sylvia

I don’t think the style statement will label you. I believe it’s more a personal expression of yourself that will help you with your choices and being true to yourself. The other program does put you in a ‘box’ a bit, but I find it amazing how much of that ‘box’ seems to be correct. I understand that this analyzing may not be for everyone though. Thanks for reading and staying open for the topic though. I really believe that the women that do, will get something out of it!


5 Suzanne

I am so much more open to this idea now. I am really looking forward to taking the “test” you are going to tell us about. It was linking the style statement to our home decor that truly made me aware of how important this could be. I like the style of many homes in my neighborhood but some are quite different from mine and that is cool. We all have our own unique taste and often when I am in a friend’s home I think of how much it reflects her personality. Everything we do can be a reflection of who we are.


6 Tangobabe

Very true, Suzanne. I often say to people: “If you see my home, you see me.” My home tells you better who and what I am, then I could put into words myself;-)


7 Sylvia

Yes, that is exactly what the style statement aims to achieve….


8 Heather Fonseca

Oh I love this kind of stuff! I’m pretty decisive, but I do love all sorts of things and have purchased many things I love but never wear. I always wonder why this is. Perhaps the book will tell me?
I’ll have to check it out!


9 Sylvia

I feel the same way. This kind of book just gives you more clarity and understanding about yourself. It’s very well written too. Will share a test soon that will help a lot as well!


10 Tangobabe

Interesting, Sylvia, and another example of your analytic and researching approach of fashion and style. You’re very good at that!

I did not read the book, but after a quick scan on the web I saw the style terms: Creative, Bohemian and especially Cherished Playfull coming along. If I were to read the book and do the tests, I would expect to end up in that direction.

I guess that I am fortunate to have never really searched for my style or wardrobe creation. I see, I like, I buy…and when I come home what I have bought combines and fits magically with other items in my wardrobe. That also means that I usually do not buy ‘sets’ or ‘combinations’, but just loose items. The matching and combining takes place at home, in my wardrobe.

If I do a bad buy, which happens for sure, it usually has to do with too small or too big.

Looking forward to your follow ups on this topic!


11 Sylvia

Glad you find this interesting, despite being quite sure of your style. I find it is very interesting to match the personality to someone’s style and vice versa. I think it’s very important to understand someone’s personality when advising them on style as well. Plus for many people it can save a lot of frustration and money. I think you will still enjoy doing that test I will share shortly, as it does not only help with your style but general understanding of yourself and others as well!


12 Anja van der Vorst

Looking forward to that!


13 Tracey

I did the phone session with Carrie to come up with my style statement of timeless freedom. I take this to mean I like timeless/traditional pieces paired with something a bit free and different that reflects my mood/personality/whim of that day. The example is best shown in my dream house, which is a 2 storey traditional porch house on a tree lined street. But inside it is open, modern and full of unique pieces from a variety of eras.


14 Anja van der Vorst

Nice interpretation of the two words and nice translation into your dream house; I see how this works!


15 Kim,USA

Hi Sylvia,

I am teaching catechism at church and next week will be our last week. We decided after our last day/hour of teaching we are going to dine out. What I am going to wear that is appropriate to wear at school and I can also wear it at night (for dinner). I love high heels so include that too ^_^ Any suggestions? ^_^


16 Sylvia
17 Nanne

Great post, Sylvia! I’m still working on finding my personal style, and I think it’s quite difficult! There are so many styles that I like, but it seems like many of the styles I like the best, are those who suit my bodyshape and lifestyle the least:) I know that I mostly prefer a somewhat classic, simple style and neutral colors, but at the same time I also like trendier styles and some brighter colors. And sometimes when I feel that I finally got it together, I see a new style that I love and it makes me feel that I was off on the wrong track. I guess it’s all about finding out how to combine elements from the various styles that I like:)

I did start reading the Style Statement, but I haven’t had the time to really sit down and do the exercises, I should probably do that.


18 Sylvia

I have the same thing Nanne! I like it all. Perhaps that’s a good thing, but I like more consistency. Yes, the style statement takes some time, but it does teach you about yourself (and not just your style).


19 Greetje

I would like to do the exercise, but I am already spending too much time on your blog. There are 8 (!) thick glossy (fashion) magazines waiting for me to read. But I spend all my free time on this blog…. So I will not do the exercise yet. The description of the word Freedom hit a nerve. That is a very deep basic thing with me. I need a lot more feeling of freedom than most people.
I do know myself pretty well, which is reflected in the clothes that I buy. Which does not mean, that I want to keep it this way. I go for different clothes that stand out. Which, brings on the problem that all pieces compete for attention. Therefore you cannot combine them. Very unhandy. In future I want to go for simpler items. But of such good material and design, that the quality of the pieces make the difference. And more interacting with each other. As for my house: it is very colourful. But that is just one side of me. I could have decorated it in 5 different ways and be happy with each one.


20 Sylvia

Thanks for being on my blog Greetje. It’s fun having you here! I will feature another test soon, which will not be that time-consuming. I think you would love it!


21 Petra

This is so interesting. I think “freedom” is a good word. It can mean a freedom from people’s opinions of your own personal style. But what to do if one puts on (quite a bit of) weight (through medication) and a “style” one likes does not work anymore, and one is terribly confused and sick of clothes shopping? :-/


22 Sylvia

I think that your personality will stay the same and therefore also your style. You may need some help as to how you can apply that style to your changed body. Once you find that, I’m sure you will enjoy shopping again, so you can look your best! Good luck.


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