In my previous article specifically on style, How to define Style, I made an attempt at defining what style is. In this article let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to find your own personal style.
One of the quotes that defined style the best for me was this one from Gore Vidal: “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”
Style is as much about knowing about yourself as well as knowing what you want to portray. If you are assured of this knowledge, other people’s opinions don’t really matter.
How to find that confidence in yourself and your style
1. Understand your body
Knowledge is power. So the first thing you need to understand is what kind of body you have and what works for you. If you have a good understanding of your body shape and your strengths and weaknesses, you can buy the right clothes to either accentuate or camouflage them. At 40plusstyle.com we work with 5 horizontal body types:
You can identify your body type by going to this page and then follow the guidelines for your specific body type.
You may also like to identify your vertical body type.
Once you have discovered that, you can start thinking about the desired silhouette you want to create and create a balanced outfit.
2. Understand your personality
Write down some words that describe your personality. How would you currently describe it? Do you feel that your style reflects your personality?
Have a look at various different styles. Which do appeal to you most?
3. Which colors inspire you?
Colours can also have a huge effect on your style and how you feel. Understand how certain colours make you feel. You may like to read my article on the psychology of color.
If you don’t use much color in your current style, you may start to experiment a bit by adding bits of colors through accessories and see how these make you feel.
4. Keep a scrapbook or pin the styles that inspire you
Whenever you see others wearing clothes you admire or like, try to get a picture and paste it in a note or scrapbook or pin it on Pinterest.
After a while, you will see a pattern developing of the kind of styles that you like. Take note of that and remind yourself about this style before going for the latest fashionable trend.
5. Be critical of your current wardrobe
Be honest. Which garments in your closet do you REALLY like. How many of the garments have you not worn for a long time. How many were ‘mistakes’. Again, write down what didn’t work. Which clothes make you HAPPY?
Then donate or swap any items that you know don’t really work for you. They may be great pieces, but if they don’t suit YOU or your body type or create the silhouette you are after, you will not look stylish in them. Have a look at my wardrobe editing series and create a wardrobe that you love!
6. Make sure that every item you buy FITS you
I’m sure this happened to you. You see an absolutely wonderful piece of clothing at a rock bottom price. It fits your body, style personality and creates a silhouette you like.
You try it on, but it’s just a little bit too short or too tight. You buy it anyway because the piece is so lovely and it’s cheap.
This is a big mistake. Any clothing that does not fit you properly will never look good on you.
So please beware of sales and only buy new clothes when you really adore them and they fit you properly (or that you can easily alter to fit you).
7. Keep a note book or diary of your outfits or take pictures
You may already pin images or make a scrapbook of clothes that inspire you, but also try to really understand which clothes you actually wear make you feel GREAT!
If you felt wonderful on any particular day wearing a certain outfit, write it down. Or better even, take a picture.
I have found that taking pictures of myself is a great help in recognising which outfits worked and looked good and which ones didn’t. This will help you identify your style and prevent you from making buying mistakes.
8. Try to identify the components of your style and only follow the latest trends when they fit your style
True style defies fashion trends.
Although it is nice to add some trendy pieces each season, you should only go for the trends that suit you. Try to wait for a trend that suits you and then buy several pieces.
9. Make sure your wardrobe contains all the necessary basics for your style
If through all of the above you got a clearer sense of what you like and what suits you, you need to determine if you have the basic essentials necessary for your particular style.
These basics will be different for all of you. Go trhough your inspiration book and determine the absolutely necessary essentials for your style. Here is also what some style experts have to say about your wardrobe essentials.
10. Make your style extra special with the right statement pieces and accessories
Once you have covered the basics of your style, look for some wonderful statement pieces that are truly unique for you. Try to be creative and mix both high and low end brands together. Create something unique!
Accessories are easier to change and it’s also easier to be very creative with them. Invest in a good pair of shoes and choose the perfect hand bag for your style.
If you understand your style well, it may not be necessary at all to have many shoes or handbags.
Rather, you could focus on getting the perfect ones. One of these accessories may become part of your signature style. Something that uniquely defines you.
Let me know if these tips work you for you!
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