How can I get my own personal style? How do I find my signature fragrance/accessory/color/whatever? How do I break from the stereotypes that the media feed me and find my own voice?Especially when it comes to younger girls (but not only), it is easy to not think much and just let yourself go. Someone else will do the thinking and tell you how you're supposed to look, how your clothes should be, etc. We are often guilty of this, when we stereotype others and their style as goth, preppy or anything really (just look at the poll on the right!)
No one's personal style fits into only one category. Some fit no category at all! But it is easier to separate things (and people!) into boxes and if we find ourselves in the box, we'll slowly lose our own identity and just become part of something bigger.
This phenomenon is easy to observe is high-schools. You'll often see someone dressing to fit in a certain group. They will tell you it's their own style but since no two people are alike, s/he actually absorbed the group's style and claimed it as it's own.
Like a goth kid who doesn't put this own spin into "goth style" or a preppy girl dressing just like the mannequins at the store, there are lots of people who have no personal style but are still stylish. It's someone else's mind creating those looks though.
Think about yourself carefully and answer some questions to better know who you are and what should you wear to express that.
Write it down, seriously. In a notebook or just some loose paper, write it down!
- Describe yourself in terms of where you are in life, where that came from and where you want to be. Are you a curious students seeking adventure? Do you want to grow into a sophisticated woman or do you want to keep a child-like joy and pep indefinitely?
- List your personal values. Think about whether you value more hard-work or results, people who give ideas or the ones that do stuff, is career or family more important? In sum: what do you value in other people and yourself?
- Picture your ideal partner. If you already have a S.O. try to ignore their characteristics for this exercise to work. Don't be afraid to be specific. Do you want someone tall? With good teeth? Someone laid-back or with a more structured way of life? Someone who likes long walks on the beach or that thinks romantic movies are kind of stupid? It's your call, choose whatever traits you find important. Try to list physical and mental traits, and try to imagine what this person would dress like. This will come in handy later
- Picture your future/ideal self. Do the exact same exercise but for yourself within a couple of years. Then try to imagine how this person would dress.
- Look at the girl in the image. Write down what you think of her and why do you think that. Then look at her again and pinpoint which aspects of her appearance made you think which things about her. Clothes communicate with the outside world and sometimes they are not telling other what you think they are.
This week, try to wear the simplest outfits you can. Jeans and a white button down or chinos with a gray sweater. Just as basic as you can get. If you lack the things you think are basic, go shopping for them. But take into account that the lists of basics you find online may not be the best for your personal style. Think about why that piece is an essential and how it would be useful to you.
Example: a black/navy blazer is a basic that comes up a lot in both men's and women's basics lists. However it is too stuffy for my personal life. I do own a casual blazer but it's brown plaid and not very versatile.
The purpose of this basic is to add a layer that makes you more polished and put together in a color that goes with most if not all things. I don't own such a piece yet.
So I'll go shopping for a casual jacket in solid navy or black that makes me more put together! (I ended up with a black military-style jacket that I use in place of a blazer. It makes a tee and jeans look much better and it's a basic that goes with pretty much everything I own)
You are free to add your flair to these simple outfits with some accessories but try not to, or keep it to a minimum. You'll find it harder to communicate who you are with your clothes when you wear super plain outfits.
This will help you better communicate with your own self, rather than a "barrier" caused by clothes. If the way people treat you changes, think about the message you may have been sending with your previous clothes and if/how you'd like to change it
Write down your outfits, if/what you added as personal flair, how it made you feel, what do you think you were saying with that outfit and other people's reactions.
Feel free to comment with questions or just sharing how your personal style journey is going so far.
Do you already have a personal style? What did you find most challenging along the way?
Are you still looking? What was/is your style like? What are you finding difficult in finding your style voice?
I'm dying to hear from you all!