The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized having my own style is so important. For years I relied on what was super trendy, and what everyone else was doing and wearing. While that’s not entirely a bad thing to be into trends, it’s important to recognize things you love and feel your best in. And then creating your own style around that. And not the other way around. There’s no need to hire a personal stylist or spend a ton of money to look amazing all the time either. It’s more about finding your true style, and highlighting your body and your best features.
Developing your personal style can definitely be a bit intimidating and overwhelming. It doesn’t come easy to everyone, and it can take time. And your style may change over time and that’s fine! As a matter of fact, I would encourage you to reevaluate your style every so often. To feel more confident in your clothes, and curate a closet that you love, let’s figure out how to create your own style.
How To Create Your Own Style
Knowing your personal style and putting words to it can be challenging. It will take time. While you may start by finding style inspiration and creating a Pinterest board, it may take you shopping and trying new things before you really fine tune everything. Below are a few types of personal styles that you can try to choose from to help narrow things down. Keeping these in mind while approaching the following steps to create your own style can be super helpful. This list isn’t complete, there are obviously tons more you can come up with. But generally speaking, these tend to be the broader overarching style themes. And don’t worry, you don’t have to pick just one. As a matter of fact, I’d recommend picking two or three to help you create your own personal style.
If you were glam 24/7 you may be exhausted with all the color. And if you were sporty 24/7 you’d feel like you’re playing a role or instead just putting on a uniform or costume. But maybe you’re glam and edgy and you mix those things together to create your personal style. And sprinkle in a bit of sporty with an accessory. This is a loose recipe you can use, but can help bring some clarity.
Looking at the below list, I can narrow things down with hard no’s. I’m definitely not preppy, glam or romantic. Instead, I feel like I’m a more casual minimalist, with a touch of edge and boho at times. Sprinkling in a few types of style in a larger category is how you can create your own style. Now let’s figure out what yours is and narrow it all down and start to figure out your style words.
Types Of Personal Style
Glam – Romantic – Casual – Minimalist – Classic – Sporty – Feminine – Preppy – Edgy – Sexy – Bohemian
Look For Style Inspirations
Browse Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest and start saving all the things from fashion icons to style influencers. Start to follow your favorites too. See what it is you like visually. While I love to see really fun glam looks, it took some time to know that just wasn’t for me to wear. I can respect the style, but I don’t feel my best in it. But this is part of the process! Once you really find your favorite style icons to follow on social, you’ll continue to be inspired.
Create A Pinterest Board
I really like to create a Pinterest board as it’s easier to visually see everything. Plus, Pinterest will recommend similar content based on what you’ve saved helping you to narrow things down. This will allow you to start to see trends happening from the content you’re saving. More likely than not, your board will eventually start to have a bit of a theme to it. There may be some outliers, but overall, you should start to see a trend. That’s going to be your major over-arching style trend. The outliers may be those little details you add to your style.
Assess Your Current Wardrobe
Now let’s take a look inward at what we own. I can’t recommend enough getting a clothing rack and taking out EVERYTHING in your closet so you can see it. Go through your closet and do KonMari (read my tutorial here) so you’re left with things you love. Now I want you to go a step further and start putting outfits together. I talk about this in my how to get out of a style rut post here. This will allow you to assess your wardrobe and mix and match outfits. It also will help you get a sense of your style and what looks you feel great in.
Take note of these feelings and toss the items that don’t make you feel good. You’ll start to see a trend happening. Are you leaning more towards minimal pieces? Are you making lots of outfits you love in boho dresses and tops? Maybe you find yourself gravitating towards bold fun colors. Take photos of your favorite looks and you’ll soon see consistency in your photo album on your phone.
Find Your Colors
I did a color assessment with Created Colorful and I can not tell you how much this has affected my wardrobe. This is the process of finding your skin undertones and which colors look best on you. Some colors wash people out, while others bring out your natural glow. By doing this process, you can get a better idea of what to shop for and what to avoid. While all colors can potentially work, it just helps to narrow things down. I buy more of my colors now, instead of trying to make things like bright red work for me. I just find that I’ll never wear it.
Try New Styles, Go SHOPPING
I think the best thing you can do is go out and try on all the things. Go into stores and ask a stylist to help you pull outfits. That’s their job! Doing this step will help get you out of your comfort zone. Which is truly key to figuring out your own personal style. Maybe you never really tried blazers with denim and turns out you look great in neon colors and really love the look. These are major details of personal style! I know trying on clothes can feel daunting and exhausting at times, but I truly believe this is the most important step.
You are not going to figure out your personal style or change your closet by buying a couple of things online because you think they’re cute. Because once you have a better idea of your own style, you’ll shop with intention and build a wardrobe that you love.
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Accentuate Your Best Features And Embrace Your Body Shape
While you’re shopping make sure you’re embracing your body shape and also accentuating your best and favorite features. This will allow your personal style to shine through naturally too. It’s totally okay to have insecurities, hey we all do. But that’s no reason to avoid clothes altogether. But it also shouldn’t be a reason to not at least try things out. Dressing for your body type is key to creating flattering looks and a closet that serves a purpose for you. This can also help you narrow down styles. Do boho styles make you feel gross? Do you feel like a slob in athleisure? Then these aren’t your style words. And that’s okay! We don’t have to embrace them all. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t!
I’d encourage you to try new things as you may be relying on specific styles over and over again to hide certain features. There very well could be better solutions and tricks to minimizing your insecurity and accentuating something you love about yourself. And these can all help to round out your personal style.
Include Multiple Style Types When Getting Dressed
Now that you are starting to narrow down your personal style types or descriptive words, keep these in mind when getting dressed. There’s probably going to be one main theme with one or two others sprinkled in. By always having those few style words reflected in your look, you’ll start to create your own personal style. Plus, this will help you feel more consistent too with your outfits. I know I have a tendency to one day feel really trendy and 90’s grunge, and then the next day I’m in a feminine summer look. But if you remember to sprinkle in a few of your style words when pulling outfits together, you’ll feel less like you’re going from one extreme to the next, and instead falling within a style range that reflects your now well-defined personal style.
Use The 80/20 Rule
I think a good rule of thumb here is to keep things roughly 80/20. Keep 80% of your outfit mostly your main style word, and sprinkle in 20% of the 1-3 that reflect your personal style. This works both ways too if you want to wear something that is maybe outside of your usual vibe but you want to style it in such a way that feels true to your personal style. 80% of your entire look should be one type of style (preppy, glam, minimal etc), and sprinkle in 20% of your complimentary style words.
Let’s take a really feminine dress for example. This will account for 80% of your outfit. Then add in your complimentary styles (let’s say you like casual and minimalist). Add in a casual white sneaker and sleek minimal crossbody bag and minimalist belt. This is how I would tackle wearing a feminine piece since it’s not my main style word. But adding in the 20% of what I usually love and wear helps to balance it out.
Create A Capsule Wardrobe
Now that you’re starting to find your sense of style, you can begin to build a capsule wardrobe with these words in mind. A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of great basics that you can rotate through to mix and match to create multiple looks. These should be the core pieces of your closet. For me, it’s a lot of jeans and t-shirts with a few easy third-piece layers. Plus a few dresses or pants to round it all out. Once you’ve sort of figured out those descriptive words to define your style, you can even just Google those words + capsule wardrobe. And voila, lots of ideas will pop up. I even have a few capsule wardrobes you can browse. Check some of them out below.
To give you an idea of how wildly different these capsule wardrobes may look based with your style words, let me give you a few other examples. If you chose preppy style, you’d probably build a capsule wardrobe with button-downs, collared shirts, crewneck sweaters, trousers, slim jeans. You’ll probably see a lot of neutral colors and stripes too. If you were edgy, your capsule wardrobe may include graphic tees, silk slip dress, combat boots, leather jackets and lots of blacks and greys throughout.
Have A Signature Element
I think everyone should include a signature piece or element to their looks. This can truly be a signature haircut or hairstyle, or lipstick color. For me, it’s my gold jewelry. Never without it. And this adds a bit of personality and special touch to every look. I’m also always wearing red nail polish and a red lip usually. These are little style elements that make an outfit feel more interesting and special to you.