When you hear the words “define your personal style” do you think of sessions with a professional stylist? Truth is, you can figure out your own personal style. Even if you’re not interested in following fashion trends, you have a certain style, simply because you choose the clothes that you wear. So why not make it the most flattering, comfortable, appropriate style for your lifestyle and personality?
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Why Define Your Personal Style?
1. It will help you understand where you are now, and where you want to be. For example, you may have a classic closet full of tailored neutrals, but you may want to make it more romantic by adding more floral silk pieces.
2. You’ll look and feel better, knowing that you’ve made choices that fit your lifestyle. As much as we love to emulate our favorite celebrities, most of us don’t eat, travel, shop or live as they do!
3. You’ll shop more efficiently and effectively. Next time those clearance sales tempt you to buy something, you’ll know exactly what to do!
When you define your personal style, it doesn’t mean that you have to restrict yourself to a certain style category. Your style will evolve over time. You may also choose several style categories, based on the various aspects of your lifestyle. For example, you may have a classic closet for the office, and an athletic one for your weekend biking trips, and a romantic one for date nights.
How To Define Your Personal Style
1. Start by thinking about where you spend most of your time, and what you need to wear there. The majority of your closet should reflect what you need daily. For example, as a stay-at-home-mom with young kids, you may want a casual (easy-to-wash, stretchy, and comfortable) closet with some athletic options for your workouts.
2. If you could have the dream closet, what would it look like? Add a few “dream pieces” to your closet each year. If your current style is classic but you wish you could be a style icon or influencer, then save up for an investment handbag or Jimmy Choo shoes. You can absolutely mix old with new, designer pieces with budget ones.
3. Most brands/retailers fit into one or two style categories, so pick a few that work for your style and budget. For example, if you like a classic look, try Club Monaco (more expensive) or Banana Republic (less expensive.)
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Consider becoming a cardholder or “insider” for your favorite brands to get early access to sales, free shipping, and other perks. You’ll be able to buy what you really want, rather than what’s left on the clearance rack. For years, I only shopped at the end of season sales, and often found myself buying something because it was a bargain, not because I truly wanted/needed it. Now I’d rather pay a little more, buy less, and wear the clothes earlier in the season.
If you just want one-stop shopping, take a look at The Nordy Club/ Nordstrom where you’ll find hundreds of brands. Take advantage of their Anniversary Sale (open to everyone on August 19th this year, earlier for cardholders) which will allow you to buy fall and back-to-school clothing on sale. You can also try different brands and styles on Amazon, through their Prime Wardrobe program.
What Are Style Categories?
The different style categories aren’t meant to “box you in” to certain styles, but rather help you narrow down choices from the overwhelming information we receive daily. You may love seeing your favorite fashion icons in the latest Zara collections, but if you define yourself as an eco-minimalist you won’t be tempted to shop at the same fast fashion stores. Instead, you may shop vintage, at a small business that makes upcycled clothing or skip the shopping spree altogether. Combine a few of these categories to create a unique personal style.
- You buy only what you need.
- If it’s not vintage or previously owned, you look for clothing and accessories that are made by B corps and sustainable brands.
- Quality, longevity, and versatility are important to you.
- If it doesn’t stretch, then it isn’t right!
- Function is just as important as fashion.
- Hidden pockets are worth a thousand purses.
- You wear leggings and joggers at home, and jeans everywhere else.
- Comfort is your favorite trend.
- If it needs ironing, then forget it!
- You have your clothes tailored for a perfect fit.
- If money were no object, you would shop at Chanel, Hermes, Burberry, Prada, and Givenchy.
- You choose timeless investment pieces over trends.
- You have a knack for spotting the next “it’ brand and trend.
- You have access to exclusive shopping events, limited edition items, and high-end designer collaborations.
- Friends and family count on you to tell them what to wear.
Your closet favorites: leather jackets, cashmere sweaters, designer jeans, jaw-dropping dresses, sequins, statement jewelry, customized handbags, and whatever will be in style six months from now.
- The ’70s is your favorite decade.
- You love ruffles, embroidered florals, flared silhouettes, and beads.
- Your hair is almost always long, and you love to accessorize it with scrunchies, scarves, or hats.
Your closet favorites: flared jeans, floral maxi dresses, blouses with crochet trim, long cardigans, patchwork print skirts, distressed boot and sandals, hobo handbags, handmade jewelry, etc.
- Your favorite neutral is a soft pink.
- You love florals, ruffles, lace, cashmere, and anything delicate.
- If you could wear a dress every day, you would.
Your closet favorites: flowing dresses and skirts, eyelet and sheer blouses, soft sweaters, statement coats, delicate jewelry, pretty handbags, strappy sandals, etc.
What’s Your Personal Style?
Which style types represent your personal style? I recommend choosing 1-3 style categories. If you’re looking for a change, think about which ones would make up your dream closet?
In the past, my style was classic (mostly for work), casual (for weekends), and romantic (for going out). The dress I’m wearing is Ann Taylor’s Paisley Floral Ruffle Shift Dress. Ann Taylor is a classic brand. This is one of their casual dresses. The soft fabric, floral print, and ruffle details give it a romantic flair. But since the pandemic, my style needs have changed, and I ended up returning the dress.
Going forward, I’ll need a more casual/athletic closet and would like to be more conscious (eco-minimalist) of where I buy them from. But, as a fashion blogger, I plan to keep researching and trying new brands, adding statement (influencer) pieces to keep my style interesting and creative. So you see, I’ve put together some very different categories that create a style that is unique and appropriate to my needs. Defining my personal style has helped me resist impulse shopping, fast fashion, and overbuying.
Once you figure it out, leave me a comment with your personal style definition!