Not everyone is a natural at styling themselves. In fact, there are probably more people who are at least semi-clueless about how to dress in a way that demonstrates a sense of personal style.
If you feel stuck in a rut with your current wardrobe or you look around at some of your peers and wish you could put together outfits as easily as it seems they can, know that it is within your grasp to develop your own personal sense of style.
But first, you’ll need a few pointers about how to develop your own personal style. Once you understand the basics, you can build from there. With a little bit of time and effort, it won’t be long and you’ll have a wardrobe that will represent you and your new sense of style.
1. Find Your Inspiration
You have to start somewhere, so why not with those who lead in fashion? Look through current fashion or entertainment magazines and take pictures of the styles you like. Make notes about what it is that catches your eye.
For example, if you find yourself drawn to fitted jackets and tailored tops, make note that you like more structured pieces. Or if embroidered tunics, peasant blouses and tiered dresses catch your eye, you’re into bohemian-style pieces.
When you window shop, take pictures of pieces of clothing you like for future reference. The more you collect ideas, the clearer your personal style preferences will become.
2. Define Your Goals
When revamping your wardrobe, you’ll want to make sure you’re going to meet your goals with any pieces you choose. For example, are you looking for work wear? Or are you looking for trendy pieces you can wear after work on the weekends?
Or maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom and you’re looking for casual, yet put-together, clothing that works well for running errands or hosting a family dinner. Whatever your style goals, make sure you’re clear on what you’ll be looking for when you shop.
3. Dress for Your Body Shape
When you start shopping for clothing, you may find that some of the styles you adore just won’t work for you. Having a sense of personal style is not just about stylish clothes, it’s also about knowing how to dress for your body type.
For example, a fitted jacket won’t work so well for ladies with bigger busts or broad shoulders. Above all, don’t get discouraged. Instead, go forward with determination to find pieces that flatter your body shape.
4. Do a Walkthrough of Your Current Wardrobe
Don’t miss out on opportunities to utilize some pieces from your current wardrobe. You may have some basics that fit you well that you can build off of to create new and flattering outfits. Take out each piece in your wardrobe and ask yourself if it’s in style, if it fits well and if you like wearing it.
If the answer to all of your questions is “Yes,” keep it. But if the answer to any of your questions is “No,” then get rid of the item and free up closet space to make room for spring fashion.
5. Add Some Personalization
Don’t be afraid to add some personal touches to your wardrobe to define your style. For example, add a vintage shrug and a jeweled brooch to add interest to a basic outfit. Or invest in stylish casual sneakers and socks with a fun pattern if you frequently wear t-shirts and jeans.
Or come up with your own personal style. For instance, if you like to wear scarves, try different ways of tying them instead of repeating the same style over and over.
6. Know What Colors Look Good on You
Have you ever looked at someone and noticed how much a color compliments their skin tone or eye color? Just as some colors can be flattering to you, there are others that can be equally unflattering. That’s why it’s important to take the time to find out what colors look good on you so that you can shop with that information in mind.
7. Take Note of Compliments
Even if you’re the type of person who doesn’t dwell on the compliments people pay you, start taking note. When someone tells you that you look good in something, you most likely do. In fact, what someone compliments you on might be one of the most flattering pieces you own.
You can use that knowledge to your advantage to develop your personal style. For example, if every time you wear your royal blue sheath dress at least one person makes a positive comment, you’ll know that the cut of the dress and the color are flattering to you.
8. Go With Your True Feelings
Just because an item is trending for spring, or it seems like everyone you know is wearing a certain piece of clothing, does not mean that you need to run out and buy the same thing. Instead, be true to yourself and wear things that you feel confident and comfortable in. Your own personal style is what truly matters.
And, if you decide that working with fashion is something you’d like to do, go for it. To test the waters, consider attending a fashion summer camp that can teach you about career options in the industry. Who knows? With your newfound fashion sense, you might become a successful retail buyer, designer or personal stylist.