We all have a unique sense of style that makes us feel like ourselves, but finding it and doesn’t always come naturally. If you’ve ever worn an outfit all day that just didn’t make you feel like yourself, or if you can’t describe your personal style in three words, we’ve got some tips to help you become fluent in your very own personal style.
Seek out inspiration.
We’re lucky to live in a time when the Internet, print media, and our city streets are accessible and full of fashion to lust over and make us say, “I want to wear that.” Our top tip in figuring out what you love to wear is looking at ensembles and choosing what you do and do not like about them. If you want to start out simply, search fashion-related tags on Instagram. Fashion bloggers and street style or all over the ‘gram, and we love seeing real people wearing cool pieces, especially if they’re from other countries that may have popular shops not available to us. Our favorite sites to get outfit ideas? Women’s Wear Daily, Pinterest, Lookbook.nu, and leafing through good old-fashioned magazines—think Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, InStyle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Nylon.
Get creative, experiment, repeat.
And when you do find your look that feels most like you, remember that your taste will continue to evolve with you. The whole point of style is self-expression, and there’s no reason to put yourself in a fashion box. For example, if you are well-known for wearing free-spirited duds but you don’t feel boho tomorrow and want to swap your yellow, knit peasant dress for a black faux leather jacket with studs and chunky combat boots—go for it!
Think before you shop.
Now that you have an idea of what your unique fashion taste is, you’re going to need to fill your wardrobe with pieces that make you feel confident. Before you go on a mega shopping spree, keep these key tips in mind:
Chances are, you have clothes in your closet that you love—and some that you wore once, can’t remember why you bought it, and now loathe. Donate or recycle the pieces you haven’t worn in the past year, and take note of the monthly staples you find yourself reaching for again and again
Buy your size.
No matter our gender or age, we all do it: we go into a dressing room with the wrong size. Find your true size, not the size you want to be or the size you were last year. With that being said, remember that each store has its own unique sizing! This is why trying clothes on and checking online size charts is so important. Great-fitting clothing is the first step into looking put-together and polished.
Second-hand and vintage shops are a smart way to try out new styles without blowing your budget and causing you to eat instant ramen for the rest of the month. Even better, you can find some one-of-a-kind pieces at shops like Buffalo Exchange and Goodwill. Once you know what pieces make you feel like a million bucks, then you can splurge on staples of a better quality.
Great style isn’t about designers or how expensive a blouse is—it’s about pairing those pieces and building something authentic. There are well-made, beautiful pieces of apparel from wholesale clothing companies that you’ve never heard of. If you like it, wear it.
Now that you’ve armed yourself with research, knowledge and a more specific idea of what you’re looking for amidst the racks and shelves, it’s time to go shopping. In the early stages of your style growth, it’s a wise (and inexpensive) idea to stock up on tons of accessories. Braided belts, chunky belts, chic fedoras, dramatic sun hats, edgy silver cuffs, minimalist gold necklaces—these are simple yet effective ways to drastically change and hone a specific look.
How would you describe your personal style? Tell us in the comments below!