Get you pens and papers out! Today I am kicking off my new style series! In this series, I will show you how to: define your style, dress for your body type, mix prints, textures and colors, layer items, shop smart, organize your closet, incorporate trends and interesting elements, etc.
Defining your personal style can get a bit tricky. It can be difficult to pin point exactly what your style looks like, but doing so will save you a lot of confusion, money and time. I admit to buying things that I “like” but never actually wear. I think to myself that I could wear it here or there, but instead it ends up staying in my closet lonely and isolated. Why? Maybe the item doesn’t align with my style as much as I thought I did. Maybe it doesn’t go with anything else in my closet. Maybe I just like the idea of the style more than the item itself. There are countless reasons, but knowing what your style is will allow you to shop with purpose and save money in the long run.
Once a year, I sit down and re-evaluate my current style. The fashion world is ever-changing and while we may have the “same” style as we once did, it will change and evolve with each passing year. By doing this, I keep myself on track and don’t make the mistake of buying something “because it looks nice” or “because I think I might wear it someday” or “because so and so wore this and it looks so cute on her.”
Keep in mind that “fashion” and “style” are not the same thing. Fashion is more generalized and embodies current trends that usually don’t stick around for too long. Style, on the other hand,is more personal and is affected by everything that makes you unique…from your religion, culture and profession to your body type, upbringing and even where you live. We are all drawn to distinct silhouettes, colors, attitudes and clothing styles. Style is different to everyone and rightfully so because we are all different and complex beings. We all have our own style deep down, but some of us get lost along the way due to many factors such as a career change, lifestyle change, identity crisis or maybe we just don’t know what looks good on us. Defining your style gives you the freedom to be your unique, stylish self.
This is designed to go really in depth and help you so before you start on the quiz, go through these exercises to see what you are most drawn to. I strongly recommend taking your time and writing them down so you can really see what pops out.
Keep in mind that most people are a mix of styles (celebrities included) and you do not have to like every element of their style (for example, I love Rachel Zoe’s romantic bohemian maxi dresses, but don’t think that some of her other looks align with my style aesthetic and what I am naturally drawn to). Be specific about what it is you like about that certain style icon.
Make a list of celebrities or other fashion bloggers that you are drawn to and why.
For example, here are mine…
These are my top three and the ones I feel I am most drawn to:
1.) Lauren Conrad: Feminine, romantic, slightly bohemian
2.) Taylor Swift: Feminine, quirky, slightly retro
3.) Rach Parcell (Pink Peonies): Feminine, fun, put-together, colorful
These are others that I am inspired by:
4.) Ashley Nell Tipton (Project Runway): Fun, colorful, whimsical, retro
5.) Zooey Deschanel: Quirky, retro, feminine
6.) Alexa Chung: Quirky, whimsical, put together
7.) Olivia Palermo: Feminine, put-together
8.) Rachel Zoe: Bohemian, glamorous
Now look at your list (the more you have, the better) and see what they all have in common. Be as detailed as you can.
For example, here are my commonalities:
*Feminine details and silhouettes
*Fun colors and whimsical patterns
* Retro elements
Next, make a list of your favorite stores or brands and why? Even if it’s out of your budget, feel free to add designer brands that you know you would love.
For example, here are mine…
These are my top three and what I am most attracted to:
1.) Anthropologie: love all the beautiful, unique pieces with interesting details
2.) LC Lauren Conrad (especially the Runway Collection): love the light, airy, romantic bohemian pieces
3.) Kate Spade: love the colorful, fun vibe and feminine details (bows)
These are other brands that I love:
4.) ModCloth: love the retro silhouettes, fun polka dot prints and the gorgeous coats
5.) Chicwish: love the feminine and romantic peices
6.) Free People: love the flowy dresses, peasant tops and flower crown accessories
7.) J.Crew: love the statement jewelry, colorful coats and beautiful shoes
8.) Lularoe: love the comfort and fun prints
Do you see any common elements between them? Do you have any similarities between your style icons and the brands you prefer?
Next, look at your Pinterest board. What are common themes you see not only in clothing, but accessories, home and party décor? Write down all of those elements that you see over and over again. We pin things that we are naturally drawn to, so this is a great way to see what makes you tick.
When I look at my Pinterest boards, this is what I see:
* LOTS of lace, ruffles, and light colors
*Bright colors and fun patterns such as polka dots, florals and whimsical prints
*Print mixing and beautiful textures
*Long, flowy white or cream colored dresses
* Feminine and retro silhouettes
* An Anthropologie inspired home
* Wandlust travel destinations
Do you see any connections to your fashion icons or favorite shops?
Next, think about an outfit(s) that make you feel amazing and most like yourself. You know those days when you just know you look good and you feel confident and beautiful? What are you wearing? On the flipside, what makes you feel uncomfortable and unlike yourself?
For me, I feel most confident in something flowy and feminine. I feel confident when something fits and looks flattering.
On the other hand, I do not feel comfortable in something “edgy” or business like. I feel uncomfortable when something doesn’t fit right.
Next, look in your closet. What items make you smile and do you see a lot of? Alternately, are there items that don’t belong?
When I look in my closet, there are A LOT of cream colored lace or crotchet tops and tulle skirts. There are a ton of colors and patterns, but hardly any black. My closet is made up of mostly dresses and skirts.
Alternately, I have a few items that don’t look like they belong: blazers, structured work tops and pencil skirts.
Next, think about your personality, physical features and lifestyle. Make a list and see where they align with the other exercises.
*Someone that is lively and young at heart will probably not have a monochromatic wardrobe
*Equally, someone that is more reserved will not have a flashy wardrobe
*Someone that has angular facial features may not be drawn to soft, delicate fabrics
*Equally, someone with soft facial features may not be drawn to super sculptural pieces
*Someone that works in a corporate environment will probably not wear many casual pieces
*Equally, someone that works in a more creative environment will probably not wear many traditional pieces.
My example and how it corresponds with a certain style:
*I am quite shy when I first meet others, but am very animated once I get to know them.
*I like to have fun and am young at heart.
*I like to explore and see new things
*I am friendly and approachable
These attributes infer that I might like colors, quirky patterns and interesting details.
*Rounded face with soft features
*Long, blonde hair
These attributes suggest that I might prefer certain fabrics, colors and silhouettes compared to others: soft colors and fabrics that compliment my face and hair and a feminine silhouette to compliment my shape.
*I am a substitute teacher.
*I teach guitar.
*I live in a more casual city
The fact that I am teacher suggest that I need a more polished wardrobe and practical footwear. However, teaching music being an artist also conveys creativity. Therefore, I need a work wardrobe that is both polished ad creative to fulfill both needs. Also, since the city I live in has a more casual vibe (and country, if you will), it would not make sense for me dress like I live in New York.
Now that you have an idea of what you are drawn to, take the quiz below. I have created this “quiz” to embody eight different style types. Of course, there are many style so within these types are sub categories. Most of us will fit into a mix of styles, which makes it all the more interesting and unique!
1.) Look in your closet. What is the over-whelming color palette?
a.) basics (navy, white, khaki, grey)
b.) neutrals and black
c.) light colors such as cream, peach and blush
d.) a rainbow of colors
e.) neutrals and denim
f.) earth tones(brown, green, blue)
g.) sequins and leopard print
h.) black with touches of bold color
2.) How would your friends describe you?
a.) sophisticated and proper
b.) sharp and direct
c.) friendly and sweet
d.) playful and spirited
e.) adventurous and dependable
f.) relaxed and liberal
g.) confident and alluring
h.) innovative and forward thinking
3.) Which of the following best describes your home décor?
a.) traditional and put-together
b.) streamlined, clean and monochromatic
c.) light and pretty with fresh flowers
d..)fun, kitschy and unorthodox
e.) comfortable and practical
f.) full of rugs, earth tones and ethnic floral prints
g.) wild and glamorous
h.) minimalist, architectural and sculptural
4.) Which would you rather wear?
a.) khakis, a collared shirt and cute loafers
b.) a sleek V-neck top and modern cut pant
c.) a flowy, ruffled dress
d.) a fun and bright outfit full of mixed prints
e.) t-shirt, jeans and converse
f.).) a peasant top layered with funky accessories
g.) a flattering body-con dress
h.) a jacket with interesting and unusual details
5.) What is your go-to coat?
a.) sleek and straight
b.) sharp, powerful and sometimes, boxy
c.) a flared princess cut with a bow detail
d.) one in a fun print or color
e.) a warm parka
f.) a long kimono style
g.) fitted with a fur collar
h.) edgy and asymmetrical
6.) When you have the urge to go shopping, which would you most likely do?
a.) purchase practical basics for all seasons
b.) buy high quality, smart pieces that are sure to stay in style
c.) buy the prettiest floral skirt you can find
d.) get something with a splash of color to brighten your day
e.) buy different colors of your favorite t-shirt
f.) head to the flea market for some great, funky finds
g.) get a pencil skirt to accentuate all your curves
h.) find an unusual garment to add to your wardrobe that no one else will have
7.) When you’re at a party, you:
a.) prefer to blend in
b.) like be in control and exude power
c.) smile sweetly and listen intently to others
d.) tell animated stories
e.) are warm and friendly
f.) seem natural and easy going
g.) are confident and talkative
h.) like to stand out
8.) If someone gave you $200 for clothes, how would you use it?
a.) buy a few striped tops from J.Crew
b.) spend it on a well-made pair of trousers
c.) buy a light pink Kate Spade bag
d..) splurge on anything that catches your eye
e.) buy a comfy sweatshirt and pair of sneakers
f.) add to your accessories collection with a fringed suede bag
g.) buy a floor length sequined gown
h.) buy an unusual piece that doubles as artwork
9.) What is most likely to catch your eye when you look through a magazine?
a.) a Ralph Lauren style ad
b.) a high quality black blazer
c.) a vintage lace dress
d.) an article about interesting street style
e.) an ad for Tom’s shoes
f.) a flowy maxi dress
g.) a great make-up tutorial
h.) a story on the new designers from Tokyo and Belgium
10.) What is your favorite accessory:
a.) a brown leather tote
b.) a sleek, black clutch
c.) a flower crown
d.) everything…worn at once
e.) a backpack
f.) lots of bangles
g.) a large, jeweled statement necklace
h.) a bold pair of shoes with interesting elements
Now, gather your results and add up all of your answers for each letter.
If the majority of your answers are……then your main style is….
Mostly A’s – Classic
Mostly B’s – Minimal
Mostly C’s – Romantic
Mostly D’s – Eclectic
Mostly E’s – Casual
Mostly F’s – Bohemian
Mostly G’s – Bombshell
Mostly H’s – Avant Garde
Classic: Simple, clean and traditional. Looks are timeless with tailored garments, neutral colors and simple silhouettes.
Minimal: Monochromatic, bold and powerful. Looks are sharp, tailored lines and seem to be effortless.
Romantic: Pretty, polished and ethereal. Looks are always feminine with beautiful details and gorgeous textures.
Eclectic: Playful, fun and creative. Looks are full of a fun mix of colors and patterns, often worn together.
Casual: Laid back, comfortable and practical. Looks are clean and put together, but never fussy.
Bohemian: Relaxed, natural and easy going. Looks are full of ethnic prints, flowy fabrics and a mix of delicate accessories.
Bombshell: Confident, alluring and glamorous. Looks are always feminine with wild or trendy elements.
Avant Garde: Innovative, bold and forward thinking. Looks are often monochromatic and include interesting or unusual details that make a statement.
I hope that you now you have a more generalized idea of what style(s)you are drawn to. Hopefully, you have three or so with one being the most dominant.
Next week, I will be going deeper into each of these styles along with their sub-styles to better understand your style personality and how you can make it work for you.
I’m curious…what are your top three style personalities?
Leave them in the comments below along with any questions you have and want me to cover next time.
I’ll share mine with you next week 🙂