The people with great personal style are easy to spot. They always look well put together, wear clothes suited to their body types, and choose colours that enhance their best attributes. You can’t put your finger on what exactly makes them look so good, but it’s evident the clothing items that match together that keep reinforcing their personal style. Even if you tried to copy their looks, it’s impossible to replicate their style.
Why is personal style important?
It’s about impressions. If you ever heard the phrase “look good, feel good” stemming from Deion Sanders’s quote: “If you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you play good.” First, you must look the part, then you can transmit your confidence. According to science of people, a person’s impression is tied to their choice of clothing and used as a communication tool, specifically when conveying power and confidence. That’s why people are concerned with their outfits for an interview and other significant occasions such as weddings, formal parties, and high school graduation.
It’s also important to feel comfortable and confident in your clothes. Confidence starts within, so if you love how you dress, it’s sure to make your self-assurance shine through to others.
The question is how to get to that level of styling that will speak to others about your personal brand.
Let’s review cases of what personal style looks like…
For example, I have a friend who rocks the high bun look. All her best outfits are enhanced by this bun, which is just a hairstyle, but it’s precisely what makes it her style. She could be wearing casual jeans and a cardigan or dressed in a party sequin dress, but that bun is there on both occasions; it’s precisely suited for her look. If someone was to replicate her style, they would surely make a high bun with an outfit. The bun is the signature look of personal style in this case.
Another example is a friend who pairs her pants with a body suit. She loves to wear a tight-fitted top with all sorts of bottoms. That is her thing, her look, and her go-to. So if I see a body suit, it reminds me of that person. She has figured out that a body suit enhances her physical structure and works well with her clothes. Also, she could wear the latest trending pants, but her good old body suit is paired with that fashionable look to ground her back to what her style is really about.
There are a few key points derivative of the underlying styling strategy. Understanding and following criteria will set you in the right direction:
- Dress for the season
- Know your body
- Don’t prioritize the latest fashion trends
- Incorporate a piece that screams it’s you, aka. your personality
- Don’t forget to accessorize
We’ll explore these points in detail further on.
So where to start?
The easiest is to start with your favourite colour or pattern. Is there a colour you always gravitate towards and has a defiant presence in your closet? For example, do you love white and have many white blouses and shirts? Then it’s a colour to attribute your style to. Just because fashion says white is out for the season, a person with great style will boycott that trend and keep on strutting in the white blouse that looks amazing on them. Similarly, if patterns make you feel and look good, then that’s a major contributing factor to maintain as part of your outfit configuration. You will be known as that person who knows her patterns.
The most challenging ingredient of the style formula is understanding your body and dressing to appreciate it. The way to start is simple: try the clothes you already own and see which piece makes you feel hot, like you can conquer the world. You can also think back on the clothing you wear daily and which of those give you that extra confidence boost.
When you’ve selected your go-to pieces, see what characteristics make them great for your body. Maybe it’s the colour of the shirt, the material, or the fit, and that’s going to be your foundation look. Next time you go shopping, purchase a few more items of similar nature in a slight variation of colour, or pattern to continue that look. Then, you start pairing other clothing items around your chosen foundation pieces.
Create a seasonal outfit inspiration mood board on Pinterest, and have fun researching different outfits and pinning them to your boards. Then, take the time to evaluate if a particular style, colour, pattern, or piece of clothing is repeated throughout your mood board. That’s the piece you should experiment with for your wardrobe. With time, you will build a capsule wardrobe for each season with a personal style flavour.
Going through the 5 steps
1. Dress for the season
Just because you love summer doesn’t mean you should wear it for all four seasons, including winter. A person with great style will alter their wardrobe for each season, even if they live in a seasonless climate. It could be as simple as incorporating seasonal colours or textures. For example, fall outfits include warm colours like camel, burgundy, and anything with a yellow undertone. Winter colours would consist of high contrast colours like vivid reds and greens. Spring colours are warm, such as greens, peach, and beige, while summer colours have pastels and cool undertones, such as blues, lavenders, and pinks.
2. Know your body
Understanding what looks suitable for your body type is a critical aspect of personal style. Some styles of clothing are flattering for each specific body type. For example, for someone who is top-heavy, balancing colours, such as wearing patterns, or colours for the bottom, can balance out the top. Also, wearing A-line dresses will help accentuate the top and bottom differences.
3. Don’t prioritize latest fashion trends
Fashion is important, but it doesn’t mean you should try every piece in vogue. For example, if you know mom jeans are not flattering for your body type, don’t wear them. Alternatively, a better option is opting for fitter jeans with a straight leg. Similarly, crop tops are not necessary just because they are in style; instead, try wearing higher-waisted pants with a fitted top.
4. Incorporate a piece that screams it’s you, a.k.a. your personality
One of the more challenging steps is finding that personal flare. Maybe sunglasses is something you can pair with every outfit and make it your niche. Even eyeglasses are used as personal statements, for example, buying thicker or specific colour frames. It could be certain jewellery styles that accentuate your personality or a hat. Whatever the item is, it has to be a representative of you.
5. Don’t forget to accessorize
Adding accessories is important because they complete the look. For instance, a simple necklace with stud earrings is a no-brainer if you can’t figure out what jewellery pieces to wear. For example, when you think of the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, pearls, black sunglasses, gloves, and a bun for hairstyle come to mind. Similarly, having a signature accessory item for your outfit can create that personal style. Another example is JLo; she is known for her hoop earrings. So when you think of her, that’s the accessory that comes to mind.