The secret to finding your style
“I don’t have a style”
You have no idea how many times I’ve heard that phrase from either clients or random people (once they find out I’m an image consultant, of course).
The funny thing, though, is that all these people really do have a style.
They have a style that feels old and boring to them because it’s what they’ve always worn, but that’s exactly what style is: a consistent way of dressing in a certain manner.
We often don’t consider our daily uniforms (you know, your go to outfits and accessories) as a style because it doesn’t fit into our perception of ‘style’.
Culture and society tells us that style is ever changing and it’s whatever is vogue right now. It’s avant garde and artsy. We think of style as something only a select few can obtain and that there’s some secret one style per person limit.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. While, style can be avant garde or artsy, it most certainly is not restricted to one person or a specific group of people. Many people can have the same style and that’s perfectly okay.
All you have to do to find your style is simply look in your closet. What outfits do you gravitate towards? What are the common patterns?
THAT IS YOUR STYLE!
If your closet is filled with jeans and t-shirts, you have a casual, all-American style.
If your closet is filled with tailored clothing, you have a more professional, pulled together style.
If your closet is filled with a mix match of colors and patterns, you have an eclectic style.
The question you should be asking is not, “what is my style?” but “does my style (clothing) say what I want it to about me?”
Do the clothes you wear most often (which make up your style), lead others to perceive you the way you want to be perceived?
Don’t miss this, because it’s the biggest secret to mastering your own style: your outward appearance must accurately reflect your strongest character traits.
If you’re a young professional that wants to be seen as experienced, professional, and dedicated- a jeans and t-shirt style is not going to work for you.
Likewise, if you want to seem laid back and fun, a closet full of super tailored clothing and business suits is not going to achieve that.
So, before you get down and out about your style, ask yourself if it makes sense for your lifestyle and how you want to be perceived. If the answer is YES, embrace it. Just because you don’t look like the pages of a fashion magazine doesn’t mean you don’t have a style and can’t own it.
This is something that you need to realize BEFORE you even start thinking about what style you are most drawn to.
Why? Because your personal appearance does two things: 1) it affects other people and 2) it affects you.
First, your image sends a message about yourself. Before you think about how to construct that message, you need to decide what you want to say.
Second, your clothing affects the way you feel. A single piece of clothing has the power to make you feel bold and confident or uncomfortable and self-conscious. Fit, color, and feel all contribute to the way we feel in an outfit, but so does one other thing: the actual style of the garment. Just like we’re drawn to certain cars and feel awkward in others, different styles of clothing can change the way we feel while wearing them. For that reason (among others), it’s important to have at least an idea of what types of clothing you like.
While you could separate different styles into multiple categories, I use a basic 6: minimalist, bohemian, traditional, eclectic, modern, and feminine. This quiz will help you decide which style you like the most.
Each style says something different about the wearer. We all make similar snap judgements when someone dressed ‘goth’ or ‘preppy’ walks by, right? Well, it’s the same with ANY style.
To help you decode what your style may be saying about you (both good and bad), I created this nifty PDF that you can download for no cost. Enjoy!