PERSONAL STYLE: DOES IT EXIST?
The majority of you said "of course!" to yourself after reading this post's title. The short answer to the question seemingly is yes but I want to look at it a little more deeply.
WHAT IS PERSONAL STYLE?
First let's look at the definition of style (pertaining to clothing):
"a mode of fashion, as in dress, especially good or approved fashion; elegance; smartness."
"Good or approved?" Can your manner of dress only be considered stylish if it is good or approved? To be completely honest, yes. We do it every day. We see people's clothing and if it is not aesthetically pleasing to us, we brush them off as having no style at all.
For example, if a young lady was wearing ill-fitting clothing (too small or too large) and shoes that were a size too big for her, no one would say, "that is just her personal style." It is more likely they say " She has no sense of style. If this same young lady walked into J. Crew and asked them to give her the outfit from the cover of the catalog, she would very likely look great. One might say, "I love her style!" The thing is, it is not her style - at the very least we know it isn't something she could put together on her own.
So I ask again, does personal style exist?
Rachel Zoe Says:
"I think what you wear really does need to reflect what your own personal style is"
This statement is totally accurate. I do believe that personal style exists but is more like bringing your own personality and flair to style so that your clothing reflects who you are. If I were to suddenly post a picture of myself in grunge, you all will probably wonder what the heck made me wear it - simply because it is not who I am! I think that my style crosses somewhere between preppy and bohemian so a grunge look on me might will definitely look obscure.
My own style is pretty darn personal to me. I tell a story by the items I choose to adorn myself in. It is an outward reflection of the inward me: Bold, Bright, Confident.
I truly believe that people may require help to find their own personal style, and a great stylist will be able to truly assist them in expressing their own personality in their wardrobes. HOWEVER, I am here to empower you to be your own stylist. Here are five questions to ask yourself:
HOW DO I WANT PEOPLE TO SEE ME?
If you have stocked your closet with teeny bopper styles, but you work in a corporate environment, no one will believe that you take yourself seriously. Harsh, but very true. "Research shows that your appearance strongly influences other people's perception of your financial success, authority, trustworthiness, intelligence, and suitability for hire or promotion. (businessinsider.com)"
Although your appearance has no bearing on your intelligence and personality, people will judge us based on the way we look. If you are trying to convey a specific message, your appearance will need to match that.
[tweetthis]Appearance has no bearing on your intelligence but people will judge us by it anyway.[/tweetthis]
CAN I PULL ANY ITEM FROM MY CLOSET AND KNOW THAT I WOULD LOVE IT?
This is important. When I open my closet doors, I want everything to fit me, look good on me and know that I want to put it on at any time. The problem is, most of us have overstuffed closets of things that may have caught our eye at one point but we did not REALLY like it on us. Maybe it was cheap so we certainly couldn't pass up the steal. Maybe it was so outlandish that we felt it would push us to dress "cooler"
Whatever the reason, we have to understand that only 20% of our wardrobe is being utilized. What if we can change that number to 50%? 75%? 100%!?
I believe it is possible. Start with recognizing the benefits of purging your closets. Then you can begin understand how to streamline your closet.
DO MY CLOTHES MATCH MY DAILY ACTIVITIES?
If not, you just won't wear them. For example, if you are a Pure Barre instructor, but your closet has 10 dresses and 20 pair of heels, you probably won't utilize them very much. If you have two dresses for special occasions, ten activewear leggings, and a few attractive sweatshirts you are sitting pretty.
Make it a point to analyze what items you really do not need and get rid of them!
DO I KNOW WHAT COLORS LOOK BEST ON ME?
Knowing your signature colors is sure to help you as you streamline your wardrobe. The colors that do not look good on you, will not be worn. You might not even know why you hate that powder blue blouse so much, but is probably because powder blue doesn't flatter your warm undertones.
Learning the colors that look best on you will ultimately lead you to feel more confident about your wardrobe and getting dressed become more efficient.
WHAT STYLES INSPIRE ME?
Although I do not want to be boxed into one particular style, I always have an idea of what inspires me most. Bohemian, Preppy, Grunge, Hipster, Romantic, Vintage, and Tomboy are all terms that very familiar with, but what if you feel like multiple categories fit you?
A simple way to find out what your true inspiration is is to grab catalogs from popular retailers or brands like J Crew, Anthropologie, Gap, Express, and Band of Outsiders. Once you find a brand that resonates with you, you can start creating inspiration boards (on Pinterest or tangibly) that can inform your style everyday.
Now that you have some great ways to start defining your own style, share this with your friends!
So ladies, I would love to hear from you! What does your style say about you?