Updated: Jun 15
"In order to be irreplaceable, one must be different”
— Coco Chanel
Finding your style and carrying it out is a self experience and translator of your identity. You don’t want to be looked as ‘yet another’. This especially holds importance in present times of fashion homogeneity powered by mass production of clothes.
A good sense of style has its roots in knowing yourself. It is an authentic, original expression of who you are inside. This in addition with external influencers like where you have lived, what you have seen and experienced and your immediate people environment, are key factors in shaping one’s personal style.
1) Understand yourself
Begin by paying attention to your taste. Quiz yourself to understand why you are drawn to a particular silhouette, colour or accessory. Ask yourself ‘WHY’ when an ensemble makes you feel good or blah. By doing this you learn the mechanism of dressing that works for you and it will be done through the process of self understanding, so the outcome will be as purified as it gets. Kim K has become a fashion icon by playing on her plus points to aces. She knows what flatters her voluptuous figure and sticks to her body-cons.
2) Find and define your style gene
We all follow several celebrities or bloggers whose style we want to emulate. Dig deeper into that obsession, you will notice a repeating pattern, a particular vibe and emotion in all those pictures that attracts you. Study what is that you like about it. Is it the casualness that draws you or the sophistication and richness? The answer will be your style gene. Allot adjectives to the resonating feelings like bohemian, casual, androgynous etc to finally clarify and define your style.
3) Choose a signature
In other words play out your strengths. Note the repeating characters in your closet in terms of the silhouette, colours, fabrics, shapes. Notice how certain clothes make you feel great when you wear them. Ask why. Do you like the clean lined minimalist pieces or the chic vibe that you are getting from a basic black turtle top? Once you have figured this out, keep building on it. Next time you go shopping, look out for cleaner cuts or classic numbers. Model of the decade, Cara Delevingne embraces her tomboy side and has established suiting as the new evening standard for stylish women.
4) Study your ignored outfits
AKA the Outliers. Similar to figuring out your bests, take a closer look at those pieces that you never wear for an unspoken reason. Call them out loud! This will tell you what you don’t like which is as important as knowing what you like. Did they not fit well, was it that you didn’t like the length or was it the sleeves that made you repel the outfit. Describe the NOs and keep them in mind to shop for style the next time.
5) Your style need not be limited
Style is an everyday evolution and represents our evolving mindset and lifestyle. It means to make the same point over and over again using different methods like colours, fabric, silhouettes while deviating only slightly. To debunk another attached notion that personal style should be immune to change (excuse Anna Wintour’s bob for a minute), you don’t want to look like what you did five years ago. You have changed as a person and your style needs to express and respect that. Embrace change!
6) Don’t feed on trends
Just because Kendall Jenner wore it to glory, doesn’t mean it’s meant for us too!! Try not to jump into a trend immediately. Impulse, trend shopping is only going to fog your head about your personal style. Having said that, don’t infer this as a suggestion to cancel out trends or a diktat against your mall trips. Instead, before buying stew in the trend mentally and think how you can adapt it to your style and wear it your way. Actress Lauren Hutton says it the best, “Fashion is what you are offered four times a year. Style is what you choose.” So create your own style. Let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hi I'm Menka! I am from India.
In my happy place, I am making ayurvedic concoctions for beauty and wellness.
Notoriously, pinterest-ing fashion and decor. And, I love forests.
Let's connect on Instagram.