So, you’ve realized that you’re not 100% happy with your wardrobe, but you’re not sure where to turn. You constantly see people who seem to have it all together – their clothes fit well, everything seems to match, their overall look is cohesive and pulled together. They have that elusive thing called ‘style’.
How can you find your own style? If you’re not sure of what you like or how you want to present yourself, you’re not alone. I work with clients everyday who want to upgrade their style, but aren’t sure how to do it. And when they can’t articulate what they want to look like or how they want to be perceived, we do some work together, and I give them a little homework.
The best place to discover what you like is in your own closet. You’re obviously getting dressed every day and selecting certain items over others, so that’s a great place to start!
Go through your wardrobe and pick out your favorite styles, and your most often worn items (which aren’t necessarily the same things). They will give you major clues about what you like or simply what you gravitate toward. And if you’re not even sure about that, here’s a simple exercise:
- Over the course of a couple of weeks (or even a month) pick out your outfits, but when you put the pieces back in your closet, turn the hangers the other way.
- After 2 weeks or a month, check out the turned hangers for what you’ve been wearing, and also the unturned hangers for what you haven’t been wearing.
- The styles that you constantly grab give great insight into your habits and preferences.
- The styles that you’re never touching also give great insight – whether it’s things that don’t fit, or that you can’t create outfits with, or that you just never liked.
- Use this information to come up with a list of likes and dislikes. It can be as simple as color choices, fabrics and prints you love, or even style details that you’re not into anymore.
- Take a critical eye to the styles that you’re not wearing – maybe it’s time for a purge…
Many of my clients tell me that their wardrobes don’t reflect the style that they’re looking for, so in that case, I ask them to do some research as inspiration – and you can do the same work. It’s essentially a general scan for what you like (whether it’s on Pinterest or in magazines) and then using that information to find consistencies. Here’s how to do it via Pinterest:
- Do a simple search for ‘women’s street style’ or ‘men’s fall style’ or similar, and then select photos/outfits to your liking. Don’t think too hard about it – just pick and pin to a style board of your own. (For clients that are new to Pinterest, I guide them to my own boards as a point of departure.)
- Once you’ve got some general research done, feel free to refine your search. If you’re liking a minimalist style, do a search for that. If ‘Mad Men’ silhouettes strike your fancy, head in that direction.
- After you have a decent amount of pins on your board (30-50), take a look at each photo and think about what made you pick it. Was it the exact outfit? the color? the details? Or was it the overall attitude of the look or the person photographed?
- Take note of consistencies among the photos. Are you constantly choosing all neutral looks? Are bold hits of color your thing? Do you love layered, cozy outfits?
These consistencies are strong clues to the style you’re looking for – and believe me, there are almost always consistencies. I worked with one client who, according to her, randomly pinned a couple dozen photos, but didn’t think they were similar. After we looked at her style board together, I noticed that every pin either had a striped top or lace detail – so we used that information to create a wardrobe that she loves. I also recently spent time with a guy who only had vague notions of what he liked, but all his pins were of men in neutrals with layers and great outwear – so we built his wardrobe around the colors he loves, and invested in some amazing jackets.
Sometimes, when my clients can’t specifically articulate their style goals, they can tell me about a celebrity, friend or coworker whose style that they admire. And that’s a great starting point, too.
Think of the person whose style you appreciate – if it’s a celebrity, find a bunch of images to peruse. If it’s someone you know, take some quick notes when you see them. If it’s a certain blogger, follow them on social media. And then it’s generally the same process as Pinterest – drill down to the specifics of what you like. Is it how their clothes fit? Are there specific items they wear that you love? Or is it how they put their outfits together?
Armed with some detailed information about the style you have, the styles you like, and the look you want to achieve, you can work on a style upgrade of your own. And if you want a partner in the process, click here to arrange a free phone consultation with me.