In recent weeks we have talked about how to model yourself after the magnificent Lady Gaga, the fictional Shiv Roy, internet starlet Emma Chamberlain and host of Bond girls from throughout the ages; but today we will be focussing upon how to discover your own sense of style.
We’ll be doing that with some inspiration from my friend Jane; self described “budget Lily Collins” and fashion aficionado; who has created a personal style that fits her wants and needs, and allows her to express herself in the manner she wants to.
Hopefully by focussing on the key aspects we cover in this article, you’ll be able to do the same!
Colours and accessories
When choosing an outfit, you will often be wearing it all day, so you want to pick items of colours that you feel comfortable wearing. That’s not to say you should follow ridgid rules that some fashion websites proclaim, like “if you are X person, you should never wear Y colour”, because we are not making choices based on fashion rules but creating a sense of style that you feel happy in. To do that you must have items of clothing that you enjoy wearing, and colour is a big part of that. There’s no point buying a fluorescent pink top if you hate the idea of yourself wearing it.
This goes for your accessories as well; Jane wears Berets a lot, so it’s worth her investing in some Berets she enjoys wearing, but it wouldn’t be worth buying five Beret’s if you never wear them or hate the look of them, simply so you can achieve a certain look or aesthetic.
In these pictures, Jane wears two items of clothing that incorporate a lovely baby blue and accessories them with a black Beret in one of them, and a collection of jewellery that works in harmony with the shiny, strappy top.
Alongside wearing certain colours and your choice of accessories, another way of cultivating a personal style is through the patterns that you wear. There are a whole world of patterns for you to discover; polka dot, checked, striped, tartan, spots etc. You often hear about how “Polka dots are out of fashion, and Tartan is back in”, but you needn’t stop wearing a certain pattern because it is no longer a fashion trend. Once again, the patterns you choose to wear should be things you enjoy yourself in or help express your personality.
Jane loves checks. They are extremely versatile. They can be bold, and work as the focus of an outfit, such as in the jumpsuit above. But they can also work as the pattern for a secondary garment, like in the skirt below which compliments Jane’s cute renaissance art inspired shirt.
Checked clothing, whilst a fashion staple and very traditional, has drawn some fire for being too popular and ridiculed as “basic”. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Checks can also be extraordinary and very eye catching, as in the fantastic green checked ensemble that Jane is wearing here.
But the point of this is not to brainwash you into wearing checks, but find patterns you enjoy wearing and then build your wardrobe with this in mind. Of course allow yourself to experiment with other patterns, but having some staples that you know you like is always good to fall back on.
The aim of creating a personal style is not to look stylish for style’s sake, but to feel confident and have a good time. Therefore it is important to choose pieces of clothing that you feel assured and powerful in, rather than just combining items that would look nice to one another in a fashion magazine. A piece’s fit is imperative in this; you might find a garment that has the perfect colours and pattern for you, but if it doesn’t fit you comfortably you are going to feel miserable when wearing it.
One piece of clothing that never fails to increase one’s confidence is a colourful power suit, just like the incredible red number that Jane is wearing here.
The mighty red blazer and trousers are accessorised by a fun selection of belts and a revealing black top, creates an incredibly powerful outfit that exudes confidence.
Whilst an outfit doesn’t need sex appeal to make you feel confident, there is no harm in wearing something everyone once in a while that celebrates yourself, shows off your body and is fun to wear. This head turning autumnal number which Jane wore combines a sheer top covered by a pretty floral pattern, and a black satin and lace piece that would look equally at home under the sheets as it does in this spicy seasonal ensemble.
Once again, the idea is to create a personal style that allows you to feel at your confident best as much as possible, and wearing items that make you feel celebrated and valued is one way of doing that.
Whilst most of your personal style will be formed by the things you wear most regularly, there are also events or times when you just want to dress up where statement pieces are needed.
You might find the urge to buy a flashy dress or something different to everything that you’ve ever owned; but instead you should get something that you know you will be able to wear to events many times and that matches your personal style or contrasts it whilst still feeling comfortable to wear.
If a piece is to become part of your style, it has to be something that is valued and purposeful, rather than a purchase that you wear once to an event and then forget about it.
This piece is a brilliant example of this. It may not be worn everyday, but it is very versatile. She can wear it dressed up and look fit for a regency era ball, but also look comfortable dressed down in a more casual fashion as a simple white dress. It’s an outfit that makes a statement without being unwearable when you just want to go and do the food shop.
We hope that these tips will help you curate your wardrobe and form a sense of personal style for yourself, enabling you to feel confident and stylish in the items that you wear everyday!