Finding your personal style is an ongoing journey for all of us. Our tastes change and are more affected by what’s on trend that most of us would probably like to admit. Brands come up with new and clever ways to convince us to buy clothes that barely come close to our own sense of style. If you follow the below process, this will help you to pinpoint your own personal style in the first place and will also encourage you to make better shopping decisions in the future.
How to Find Your Style
You will need:
- A notebook
- A pen
- Your wardrobe
- Pictures of your style icons, either physical or digital!
Go to your wardrobe and pick out the clothes and accessories that you are 100% in love with. These can be old faithfuls like your favourite pair of jeans or maybe a sentimental item like your prom or wedding dress. Hang these clothes together or spread them all out in front of you so you can see what they all look like together.
TIP: If you don’t have room to look at all these items easily in one place, take pictures of each item and add them to an album on your phone.
The idea is to get an idea of what these items that you love all have in common. If I were to do this, I would choose my beloved Ted Baker coat, my H&M maxi dress, my wedding shoes and so on. Looking at these items, I could very quickly see that they are all neutral colours, they are feminine and they flatter the areas of my body that I’m not the biggest fan of.
Examine the clothes you love and write in a notebook all of the things that they have in common, even it’s just something as simple as ‘pretty’. Put your notebook to one side for now and move on to the next step.
Now it’s time to grab the things that you don’t wear - clothes that still have the tags on or that don’t fit anymore. Do exactly what you did before and look at these items all in one place, whether that’s physically in front of you or on your camera roll. Grab your notebook again and write down what these things have in common. For me, it would be words like ‘uncomfortable’, ‘impractical’ and ‘unflattering’. It’s a good idea to go into more detail here so that you won’t mistakenly buy items like this again - for instance, if you’ve written ‘uncomfortable’, add details such as ‘too high’, ‘hurts toes’ or ‘rubs at heel’ (did you guess my uncomfortable items were high heels?).
Finally, step away from your wardrobe and look instead at those people that you consider to be your style icons. Have fun looking through the outfits they’ve worn over the years and picking out your favourites. Put these in front of you, perhaps on a Pinterest board, and again, grab your notebook and write down what you think these people and outfits have in common.
Some of my style icons are Kate Middleton, Emma Watson and my favourite YouTuber Josie Fear. If I were to examine their pictures and write down what they have in common, I would probably write, ‘Classic’, ‘conservative’ and ‘natural’. Obviously we want our style to be our own, but chances are your style is going to similar to and inspired by the people you admire.
You should now have a list in your notebook of words and phrases from which you can begin to build a picture of what your own personal style might look like. In particular, you want to be looking at the first and third list, whereas the second list are items that you want to avoid buying in future. Declutter the items that you picked out for the second list so that you’re left with only items that you actually like and wear, then you can use this as a starting point for curating your own capsule wardrobe that suits your taste and lifestyle.
This will be an ongoing journey so it’s worth doing this exercise again every few years, because your likes and dislikes will change even while you are still working out what your personal style is. Think of it as a challenge and enjoy the journey!
Rachel Jonas on Jan 14, 2021
This was super helpful, thank you!