Welcome to another Fashion Fridays with Joanna. This week we will be diving into ways to discover your personal style, in other words, what fashion looks like through your eyes. I hope you like it. I enjoyed writing it.
What Is Personal Style?
Style refers to a person's particular way of expressing themselves—whether that's through clothing, writing, etc. In the fashion world, an individual expresses themselves through aesthetic choices such as their clothing, accessories, hairstyle, and the way they put an outfit together. Someone who is stylish may or may not follow fashion trends, but they always stay true to their own aesthetic. Oftentimes personal style is thought to be for people who are extremely fashion conscious, while in reality, clothing affects everyone. I strongly believe that what you wake up and put on will set you up for the day ahead. For example, you wake up and put on workout clothes you're most likely able to motivate yourself to do some type of physical activity. Now, if you wake up and put on your most comfortable loungewear with some soft fluffy slippers, you’re most likely headed to your favorite spot in front of the TV for a long day of binge-watching or simply relaxing. Finding your personal style can block out the noise of the fast-paced industry and help you to feel at home in your clothes.
Finding your personal style isn't something you can do overnight. There are strategies you can use to learn more about the clothing that works for you. Here are some steps that I take to elevate my style:
When looking for fashion inspiration, start with family and friends whose style you admire. Spend time on social media! Websites like Pinterest, Instagram, and even Google can help with gathering different aesthetics and determining what works for you. Learning more about yourself sometimes requires looking out into the world and seeing what sticks, and what doesn’t. When searching for inspiration keep in mind that you can use keywords in your search such as “ Vintage” or “ Streetwear”. Doing this will help to refine your search.
Identifying your style
What has always been essential for you to keep in your closet? Do you wear a lot of graphic tees? Do you tend to gravitate towards neutral tones? Do you prefer skirts over jeans? Keeping track of trends within your personal closet helps to hone in on your style, in that it catalogs what you’ve subconsciously decided is important to who you are and your expression of self. A good way to keep track of this is by taking pictures. The next couple of times you put on an outfit that undoubtedly boosts your confidence and makes you feel comfortable within yourself, take a picture. Now, for my people that may be a little camera shy try what some people call the hanger method. The next time you do your laundry, hang your clothes up with the hanger facing you. As you wear items and wash and/or put them back in your closet, hang them up facing away from you. After a month or so, you’ll begin to visually notice the trends in your style. These strategies are good ways to begin to understand your day-to-day style.
Once you’ve noticed these trends, you can begin to explore different ways to wear them. Noticing these trends gives valuable insight into who you are, and provides you with a good foundation for when you start to branch out and develop your style more fully.
Now that you have inspiration and know your own sense of style, this step is for my people that have to ball on a budget. You have to be honest with yourself about what your lifestyle is and what is most practical for that. The fashion industry is notorious for convincing us that if we like something we have to have it or that having name-brand items is equivalent to being stylish and equal to a level of luxury. You can have great admiration for a designer, a trend, or a clothing item, but not wear it yourself. Some things are better appreciated from afar. It's okay to window shop once in a while and it's even okay to treat yourself with an item or two but always remember to shop smart.
Confidence is KEY
What is an outfit without confidence? One of the most important ways to develop your style is to genuinely consider how you feel about what you wear. Just as developing your sense of self is about finding a sense of confidence and self-love, developing your sense of style is about finding what enhances that confidence and makes you feel excited about who you are and what you’re wearing. Though it is important to stay true to your sense of style and overall aesthetic, it is also important to learn why you are so drawn to that specific style, color, etc. For example, maybe you tend to gravitate to black because your friend told you that you look better in it, but you don’t actually like wearing black. Instead, you prefer to wear green because you think it compliments your eyes and you feel better in it. In this case, green would make you feel more confident. It is important to work according to your own preferences, not the preferences of those around you. Style is unique, it's like your fingerprint- everybody has one but no one else’s will ever look like yours. Only you can determine what you feel confident in; that’s what you should be working into your style.
Okay now that you have elevated your style remember to walk with the utmost confidence. And, always remember that the world is your runway.