“At its essence, style is a complicated, endlessly fascinating human capacity. It is our spirit and what we think, our creativity, our individual way of being, and our intention for our clothes. To nurture a meaningful relationship with fashion, our task is to understand style, to hone it, to carefully craft it and make it our own.”
— NADINE FARAG
This is a quote by the fashion blogger Nadine Farag, the founder of the blog One Who Dresses. I decided to start today’s blog post by mentioning this particular quote because I believe it encompasses everything that you need to know if you are currently trying to build up and define your personal style. If you need to take anything from this post, please bookmark this quote.
I have had a love-hate relationship with my personal style for the past few years in my attempt to define what exactly suits me best. When new brands emerge constantly, our Instagram feeds are filled to the brim with style stars in different outfits every day, and trends are coming (and going) faster than most of us can even keep up with, it can be very difficult to carve out what your personal style is and what it really looks like.
And while, inherently, personal style is, well, personal to each and every individual, there are a few steps that are fairly universal and can help you out with defining your signature style. I know that these steps have helped me immensely over the last few years and now I can definitely say that I have created a sustainable and classic collection of pieces that I can easily mix and match each morning. Here are my top three tips if you have just begun the journey of defining your personal style!
Analyze your wardrobe
So the first thing to do is take a look at your existing wardrobe. Pull all of your pieces out and think about what are the pieces that you love the most, that you are drawn to the most and, of course, that you wear the most. Chances are that these are the building blocks that really represent the personal style you already love and have in your wardrobe. This could be your most worn item, perhaps it’s a really well-loved leather biking jacket, or it could be a skirt that you know always completes your outfit, or maybe it’s something with design details that really reflect the different parts of your personality.
For me, personally this is a classic autumn trench coat in the pastel color palette like the one I am wearing here. I purchased this trench coat a few years ago and I have worn it countless of times ever since. It goes with the majority of my outfits not only during the autumn season but also in spring and the early winter days.
Once you have decided on your most loved garment, put it to the side and have a look at the pieces that you really enjoy wearing. These could be pieces in your wardrobe that you are really comfortable in, or you feel really confident while wearing them. Chances are those pieces also represent your personal style. It could be a gorgeous chunky knit jumper, or a pair of jeans that really flatters your shape, etc. Slowly you should start to build the picture of what personal style you already have in your wardrobe.
Have style icons
Having personal style icons is really useful when it comes to finding your own signature style. Have a browse through Pinterest or Instagram and save some of the pictures that you really love to your personal fashion mood board. Having this mental image of what style you would like to portray is very useful when shopping and when building outfits as it can serve you as a starting point for what to look for. Of course, I don’t mean that you need to copy exactly the style of your favorite fashion blogger but to draw inspiration from it and try to accommodate it to your personal preferences.
Once you have gathered a lot of pictures try to find whether there are any similarities between them. Are they super feminine, bohemian, or maybe a bit sassy? Are there any common colors – for example, are they all super chick black outfits, or are they all really whimsical pastel colors? Try to find the key words that would describe all of the pictures. It sounds kind of obvious but by labelling the style you really like, it will also help you finding your own signature style.
For example, my all-time favorite style icon is Julia Berolzheimer as her style is extremely feminine and classic. I just adore how she combines different textures in order to create an all-pastel outfit that will accentuate her best features. Season after season, I draw inspiration from her Instagram feed and blog and lust over the beautiful pieces that she incorporates in her daily outfits.
Find your signature pieces
When it comes to having a strong personal style, there will likely be some key pieces in your wardrobe that truly represent that style you want to portray. These are pieces that you find yourself reaching for time and time again and that work with so many outfits and they will be the building blocks for your signature style outfit.
Personally, I have found myself reaching for more feminine styles in neutral colors, clothes that could be mixed and matched quite easily to form new outfits. For the past months, a signature piece for me has definitely been this blush pink T-shirt. I have worn it time and time again in the summer combining it with my favorite maxi pleated skirts and now I have transitioned it to autumn to form new outfits with some of my favorite autumn pieces. This brown skirt is one of them – the rich brown tones compliment perfectly the blush pink T-shirt to form a harmonious, classic, and timeless autumn outfit.
What are your signature style pieces that you reach for time and time again? Let me know in the comments.
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Photography by Kaloyan Stanev