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Is my Personal Style boho or is it casual? Perhaps I’m chic and polished or maybe edgy and modern?? The truth is
most women are a combination of styles.
But when you determine at least one style type or two that works for you, your wardrobe will thank you for it! So first let me tell you WHY identifying your Personal Style helps.
It makes shopping easier.
It makes getting dressed easier.
You’ll send the proper messaging.
First, finding your Personal Style makes shopping easier. How? When you have a clear understanding of your own Personal Style you can create a shopping roadmap. Why wander the malls and scour the web to purchase something “just to be done with it”? Or worse yet, you settle for a so-so top because you’re exhausted and want to go home. When you have identified and labeled your own Personal Style, you will understand what your wardrobe needs and what you can happily pass by in the mall. You’ll make more intentional choices while shopping.
Second, knowing your Personal Style will make it easier to get dressed. First you label your style, second you make purchases that suit that style, and what happens next is that your entire wardrobe works together. You have a coordinating closet because you’ve chosen pieces that work for you, they fit your style game plan.
Third, by identifying your Personal Style you will send the proper messaging. Who are you? A polished professional? A SAHM extraordinaire? An enrtenpenuer? Whoever you are, does your Personal Style reflect that? What if you came to a workshop of mine and I made my presentation in baggy sweats? What if I came to do a Closet Edit in slippers? Would you trust me to teach you about Personal Style? Are you a 20-something professional who can’t land a job but you have the skills? Does your wardrobe send the message that potential employers should take you seriously?
Ready for the “how” of identifying your Personal Style?
I like to move clients through the following 5 steps in identifying a Personal Style:
describe your personality
find your style icons
visualize and create mood board
evaluate the closet
Describe Your Personality come up with a few descriptive words about your personality. What are you like? Serious, playful, friendly? Need a little help? Ask a friend or loved one which words come to mind when they think of you.
Is your personality warm, funny, and approachable?
How about bold, powerful and strong?
Or whimsical, shy, and dreamy?
Lifestyle Evaluation What are your daily activities? What do you do for a living? It may seem obvious that you should dress for your lifestlye but it helps to identify it and write it down. It helps to be more intentional about the process. Do you have some upcoming life changes (going from SAHM back to work OR going for a promotion at work)? Working on some personal goals? Dating again? Jot these things down.
Find Your Style Icons She can be famous, noteworthy, or some one you know… bring those people to mind whose style you love. Jennnifer Aniston is known for the California casual look, Kate Middleton embodies classic style, Katy Perry is bold and eclectic. See what I mean? Whose Personal Style speaks to you? Here are some images of my style icons and my style inspiration.
Images Amy Jackson, Olivia Palermo, Jennifer Aniston
Visualize/Create A Mood Board You can do this via Pinterest (see my boards here) or you can go old school and snip some images out of magazines or print them out. Tape this to your closet for inspiration. But I highly recommend Pinterest to collect these images. You want to save images you are drawn to. Spend some time on this, you don’t have to get a whole board done in one sitting. Visit your style board frequently and make edits when necessary.
And the point here is to help create that road map I mentioned above.
Don’t hyper focus on one piece in an entire outfit. Take the helicopter appoach and look for overall themes. After a while (hopefully lots of pinning) you will begin to notice the same vibes, a theme. What styles are you pinning the most of? Are you pinning mostly casual looks? Do you see a lot of classic and polished pieces? Do you see solid colors or do you pin a lot of colorful prints? Do these themes happen to match any of the descriptor words from your personality words?
If yes, cool! If not, no big deal. We’re just building some inspiration here and looking for an overall theme or two. In my case, my Pinterest boards always help me realize I am first and foremost casual in my style but I am also heavily drawn to chic and glam elements with lots of boho mixed in. See? You don’t have to nail yourself down to just one Personal Style! But if you can, that’s great too.
And for the last step evaluate the closet. This is for two reasons. 1- I want you to find the themes or repeat items in your wardrobe and 2- I want you to identify the holes.
Find the themes: Take a long look inside your closet and find those items you love. Identify the pieces you wear over and over again. How do they make you feel? Do your go-to pieces make you feel happy? Comfortable? Powerful? What is it that people compliment you on? Do you have a strong jewelry game? Is there a color people say looks great on you?
Are some of these pieces repeat items? For example, is there an item you see over and over again? Discover the reason your closet has this repeat item (lots of striped shirts for example). Maybe stripes make you feel happy or a striped tee makes you feel more stylish than a solid tee.
Identify the holes: What is missing? Have you pinned a leather moto jacket over and over but you don’t have one? Perhaps you’ve pinned lots of elevated casual outfits with skinny jeans, heels, and blazers but you only own jeans, tees, and yoga clothes. A few months back, I found myself pinning lots of 70s-inspired fashion like high-rise wide legs pants. I added a pair to my wardrobe! Do you see how we now have a roadmap? With these steps you can create an action plan.
To recap, once you describe your personality, evaluate your lifestyle, find your style icons, create a mood board, and evaluate the closet… you now have a roadmap, you have a
style game plan.
You can now give your Personal Style a name or two. Some of my client’s examples are “Polished Professional” and “Edgy Fun Mom” or “Easy, Chic, and Strong”… see where I’m going? Hold up that next fashion purchase (or glare at it online) and ask yourself, “does this jacket have a place in my “Polished Professional” wardrobe? Does this trendy-of-the-moment purchase fit into my please for “Edgy Fun Mom” goal?
And then identify your style goals and solidify where you want your Personal Style to take you in life. Have you just had a baby and decided to ditch the chic office attire for a Mommin’ around wardrobe? Or perhaps you have the need to dress for re-entering the workforce? Do you find that you’re ready to kick ass at work and go for the next promotion? Does your wardrobe have what you need to take you there? After spending the time to work through my steps, you should be able to create an action plan and be more intentional with your Personal Style. As always, you can comment below or reach out here for personalized styling.
Come back soon for a follow-up post about the features of different style types. Xo, Jaime