I was talking to another podcaster the other day about the year I only wore handmade clothing. I mentioned that one of the biggest things I learned from that year was that personal style is ultimately how you carry yourself, not what you’re wearing.
Which reminded me that I don’t think I’ve actually written about what personal style is. Despite having focused an entire season of Talking About Clothes on the topic. So here we go.
What personal style is NOT
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of what personal style is, let’s cover what it is NOT.
Personal style is not the brand you’re wearing. Or the designer. Or the logo. It’s not the size of your closet. Or the price tag attached.
Surprisingly it’s not fashion. It is not what’s on trend or trendy. It’s not what’s in the window display. And it’s not copying an influencer.
There can be a lot of confusion and questions around style versus fashion versus trendy. How do you nail looking like you and not chasing trends, while also not looking outdated or out of touch?
It’s a good question. It comes down to, personal style is how you wear what you wear. It’s not what you buy or what’s trendy.
What personal style is
Your style is you personified. It is how you walk into a room and without saying anything, and still communicate to everyone who sees you.
Your personal style is kind of like your brand as an individual. It’s how you carry yourself, and how you stand out, not just what you wear.
Now for the question that everyone wants an answer to…
How do you find your personal style?
The secret to personal style is that you already have it. You don’t need to uncover it. Or find it, or search for it. You need to identify it, do it on purpose, and then elevate it.
You can do this through self reflection – asking yourself what you like wearing and what you don’t like wearing. (I have a set of journal prompts here to help with this.)
Play around with what’s already in your closet. Try unexpected combinations. Take an outfit you hate wearing and iterate on it. Is there something that needs to change, before you like wearing it? Or is that style a total write off for you?
Take an outfit you love wearing and iterate on that. What other combinations can you come up with that you love wearing that look different from the original. Think about what gaps you have in your closet. And what might be a good fit to fill them.
If you’re stuck you can always get an outside eye. Someone who is not you will be able to help you identify your core style faster because they’re not as close to it.
You see yourself every day. You don’t have perspective on your personal style because it’s so innately yours. It’s hard to identify the tiny tweaks that would be all you need to elevate your style to the next level.
Sometimes the outside eye is just the thing you need to reveal to yourself what you already have. Having someone who is able to put words around your core style statement can open up all sorts of possibilities for you.
Which is not the same as someone giving you a sense of style. It’s just naming what you already have.
If you want help living your style, and building a wardrobe you actually want to wear that feels like you, enter your email below for your copy of Personal Style Fundamentals, a juicy ebook full of 27 keys to unlocking the wardrobe you want.