How To Find & Evolve Your Style
Finding and evolving your style can be a challenge. You read the recommendations on the latest fashions, who should wear what and how to look up-to-date, but you still have to translate it to you. Personal style often develops over years. You come to understand what looks best on you, what you feel comfortable in and what always gets you compliments.
Creating a style that is all your own and gives you a put-together look, can help you build confidence. But maybe you've been wondering about updating or changing your style. Should your style change over the years? Do you need to have the latest trends to look current? We believe style, just like beauty and health is not defined by age. If you have developed a look that you love and feel comfortable in - it's your look, and you should keep it! If you think it's time for a reset, you can evolve by adding a few modern elements to your current look. Either way, we've compiled a tip list to help you ranging from full-on defining your style to evolving it and how to approach shopping.
How To Find Your Clothing Style
- Review your current wardrobe: look at the lines and styles – Head to the closet and stand back and review your clothes. What stands out? Are there similar styles or types of clothes you wear a lot – things that repeat over and over in your wardrobe? Do you feel good in them? Do these outfits work well with your accessories or the way you style your hair? Do these outfits translate across locations (office, home, a night out)? Asking yourself these questions will help you determine what your style has been and how you are feeling about it. As you do this exercise, grab a notepad and jot down the answers to these questions (i.e., pencil skirts are my favorite, I like simple lines or jackets for work, or I wear bulky sweaters, but I don’t really like them). Now you have a beginning point.
- Look at the colors you wear – while taking note of the styles in your current wardrobe, also note the colors – when you stand back is everything black? Or a bright rainbow? Do you like these colors? Do you want to change it? Add this to your list.
- Think about what activities you need clothes for – this is important to think through as your wardrobe may reflect your past life and not the future. Did you recently change jobs? Did you retire? Are you more into fitness now? If you have evolved over the years as we all do, did your wardrobe keep up? If not, what is missing? Do you need more casual clothes? Or clothes that can translate from work to other activities? Make a few notes about what needs to change.
- Describe yourself – this can be hard to do for yourself so thinking about how your friends or family would describe you can help. Are you very classic or always looking for something new? Are you quiet or outspoken? Your style will be better aligned with you if it reflects your personality too (and much more fun to shop for!).
- Find inspiration – head to the magazines, online sites, Pinterest or Instagram – look to your favorite celebrities or check out videos from the latest fashion shows or your favorite brand’s most recent collection release. Save pictures of what you like, what you think you will be comfortable in, or that will work with your current lifestyle. Snip the pictures and build a file. Once you have collected enough images, you can step back and look at them all together and make a note of themes in colors, styles, lines, types of clothes or combinations. These photographs represent what you like and the start of your new style. Make sure as you collect the pictures you look past the model’s hair or the city scene in the background – it must be about the clothes and not the overall style of the pictures themselves. Once you have a collection of photos, think through words that describe the style and name it. Putting some words to your style, will not only help you to think about it later while shopping, but it will help you describe your style to others (like a personal shopper at a department store).
- Define statement pieces – these are critical because they are the pieces that tie a style together. What type of clothing or accessory have you always worn or want to try? Celebrities and style icons have used things like black turtlenecks, Capri pants (think Aubrey Hepburn), sunglasses (think Jackie Onassis Kennedy), hats or shoes as statement pieces. It is important to remember, for an item to become the cornerstone of your look, it needs to be a single type (like hats) or simple combination (like turtlenecks and capris pants) for it to work.
- Build an example – using either the pictures you have collected or items you own or a combination, build a couple of outfits that represent your look. Take a picture you can keep on your phone to review when you are shopping and add it to the file you have created. A photo gives you a visual representation of your style.
Build Or Evolve Your Style Wardrobe
If you knew your style and jumped right to building out your wardrobe, we recommend starting the process with the review of your current wardrobe from our “find your clothing style” list above. Once you have a list of what’s worked for you and what doesn’t, jump into the spring clean out.
- Do a spring clean out – early spring or any seasonal transition is an excellent time to clean out what you don’t wear, dated or damaged clothing and even things you love but need to be updated. Donate what you can and throw the rest away – whew, feels good doesn’t it?
- Post clean out inventory - now that you cleaned out – what is missing? Using your style list/file, begin to make a list of what you need. Are you missing basics (black dress, basic neutral blouses, tee-shirts) make a note of your lifestyle and the outfits or types of clothes you need for different situations like work, home, workout, evenings out. Also, take note of things that still fit your style, but you want to update if your lifestyle has changed (like a favorite style shoe that you want to find with a lower heel). It is a good idea to take a picture of these items for later reference.
- Shop to build your style – Go shopping with a mission. Search for the pieces you need and are missing vs. impulse. Bring your shopping list and some of the pictures, or if you shop online, it’s easy to reference and compare the pictures from your style file to the new item. Sticking to your list will help you end up with a wardrobe that looks great on you.
How To Find Your Style Quiz
If you are authentic and true to yourself, your natural look will come out. Adding or updating your signature item will help you look put together. Shop for your style with passion, buy the “it’s sooo me” pieces, and you’ll create an ageless style that looks amazing on you.