If you didn’t notice, January has been all about the core idea behind personal style and why I believe it’s important for you to define it for yourself.
As mentioned in last week’s post – personal style is not just about the clothes you wear, or how you fix your hair, or decorate your apartment. Personal style is the manner in which you relate and create in the world. It’s a visual communication of your values, beliefs, and sense of purpose.
In other words, having personal style runs deeper and is way more powerful than most people give it credit for.
Today I want to talk about cultivating a sense of genuine style, style that makes you feel 100% authentically y-o-u.
But first, what do I mean when I say someone has genuine style or when someone looks authentic?
I preach authenticity and we all want to be seen as genuine – but what does that really mean in practice?
You know this already, but the fact is anyone with a credit card can stroll into Barney’s and emerge looking like a street style glamazon. But that doesn’t make their style any more genuine than the next person – credit card or not.
As we’ve discussed, style transcends trends on the runways and fashions of the street.
So it should come as no surprise that genuine style starts with YOU.
It starts with knowing and OWNING your likes and dislikes, your life experiences, and your hopes and dreams.
It’s about making a commitment to putting yourself before what they say is in or out in the magazines.
Now the question is how do you put owning your style into practice?
I will be the first person to raise their hand and admit that I am not the most “in vogue” person there is. I’m still learning my personal style preferences, just like you.
I will say, however, that I am someone who takes pride in staying true to who I am and how I present myself. And while there’s no universal code or to-do list that those with genuine style adhere to, there are a few select habits that can aid the process of crafting a truly authentic sense of style.
This definitely isn’t something you can achieve overnight, I’ve been working at this for a few years now and I’m STILL learning new things. It truly is an ongoing process of getting to know yourself.
However, if you’re willing to commit to the journey and start crafting your authentic sense of style, then it’s time to start cultivating these 7 habits of genuinely stylish people.
7 Habits of Those with Genuine Style
1. They don’t copy outfits exactly as they see them
In today’s street-style obsessed world all you have to do is take a peek on Pinterest, scroll through Instagram, or visit any one of the gazillion personal style blogs (like mine! 😀) and you’ll be inundated by Fashion (that’s right with a capital F) inspiration.
Now while I could totally spend an entire day stalking photos on Pinterest of my favorite style icons for inspiration, at the end of the day it should be just that – inspiration. I won’t deny it’s fun to look at stylish people and admire their efforts, but it doesn’t do YOU any favors to emulate their look piece for piece.
One of the key habits to developing genuine style is to be able to take a look you’re drawn to and instead of copying it exactly as you see it, seek items with a similar vibe that still represents who you are and your unique point of view.
2. They understand labels don’t make them cooler or more stylish
Another concept you’ve probably heard me preach a million times – but I wouldn’t say it so much if it wasn’t true.
Brands/Labels will never make or break your style.
Those with genuine style know they have no need to drop $700 on a sweatshirt or $2000 on a handbag to look cool.
It’s all about having the confidence in who you are and what you want to represent, and that should never be dependent on a label of a t-shirt or a price of a handbag.
3. They wear clothes that fit THEIR body
If I’m sounding like a broken record, it’s because I am. This is another thing we all know, and yet for some reason we’re still holding ourselves back because our body doesn’t look a certain way.
Squeezing into a pair of too-tight jeans doesn’t look good on anybody – no matter what the numbers on a scale may say.
Those with genuine style understand it’s not about the size on the tag, but how it fits on your body. If you have to size up (or down) for a proper fit, so be it. Never sacrifice comfort for style.
4. They’re resourceful
We have so much information readily available to us (sometimes too much information) That you never have to settle for something the first time you see it.
Those with an authentic sense of style can shop anywhere – and I mean anywhere – with zero snob factor and the ability to stay true to their aesthetic.
If there’s something that’s outside their budget, they’ll hunt for an item with a similar vibe within their budget. They keep their eyes open and never take anything at face value.
5. They embrace a signature look
Many people imagine stylish people as those who are always on the cutting edge of fashion and constantly coming up with new out-of-this-world looks. And while that may be true for some, it’s definitely not a requirement for someone to develop a genuine sense of style.
Honing in on a signature look that is totally you and you can always rely on says more about who you are than always being on the cutting edge.
6. They pay attention to the details
Some say style is all about the details, and I would agree that the little things can make a huge difference.
Anyone can wear a t-shirt and jeans, but it’s the details – whether the shirt is fitted or draping off your shoulder, or if the jeans are skinny versus flared – that make you stand apart from someone wearing the same thing.
Those with genuine style make an effort to focus on the details that feel authentic to their sense of style
7. They don’t dress simply to be seen as “stylish”
At the end of the day, those with genuinely authentic style dress not to be seen as cool or hip or fashion-forward, but out of respect for themselves. They dress well to show they love and appreciate who they are.
It doesn’t really matter what brand of heels you’re wearing – if you can’t walk in them or look extremely uncomfortable – that’s what people notice.
Simply put – DO YOU! If you hate wearing high heels when going out – don’t wear them! And the same goes the other way, if wearing heels makes you feel totally badass – rock them out!
The One Thing You Need to Start Cultivating Your Genuine Style
Confidence in who you are. Confidence in owning what you like.
Being confident in yourself is half of the personal style equation. It’s about knowing yourself and being confident in what you know.
No matter what you wear, if you walk with your head held high, shoulders back, and in a comfortable stride – that is a mark of confidence.
And that’s style.
What I’m wearing
| Photos by Maya |