Debunking the 10 Great Myths of Having Personal Style

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No one likes being lied to.

But if we’re being completely honest – we’ve all told the occasional white lie or fed into a myth when we knew it wasn’t the actual truth.

The same thing is true when it comes to your personal style.

I can guarantee you’ve been told a few lies about what it takes to have a great sense of personal style. Lies or myths that may be holding you back from your true style potential.

But that ends right now!

Today we’re going to go over the 10 great myths you’ve been told about having personal style and why these are and never will be valid truths.

Let’s go bust some common style myths so you can stop holding yourself and your style back!

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1. Designer clothing is ALWAYS expensive

Yes…and no. Designer clothing can be uber-expensive and there are some items that will never get reduced in price (Chanel 2.55, I’m looking at chu).

BUT there are ways around the high price tags, it’s just a matter of keeping your ears and eyes open.

Check the designer’s website often, especially during seasonal changes when they’re trying to clear out old inventory for that new new.

Subscribe to mailing lists for secret discounts and sign up for flash sale sites like Gilt or Hautelook (though be careful with these, they can be very dangerous for your bank account – consider yourself warned!). You can even visit designer outlets such as Barney’s Warehouse, Off 5th, Last Call, or my personal favorite Nordstrom Rack.

2. You must buy designer clothing to look stylish

This is one I’ve struggled with as a style blogger – but the fact is, this is completely and totally FALSE.

Stylish clothing comes in a range of prices. Even brands or stores known to sell higher-priced items generally offer more affordable pieces as well. They understand that there’s a very slim market that can afford to buy a $2000 dress.

There are also a variety of brands that offer designer-like style at a more reasonable price such as J.Crew, Anthropologie, and Shopbop. And when all else fails, fast fashion shops like H&M and Forever21 are great options for trendier pieces.

Just because something is high in price doesn’t make it better or more stylish.

And on that note being able to buy higher-priced items doesn’t guarantee you a sense of style either.

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3. The key to good style is to follow trends

Contrary to what you may see in the magazines and fashion blogs, having style is more than trends.

Actually, scratch that, having style has NOTHING to do with trends.

Style is about knowing who you are and owning your personal preferences. You don’t have to wear the latest and greatest in order to stand out – you just have to be YOU.

This isn’t to say you should ignore trends all together. If you’re interested in trying a trend – go for it! The point is to use trends as a means to elevate, not define your style.

4. Having a sense of style is high maintenance

With the age of the fashion blogger and increasing transparency of the fashion world in general, it could make you think in order to have great style you must always dress to impress.

But again, style is what you make it. So you can be as high or low maintenance as you want. Natural beauty is just as fashionable as being a master of contouring.

Just because it appears the stylish elite put extra time and effort into their look, doesn’t mean you have to.

So whether you’re on the high or low end of the spectrum, as long as you’re doing it because that’s what YOU like, then go on with ya bad self!

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5. You have to be “in the know”

Similar to following trends, there’s a myth that in order to be seen as having a sense of style, you have to be “in the know”. Meaning you have to get invites to fashionable events, know about designers, follow fashion week, and have an ever-growing collection of Vogue magazine.

As someone who’s made fashion/style their business, I was definitely seduced by this myth and used to think having those things would make or break me. But I’ve come to learn that they couldn’t be any less important.

If knowing about designers and keeping up with fashion week is something that excites you and you want to learn more about it, then yes – follow that curiosity. But you don’t have to be interested in ALL areas of fashion in order to be stylish.

6. Having a sense of style is effortless

Far from it, sister. In fact, I dare say defining your personal style is one of the hardest things you’ll do because it requires some deep introspective work.

The fact is – no one is born with an innate sense of style. It’s something you learn to cultivate over time and experience.

Cultivating your own look takes a lot of trial and error, major risks and epic flops.

It isn’t effortless (though it can appear to be so, when done right), it’s about knowing and owning who you are. It’s deliberate, thought out, and yes requires work.

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7. Once you find your personal style – that’s it.

Personal style is just like you – it’s dynamic, alive, and can change over time.

Defining your personal style isn’t about putting yourself in a box and slapping a label on it nor is anything written in stone. You’re allowed to take away and add new things as you see fit.

This isn’t about identifying yourself as bohemian or classically-feminine. It’s about getting to know yourself and connecting with the very essence of who YOU are.

8. Your body must look a certain way

I know you hear it all the time, but there are still plenty of women (and to be fair, even men) who are conditioned to believe their body must look a certain way in order to be considered fashionable.

Whether it’s to be model-thin or have Beyonce-like curves, the media, society, and sometimes even our own inner thoughts constantly question and judge our bodies.

But having a true sense of personal style means dressing for your body and yours alone.

To hell with the conventional body types and restricting yourself depending on what category you fall in. Wear what works for you and your body – no one else.

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9. You have to be different

Yes, having a sense of style is about expressing your individuality and what makes you different. But you don’t have to be extreme, loud, and over the top to be different.

Or in other words, you don’t have to be Miley Cyrus different in order to have a defined sense of style. What makes you different is just being you. Nothing more, nothing less.

10. You have to have loved fashion all your life

This one hits close to home for me, because if I’m honest I only really started getting into style and fashion about 6 years ago. Sure I knew the basics and some outdated “rules”, but it wasn’t until I was out of college that I really started diving deep into style and what it meant to me.

This blog was a catalyst for such an inner exploration. And I’m happy to be able to share the journey with you.

But if you think you have to of luuuurved fashion all your life, feel free look to me as an example. I would never claim to know everything, but I’m always willing to reach out and learn.

So for all my style newbies – just because you may be a late bloomer doesn’t make you sense of style any less legitimate. The fact that you’re showing up and are willing to figure it out is enough.

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The whole point of this is to say that personal style is just that – personal.

While I’m here to give you advice and offer direction, it’s ultimately up to you to decide what’s right and wrong.

So I encourage you to challenge what you’re told (yes, even from me), test things out, and make up your own mind.

Then, and only then, will you be able to develop a style that is truly YOU.

And before I go, HUGE thanks to my blogger buddy Maya for taking these pictures of me in 0 degree weather – you da bomb!

’till next time…

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What I’m wearing

DKNY pea coat | striped turtleneck | white denim | leopard print scarf | fringe booties | Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag

Filed Under: Ashlei's Everyday Style, Defining Your Style

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