One of the things I love about you – yes YOU – is that you’re a part of a diverse group of readers here at KATNP.
There are those of you who are relatively versed in fashion, as in you have a general idea of what works for you and what doesn’t. And then there are those of you who may be complete fashion newbies.
I think both are great, as it allows you to experiment and have fun defining or refining your sense of style.
And you should know that, whichever side of the coin you’re on, developing a sense of style starts from where you are right now.
No one is born with an innate sense of style – it’s a skill like any other that can be learned like any other.
All it requires is a little practice.
Today, we’re going to talk about uncovering your unique style preferences. That’s the point of having a personal style after all – wearing what YOU love and enjoy, NOT what someone tells you you should be wearing.
So whether you’re brand new or just looking to do a refresh, let’s take a look at 4 concrete techniques that’ll help you uncover or upgrade your style preferences.
4 Steps to Uncovering Your Unique Style Characteristics
1. Become an expert observer
The number one thing you can do to improve your style is to train your eye. Look at how other people are styling themselves, notice what items they’re wearing, the colors they mix, the shoes they pair with a look, how they accessorize. Pretend you’re a researcher and use your everyday environment as your lab.
DCT and I love sitting in coffee shops, parks, or even the grocery store to people watch and take note of what others are wearing. (yeah, we’re kind of creepy, but we like it.)
Pay close attention to co-workers and friends you find stylish, check out your fellow commuters each morning – if someone catches you eyeing them, tell them you love their look and ask how they came up with it – make friends!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come up with an outfit idea by simply paying attention to my surroundings. I don’t just come up with things from the top of my head – that sort of magic only happens once in a blue moon, every other look I put together from what inspires me in my day-to-day.
The key here is to be as precise as possible, if you see something you like ask yourself why exactly – is it the overall vibe of the look? The color scheme? A specific item they’re wearing?
This is how you train your eye – by paying super close attention to what other people wear and taking notice of the things that resonate with you.
2. Be a copy cat
I want you to take a moment and think back to a class you’ve taken – whether it was writing, drawing, a new language, or even a yoga class. Think about when you were first starting to learn this new craft. Most likely your instructor started out by giving you examples of other experts to study and imitate in order to learn how to do the craft yourself. This same concept applies to developing your own sense of style.
The fact is – imitating other people’s style gives you a blueprint for a starting point for your own.
Simply look for outfits on Pinterest, style blogs, or follow through on step 1 and choose looks you can imagine yourself wearing then try them out! You can use clothes already in your closet to replicate a look as close as possible or go to a store and try things on – there’s no rule that you have to buy anything.
Imitation is super helpful because it:
1. It forces you to pay attention to details. And when it comes to style, details matter.
2. It’s a great way to experiment and hone in on your individual preferences. You may discover you LOVE a look, which is awesome. But you may also not be a big fan of something, which is great too because you’re still narrowing down what works and what doesn’t for yourself.
3. Get out of your comfort zone
Here’s a bit of real talk – the only way to ever get to a place where you can confidently say – yes this is my style is by exposing yourself to a TON of different aesthetics and experimenting to find out what you like as well as what you don’t like.
Everyone you admire and think has great style has gone through this stage. I, for one, can tell you many stories about terrible outfits I wore before starting to settle on a specific style.
And to be honest – you’ll always be in a constant state of experimentation. When you stop playing and experimenting that’s usually an early sign of a style rut.
So even if you feel secure in your style, continue to actively seek out new colors, styles, and silhouettes. A very handy tool for this is my 50 ways to break a style rut. If you haven’t received it, pop your email in below and get it straight away!
4. Use your most worn pieces as a starting point
Even if you’re not 100% thrilled by your wardrobe right now, chances are there are pieces you do like and wear often.
An easy way to start upgrading your style is to use those pieces as a starting point. Figure out what separates them from the rest – why do you wear them more often?
Make sure to be specific – don’t just say “I like these pants because they’re comfy” – get in the nitty gritty details – why are they so comfy to you? Is it the fabric? The fit? Where it hits you on your hip?
Create a list of specific details you love about your most worn items and use it as a guideline when shopping for new items. This will help you buy things you’ll actually wear since it based off items you already wear all the time.
Another way to make use of your most worn items is to do some online research to see how others are styling them.
For example, if you love wearing black turtlenecks, Google or type into Pinterest “black turtleneck outfit” and BAM! outfit inspiration galore.
Which one of these tips do you think you’d like to try?
Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading.
‘till next time….