Developing your own personal style begins with personal preference.
You know, do you prefer lots of bold colors?
…. or are you more of a monotone, minimal type?
To begin formulating you own style, you have to first take into account the things that you like before anything else.
Take some time and make a list of your favorite colors, places, cuisines, and illustrate or collect photos of things which catch your eye. It may be anything from patterns to paintings so long as it represents a certain design you find appealing. Building out an inspiration board is a great way of ‘finding yourself’ when it comes to discovering and defining your own signature style.
Also make a note of the people whose styles you find inspiration in. They may be anyone from relative to celebrities, musicians, or notable figures in fashion. These influences will become the building blocks your own personal style and will set you apart from everyone else.
Once you have a grasp on the things which inspire you, begin to experiment. Mix and match certain clothes and accessories together. Don’t be afraid to play with patterns or designs you wouldn’t normally select for yourself. Be confident and know that you’re unique and you’re showing your unique expression of yourself. Make sure it’s what you like and that confidence and trueness of self will shine out like a light. You’ll see others respond to that light.
You can ask those around you how you look. But that’s not what’s most important. If you feel good, you will look good.
Build on it
“Fashion fades, only style remains the same”
– Coco Channel
Change is the only thing constant in this world and if your style is to stand the test of time it has to be well developed and mature.
A timeless style is achieved by two-parts:
Observing should come easily. Simply sitting in a busy area ‘people-watching’, like a park or a café. Watching people go about their daily lives, noting their differences and similarities, spotting trends and trailblazers; this is enough to give you more than enough inspiration to use in your own evolving style. By reading books (and how authors characterize people), watching a movie, or just flipping through a magazine we can find how style can be applied to express your inner self.
Imitating, however, is a word used quite liberally here. A better term might be mirroring. Nevertheless, it simply is the part where you take this inspirations, influences, and observations and inject them slowly into your still developing style, applying it.
It is very important to note that imitating or mirroring is different from stealing. You are not going to wear the exam same dress as that woman your saw at the café or purchase the exact same furniture your favorite celebrity owns at his mansion in Beverly Hills.
You are going to take these observations and add your own personal spin to them. Wear something similar (or the same) but in your own way, not the exact way.
Stay Open to New Ideas
Style may be eternal, but it doesn’t have to be redundant. Possessing your own personal style does not necessarily mean you wear the same clothes or wear different variations of the same clothes, it’s about being in keeping with the theme of who you are as person and how you wish to be perceived by the world.
With this in mind, understand that you are no one-trick pony. Your style has to be something indicative of your multifaceted nature. This means understanding that in a wardrobe of black, it wouldn’t hurt to through in a little white. And if not, at least a few shades of gray.
Be open-minded about your style choices. Never trap yourself within a style bubble, refusing to take risks. It is important for your style to mature that you take risks and go beyond your comfort zone. More often than not, this leads to surprise and a sort of enlightenment where you find yourself becoming more versatile and your style looking more polished.
The Benefits of Having a Style
“Style is knowing what you are,
what you want to say,
and not giving a damn”
– Orson Welles
- Reputation – Developing your own sense of style will undoubtedly lead to an increase in notoriety within numerous social circles. The power of style to control how people perceive you and are thus
more receptive is indispensable.
- Non-Verbal Communication – Style allows someone to understand before they speak to you. It informs the world around you what kind of person you are, what your interests are, and how you should be treated.
- Self-Confidence – There is no greater feeling than when people compliment you on the beauty of your style. The feeling of validation and respect being given to you is truly something everyone should have and yet not many of us do. Of course, having your own style is reward enough. Having a style is having the ability to wear your personality on your skin or to live in a space entirely
- Better Relationships – One might not automatically associate style with the key to lasting relationships but time and time again, it has been shown that with the increased capacity for self-expression comes a greater capacity for meaningful and lasting relationships. When a person is
honest about who he/she is and openly expresses it, these cuts through the guessing game that stems from our need to understand each other.
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