4 Tips to Help Define Your Style (Even if You Don't Think You Have One)
If you’re ready to define your style and take ownership of your confidence and appearance, you’re in the right place. Style shouldn't be stressful!
August 15, 2022
Personal style is your ticket to confidence. That means feeling good about yourself and what you’re wearing every single day! But it can be hard to define your style in a sea of toxic marketing and social expectations. And really, your style has nothing to do with which outfits are trending or what others think of you. Style is feeling at home in your clothes!
Your style probably lies somewhere inside your existing wardrobe! You just need the tools to find it…
Before you define your style, you need to bust some style myths
I get it: social media is flooded with pictures of thin white women in white button-up shirts and straight-leg jeans. But celebs, ads, and influencers don’t define your style. “One style fits all” is the biggest myth of all.
Your personal style will highlight certain proportions, shapes, or silhouettes you’re comfortable with. The trick is unearthing those preferences using your own body, not the hundreds (maybe thousands?) of people you set eyes on every day.
Here are three myths complicating the way you define your style.
You’re not limited to a single style personality
Sometimes people feel like they don’t have a personal style. They think dressing sporty on Monday, feminine on Tuesday, and in head-to-toe black on Wednesday means they’re too inconsistent to nail down a style identity.
This is a myth!
You can have different style personalities and define your style. Whether you’re more “classic,” “edgy,” or “bohemian,” (or none of these) there’s still room for variation.
My style comes from my preferences surrounding proportions, fits, and shapes. But it’s influenced by the season or activities I’m taking part in. My style words are "subtle, luxurious, ease, discerning." But if I’m feeling "sporty" or "minimalist" on a certain day, I use the same principles (preferences) of proportions, fits, andfabric to draw a common thread.
Related: The "perfect" wardrobe is a myth, sorry. Here's why.
Simple is a style
Picture this: you only like really simple pieces and just want to wear jeans and a t-shirt most days. Does that mean you don’t have a style?
Just because it's simple doesn't mean it isn't stylish! Simple can be an aesthetic.
Think about a pair of jeans that's got rips, or a split hem, or even rhinestones (hello Y2K!) versus a very simple pair of skinny jeans or straight-leg jeans. Either one can be stylish (even if it’s not currently trendy!). The ones you’re drawn to help define your style.
And the best part? There’s no wrong answer.
Your actual clothes can be simple just as your mentality around style can be simple. (As in, not fussy! You don't want to think about it, and that’s okay.) Jeans and a t-shirt or athletic clothing can look pretty put together if you know how to style them. Instead of dressing like you really did just come from the gym, try punching up your athleisure with some accessories or clean shoes.
You can be eclectic and like a ton of different things
If you’re a maximalist—totally in love with colors, patterns, and prints, and wear tons of accessories and layers—don’t feel pressured to stick to neutrals. Collect every quirky, unique ingredient to hone in on the perfect style recipe.
It’s totally possible to harness a passion for lots of different aesthetics and still create a cohesive style for yourself. The same principles for proportion, shape, and fit apply to multiple layers, textures, and patterns.
The key is discovering what you like and bringing that intentionality to every outfit. So it won’t look like you just pulled a bunch of different things out of a laundry basket to get dressed—but you pieced together an ensemble that wows.
Great personal style is so much more than the clothes you wear. Get the guide and discover twelve life-changing style habits you can start practicing now, so you can experience having great style, not just great outfits.
How to define your style
When you define your style, you’re better able to advocate for what you like or don’t like. And you become more confident day-to-day with no clothes to hold you back!
How do you do it? Start the journey here and use these four strategies to define your style.
Think about how you want to express yourself with your clothes
It's not, “What do my clothes say about me to other people?” It’s, “How do I express who I am through my clothes?”
Take someone who likes to wear nerdy graphic tees. No matter how many times they’ve been told that they’re not stylish (because graphic tees aren’t the most trendy or “fashionable”), their consistent expression makes it so!
The bottom line: if graphic tees are part of your personality, then they’re part of your style. You can focus on fit and proportions (whatever suits your preferences) to make whatever you’re into a part of each cohesive look.
Grab my free Life-Changing Style Habits guide to learn more about style as an attitude—so much more than just clothes.
Remember, style can’t be bought!
You can copy an outfit you see online and buy all the “right” pieces, but it’s not going to feel the same if it doesn’t align with YOUR authentic personal style. Of course, some experimentation is necessary to define your style! But it starts from within—not from an advertisement, social media post, or trendy fit you saw on someone else.
In The Unfolding, we dive deep into how your clothes make you feel to define your personal style. Once you define your style, you can start to show up as your authentic self every day — and buy pieces that make you feel like YOU.
Simply rushing into a wardrobe because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. You’re unique! Find your own visual aesthetic to shine through the crowd. Define a style that reflects your personality.
That’s not to say you can’t seek inspiration. But how does it apply consistently to your unique body, comfort level, lifestyle, and passions?
Do what feels right to you
All style “rules” go out the window when you feel good about yourself and the clothes you wear. Sometimes personal style boils down to a gut feeling.
Don’t subscribe to current trends or fashion traps if they don’t make you feel like yourself!
- Wear too many accessories for your comfort level or skip the accessories you desperately want to wear
- Stick to slow-fashion beige just because that’s what people who care about sustainability “should” wear
- Wear something stuffy and uncomfortable to an event you’re going to so you can “fit in”
- Discard your favorite skinny jeans just because TikTok shamed you
- Opt for more sensible, traditional options to please someone else (you can still be “appropriate” and meet your personal style needs!)
If it feels right, wear it. Your inner voice will help you define your style in time. And the more you honor your feelings, the easier it will be to describe them (or put them into words). That sort of control and self-understanding is a huge confidence booster.
Related: What is personal style and why is it so important?
Try to put words to what you like to define your style
Speaking of speaking…when you can explain your style to others, you’ll be able to define your style. I don’t mean defend your choices to those who disapprove—I mean you’ll be able to describe your style with clarity whenever the mood strikes.
Imagine walking into a store and asking, “Do you sell anything with a bold pattern? I prefer fitted tops, but can make anything work!” Sounds a lot better than kicking off a shopping adventure with, “I don’t know,” or, “I’m not sure,” doesn’t it? Nobody wants to browse without direction.
If you’re ready to nail your personal style and actually have this streamlined experience with your shopping (and dressing), it’s time to apply to The Unfolding. When you learn the language to describe your style, you unlock the door to ultimate style control. (And that feels amazing!)
If you’re ready to define your style and take ownership of your confidence and appearance, you’re in the right place. Dressing yourself doesn’t have to be tedious or stressful. I’m here to help.
Sign up for The Unfolding and uncover the language inside you to advocate for your personal style. (It may have been there all along!)
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