For me personally, I think your personal style is a bit of a spectrum which evolves over time. One day I might want to get dressed up in a fancy dress and heels and the next I may just wear jeans and a tee. Both of these outfits are my personal style they are just at different ends of my spectrum. It’s not about always wearing the same things or having a uniform. I think personal style is more about knowing what you like to wear and what suits you. It’s also about being able to dress appropriately for the occasion. For example, you may enjoy wearing jeans and a simple tee, but you also know that’s not appropriate for a job interview or a wedding so you are able to adapt your style to suit the occasion.
Personal style evolves over time, there isn’t an end point.
You’re not going to wake up one day knowing exactly what your style is and have it all figured out. Personal style is what you’re wearing right now, what you wore 10 years ago and what you will be wearing next year. It may change over time but that doesn’t mean what you wore wasn’t your style at the time. I wrote about how I always used to dress up jeans with a blazer and heels for going out when I was younger. This was my style at the time, and I’ve recently found myself reaching for similar outfits again (read about my spring style). My style has evolved (trust me, my current outfits are a lot better than 18 years old Jen’s) but it hasn’t changed that much. I still wear what I think suits me and what I enjoy wearing.
Think about how you really spend your time. It’s easy to get carried away when you see that pretty dress in store telling yourself you will wear it all the time (I know I’ve done it myself) when in reality you spend your Saturday nights in front of the telly and haven’t been to a club in years. There is no point in buying something you won’t get the chance to wear, no matter how pretty it is. One of the easiest ways to work out exactly how you spend your time is to create a pie chart. Mark out how much of your time you spend at work, how much time you spend out to eat, how long you spend working out etc. You can create a weekly or monthly chart depending on what you find easier. This will give you a visual display of your lifestyle and what you really spend time doing. Your style should then suit each of the activities. It is also worth noting down any special occasions you have coming up like weddings or job interviews to make sure you have appropriate outfits for them as well (this is useful if you are clearing out your wardrobe)
You may feel a bit stuck in a rut with your style. This can be for so many different reasons, maybe you’ve lost weight (well done you) and your clothes no longer fit, or you’ve had a baby or you’ve started a new job with a strict dress code. Whatever your reasons for wanting to change or evolve your personal style you need to find some inspiration. Block out some time in your week to check our some new fashion blogs to see what others are wearing, read fashion magazines, watch a fashion show (check Youtube) or have a pinning session on Pinterest. Even a bit of window shopping (leave the credit card at home so your not tempted to splurge) or sit outside a cafe in a fashionable part of town and what people go past. Do whatever helps you to get inspired about fashion and clothes again. If you can collect all your ideas together in one place (this is where Pinterest comes in) and look for a pattern. Think about why you’re drawn to certain styles and consider whether or not they fit your lifestyle.
Hopefully, these steps will help you to define your personal style and lifestyle. This should make shopping for clothes a lot easier as you know what you like to wear and what will work for your lifestyle. And you’ll no longer be as tempted by fast fashion trends.