Finding your personal style

May 23, 2016
finding your personal stylePretty much every single blog post or advice about reducing your closet or starting a capsule wardrobe talks about finding your personal style. But what exactly is a personal style and how on earth do you find yours (or can you even find it)?

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.

personal styleJust because your style is something that has always existed and is constantly evolving it doesn’t mean that you can’t change it or define it. Being able to define your personal style is important when you want to simplify your wardrobe (either with a capsule wardrobe or just reducing the amount in it). It also helps focus your shopping list and stops you from buying into fast fashion trends. Having a personal style means you know exactly what you like to wear and what suits your lifestyle, meaning you can choose clothes which will work for you and your lifestyle.
So now you’ve read my ramble (sorry about that) thoughts on what personal style is, let’s have a think about how you can find and develop yours.

Get to know your lifestyle

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)


Get Inspired

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.

P5220809Don’t Shop

Stop shopping completely, ban yourself from buying any new clothes for at least 3 months (6 months if you can). This will force you to work with what you have and will stop you from making impulse purchases. Remember what I said earlier about how knowing your personal style prevents you from buying into fast fashion trends, well you need to stop buying trends to truly find your personal style. Once you’ve decided not to shop for the next few months, try turning all the hangers in your wardrobe the wrong way. Once you wear something to return it with the hanger facing the right way. This will help you to see exactly what you have been wearing, and what you think you wear. At the end of the spending, ban look at the clothes you’ve been wearing. Are they all similar? Can you see a clear style coming through? Why have you picked these clothes to wear? Also, think about what you’ve not been wearing, why do you think this is?

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.

Shop my outfit

Shirt – Zara (similar)
Jeans – Topshop (exact)


8 responses to “Finding your personal style”

  1. Sarah Smiles says:

    It was so important for me to read this. I've been struggling with finding my style for a while but I'm just trying to keep it simple. I love the idea of turning the hangers around in your wardrobe, I'm definitely going to do this! 🙂 xxx

    Sarah / Sarah Smiles

    • admin says:

      Good luck with the hanger test. I know what you mean about struggling to find a personal style – sometimes you forget you already have a style

  2. Caroline says:

    Completely agree. I think sometimes you have a style and don't realise.
    My style is ever revolving and changing. And is currently down to lifestyle with having a toddler. 🙂


    • admin says:

      Can imagine having a toddler really impacts on your style and I'm sure it will evolve as they get older as well. Style has to suit your lifestyle

  3. loved this! great tips and defo style develops over time. I like you advice on not shopping for a while, I think I did this when I was updating my wardrobe a few years ago. But then once I started shopping again… I couldnt stop. Whoops.

    x x

  4. You're so right that your style evolves and changes over time, I kind of love that there's no end point though. I also think it's really important to know your lifestyle and the types of clothes you naturally gravitate toward, that stops you from making so many bad purchases.

  5. xxx says:

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