Over the years I’ve been working as an image consultant I’ve realised that style is a journey, not a destination. When I started image consulting I worked through a process to discover my style personality, but since then it has kept evolving. I’ve learned style is not static – it’s not a “set and forget” process. Style is something you need to reevaluate regularly. If you define your style then forget about it, over time it will become dated and boring and will no longer reflect the person you are today.
During my time in the corporate world and working in large business institutions, my style was more classic. I favoured suits and plain collared shirts or knit tops, small and discreet jewellery. Classic and a bit relaxed would have been my style. Now my feet are always feminine, my jewellery generally has an element of drama or creativity and the rest of me is a combination of dramatic, feminine and creative, though I do like to be comfortable too. It’s a long way from my old much more classic style.
As time has progressed, I’ve also become more driven by comfort, which is part of the Relaxed personality dressing style too, though it always needs to be balanced with feminity, creativity and drama to feel at home on my body.
7 Ways to Define Your Style
To help you develop your style I’ve collected some of my posts on creating personal style to give you some activities and tips to get you on the right path (remember it’s a journey!)…
1. Does Confidence in Your Style Come from Your Inner World or the Outer World?
This is something worth considering. Some of us have to feel right in our skin, and it’s an inside out feeling. We need no confirmation from the outside world. We feel confident when style is an authentic expression of self.
Some feel confident in their style when the feedback is from the outer world, external feedback. It’s either externally imposed (like a uniform, or wearing the latest fashion triends that your peers are also wearing) or you just are getting positive feedback on your style in the form of compliments from others. Here are a couple of blog posts that expand on this topic!
Where does Confidence Come From?
Confidence Comes from the Inside Out
2. Define Who You are to Develop Your Style Confidence
- Who are you today?
- What are your dominant personality traits?
- How do you want to be perceived by others?
These are all important questions to answer to help you define your style for today and moving forwards. Find out more and work through the exercises in this post.
3. What Are Your Roles and How Do You Dress for Them
What do you spend your time doing? What are your roles? Wife, mother, lawyer, doctor, accountant, gardener, sewer, dog owner, zoologist, socialite, grandmother, park ranger, goat herder, netball player, yogi …. each part of our lives includes some sort of role that we regularly do and we may need to dress differently for the different roles in our lives. Your lifestyle is a really important factor in what you need in your wardrobe and how you will express your style. Find out more about its impact in this blog post.
4. How Have Past Messages Impacted How You Relate to and Create Your Style?
You were not born into a void, instead, it was some sort of family. You will have received messages both spoken and inferred by that family, and the culture you grew up in that will be impacting on your style even now, many years later. Figuring out what those messages were can help you decide whether you want to keep deferring to them, or to let them go as they no longer apply to you and your style. Find out more in this post.
5. How to Develop Your Style Recipe
A style recipe is an incredibly useful tool, and I’ve written about them many times as to are a shorthand to deciding what to buy and what to leave in store, and for putting outfits together.
Get some inspiration for defining and developing your style recipe here.
6. Determining Your Yin and Yang
Yin and yang are such a useful concept and provide a great framework for defining your style. When you understand how your physicality and personality are being perceived by others, you can then determine if you want to create more balance or to emphasise and embolden how you are already silently projecting yourself to the world. Find out more in these posts
Ways to Balance Your Yin and Yang
Understanding the Yin and Yang of Clothing
7. How to Have Style
There is no one style that is stylish. Style comes in many forms. But to be stylish there are 6 elements that need to be considered and taken into consideration. Discover what they are and how you can utilize them in this post.
Style is more than skin deep, in fact, I believe it impacts on your very core of who you are. This is why you can put on an outfit and think “It’s not me” but if you haven’t done the work to find out “what is me” then it can be so hard to find the clothes that make you feel and look great. You’re likely to be buying and not wearing and either get totally stuck in a style rut (wearing the same safe things over and over) or not feeling as great or confident as you could.
This is why I developed my Evolve Your Style program, to help you work through these steps of defining your style and experiment in small ways each day or only 1 month to help you really start to define your style, for the person you are today.
A small style step every day will move you to a more stylish you faster than you realise! Take the challenge and start Evolving Your Style, find out more here.
This is a great set of articles. I do not have time right now to read them all, but going to sit down this weekend with a cup of tea, and a notepad and finally sort out my style….Thank you!!
This post made me reflect on a style quandary: I have difficulty creating my own style because I have such a professional job and such a relaxed character, as in, the juxtaposition almost makes it difficult to commit to either one, and I find shopping to be quite harrowing. It’s hard to build a wardrobe when half of it doesn’t mesh with the other half.
Jess – when you have such different requirements, sometimes you need to actually separate your work wardrobe completely from your personal wardrobe, don’t expect there to be crossovers. A more expensive option, but sometimes necessary.
I have got to agree with Imogen here – I work as a lawyer (albeit now in a casual company) but am at heart a jeans and old-tshirt gal so often a combined wardrobe is impossible. Not to mention the fact that when you are dagging around at home you can end up with foodstains on your clothes, either from kids or cooking (not a good look in the office). One thing I have tried to do over time is choose accessories which crossover my two worlds and better express my personality. For me, a chunky bold couloured necklace can work as well with shirt and leggings as it can with a corporate suit.
I was a bit disappointed when I first realized there wouldn’t be a ‘destination’. I thought I could just get it done and forget about it. But circumstances change, I change, styles will change, so it’s really ongoing … The good part is that it gets a little easier on further iterations just because of previous experience.
I love that there is no destination as change is exciting. Growing and changing is what makes life interesting