What’s the difference between inauthentic versus unfamiliar style? How do you know when something is authentic, just unfamiliar, rather than it being inauthentic?
Watch the Video Where I discuss the unfamiliar and the inauthentic (and authentic).
Unfamiliar can be anything you don’t wear frequently. It can be patterns, colours, styles of clothing, outfit combinations, accessories, jewellery, shoes … really anything that’s not in your usual outfit rotation. But if you enjoy wearing florals (familiar) and then decide to wear paisley (a stylised floral) this is likely to be unfamiliar, whilst still authentic as they are related prints, versus if you’d decided to wear a large check pattern this may be inauthentic as it’s a very different style of print and may not be a good expression of your personality.
Anything unfamiliar can become familiar with time and frequent wearing. One of the reasons you get into a style rut is because you’ve gone all for things that are too similar and too familiar and you become bored with your style (which is why I developed my Evolve Your Style 31 day style challenge, as it helps you to try out unfamiliar items (garments and accessories) and see if they are something you want to try including in your regular wardrobe and style – making them feel more familiar as you work through the month. You will also discover as you do this challenge that some items will be authentic, and others inauthentic. The more you try things outside your current style the larger your comfort zone becomes and so what was unfamiliar can become familiar quite quickly.
When I first learned about the power of a large scale necklace to make my large bust look smaller, I was keen to try it out, and what was once unfamiliar, has become something completely familiar and an integral part of my authentic style.
Style that is authentic feels truly comfortable on you (and you need to define what comfortable really means for you – there is physical comfort, emotional comfort and mental comfort to consider – you can read more about them here).
When you feel truly at home and comfortable in your clothing, you will forget about it, but know that what you’re wearing looks good on you and that gives you confidence and courage to tackle your goals and dreams. This is why I’m so passionate about helping you discover your authentic style and how you can express this best. We can all appreciate the style of others, admire them for their style, but if you’ve ever copied an outfit that you’ve admired on someone else and felt like it was all wrong on you, it’s because that outfit was authentic to the original, but on you, it’s a poor imitation and a costume rather than an expression of you, as you are not a clone of that person.
Your style won’t be authentic either if it’s not an expression of your values as these come deep from your core. If you value “freedom” you will have a very different style (most likely) from someone who values “conservatism”. I’ve developed a process in my Visualise Your Style mini-course to help you both tease out your values and then take them and turn them into garments, outfits and a personal style – that you’d actually wear and feel great in.
I’ve never worn a lot of sequins, they are not a regular part of my style, but when I spyed these sequin boots in two of my signature colour in a floral pattern (both of which are both familiar and authentic) I knew that these would become a favourite item and be a great expression of my authentic style.
When what you are wearing is inauthentic, it’s because it’s not a representation of your personality and so it can feel like a costume that belongs to someone else quite different from you or that “it’s just not me”. Wearing outfits or clothes, no matter how much the suit your body or colouring that are inauthentic, will never make you feel great. This is why the people who have had a makeover on a TV show end up back where they were pre-makeover if their personality was not included in the decisions about what they should wear, as someone else’s choices are not their choices and they just don’t feel right in the new look. I’ve also seen this many times with clients who have been shopping with personal stylists who are not trained to understand the impact of personality on choices, they end up with clothes in their wardrobe that they never wear because they are inauthentic.
Playing Dress Up
When you do this in a fun way, a way that is authentic to you, this allows you to expand your style horizons and try out different things that may be currently unfamiliar to you. Taking a style challenge (like Evolve Your Style) is a great way to play dress-ups in a slightly structured way so that you get the most value from your experiments and through the program materials you will discover what is just unfamiliar but authentic and what is inauthentic and something you never ever have to wear again should you choose not to.
Your Personal Brand Image is Authentic
When clothing matches your personality, you appear more confident. When you dress consistently with your personal brand image in mind, you are putting others at ease as they can read who you are, and what you stand for (your values, your personality) and it is a shorthand non-verbal language that communicates this quickly. This was key to Queen Elizabeth’s style and is something you see in many other strong personal brands and why style is not shallow.
Want to discover how to express your personality, your values and try the unfamiliar to figure out what is authentic and inauthentic in your style? You can find all this inside my 7 Steps to Style program and it takes you through a series of steps to figure this out for you (plus all the details you need on what harmonises with you physically as well – the colours, shapes and styles of clothing that make you shine) – find out more here and join now.