In your busy life, it’s not uncommon to feel like you’ve lost your sense of style or that you never had one in the first place. As life gets busier and you prioritize the needs of your family and others, your personal style often takes a backseat. You may find yourself at the mercy of fashion trends and other people’s opinions about what you should wear. However, the key to unlocking your unique sense of style lies in understanding yourself and your personality. Let’s explore the importance of getting a great grounding in a style education and how it can help you rediscover or refine your sense of style.
The Pitfalls of Following Trends
When you feel lost in the world of fashion, you tend to rely on external cues like fashion trends, celebrity styles, or “must-have” lists. You hope that by following these trends, you’ll magically transform into a stylish individual. However, this approach often leaves you feeling inauthentic and disconnected from your true self. This is because fashion is not style and following someone else’s ideas and outfits most likely won’t work for you because you are a unique individual and have your own lifestyle, a body shape and proportions that is yours alone, have your own colouring and need to take that as well as your colour and value contrasts into account when putting outfits together as well as a myriad of other factors (personal preferences, location, climate…. the list goes on and on). This is why I’m a total non-believer in those lists of “every stylish woman must own” garments (white shirts, black pants, little black dress, and camel trench coat are all examples of items frequently listed) that you definitely don’t need to own, unless of course, they are something that is relevant to your style and something you’d get joy from wearing.
Along with those lists of classic basics, then there are the current fashion trends that you’re constantly being sold (cos that’s how fashion retailers make money).
Fashion trends can be fun to experiment with, but they should be a tool in your style toolbox rather than the sole basis of your personal style. True style goes beyond trends; it’s a reflection of your personality, values, and how you want to be perceived.
The Power of Personality in Style
Understanding your personality is a crucial step in developing your unique sense of style. There is a strong correlation between personality traits and clothing preferences. Let’s explore some examples:
- Traditional or Conservative: If you have a more traditional or conservative personality, you might gravitate toward classic, structured clothing with simpler designs and perhaps pinstripes, that white collared shirt and black trousers (if they actually suit your current colouring) could all be great workhorses in your wardrobe.
- Feminine: If you have a feminine personality, you may prefer clothing with curvier shapes, lighter fabrics like chiffon, and prints like florals or polka dots. You may also appreciate delicate details and lace. You will never wear that crisp white shirt and black pant outfit, because it’s too stiff and formal, instead you may enjoy dresses and skirts that move when you walk.
- Relaxed and Casual: If you’re a relaxed and easy-going person, you often translate that into a preference for nature-inspired colors like soft blues, greens, rust, and comfortable, low-maintenance clothing. You’ll dislike the blazer and formality of the crisp white shirt that doesn’t stretch and move with you. Instead you’ll prefer more practical items such as denim jeans, cargo pants, tee shirts and other knits that are looser fitting.
- Comfort-Driven: Some individuals prioritize comfort above all else. If you’re part of this group, you’ll be acutely aware of how clothes feel on your body, and you’ll choose pieces that prioritize comfort.
The Role of Style Education
Style education is the key to unlocking your sense of style. It’s not something you typically learn in school, but it’s a skill that can be acquired. Style education teaches you the principles and guidelines to create a style that resonates with who you are.
In a good education in style you’ll learn:
- What suits your unique body and all its features including your current colouring
- How to wear your best colours so they really make you shine.
- The role of your personality in your clothing style and accessory choices (it’s so key, here are 10 reasons why understanding your personality is more important than body shape when choosing clothes)
- How your values influence all your style choices and how you can create a style that is in harmony with them so you never feel conflicted.
- How to wardrobe and shop effectively for you.
By diving deep into your personality traits, you can better understand your unique preferences and what truly reflects your identity. This process allows you to create a personal brand image that communicates your authentic self to the world.
Creating Your Style Recipe
A style recipe is a valuable tool for shopping and curating your wardrobe. It’s a personalized shorthand and guide that you apply to every choice you make when getting dressed or shopping for clothes. It will help you stop making mistakes and also improve every outfit you wear. However, creating an effective style recipe requires a deep understanding of your identity and preferences which is why a comprehensive style education is key to improving your style.
You want a style recipe that works for your whole life (rather than just work, or just social), there should be a unifying theme that runs through everything you wear.
Your style recipe wants to be a little aspirational as a reminder that you’re aiming to improve your style.
Your style recipe doesn’t need to include words you do easily and every day (such as comfortable) if that’s what you find easy. But if you have a wardrobe of clothes that are uncomfortable, too stiff, too restrictive, or too scratchy, then absolutely you want to include the word comfortable in your style recipe as a reminder to not buy uncomfortable clothes or accessories.
Embracing Your Authentic Self
In today’s world, where body image and societal pressures can cloud your judgment, it’s crucial to strip away those layers and rediscover your authentic self. Your style should reflect who you are at your core, rather than conforming to external expectations.
Here’s a quick exercise that can help you identify and embrace things about you that are unrelated to your body (and body image).
Finding Your Authentic Self
- Write down at least three things that you value about yourself that aren’t based on any sort of physical attributes – they may be things about your personality, your values, what you can do, what you know….
- Now ask a friend or loved one to do this for you too – get them to write a list of your great qualities and attributes.
- Now you have a lovely list of things that are great about you that have nothing to do with your body image.
- If you were to dress a character in a movie who had all these attributes, what would you dress them in? What kinds of clothes and accessories? What kinds of fabrics? This exercise can help you see beyond yourself and help you identify your authentic style.
A Journey to Confidence
Your sense of style is not about following trends or adhering to someone else’s formula. It’s a journey of self-discovery and self-expression. Style education empowers you to understand your personality, preferences, and values, helping you build a wardrobe that truly reflects your authentic self.
Rediscovering or refining your sense of style can boost your confidence and self-esteem, giving you the courage to pursue your goals with enthusiasm. Remember, you dress for yourself every day, so why not do it in a way that makes you feel good inside and out?
If you’re ready to embark on the journey of self-discovery and style education, consider enrolling in my program 7 Steps to Style. It’s an opportunity to learn the science of style and uncover what truly works for you. Embrace your unique style, and step confidently into the future, making the most of who you are now and who you’re becoming.