My twenties have seen a lot of things, a varied career journey, huge personal growth, as well as physical and mental change, so much change. It’s such an interesting experience, even more so when it’s documented on the internet in front of so many people. In addition to learning new things about myself everyday, I also learn things about my style and my preferences everyday. Over the past three months I’ve had the biggest breakthrough when it comes to feeling sure of myself and my wardrobe (I have shopped no where near as often as I normally would as I’m just so comfortable with what I have!). I’d previously been under the assumption that personal style involved knowing exactly what you like and sticking with that 90% of the time, but I recently came to the conclusion that “personal style” is still open to change. People grow and change throughout their life, and year on year, therefore personal style can too. It’s not about dressing the same all the time, but knowing the key features and preferences that run throughout your wardrobe. Does this make the whole “personal style” thing a myth? I don’t know, but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about mine…
I’d love to be a minimalist, or a super chic tailored girl, but what I’ve realised over the past year is that I will always love a mixture of everything, from statement jackets to girly dresses and a well tailored jumpsuit. Despite those varied floral or embellished pieces with zero consistency, I know love a classic denim or biker jacket, and pairing everything with converse. I love to dress things down, and feel comfortable and casual in my clothing. It’s not about having a rail of perfect “classic” items, because I just find that boring, but it’s also not about buying in to every trend – but it is about having fun with the ones that I’m drawn to (most of the time these don’t feel “trendy” to me at all). I recently started to shop differently and pick items that, though they wont necessarily go with everything, make me feel a 10 with the fastening of a clasp. I used to shop this way around 6 years ago, never worrying about how things would work out, and most of the pieces I bought because I absolutely loved I still have now.
Summer is definitely a time when I feel I can clearly define my style (maybe because it’s not hidden under a million layers) and right now more than ever I have such a clear idea of how I want to dress and what I want my wardrobe to say to the world. It’s laid back, light, free flowing, comfortable, dark, casual, textured and feminine and occasionally a little rough around the edges all at the same time. It has so many contradicting pieces and though it doesn’t scream “clear sense of personal style” in the traditional format, but this multi faceted sense of style perfectly reflects me. Much like an onion, I’ve got layers. And embracing those layers rather than just focusing on a few feels so free. Possibly the most free I’ve felt in a long time.
Finding Your Personal Style.
So, how did I get here? Well, aside from deciding I no longer gave a crap whether someone either on the internet or IRL deemed me “not stylish” or “not different” enough to have personal style, I started with a wardrobe clear out. I’ve actually done a lot of these over the past few months due to moving and I can’t recommend it enough. Culling a large amount of unloved items and just seeing the left over pieces that #bringyoujoy really does help you to see what it is you like, and also where it is you go wrong when shopping. Though I’m still a magpie for a silly purchase, I can now see one coming a mile off, and so far I haven’t bought anything that feels “un-me” or doesn’t fit in to my wardrobe.
Embrace Your Signature Feature.
For some people, their defining feature might be really clear, always wearing a clean cut silhouette, five inch heels or something with a ruffle. But for some it’s not always going to jump out and smack you in the face, and that’s okay. Your defining feature that you always rock doesn’t have to be through your clothes, think accessories. It can be the messy waves you style your hair with every single day, a bold red lip, huge oversized sunglasses or some seriously statement earrings. It could even be a pair of reading glasses. For me eyewear is the defining feature, they’re always dressed, first with liner and secondly with glasses or a seriously oversized pair of sunnies.
Shop Without Influence.
In terms of filling my wardrobe, I’ve stopped myself looking to Instagram for inspiration before shopping. This might sound crazy but hear me out. Following a lot of international bloggers, it can be easy to see gorgeous, girly, whimsical pieces that look great, but might not be suitable for me or my lifestyle, figure, or climate. There are a few ladies I follow who live locally and I love their style, but even so, looking to others for inspiration right before shopping was clouding my own personal style. So now I shop completely alone, whether online or in person with no outside influence. Occasionally I might see something on a fellow shorty on Insta stories and take the plunge, but that’s rare and I see it more as inspiration finding me, more often than not I don’t go looking on Instagram pages for ideas. When shopping I now find myself picking out pieces that are really interesting to me and my wardrobe has so much variety now instead of a million same-y lace shirts.
Documenting your outfits also helps, even if it’s just going through your Facebook and identifying moments where you loved what you wore or perhaps didn’t love it so much. I’ve learnt that in situations where I feel I’m expected to dress a certain way, I never feel entirely comfortable with what I wore. Understanding this helped me to make a few changes to avoid this, like not asking friends what they’re wearing, or buying an outfit specifically for an occasion. In the past these habits have lead to panic purchases, and a muddled wardrobe with no clear vision. Now I look at my rail each morning and feel inspired and excited, even with old favourites such as this Topshop number which I’ve had for over three years now and I still love it (I’ve actually just had it repaired because it’s been through the wars and I’m still not giving up on it).
And finally, try not to give a crap about whether something fits your personal style or shape. Most of the people I know with the best sense of personal style have never used the words “personal style” in their life. They get dressed each day and even when it doesn’t work, it still works. I realise there’s such an irony in this. So cut out the noise and ignore what’s “on trend”, know what you like and don’t like and have fun with it. And embrace your layers. All of them.
Shop The Post.
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