Jacket // Black Kaviar
Understanding style is one thing, but defining your personal style is another. Many times people find themselves in style ruts; unsure of how they want to present themselves and never feeling like they have anything to wear. I believe that once you understand who you are, you will be able to identify your personal style. And you may ask, why is this important? It's important because it goes beyond making a great first impression; good style is about approaching every day with confidence, and the ability to feel happy and comfortable in not just your skin but what's covering it. Whether you believe it or not, a good wardrobe, along with defined personal style, can help you achieve this. I want to help you understand what it is you like and what looks good on you so when you find that perfect piece, you know it's for you. Read on for seven tips to help you redefine your personal style in the New Year.
Related: 5 Reasons You Have Nothing to Wear
The first and most important step in identifying your personal style is; know who you are and stay true to yourself. Don't worry about the labels, designers, or trends; play with patterns, textures, and silhouettes until you find what works and looks best on you. It's about feeling good in your skin—your style should celebrate and reflect your life, your personality, and individuality.
Inspiration is all around us, and if you're looking for style inspiration, you can hop on Instagram or Pinterest and follow some of your favorite influencers (I hope you're following me!). Take a look at what you like and dislike about some of your favorite style influencers; this will help you figure out what to try and what to stay away from.
To do: Make a Pinterest board (or you can now bookmark on IG) titled Style Inspiration. Do a quick search of your favorite celebrities and influencers, and pin the images and outfits that resonate with you. Take a look at your board, what elements do the images have in common? Write them down; chances are the characteristics you write down are the ones you may be most comfortable with.
Your style and wardrobe should be tailored to your lifestyle. Consider how you want to present yourself; as mentioned above, your style should reflect your personality, but it also has to make sense for your career path and long-term goals. If there is a particular industry you want to break into, you should be dressing as if you're already in that industry. Think about adding a few professional pieces for interviews or auditions, or if you're staying in your current field, expand your wardrobe by buying new elevated pieces.
To do: Write down 2-3 situations you're in every week—work, gym, PTA, parties, etc. You'll use this list with the next step and when you're shopping for new clothing. If any item doesn't fit within this checklist, it's probably not worth buying. The key to building a wardrobe is buying pieces that easily mix and match with your current wardrobe and lifestyle.
Access your wardrobe
Take a long look at your current wardrobe and the pieces you already own. What can be thrown out and what can be donated; get rid of what you haven't worn in the last year so you can start fresh. From this, you can begin to rebuild and redefine a style that that reflects who you are and where you are in your life and career.
To do: Start here, with The Closet Cleanse Worksheet. Grab a few trash bags, a sharpie, and get ready to dig in your closet and get rid of what you don't need. Label the bags donate, trash, and sell and start sorting. You will be amazed at how easy it is to build upon your current wardrobe and get dressed in the morning now that you've gotten rid of the clutter.
Wardrobe essentials are a must when creating a dynamic wardrobe that reflects who you are. You should have those go-to pieces that pair easily with everything in your current wardrobe. Avoid splurging on trendy items and invest your money in essentials such as suiting, quality woven shirts, and knits, leather footwear and accessories. To keep your style up-to-date, add in trendy less expensive items; pay close attention to small details (hem, buttons, zippers), it's easy to tell which less expensive items will last, and which items are just, cheap.
Without a doubt, accessories are the easiest way to redefine your style and show some personality. You can update a simple pair of jeans and woven with a pair of layered bracelets or choker (yes, I'm into the guys and choker trend). To show more personality, add a pair of fun glasses or boot.
If you pay attention to the fashion icons, you'll notice each had a signature piece. Prince had his heels and Lenny has his sunglasses and hair. All fashionable men have a signature item that becomes a part of their identity. Yours can be a simple watch or hat, but make sure it's personal and speaks to who you are.
If you're struggling with your style identity and trying to redefine it in the New Year, understand you're not alone in this. Many of us like to like to create a new look for the new year, and while it will take some work, with these simple steps you'll be on your way to a stylish year. Let me know which tips helped you redefine your style.