It took me a while to find my own personal style. I believe it was around 25 that I had an epiphany, a fashion realization if you will. I knew that I wanted short hair, so I took the leap and cut it all off. I marched into the salon, and said “cut it off” without a second of hesitation or doubt. Once the hair was gone, the personal style just came through. The confidence I felt after my hair was gone was unbelievable. I had never felt right in my own skin with long hair- it was holding me back from life, from experiences. And as a result, my style was in limbo- stuck in an endless loop of uncertainty and melancholy. So I understand not being able to know what your personal style is and what makes you feel the best. Sometimes it takes a stylist, a drastic life change, or an unexpected event to make your personal style come through- and once you realize it, your life changes. You immediately feel more confident in putting on that bold blazer you’ve always wanted to wear. Or just putting on a pair of heels! It becomes so simple. Or maybe its a matter of not understanding fashion and style- so you feel lost in your own wardrobe and just buy what is comfortable. And that is fine- but being able to know what you feel best in, what makes you more confident and happy is so damn rewarding. I truly believe that fashion plays a huge role in allowing us to be the best version of ourselves. When I wear something that I love, something that is a true extension of myself, a piece that just feels beautiful, feels bold and perfect for me- everything else just falls into place.
I know that I like edgy pieces, bold silhouettes (aka shoulder pads) and pieces that push the expected in form and color. I like minimal styles and muted pieces. But to find that out, I found these 5 tips helped me define my own style. I hope they guide you in your personal style journey!
1: Don’t buy it unless you love it.
This piece of advice has been the most challenging for me because I love shopping. A LOT. But I also feel anxious when I have a lot of pieces in my wardrobe that I never wear. It overwhelms me. So, I decided that I am only buying it if I absolutely love it. Not because it’s on sale, not because it seems like I need it, but because I am in LOVE with it. Does it make me feel good when I put it on? Does this piece work with other things in my wardrobe? If the answer is no, then walk away. Fashion should elevate you- not slow you down. Once you have this in your head, your closet becomes easier to go through and finding pieces is seamless.
2: Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Honestly, trying new things is always difficult because you know what you like and what your tastes are. Sometimes I’ll try on something I would never wear because it caught my eye or has an it-factor about it- and once I do, I see what I like and don’t like more clearly. Style is your own personal take on fashion, how you see clothing and trends. So if you want to try on that yellow pair of wide-leg pants, do it! You will probably love them because they are something you enjoy. Trends are made to be broken in my opinion, so trying on new things is more fun than following what everyone else is doing. You learn more about yourself when you are fearless in fashion, so go for it.
3. Stop caring what everyone else thinks.
Ya, this is a hard one to get over. Seriously, it takes everyone a long time to get comfortable in their own skin and feel confident. I think that I stopped caring about what everyone else thinks when I made the biggest changes in my life. I finally cut my hair short, I got the tattoos I have always wanted, and I found my personal style and became fearless in fashion. Whatever it takes for you to feel good about yourself, to feel proud and secure in your skin- that is what will let you not care what people think of you. When you try on something new- don’t worry about what other people will think when they see you in it. If you enjoy it, buy it. Period. Life is too short to care what everyone else thinks. It’s your style.
4. Style is a process- so don’t force it.
It takes a lot of trial and error, a lot of fitting room sessions and learning to finally see what you enjoy in fashion. It is a long and grueling journey that will be shitty sometimes, but it will always come out ok. It takes a while and shouldn’t be forced. Let it do its course and the personal preferences will shine through. I tried to force my personal style a couple times in my younger years. Trying to be emo, trying to be something that I wasn’t because everyone else was doing it. Experimenting is great, it helps you grow and learn new things, but don’t force something that takes time.
5. Size is just a number so stop comparing yourself to others.
The most important piece of advice I have for you is this: don’t let others make you feel less than you are because they are “prettier” or “more confident” than you. Don’t let the number on that shirt blind you and make you feel less about yourself. It is just a number and it doesn’t define you. I believe that everyone is beautiful in their own skin, in their own way- so own that. We live in a world where comparison is easy and feeling bad about yourself is more common than ever. With social media telling us what is hot, what is pretty and what we need to change about ourselves, anyone would feel sad about the clothes they put on. I am definitely guilty of this. I look at my Instagram and think, wow- she has a perfect body, a perfect life and a great sense of style. Why can’t I be like her? Why aren’t I doing what she is doing? The truth is, you are unique in your own way and social media is a curation- not real life. Those people have their own life, their own reasons for everything. So worry about yourself and not what everyone else is doing.
As 30 gets closer to me, I have my own struggles with style and confidence… but these are mantra’s I take with me. They help me in everything and allow me to feel good about myself and my personal style. My hope is that these tips help you in your journey to finding your personal style and allow you feel more confident in that fitting room. Remember, that size is a number- not who you are!