Style is personal, it is a unique way of expressing your personality and reflecting your mood, or empowering yourself, but let’s be honest, we’ve all been in a sea of stylish clones all wearing the same thing. Not only is it boring, but it’s unauthentic – how is dressing like everyone else being true to you?
Dressing like you, and only you, may seem fairly obvious but we are all influenced by outside factors. And though inspiration is good, imitation is not.
You can love parts of other people’s style – perhaps you love the whole Parisian chic vibe that your favorite influencer has going on, or you love the vintage clothes your friend buys at the thrift store, but that doesn’t mean you literally have to become them, you can embrace the feeling that you admire in their style and still be you.
Sometimes, copying someone’s whole look is not deliberate, but done subconsciously – you admire their style, but there is a fine line between art and imitation.
Have you ever seen that one person in the street that looks like no other? That person who just captures your attention and makes you love fashion all the more? That is the person you should aspire to be.
If you’re a little unsure of your style identity, then no fear! Welcome to our crash course on how to define it. For the first part of this course, you will need a Pinterest account and a love for fashion!
Pinterest is an amazing tool for discovering style combinations you would never have dreamt of and even learning about brands that you may not have seen in your nearest shopping mall. It’s a little fashion hub waiting to be discovered.
Even if you don’t know what style keywords to type in, even searching “Casual woman outfit” or “street style” will get you enviable results for you to pin to your own style board!
Next, look through the photos – are they mostly sportswear, vintage vibes, perhaps even Scandi-inspired? Or an eclectic mix of the three? Pick out what you like about the photos – is it a particular statement piece, is it the attitude, or the concoction of all the pieces together?
You don’t need to have an eye-watering budget and a taste for luxury to create jaw-dropping stylish combinations that will elevate your wardrobe – you can easily create a look from Zara that will look just as high-end and fashionable as a head-to-toe Dior, it’s all about how you wear it in terms of fashion and attitude!
Understanding Your Body Shape
Next step is understanding your body shape. Of course, the main key is if you feel good in it, wear it, but when your style flatters your body shape, puts curves in all the right places and elongates your frame, you are going to rock it even more – see what we mentioned about attitude earlier? You will have that attitude!
Working out what suits your body shape will allow you to first have a timeless wardrobe that suits your figure, and may even bring you a step closer to defining your style identity. Here are some key pieces we recommend you incorporating into your wardrobe according to your body shape:
The Hourglass Figure
The hourglass figure boasts a defined waist and proportionate top and bottom and your shoulders are the same widths as your hips. This is the most popular body shape and one that everyone tries to recreate.
If you have an hourglass figure, opt for v necks to show off some décolletage and jumpsuits to pull you in at the waist and emphasize your figure.
The hourglass figure needs to avoid anything with the volume on the top of bottom – skater skirts, oversized pieces and rigid fabrics such as cotton shirts are a definite no-no!
The Inverted Triangle
The inverted triangle is a very athletic body shape with broader shoulders and slimmer hips and thighs. It’s all about creating a balance between the shoulders and the hips – no shoulder pads allowed here!
Opt for more curve-creating outfits like pencil skirts and peplum tops. Again, ruffled tops are to be avoided as they will enhance your shoulders and nothing else – emphasize your hips and thighs instead!
The Rectangle Figure
The lady having a rectangle figure has a less defined waistline and broad shoulders and should show off her more defined arms and legs. You just need to add volume! Experiment with ruffled tops and skater skirts, and just be playful with your looks!
Like the hourglass figure, you need to steer clear of rigid fabrics and over the top-dresses that will make you look like you’re going to your high school prom. These will hide your figure, add volume in all the wrong places and risk making you look frumpy.
The Pear Shape
Of course, in 2019, the pear shape is extremely popular – your hips and thighs are broader than the rest of your body, which also means you have a smaller upper body – you need to add volume up top to create a sense of harmony in your outfits.
Wide leg pants are also your friend and will elongate your legs and add balance to your frame. Although Kim K ignores this rule, skin-tight tops make the bottom half look bigger and are to avoid, along with body con, the trick is more to create harmony through adding volume at the top and cinching in your waist.
Find What You Like And Dislike
With your Pinterest board aside, establish what you like and dislike in fashion – perhaps you hate the grandad sneaker trend, but you love a classic trench.
Writing a list of what you like and dislike will also help you not follow trends for the sake of them, and not be swayed by all the look-a-likes in the street wearing them.
This will also allow you to be stricter on your purchases and create a style that’s unique to you. Creating a list of what makes you happy and unhappy in fashion is the perfect way of feeling satisfied with your style.
Invest In Basics
No matter what your style will turn out to be, you need to invest in basics that will take you all year round and can be worn with anything you have.
Turtlenecks, plain tees, and denim jeans are all wardrobe staples that are worth spending the extra buck for. These pieces will last you years and your bank account may not thank you at first, but your wardrobe certainly will.
Here are a few basics you should invest in if you haven’t got them at the back of your wardrobe already:
- Turtleneck sweaters
- V neck sweaters
- Basic t-shirts (black, grey, white, navy)
- 3 pairs of different kinds of jeans (eg: flare, skinny, Mom)
- A classic trench
- A pair of cigarette pants (black or navy)
With these pieces, you can build your wardrobe and incorporate these into your style with dashes of color, print or fabrics that represent you!
Have A Few Statement Pieces
Of course, each style needs its statement pieces – so treat yourself, without over-indulging of course! These statement pieces will reflect your personality and add a bit of fierceness to your outfits.
A bold cross-body or the craziest sneakers will make you feel sassy and on point. Build your wardrobe with these pieces and the basics and create a timeless style that is still yours.
As long as you feel you will get wear out of them, and you’re not just purchasing them because they are “trend-led pieces”, then you’re purchasing for the right reason.
You need to feel that “Oh that is so me!” feeling, you need to squeal with delight when you see a statement piece – that’s how you know it’s for you!
Think Of Different Scenarios
Of course, you need to be practical and find ways to incorporate your style into all situations – for the office, for college, for evenings out, for a casual day in the park and even for the gym, for the simplest of occasions, you still can be fun and be you, even when there is a dress code in place.
Your wardrobe needs to be versatile, and your style identity needs to be covered on all angles.
Change Is Good Too
If the photos you have saved to your Pinterest board and the pieces you have invested in are a far cry from what your previous style identity, then no need to be afraid!
Style is all about having fun, discovering and exploring, so be playful, find outfits that you feel truly good in, find the outfits that make you feel empowered and inspired – be that person in the street that turns heads and wows with their on-point and truly original style.
A change in your style can also reflect a change in your life – professionally or personally. Style evolution is bound to happen – just think, you don’t wear the same clothes as you did as a kid!