I hope you are all having a great week and are looking forward to the long Easter weekend. I know I am!!
Today, I wanted to talk a little about personal style – what it is and how you discover yours. In an increasingly trend driven environment, where there are now 52 seasons rather than 4, it is important to have a sense of your own style and not just jump on every trend because it’s “so hot right now”.
Too often what we buy is defined by what celebrities and influencers are wearing or what we see in magazines. And while I love scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest or flicking through Vogue as much as the next girl, it is important not to feel pressure to adopt every new trend; not least because of the financial aspect of constantly buying into trends. A far more effective approach is to create your own signature style; a style that will work season to season with minor seasonal additions rather than investing in fleeting trends and copying your favourite blogger. As an avid instagram user it appears we are in danger of losing our own individualism, evidenced not least by the proliferation of the eponymous Gucci double G belt. And before anyone says anything, I am not slagging people off for taking inspo from others! I am just pointing out that you don’t need one to be fashionable!
Aside from it being financially draining to keep up with trends, it also has wider impacts which I have become increasingly more aware of recently. Fast fashion is something I’ve been thinking about more and more in terms of the origins of my clothes and the conditions in which they were made. I recently watched the Netflix documentary “The True Cost” and it has really stuck with me. I thought back on all the clothes I bought for one off events or because they were “on trend” that I just discarded and never wore again and I actually feel a bit ashamed. I have vowed to be more responsible and less disposable with my fashion from now on and only buy pieces that I can reuse and style different ways, that fit with my personal style.
So what even is a “signature style” and how do you create and define it? While I don’t think you need to put a label on yourself or there needs to be any rules about fashion, the below are some tips to help you define your style and make better decisions when buying clothes.
1. Know your own body
Be aware of your body type and what suits you. Play up your assets and strongest features because this will make you feel confident when you look in the mirror.
2. Understand your lifestyle
Dress for the life you lead and buy items that are practical for that whilst also being stylish. For example if you are on your feet all day then go for chic flats and trainers rather than lots of skyscraper heels.
3. Recognise things you don’t like
Don’t be afraid to dislike things even though they are “in fashion”. Be authentic and just buy what you actually like. There’s no point in buying 5 gingham tops if you don’t actually like gingham.
4. Choose a style signature
For some people this is statement accessories, for others it’s handbags or glasses etc. Whatever it is, choose a style signature that people associate with you as this is your own unique style identifier and will make any outfit instantly more individual.
5. Invest in good quality pieces
Self explanatory really! This is all about investing in good key pieces that will carry over from season to season like good coats, jeans, handbags, shoes or sunglasses.
6. Wardrobe weeding
Removing all the deadwood from your wardrobe will remove a lot of complexity from the daily process of getting dressed. Only keep items that you will genuinely wear and ensure you have all the basics.
7. Have a uniform
This sounds really boring and quite limiting but having a uniform of sorts can make getting dressed so much easier. For me, my day to day go-to is generally jeans, a shirt/ tee with trainers, loafers or ankle boots and a mac or biker jacket.
8. Choose colours that suit you
Wear colours that suit you or choose a shade that suits you – just because a certain colour is the colour of the season doesn’t mean you have to wear it. For example, yellow is big this season and while there are many shades, it can be a difficult one to wear.
9. Keep a diary of your outfits
Keep a photo diary of the outfits that genuinely made you feel and look great. This can be your reference point when shopping for new pieces or putting outfits together.
10. Only invest in trends that fit your style
Don’t feel under pressure to wear a trend just because everyone else is. If you feel it doesn’t fit with your general aesthetic then don’t invest in it. If you want to embrace a trend without over committing then accessories like scarves, bags and shoes can be a subtle way to do so.
At the end of the day, there are no rules when it comes to fashion; it is meant to be fun. However, as a fashion fanatic myself I find it increasingly difficult to try keep up with the speed at which new trends are emerging – so why try so hard! Be original, trust your instincts, choose the trends you like and wear what you feel good in rather than what is in fashion this week.