Get Inspired: 5 Tips for Developing Your Personal Style

Develop personal style

Raise your hand if you feel like your wardrobe is more of a random assortment of garments than it is a carefully-curated collection. This is a very common occurrence for most women. We shop at sales, find trendy pieces, or search for an outfit on special occasions like weddings and graduations. And in many cases, we tend to hold on to clothes long after we’re done wearing them.

But taking this approach to your wardrobe fills your closet with items you’re less than thrilled to wear and can hinder you from finding those pieces that skyrocket your confidence. So, how about we ditch it and prioritize developing your personal style?

Let me be clear — your personal style goes beyond what “works” for your body or the items you “should” wear. Instead, your personal style is the combination of silhouettes, colors, textures, and aesthetics you like and feel confident wearing. And it will help you curate a wardrobe that is exciting and allows you to get ready with ease, knowing that whatever you choose is right for you.

Here is how we can do that.

How To Develop Personal Style in 5 Steps

Start With an Audit

Before we head for the shops, it’s important to take stock of what you own. Begin by getting rid of any items that:

  • Don’t fit you. These items are often a constant reminder of a different time. Maybe you’re holding on to pre-baby jeans or a dress you wore in college. Many women keep them as “inspiration,” but it tends to result in guilt and shame — time to let go.
  • Are stained or torn. Girl, you deserve better.
  • You haven’t worn in over a year. Unless it’s a special piece like an evening gown, chances are you won’t wear it again.
  • Still have tags attached. It looked great on the mannequin, but here we are. If you haven’t worn it, you probably won’t.

Feel free to donate, sell, or throw away these garments as you see fit.

Be Curious

Just because you’ve worn something forever doesn’t mean it’s the only alternative available to you. Instead of fixating on a specific item, feature or shape, explore other alternatives that provide the same benefits. For example, if you like flowy skirts, try on wide-legged pants.

Likewise, explore new textures and styles you might not have considered before. Discovering your style is a playful process, and viewing it with an open mind means learning more about yourself.

Create a Mood Board

Collect inspiration by going to stores, browsing blogs or Pinterest, and looking at magazines to discover what you find beautiful or interesting. Save this inspiration and find ways to infuse those characteristics, including some trends, into your personal style.

Think About Your Life

First and foremost, your clothes must be functional and provide you with confidence and comfort. So it’s important to consider the activities you will be doing in them while developing your personal style.

Think about what you need for work, leisure, and family time. Are you looking for practicality? Do you need to dress up regularly? These questions will steer your shopping spree later on.

When curating your style, I recommend prioritizing looks and pieces that go well with each other and work in different aspects of your life. That way, each time you get ready, you’re all but guaranteed to find a great combination without much effort.

You can also create an “outfit formula,” which is basically a go-to set of pieces to wear together. Some examples of formulas are:

  • Mid-length skirt + blouse + heels.
  • Dress + jacket or coat + flats.
  • Jeans + button-down + sandals.

Boom. Endless possibilities without much thought. Discovering your outfit formulas is a solid foundation for creating your capsule wardrobe.

There’s also the famous personal uniform. A personal uniform is an outfit made up of the pieces you feel pulled to. Steve Jobs famously wore black turtlenecks and jeans — but you can give it your own twist.

Shop Smart

Now for the fun part of developing personal style, it’s time to shop based on your newfound sense of style. Taking the lessons you’ve learned thus far, you’ll want to choose pieces that are timeless, versatile, and high-quality.

If possible, bring shoes and accessories that match the occasion you’re shopping for. Ie, don’t try on your work trousers with sneakers. Wearing the right shoes and accessories will help you visualize the new item within the context of your wardrobe instead of seeing it as a standalone piece. If you can’t picture at least three or four ways to wear the new piece with your existing collection, it might not be the best choice.

I always highlight the importance of fit when choosing clothes. The gold rule of shopping is to try everything on. When in doubt, a trusted friend can provide feedback. And a talented tailor will become your ally in creating a functional wardrobe you can wear for years to come.

Above All Else, Remember To Have Fun

Developing your personal style is a fun endeavor that gives you the perfect excuse to play dress up and fantasize about pretty things. But it is also a self-discovery exercise that’ll reconnect you with your essence and take care of yourself.

A polished, thoughtful sense of style can do wonders for your self-esteem and influence those around you. Schedule a style audit with me and let’s explore the possibilities.