Struggling to find your personal style? This is how fashion girls get theirs
For years I felt like I never had anything to wear. Every time I went shopping, I came home convinced and thought to myself, “This is it. This is the piece of clothing that will make my wardrobe complete and cohesive and show that I have mastered my personal style.”
But the truth was, no shirt, shorts or skirt could magically solve my problems – and that was because my wardrobe was all over the place. Sure, I loved variety, and we all do. But from my lime green sweater to my flowy lace maxi skirt to my dazzling denim shorts, it was just too much. Finding my own personal style took a lot of trial and error—mostly error—and years before I found what I actually liked. Now that I’m on the other side, I can say with confidence: I have a closet full of clothes that go together and that I truly love.
You too can find your own personal style – try these five insider tips to master it.
Set aside a day to go looking for clothes, not buying clothes
Even though I love to dress up, sometimes I dread going shopping, especially when I need to buy something specific. I feel frantic all the time, running from store to store looking for random black shorts or a beige dress. Instead, I started going to the mall and just walking around – as hard as it is. That way I had all the time in the world to try anything that caught my eye. It also gave me time to try things out of my comfort zone, like my new skim dress that I would never normally wear.
Another key part of finding your style? Find clothes that fit you well. In the last two years, when the world of online shopping has dominated our lives, it can sometimes be really hard to determine the size of certain items, and when you go back after a return (I’ve been there!), it can be really discouraging. So put on your fancy pants, kick your butt into the mall and make a day of it.
Use Pinterest as a mood board
The #1 tool that helped me along the way? Pinterest. But when I started using the app, I thought to myself: I’m only going to pin looks that I really like. And the looks I pinned were all over the place at first. But after looking deeper, I was able to take a step back and say, “Okay, I like this look because it’s all neutral tones,” or “OK, maybe I don’t really like this look, I like just the fact that Gigi Hadid is wearing the look.” Having all these different images of the outfit in one place really allowed me to look at the bigger picture and analyze the similarities between the different looks.
Step out of your comfort zone
Trying on a new style of clothing can be really intimidating. It’s important to remember that clothes and fashion are meant to be fun! You have the opportunity to play and try new things. And think about it: As time goes by, we grow and change, physically, mentally, personality-wise, etc. So why shouldn’t your style change too? You never know until you try.
You can start small with this. For example, if you tend to stick to neutral colors, try adding black and white printed pants. Or if you normally like oversized and baggy lounge sets, try styling a pair of tight biker shorts instead.
Start slow and evaluate the clothes you wear on a daily basis
When I finally started refining the aesthetic I wanted to strive for, I felt compelled to fill a few boxes and donate anything that didn’t fit that aesthetic immediately. But remember: Slow and steady wins the race.
Over the course of a few months, buy a few pieces here and there. Invest in quality pieces that you can actually see yourself wearing for years, regardless of trends that come and go. Plus, if you’re really doing a complete 180 with your style vibes and only have two pieces that match your new vibe, you can’t donate your entire wardrobe or you’ll only have clothes for a day or two. As your style evolves, it’s also important to reassess the pieces you currently have in your arsenal. For example, you don’t wear those pink pants anymore because they don’t fit? Or because you don’t like pink anymore? In both cases you have gained valuable information.
Copy the looks of people whose fashion you adore
When I wanted to reinvent my wardrobe, I turned to my favorite fashionistas: Hailey Bieber, Carrie Bradshaw and several other Instagram influencers. I sat and scrolled through their Instagrams trying to think of similar outfits to sport and things I already own. And like the Pinterest tip above, it also allowed me to analyze why I gravitated towards certain outfits. I realized I liked the practicality of Hailey Bieber’s outfit, the wow factor of Carrie Bradshaw’s outfit, and (surprise!) the neutral tones of the others. After recognizing these patterns, I knew what I liked and how I wanted to dress regularly.
I also got a lot of ideas for clothes that I would never have thought to wear. There is no shortage of content and inspiration in the world of fashion bloggers and influencers. Use it to your advantage!