The way to personal style is different to what you might think. Most people go out buying more in a search to be stylish but the quickest way to personal style is actually by limiting yourself. It’s a product of our consumer generation and the “business” of fashion that we are sold on the idea that buying clothes will make us more stylish. Many of us are on a personal quest to find the perfect garment. Every shopping trip we are on the lookout for something new that is going to make us look amazing. All this really leaves us with is a wardrobe full of individual pieces that may or may not match and often results in the “I have a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear” feeling.
You can’t look for your personal style “out there” because personal style should originate “in here”, or in you. Want to develop a really great personal style?
Then put your style on a diet…. just for a short time because putting limits on yourself can force you to focus on the most important aspects of dressing for you. Don’t worry if you love clothes, you can go back to eating up style later but I promise you will love it more as you will be looking for those clothes that are good for you.
So the next time you are feeling vaguely dissatisfied with your appearance I want you to put in place these limits on the “out there” activities and focus on these “in here” activities:
Don’t go shopping, put away your purse and grab your camera instead. Take some photos of your body and try to work out it’s shape. What do you love about your body? What would you prefer to conceal? Look at your hair/skin & eye colours, are they light or dark, blue or red or green? If you are going to dress your body the best you have to know it. Learn your style rules with a colour and style consultation
Don’t read the fashion magazine must have lists. Instead read about design rules for dressing your body and use them to develop a list of “must have” pieces of clothing or things to look for when picking clothes so you highlight your best features.
Browsing the internet looking at fashion sites, fashion bloggers or clothing stores is a wonderful escapism from everyday life. It provides a lot of inspiration for dressing each day and creates some strong desires to buy. I don’t want you to give this up… keep browsing but start picking out your favourites. Create a pinterest board and rather than just browsing aimlessly start pinning those images you “love” and I mean really “love”. This is so helpful in starting to identify your clothing personality and your likes and dislikes. You can use this board later as a sort of shopping list or outfit inspiration page.
Okay, so this is where the real benefits of limiting take place. Now that you have looked at your body, discovered your dressing rules and started identifying your clothing personality you can fast track your style by living with a capsule wardrobe for a month.
I want you to pull out everything in your wardrobe and separate them into piles of “I love it”, “It’s okay” and “Yuck, what was I thinking”. Check your love it pile against your style rules and personality and if they match start building a capsule of about 30 pieces. Draw from your “it’s okay” pile if you don’t have enough or need an item to make an outfit work. If you don’t have many “love it” items and decide there are some things you would like to add to your wardrobe from your pinterest board then by all means buy them to add to your capsule but remember you want to limit yourself to around 30 items (Just clothing not shoes or accessories)
Now pack everything else but your 30 items into storage boxes. Don’t throw them out, just put them away for the month and live out of your capsule. By living with these 30 pieces you will quickly discover what you love and don’t love. Maybe you have included a few skirts in your capsule but at the end of the month discover you have never worn them. This will tell you that your personal style doesn’t really include skirts.
Maybe you included a favourite jacket but can’t really get it to work with the pieces you have and discovered that you need to buy something to match it, you will then have a list to go shopping with.
At the end of the month you will know more about yourself. Your personal style will be more cohesive. It will reflect you and what you love. When you do go “out there” to shop or browse it will be with a purpose. Looking for those items that support your style rather than going “out there” to find your style.
This process is really powerful and works. If you want help with learning about your body (and this is not easy to do on your own as we are not objective about ourselves) or in discovering your clothing personality see my colour and style packages.
If you want help building a capsule wardrobe I can help you with a capsule wardrobe service. Being stylish is something available to everyone and is about expressing yourself through clothing not just buying more clothes. Take the time to connect with who you are and reap the benefits of greater confidence, more satisfying dressing, simplier shopping and a personal style that, because it is you, others will notice and be drawn to.