5 Steps To Developing Your Personal Style When You Have None

Let me start by saying that I never considered myself a “fashionable” person. I never really understood how to dress for my curves and until fairly recently my wardrobe typically consisted of dark suits and solid plain blouses for work and on weekends, jeans and t-shirts. Last year I decided this was the year that I would finally dress the way I really felt inside, and as part of my quest to figure out what being an adult really means to me. After a few months of going through my closet, lots of online searching, and too many exhausting trip to the mall to count, I’ve finally started to build a wardrobe I really love!  

Finding your personal style is about getting to know yourself. It’s about being connected with who you are, and being confident about it!

So what exactly does being yourself have to do with fashion?

Imagine a world where everybody wore the same clothes. A place where they had the same style and liked the same things….Now that wouldn't exactly be the most stimulating world... would it?

But the sad reality is - the majority of people tend to go this route when it comes to clothes! So this is where developing your style comes into the picture.

Dare to be yourself and wear the clothes that express the unique and fabulous person you are! 

Creating your personal style is about putting together an outfit that reflects various aspects of your personality and lifestyle. Your taste, interests, desires, inspirations, aspirations and history. You bring a couple (or all) of them together and let it shine in the way you dress.

Here are 5 tips I learned along the way of developing my personal style...

1. Seek Inspiration

Make a short list of your favorite fashion icon, and do quick search via Google, Pinterest and Instagram to gather inspiration on their looks. Your favorite fashion bloggers also make amazing points of reference pulling together inspiration from many sources can be a great way to really get an idea of what you like and dislike.

Homework assignment:

Make a Pinterest board titled "Personal Style Inspiration." (Tip: It can be a secret board!) Create a list of your five favorite celebs or bloggers, do a quick search on each of them, and pin the images and outfits that most resonate with you. 

2.  Embrace Your Shape

Hear me when I say, I am a big proponent of wearing what you want regardless of your body shape, however learning to dress for your body type can be a good jumping off point when developing your style. Knowing how to highlight your best features can save you time and take your look from average to amazing.

Homework assignment:

Find fashion bloggers whose body shape is similar to yours, pay close attention to silhouette they wear, choose several looks and pin the images and outfits that most resonate with you. Finished? Now, write down all the elements they have in common. Chances are, the characteristics you write down most frequently are the ones you most relate to, and the vibe that makes you the most comfortable. Why is this important? When you feel comfortable, you look and feel your best! 

3. Take Inventory

Take a good long look at your closet and what you already own. I know so many of the “experts” say toss anything that you haven’t worn in a year...I hate that rule! It’s not rare for me to pull something out of my closet that hasn’t been worn in over a year and give it new life, so I say toss or donate anything that doesn't make you feel good in it! You'll be amazed at how easy it is to get dressed when you have only a few spot-on options, instead of unnecessary clothing clutter!

4. Shop Smarter, Not Harder

Can I confess to you all that I hate shopping! I know, you're appalled, but the fact is that the whole process stresses me out, and I hate the idea of spending a ton of money. Over the years I have learned tricks that have made the process less painful. Buy good quality staple pieces (leather boots, jeans, slacks and jackets) that will last multiple seasons. By purchasing quality staples that will last, you can easily update your seasonal wardrobe by adding inexpensive trendy pieces from stores like Ross and Forever21.  

Homework assignment:

Next time you go shopping, revisit your Pinterest inspiration board. Likely there are certain items and themes you'll need to re-create the looks you admire. Make a list of the items you don't already have, and take it with you.

5. When in doubt Accessorize

Accessories are, without a doubt, the easiest way to pull any look together regardless of the vibe you want to achieve. You can update jeans and a white t-shirt with a bold necklace or pair layered, delicate jewelry with a dress for a more feminine feel. A cool ear cuff or stacked rings can give you an instant edge, and pearls can make you look polished and lady-like in an instant. Add a patterned scarf, opt for edgy ankle booties instead of your normal black pumps, or pull out a bright clutch to add more personality.

The single most important thing when creating your personal style is to stay true to yourself. Own your style, be proud of it and embrace fashion as a way to express who you are and who you want to be. 

Have you struggled with your personal style in the past? What tips helped you?