Have you ever seen someone and thought “Gee I love what they are wearing, it really suits them, but it’s just not my style”… me too, all the time! But how DO you find your own style? Does it change as you life does? Or as your bank balance does? Does it follow the fashion trends? Is it something that you are born with? Or do you create it over time?
Create your own visual style, let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others ~ Orson Welles
Fashion fades, only style remains the same ~ Coco Chanel
One of my gorgeous fellow bloggers (you can read her hi.larious blog here) tweeted something a little while ago about not knowing what her style was, it got me thinking…do any of us? How do you define your own style? Actually, how do you even work out what it is!
As someone who now claims to be a ‘stylist’ (haha that still makes me laugh – come on, I play dress-ups for a living! How did I score that gig) I thought I would write about a few different ways that I define my own style….
Use a mood board on your wall to help you discover your own style
Create a mood board:
I love pretty pictures, and the older I get, the more visual I become. I think the idea of a mood board came from my boss when I worked in fashion PR in Sydney. We had the coolest office, with high ceilings and big windows and Macs on each desk (that was big deal to me ok!? I felt very PR daaaaarling on my Mac). We also each had a MASSIVE mood board above our own desks. We would use this to make the space our own so anything that we found in magazines, invitations that we go, postcards or ribbons etc that we found we added to our pinboard. I loved the idea so much I’ve always had one in my house ever since!
Use your mood board to create your style:
See a look in a mag you like? Tear it our and pin in on your mood board. Slowly (or quickly, depending on how fast you find things you like) you will start to see a culmination of things that define you style. From shapes and colours to brands and ideas. Don’t be sacred to see a look that you like and try to emulate it.
One of my style icons in Rachel Bilson, I love her look, I loved one look so much that I went out to try to ‘emulate’ (I didn’t say copy, cause that would be like stalking right?!) her look. Actually, first I just really liked the look of her red shorts, so I went on a mission to find some red shorts, when I went back to the image, I realised that I actually have a black blazer, white loose singlet and ankle boots too, so I really could ‘emulate’ her look! Score!
Here is her version, and mine (Shorts from Ally Fashion $14.99, Singlet from Emerson @ BIG W $12.95 (this singlet is SO good I have 2 exactly the same) and blazer from CottonOn $49.95. See? You can get style on a budget too!)
Or even a virtual mood board:
My new favourite website is called Pintrest – It is basically a virtual mood board! When you sign up, you create different ‘boards’ that you pin images on. You can search the Pintrest site and ‘repin’ what others have already found, or you can also add a ‘pin it’ button to your web browser and every time you see an image online that you love, click the ‘pin it’ button and it not only adds it to your Pintrest site, it credits the website where you found it!
Here is what “My Style” looks like according to Pintrest – notice there are a few themes? Nautical stripes, wedges, maxis, belted skirts with tees, 50′s style frocks…..all these things are very true to my own personal style.
This is a great visual display of what I consider 'My Style'
I have even turned one of my boards from my Pintrest into my screen desktop, that way it gives me inspiration every day. Just start looking for pictures that appeal to you, you don’t have to know why, or want to copy the exact look, just collect things that you like. This will help you build up your own style portfolio.
Read fashion magazines – but don’t believe everything you read!
It's all research right?!
I have always loved fashion magazines (I used to get in trouble as a teenager for having PILES and PILES of them all over my room) but the more time I spend in the fashion industry, the more important they become for ‘research’. Similar to my Pintrest boards, for years I have been tearing pages out of fashion mags when something on that page appeals to me.
Now this IS NOT about following trends, sometimes I love to go back to (gasp!) old issues and pull out images that appeal to me. If you see a shape, or a colour, or a shoe that you love, tear it out! Keep it as a reference for what you like.
Know your body shape and what colour suits you:
What shape are you?
This might not sound like it has anything to do with your style but believe me, it does. Notice that I like quite a few a) 50′s style dresses b) belted skirts and c) chunky high heels? This is all related to my body shape. As a classic hourglass, I know that all these things will suit me, so I tend to gravitate towards them.
Once you have worked out what shape you are, this will dictate your style a little purely because the clothes that suit your shape are the ones that will make you look your best!
Knowing what colours suit you helps a lot too. I don’t suit browns or beiges so I tend to steer clear of them. Strong, bold colours like red, blue, black and white tend to suit me, so they are the ones that make me feel more confident in myself, therefore, I am more likely to wear them, therefore, helping to define my style – kapish?!
Remember that fashion is fun and there are no rules!
If you love something, wear it! Don’t be scared to CHANGE your style! Some people have a signature look (red hair, they only wear high heels, they dress in JUST black (goth- if that’s what floats your boat) but others (like me I think) like to change it up! I’ll be all floaty in a floral maxi and gladiator sandals one day, and then feelin’ sharp in a blazer, jeans and pointy toed heels the next. As long as I feel good in what I am wearing, then what I am wearing IS my style.
So let’s recap on how to help you find your style:
1. Create a mood board of things you like (physically or virtually is fine)
2. Use fashion magazines as research (even old ones are ok)
3. Know your body shape and what colours suit you
4. Ignore everything I have just said and wear whatever you want!
How do you define your personal style? Do you have one? Do you think it’s a load of malarky?!