Do you have your own style, or does your closet look like Sybil (you know, the girl who was famous for supposedly having 13 distinctly different personalities)?
You should be able to describe your style in a few words – edgy, vintage, casual, sporty, chic, classic, [insert favorite adjectives here]. If you can’t, let’s get down to business.
Why is knowing your style so important? Why not just buy whatever you think is “pretty”?
Well, there are lots of pretty clothes, for sure. But knowing your style means knowing what looks best for you, and, more importantly, knowing what makes you feel good about yourself. A woman is never more beautiful than when she feels beautiful. It’s the je ne sais quoi that makes French fashion “effortless”, knowing that everything you own flatters you and makes you feel great.
Hubert de Givenchy, famous for turning out a dress or two, is quoted as saying, “The dress must follow the body of the woman, not the body following the shape of the dress.” Your personal style must take into account what features about yourself you want to accent, and what you want to minimize.
If your closet has a personality disorder, start with Pinterest. If you’re not a Pinterest user, download the app now! (Well, finish reading this first, then download it.)
You can enter any search words under the sun – Paris fashion, Paris street style, fashion for (20, 30, 40, 50, etc.) year olds, etc. Create a board and start pinning what appeals to you. Not necessarily what you usually wear, but what makes your heart go pitter pat. Keep in mind the appropriateness for your lifestyle, body type and age.
Here’s my French Style board to help get you started, but your style may be completely different.
Once you’ve built up a nice board, look over what you pinned. Is a style emerging that you could describe? Maybe you find yourself drawn to a more sophisticated look like Chanel. Or an edge-y sort of leather jacket and jeans kind of look, or more casual or menswear kind of look. Can you see yourself dressing or looking that way? Have you nailed down a style that you can name? Zut alors! You have a style!
Once you’ve got your style, commit to it. Open your closet and say goodbye to Sybil – and to all the things that don’t reflect your style and taste. Use your Pinterest board as a clue to put together things you already have in a way you hadn’t thought of before, or add accessories that elevate your wardrobe from “clothes” to “fashion”.
Go through your Pinterest board again and make a list of some wardrobe essentials you need to pull your style together – maybe a jacket or coat or some edgy boots, for example. Your list will help keep you focused when “pretty things” and “shiny objects” try to catch your eye.
I also often turn to my Pinterest boards when I’m having a hard time deciding what to wear for an occasion or what to pack for a trip, or just for inspiration, since the clothes on my fashion board reflect my wardrobe.
Once you’ve identified your personal style, does it become your “uniform”? In a word, hells yeah.