How to Define Your Style
some steps to take in case of a wardrobe existential crisis
We’ve all been there some time or another. You open your closet and not only do you feel like you have nothing to wear, it suddenly dons on you that you don’t even know what your style is like anymore. With fashion being an ever-evolving industry we are often so busy keeping up with trends that we lose sight of what our style really is. Sometimes we just get lost in a fabric-filled abyss.
I feel like I have one of these crises at least once a year. This year, I was in the midst of my winter quarter final exams when I was hit with the realization that I don’t know what my style is anymore. I got hit with a wave of motivation to define my style and to find what I truly wanted to wear.
This realization is what led me and drove me to write this post. I had help from other blogs like Into Mind, which is fantastic, and I also crafted some of these methods on my own. This also led me to wanting to adopt a minimalistic wardrobe – a series of posts I will bring to you soon! But alas, if you are in a similar crisis, use some of these tips to find what your personal style is:
1. Use social media
Today there are millions upon millions of images out on the web of fashionable girls and guys to be used as inspiration. I utilize social media all the time for outfit inspiration. I never limit myself to one platform. If I need something quick, I can look at the OOTD (outfit of the day) tag on Instagram, and instantly I find myself looking at and liking tons of killer outfit pictures. Another platform that I’ve learned to use, thanks to Into Mind, is Pinterest. I used Pinterest before to pin outfits I liked, but I took a new approach to it. I made a board dedicated to outfits that I loved head-to-toe. Meaning I would only pin things if I would wear it exactly as is shown in the photo. After pinning hundreds of things, I got a pretty good idea of what kind of style and aesthetic I was aiming for.
2. Go old fashioned
It seems outdated now with social media, but picking up a magazine is a different experience than clicking and pinning. Making a physical inspiration board can really help you find what kind of direction you want to take your wardrobe. With physical inspiration boards, don’t limit yourself to specifically clothes or fashion items – cut and paste photos, drawings, and anything that fully exudes the theme you are looking for.
3. Put in some elbow grease
I know the part that we all loathe about spring cleaning or redefining style is when we actually have to go through our closets and get rid of things. Don’t just quickly rifle through your things, dedicate a whole weekend to redoing your closet. Take everything out and start from scratch. Re-organize and refresh. Creating a new scene in your closet can help when it comes time to putting together outfits.
If you read my post about packing for vacation, you already know about this, but while you’re going through your closet, conduct something I call “wardrobe fight club”. This is when you pit your clothing items against each other to analyze their functionality and necessity as a part of your wardrobe. This helps you to realize what pieces are your most worn and functional while also realizing what pieces you never wear or pieces you didn’t even know you owned. I’m not saying to get rid of everything you don’t wear, but sometimes things just sit and take up space. Having a cluttered closet full of pieces that you don’t wear isn’t benefiting you, so when it comes time to give things up, don’t hesitate.
5. Look at the bigger picture
Not every single item you own has to perfectly fit with your style, but the most important part about curating a wardrobe you wear and love is to make sure that it is functional, versatile, and your own. It is okay, and even fun, to buy and incorporate items that don’t fit perfectly in your style, but as long as you can make it work with your style, that is all that matters. Looking at your wardrobe as a whole should seem cohesive and make sure you are conscious about every piece you are adding to your wardrobe when you add it. You will end up with a less cluttered closet and a less empty bank account.
These aren’t set in stone tips, so take the ones that work for you and adapt them to your lifestyle. A happy wardrobe is a happy you.
What are your tips for redefining your style?