Since the day I was old enough to understand which piece of clothing goes over my legs, and which one should cover the top half, I’ve been very particular about what those pieces should look like. So, I guess you could say that my personal style developed quite early on.
That doesn’t mean, though, that my personal style would have been the same throughout these 30 years, oh no. When I think back at the colourful leotards with various animal prints that I wore throughout my primary school years, I’m glad that the day eventually came when I discovered jeans.
I am still a big fan of different kinds of leggings, but instead of running around with my ass bare (because in leggings it’s as good as), I now know how to dress those leggings appropriately.
I’ve been thinking about the impact that personal style has in our everyday lives. Because that impact is actually quite a big one, at the end of the day.
My current personal style has been a long journey of trial and error. But how could one succeed in finding the perfect personal style if one doesn’t try different styles first? And does personal style even matter? Well, in my opinion, yes it does. Allow me to explain.
How Personal Style Can Help Us Feel More Confident?
What is personal style?
At its core, personal style reflects your impression of yourself. Not all the time, of course, but the way you dress to work or to parties can send a lot of unspoken messages outward about how you – as well as everyone around you – perceive yourself.
For example, dressing in inconspicuous colours and loose garments all the time gives out strong signals that you do not want to be noticed. Whereas bright colours and straight posture signal a confident person who can be approached.
We all know that first impressions play a big role in how people feel about us at first glance. I, for example, often see people looking down their noses at me, but when I go and converse with them, their expressions soften, and many have told me afterwards that they didn’t expect me to be so funny and open (thanks to my very prominent ‘resting bitch-face’).
So, personal style can be a hindrance sometimes, but it can also lift you up unexpectedly. Particularly when it comes to personal branding: personal style is an integral part of it.
But let’s not mix personal style with being ‘fashionable’. Where fashion is same colours and styles being reinvented year after year, personal style is ever-changing, just as we humans are.
The thing that needs to be remembered is that the fashion industry wants you to think that your style is determined by them, but in fact it isn’t. It’s up to you.
Don’t let fashion own you … you decide what you are and what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live – Gianni Versace
How to find your personal style?
If someone asked me what my personal style is, I’m not sure I could give a straight answer. My style depends so much on my mood, on the weather, and on how tired I am. Our office is very laid back, so I can turn up in just a hoodie one day, and in a pencil skirt the next, and nobody’s gonna bad an eyelid.
But when I go out in the evening, whether for just a drink or a dinner-and-dance, I do like to make an effort. I also like experimenting with my style! But some things have stayed the same through the years: I prefer colours, I like shapes that show my body at its best, and I like mixing tomboy with girly, while still keeping things chic.
Do you know what your personal style is? If not quite sure yet, here’s couple steps to help you figure it all out:
#1 Know your body type – you need to understand which clothes and shapes compliment your figure the best. Are your shoulders wider than your hips or are you a pear shape? Measuring yourself and figuring out your body shape will make choosing the right shapes for you so much easier.
#2 Find your signature pieces – this is an easy one, when you really think about it: what is your favourite piece of clothing, colour, print, a shape in your closet; what do you keep going back to? That’s your signature piece, and that’s what you should start building your personal style around.
As an example, my ultimate signature piece is definitely a bardot neckline anything: top or dress, if it reveals my collar bones, I’ll be going for it.
#3 Invest in items you’ll wear forever – Once you’ve figured out your signature piece, perhaps you’d like to make sure that it’s the sort of quality that you can still wear in 5 years’ time. Especially with accessories, one investment will take you a looong way.
#4 Find the best colours for you – Bright colours are great because they tend to suit everyone (in my opinion). But there are some colours that we need to stay attentive with:
For example, some lighter tones should be avoided at all costs if you have a pale complexion. Otherwise you will drown yourself in it. You can figure out the best colours for your skin tone easily with a simple colour analysis.
#5 Create a mood board – Saving inspiring outfit photos on Instagram and Pinterest can save you a lot of time when figuring out what to wear next. I always refer to my ‘Outfit inspiration‘ board on Pinterest when I’m running out of ideas, and I always find something worth wearing.
How personal style can make you feel more confident?
So, we already know that by dressing in a certain way, we unconsciously send out signals to passers-by about our persona. There is a clear distinction between how we address a person who looks very put-together versus someone who’s style is more bohemian, right?
But we can’t let others’ opinions determine how we look, hell no! Instead, we need to focus on what we want to feel like, and believe it or not, your outfit can affect it. Bare with me:
Sometimes you feel a bit miserable and couldn’t give a toss about what you look like. But what if you still put a bit of effort into your look for the day. It can be something as simple as a bright lipstick or a pair of heels. For me, leaving the house knowing that I look good makes me feel that much better throughout the day.
Another thing you could do is to have a ‘bad day comfort-outfit’ at the ready for those days when looks really aren’t the priority for you. When you know your signature pieces, you can always refer to them, and look and feel a tad better than you might if you trundled out in sweat pants and a hoodie.
Choose something that you feel comfortable in, but something that also makes a statement; add a pair of sexy heels on that jeans and hoodie combo, or rock out that handbag that you spent a bit more money on.
Or try going all out and wear that outfit that makes you feel confident and beautiful. Walk around at home first and feel it out. And when you leave the house, pay attention to how much your mood has improved just because you look like you’re completely slaying it.
Some people think style isn’t that important, that there are more urgent matters in our lives to put our energy on. And they’re right, stressing about one’s style really isn’t on top of the life-priorities list. But it does affect how we perceive ourselves and how we are perceived by the outside world.
So, to figure out your personal style, and have that go-to outfit ready for those “I have nothing to wear“-days can save you a lot of time and effort.
Have you found your personal style? I’d love to hear what your signature pieces are/could be? ♥
Follow me on Instagram and use #styleoutlandish to showcase your style! I’m always on the lookout for outfit inspiration.