Falling victim to trends is easy enough to do. When we see bloggers and influencers rocking the latest and greatest, we want to emulate them and hopefully have some of that “cool girl” magic rub off on us. Unfortunately, trends come and go, meaning you are constantly chasing something unattainable. As soon as you master the art of styling bicycle shorts, some article will be posted declaring them over. Trend chasing aside, most of us wear what we have which boils down to the pieces we have kept over time, and a hodgepodge of other basics and pieces that have somehow made it into our closet over the years.
Creating in curated closet that adheres to your personal aesthetic takes time, but there are a few simple steps you can take to begin taking control of your look.
- Purge!! Take every single thing out of your closet. Throw away anything damaged, stained, ripped or so worn out it can’t be passed along. Donate everything that does not fit, you’ve had for years but only have worn out once, bridesmaids dresses, anything you have owned since before college, and anything you would not buy for yourself today.
- Get Inspired! Find a celebrity or style influencer who you admire and has similar hair and skin tone to yours. Get inspiration from the colors and silhouettes they are often dressed in. Make note of their general aesthetic and see if that is the kind of vibe you want in your own style. If not, keep looking until you discover someone you can use as an inspiration source.
- Know Your Body – This doesn’t mean just knowing your shape (pear, apple, hourglass etc.) it means knowing what parts you like to show off and where you would rather be modest. If you aren’t comfortable in a garment, that insecurity will shine through, regardless of how hot you may look in it. Modesty does not have to mean boring! nor does showing a lot of skin have to look cheap. If done right, you will always leave the house feeling sexy and sophisticated.
- Choose an aesthetic – This is the first real step in building a wardrobe that reflects who you are and your outlook on life. There are tons of different aesthetics so start a Pinterest board and just start collecting images that appeal to you. Over time you may notice a commonality between them. Those will be your key words. Don’t forget, just because you like how something looks on a model or another friends, does not mean it will be right for you. This will come with practice and time, but soon you will know if something just looks good or if it will serve your image.
- Pick a few key words – What do you want your look to portray? strength? femininity? do you want to look bold, or minimalist? come up with three or four words that will encompass your style. Mine are Bold, glamorous, modern vintage classics. These aren’t set in stone and you can still experiment, but having a core focus will help when shopping for new clothes.
- Start Building – Once you’ve narrowed down a direction for your look and a few style inspirations, it’s time to start slowly adding pieces to fit your new aesthetic. Start with basics, things you will need to layer into looks, items like a leather jacket, a structured blazer, and a cute pair of flats is a good place to start. Start to pick out elements that your favorite fashionistas wear regularly. For me, for example, I love a wide belt and you will see me mix and match them with tons of outfits to give it that 50’s flare.
The important thing when you begin this style evolution is to know that part of finding yourself is trial and error. You wont get it right the first few times you try something new, but with practice you will begin to refine your specific style until it comes as second nature. What is also important to remember is that you are allowed to change, to grow, to switch up what style defines you as you grow and redefine who you are as a person. For me that means some days I am colorful and cute, while others I feel more myself in neutrals and easy silhouettes. Staying stylish means staying true to yourself, and as long as you do that, you are headed in the right direction to timeless style.