If you’ve ever gone through six outfits, ending up with a pile of clothes on the floor as you’re trying to make your exit to go somewhere, then you know from experience that it can be challenging to nail your best look. Often, we unnecessarily complicate our style because we aren’t sure of who we wish to portray to the world. But zeroing in on your personal style does not have to be a daunting process, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either. Let’s walk through some basic principles for simplifying style and making it personal so that it’s appropriate for the boardroom, the bar, or a ball.
What types of looks are you drawn to in others?
What is your current go-to outfit, and what do you love about it?
Do you consider yourself more modest, or do you like to push boundaries?
What three adjectives would you use to describe the spirit that you want your clothes to help you embody? (fiery, serious, warm, and so on)
What accessories do you gravitate toward? What colors inspire you? Are there particular brands that you love? What celebrity or influencer style speaks to you most? Which parts of your body do you want to accentuate?
When you ask these questions first, you can target a signature look that meets all the above criteria. You can incorporate the staples in your closet that feel good and help you present your strongest and most confident self to the world. Take the guesswork out of choosing an outfit every morning and instead give yourself room to play with embellishing that standard look in fun and exciting ways.
Ways to play with your style
Having an edge is all about reaching beyond the lines of the status quo and establishing your own unique identity. Your personal style reflects so much about who you are. It’s not defined just by the type of clothes you like to wear; it’s also influenced by your friends, your career path, where you live, your hobbies, and your aspirations. You should dress for the dreams you have. On your quest to defining your signature look, try experimenting with these different elements of style until you find what works for you!
A shift dress, a halter, a skinny pant. Say our signature look is the little black dress. A little black shift dress make us feel confident in the boardroom, but we might want to try it in a halter style for a night out on the town. It depends on what you want to accentuate. Play with the silhouettes and lines in your look.
Pattern is about being bold, taking risks, showing character, having a larger-than-life personality, and displaying confidence. If you’re shy, patterns can help you step outside of your comfort zone. Not ready for bold patterns in your blouses, dresses, or slacks? You can take a classic look you’re comfortable with and use accessories—scarves, shoes, bags—to bump up the boldness.
Not everything you wear has to be the same texture. Texture connotes depth, personality, and maturity. Taking a woven or knit blouse and pairing it with a pleated skirt brings dimension to your look.
The colors we wear can have a powerful effect on our energy. Wear white to calm your energy field, blue to nurture your spirit, yellow to energize your aura, red to gather your force, and red and black when you need a little spice and mischief in your life.
Color blocking shows your confidence and can accentuate certain features, pulling a look together. Playing with lights and darks can connote that you’re serious and makes a powerful statement in the boardroom.
Embrace the cohesive look. Sometimes we want to wear a few amazing pieces all at once but they don’t work together. You can keep your look balanced by adding one statement piece of jewelry and forgo the piling on of too many pieces.
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