A Guide to Defining Your Personal Style

It is a new school year and time to reevaluate your wardrobe for the upcoming autumn months. For me, this is the perfect time of year to start trying new trends and begin clearing out my closet for new pieces. When looking through my closet I see a cohesive collection that tends to stick to about four or five major colors and a variety of subtle prints. Now, how did I somehow get a closet that looks so cohesive? Well, it did not happen in just a day. 

Defining your style can be a difficult task for people like me who draw inspiration from multiple style trends and are always trying something new. In this post, I will be implementing three easy techniques that can help you define your style and make smarter purchasing decisions. 

To begin, you already know your style, you just haven’t put it into words yet. When you look into your closet you know exactly what items scream your personality. The pieces you are most likely to gravitate towards because of how they make you feel when they are on. You also know which items you are never going to wear. In some cases, they still might even have the tags attached. I am guilty as charged.

       1. Pinterest is your friend

Pinterest boards are a lifesaver for visualizers. The beauty of Pinterest is that it gives endless inspiration even at 4 a.m. and you can categorize within your boards even further if you are like me and need clutter-free boards. I have a celebrity style inspiration board, as well as boards based on outfit colors where I can see all kinds of styles I am into at the moment as well as individual boards of styles I like as well. 

In a world without Polyvore a website I faithfully used throughout middle school and high school it seems kind of hard to mix and match styles to see what works. This is where the boards come to help. Find people whose style intrigues you. What would you want to try on? Also, finding people with a similar body frame might help when figuring out what items might look flattering on you as well.

       2. Clean your closet

In many cases, you just must take time to go completely through your wardrobe and go piece by piece if you like them or not. If you like it keep it in your closet. Why do you like it? Make a list of things you like about items such as, how it fits or makes you feel when it’s on. Also, do this with items you do not particularly like. Why do you not like a certain neckline, fit, etcetera?

For myself, I have discovered I really like high waisted pants that crop at or above the ankle and flared sleeves on tops. With that, I am not a fan of peplum tops, low v-cut necklines, or crushed velvet materials. So, I make sure to stay clear of those items when I do go shopping.

Furthermore, the clothes you do not like can always make you some extra cash. Many apps such as Vinted and Depop help you sell your clothes online. I personally use both of these apps to sell and find unique pieces. Depop has higher quality brands, streetwear, and tons of vintage pieces at all price points for all genders. Vinted is more of a women's wear app that I like to sell mainly on, but you can find some nice items on there. Also, always donate items to clothing drives or Goodwill if that is more your style.

       3. Try things on

One of my biggest pet peeves is an unflattering outfit. When you go shopping, dressing rooms are there for a reason. I never buy something without trying it on. Unless it’s online of course, and even then, I am never afraid to return an order. 

When you go shopping it is smart to keep the lists of what you do and do not like to keep you from picking out items you know you are not going to like when they are on even if they look amazing on the hanger or the mannequin. 

Also, use your Pinterest boards. When deciding on buying an item notice how it can fit into styles you like. Pull up your Pinterest boards and see if the item fits into one or more of those categories and then try them out for yourself. The worst thing that can happen is when you get home there is nothing in your closet to match. 

One of my biggest tips when trying on clothes is to go to larger department stores and higher-priced stores and boutiques. Most of the time, these stores have higher quality brands to try on. If you do not like the items fit at top quality, you are most likely not going to like the Forever 21 version more. 

In conclusion, those are my three techniques that help guide your personal style as well helping you spend more wisely on clothes you do like.