Avant-Garde with Rachel: Personal Style

Personal style is (for most people) extremely hard to figure out. With all of the runway shows that are showing you what is going to be in style next season; then there are the smaller companies that you can buy at J.C Penny, Sears, etc. Plus there are stores like Hollister, Abercrombie, American Eagle and Aeropostale. You could walk into either of those four stores above and find items of clothing that look exactly the same, so how are you supposed to stand out in a crowd when everyone and their mother shop at American Eagle, Aeropostale, Abercrombie and Hollister?


This is where your personal style comes into play! But how do you determine your personal style?


Here are a few tips, and a few of my personal ideas!


1. Determine your colors: This DOES NOT mean your clothes! Determine your personal colors: hair color, eye color, skin tone, etc. Based on these colors, the colors that look best on you are the complimentary colors that coincide with your personal colors. For example: red heads can pull off anything green like it’s their job, it brings out their hair color and depending on their eye color it might bring out their eyes. Make sure you determine your personal colors. It is also important to know what the season colors are. White after labor day? Not unless it is winter white, and even then, because we live in Maine, you are going to get salt, sand and slush on your white pants...so I do not recommend white pants. A white peacoat or a white hat is a different story!


2. What is your trademark? Do you have an article of clothing you are known for? Scarves maybe? Kate Middleton is known for her pillbox hats. I know I do! It’s my shoes. I wear seven inch heels around campus, well, because I can. Nobody understands it, not even me. I have colorful high heels, shiny high heels, pointy high heels; I have an obnoxious amount of high heels and that is what I am known for. Can you change your trademark? Absolutely! But it is difficult, I am in the process of changing my trademark from shoes to hats, so it can be done!


3. Embrace your shape: You cannot create a style if you are in denial of your body shape. Embracing your personal shape is the hardest thing you can do, but once you embrace it and learn to dress for your body type, your self confidence will skyrocket. If you can find a trademark that makes you look fierce, it will help you embrace your size. I know it is VERY cliche but size is really just a letter or a number, trust me, it’s true.


4. Get a “look-book”: In fashion all designers create a look-book of their collections and find inspiration for next season. What I do is I have a special board on Pinterest called “I want to look like this everyday”. Right now it has about 1500 pins of outfits and inspirational outfits that I want to somehow or someday recreate. Currently it is overloaded with 50‘s Dior, Chanel, and Jacques Fath outfits. To find your own personal style, find things you like; for me, I am obsessed with the 50‘s fashion, I feel confident in it, and really, the 50‘s were timeless. Some people like the 60‘s some like the 70‘s, whatever era you like, take inspiration from it and incorporate it into your personal style.


5. Mix it up: You know how when you get married you need something new, something borrowed, something old and something blue? Well in your daily outfit, think about this mentality, incorporate something old, for me, I am incorporating felt pillbox hats that I am making myself. Pillbox hat’s were popular in the 50‘s, and were made EXTREMELY popular by Jackie Kennedy. Find something old and something new in each outfit and that will help you create your own style.

Fashion changes but your style is always going to be the same. Even if you do not watch haute couture runway shows, you know your own style more than anyone else. Be daring, be bold, be confident and be comfortable.


Chanel once said: “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”