Finding your Authentic Style
Hey friend! I've left this post up as a starting point to get you exploring your own authentic personal style, BUT I've since turned my process into a way more detailed and effective 18-page workbook for you instead. Which you can download for free!
For those of you who don't know, I work as a graphic designer. And my favourite projects I work on are branding projects. I help clients represent themselves in a way that tells their story and shares their values with the outside world. And we do this too, as individuals—telling the story of you we are—through our own personal brand. And a big part of that; the clothes we wear.
I want to help you find your personal style that tells your story—that authentically communicates the person you are! The best way to do this? Start at the core and work outwards.
Finding your authentic style
Start with your values
Start by thinking about what is important to you. Think about how you want people to see you and describe you. Think about what you want to be known for. Here are some questions to get you started: What do you value? What of your values can be represented in the way you dress? If you were to convey one or two things about yourself, what would you want them to be?
For me, I value freedom. This is reflected in my personal stye, through simple outfits made up of few pieces with little accessories, shoes I can walk in—basically, I dress in a way that prevents my clothes from limiting what I can or can't do that day. I'd most like to communicate that I'm approachable through my personal style, so I wear things that are softer, comfortable, and less attention grabbing, often in neutral and monochromatic colour palettes.
Listen to your body
Your body has this great way of rejecting things that don't mesh with who you are. It's probably given you some cues about what clothes don't represent you—and that cue can be fidgeting, a loss of confidence, or feeling uncomfortable. And, on the other side, when you're wearing something that fits perfectly with who you are, you might feel a boost in confidence, or you might not notice what you're wearing at all.
I've noticed that when I wear shorter skirts and dresses I feel very uncomfortable—even though I know other people aren't perceiving them as all that short. I know these items don't fit into my personal style. I find myself fidgeting when I'm wearing long sleeves—I'm always pushing them back. My body is telling me that I find them constricting, and for that reason I wear long sleeves and sweaters that are loose or can be rolled up.
Ask some real questions
Ask some questions to get to the core of how you feel about pieces, outfits, and styles. Would you want to wear this on a first date? Would you feel confident wearing this in a photo shoot (like an engagement shoot you will be keeping for a long time?) Would you like to give a speech in this outfit? We're often able to overlook clothes that don't fit with our true style by saying "oh I could wear this to work sometimes" or "I could wear this hanging out with the bf on the weekends"—in other words picturing yourself wearing it during some activity you don't care too much about how you look during. The things you want to wear in important moments are the things that best represent you and your style.
Don't try to label it just yet
We want to fit our style into neat little boxes so we know what to buy and wear. In doing this we steer away from our own voice and style, and into a predetermined box. Take your time finding what feels right from the inside out. And when you do feel ready to label it, feel just as ready to break back out of that box.
Do you feel like you've "found" your style? What are your tips for finding your style?
Free Personal style Worksheet
If you're one of those people who needs to put pen to paper to figure anything out (ahem, me) I got you covered. Enter your e-mail below and I'll send you a personal style worksheet with everything you learned above and a little more. I won't leave you hanging—you'll also receive my Beautiful Life Letters each week!