Are you the sort of person who feels like you kind of know what style you’d absolutely love, but time and time again you end up buying clothes that will just do for ‘now’?
Maybe you feel as though you’ve nailed getting the fit right, but everything else about your overall look is a bit ‘meh’. Perhaps you have a default uniform you automatically go to, but it just doesn’t excite you or fill you with joy. Worst still, you may even see others wearing the exact same outfit and feel they look amazing in it? What is the hell up with that?
If what I’ve described resonates with you on any level then you may be getting in your own way when it comes to progressing with your personal style. What I mean when I say this is; you’re at a place where you sort of know what aesthetic appeals to you but you can’t quite make it happen.
I know from working with clients who have been in a similar position that this is one of the most frustrating places to be. You know what you want but one of two things are stopping you:
1| You’re not sure how to get to your end goal
It’s all well and good knowing how you want to look, but you may not know what steps to take in order to get there
2| You don’t have the motivation
Let’s be frank, it does take time and effort to work on your personal style and sometimes it’s easier to just go with what you already know. Life can be busy and get in the way of trying to map out how to get to the aesthetic you want.
It’s easier to default back to the familiar when you have the choice between going with something that’s different and what you’d ideally like to wear, or something you’re used to. Going for that new option raises loads of questions in your head:
- Am I going to stand out at work?
- Will it be comfortable wearing it for longer than 10 minutes in the fitting room?
- How easy is it going to be to wash and maintain?
- Will I wear it often enough to justify the price?
- What will people say if I suddenly start wearing something so different?
- Does it even suit me or does it look ridiculous?
- And so on and so on…
Which is why I exist and do what I do, I highlight the steps you have to take, find the items you need, and answer all of those questions for you.
But if you’re doing it yourself what can you do to get closer to your desired aesthetic?
Start small. Don’t try and jump straight into the look you’re going for. Break it down and take smaller steps to get there.
Find images of the look you aspire to and break it down, what small things can you start adding to your outfits to make them similar?
If you’re fed up of seeing others totally rock your default look (t-shirt and jeans anyone?) then make a mental note of what they’ve done differently with the same outfit and try and replicate some elements of it. Alternatively, you can use what they’ve done to inspire you to try something similar rather than blatantly copying it.
Start thinking beyond clothes. An easy way to start small is to focus on things like accessories and jewellery.
1 | Hair
How does your current style fit with the look you’re trying to achieve, are you happy with it? I’m no expert when it comes to hair but if your current style is something you feel is letting you down, then find a great local hair stylist and have a chat to them about an alternative style.
2 | Makeup
A lot of makeup counters will do a makeover for you or there are tonnes of YouTubers who focus on creating different looks. Again, refer back to looks you aspire to and cross check the look they’ve gone for with your makeup, is it something you feel would work for you?
3 | Shoes
Shoes can have a massive impact and can literally make or break an outfit. Go through your looks and create a list of shoes that keep appearing. Check these against the shoes you own and see where any gaps lie. If there are some shoes you need to buy, the first styles you should invest in are those that will work best with the pieces you currently own. You don’t want to buy some new amazing shoes then have to wait until you’ve bought some more clothes before you can wear them.
4 | Accessories & Jewellery
When working with clients I find accessories, and in particular, jewellery are two of the most common things missing from their outfits. I know if I ever want to make an outfit feel different or feel ‘finished’ I always look for interesting accessories or pieces of jewellery I can add to it. I talked about starting small, this is a great place to start. Adding these is relatively inexpensive and easy to do it. Find some looks of the style you’re aiming for and pinpoint what accessories or jewellery feature. Then go out and hit the accessory sections of your favourite stores (COS is my ultimate fave at the moment for Jewellery).
5 | Underwear
I suppose underwear is a subtle change you can make that will have a big impact. It’ll improve your posture, give your body a better shape, and just make your clothes look better. If it’s been a while since you got measured then it’s absolutely worth doing it. If you want some extra advice then you can check out A Bra That Fits on Reddit which is full of knowledgeable and extremely helpful ladies who can check your fit.
Starting small and breaking down the aesthetic you’re aiming for is a great way of easing you towards your end goal, and helping you get out of your own way when it comes to developing your personal style.
I love hearing your thoughts, frustrations, and wins on your style journey so why not leave me a comment below.
Images: Anouk Yve | Toa Heftiba