Finding Your Personal Style

When you know your personal style you're going to have a nice cohesive wardrobe and you will save money because you won't buy things you don't like. It will also save you time figuring out what to wear and give you a sense of self-confidence. You get stuck in a cycle of shopping because you feel you have nothing to wear because you're not refining your style, instead just adding to it. Personal style is important because style is a way for you to communicate to the world who you are. It's not superficial, it's about feeling great and comfortable with who you really are and being the best version of yourself. You feel powerful when you wear your favorite items. I am aware that on some level there is a frivolity to it but on the other hand its such a vital and important role in your life. When you look good, then that translates to feeling good. It is one of those things that I think we think is frivolous but at the end of the day how you feel is incredibly important to your day. 

I used to shop a lot. I had a whole wardrobe of cute pieces and didn't think of how they went together. Defining your personal style helps you to narrow down on the pieces you love the most. And then your style will become more defined. I remember carefully planning outfits for vacations but when I look back at the photos I was unimpressed. I always had an overflowing closet but felt I always dressed so boring. I thought I was stylish but I wasn't. I didn't know anything about designers. I just knew that I loved clothing but didn't quite know how to put looks together. 

I am incredibly brand loyal to the LOFT because it's a fail safe and I can rely on their sizing and good sale prices. The problem was if I dress head to toe in one brand, then it was sanitizing my own personal style. I would mindless buy things just because I thought I should like it and it was on sale. For instance, I instinctually knew that I preferred to dress in solid color clothing, yet the LOFT has tons of floral and print dresses that I would buy mindlessly. And now all those pieces in my closet, I'm not so excited about. And I'd frequently see a co-worker in the same dress. My goal was to stop mindlessly buying from the same brand all the time and not dress to their designer's vision but to my own. I'm trying to reinvent myself by scouting for new brands to wear. 

What's Your Aesthetic?

What do you want to communicate with your style? Knowing your personal style is so important to building a thoughtful wardrobe. It's such a key step and you will get less carried away with trends. It turns you into a really focused shopper and eliminates impulse buys. Our sense of style also matures as you develop a stronger sense of self.  I finally feel my personal style matches who I want to be.  I love to experiment, I'm not afraid to try new colors and different styles and aesthetics. My first salon pedicure after the pandemic I got fuchsia toes, I've never worn that color before on my nails!

Step one is to label your personal style, for me I think I'm chic, classic, and romantic. I don't try to fit in a box of one style. Chic style is defined by looks that seem to come together in an effortless way. It is often monochromatic and combined with bold accessories. I lean towards sleek, modern shapes, sharp lines and on trend-end accessories. I like my style to look very feminine, a bit sophisticated and I like to wear a lot of color.

Determine Your Body Shape

Once you understand your body shape shopping and styling clothes become easier because you know how to best dress for your body shape to flatter and balance out your outfits so that they look symmetrical.

I have a rectangle body shape which means my bust, shoulder, and hip measurements are about the same. When I gain weight its evenly distributed. I have a straight waist. Examples of a rectangle body type are Kate Middleton, Rosario Dawson, Cameron Diaz, Anne Hathaway, and Jennifer Garner. Rectangle is the ideal body shape of a supermodel. 

While there aren't a lot of rules for a rectangle body shape, I like to create a bit more dimension with my clothing and wear cuts that define my waist and cinch it in to give that hourglass shape. Rectangle body shapes should have a good stash of belts and abuse them. Wearing a shirt with interesting sleeves create more movement in my silhouette. An empire waist dress is good for defining my waist.  Pointed toe shoes make me look taller. Wearing bold earrings brings the attention up. 

It took me years to realize that a high waisted pant is my jam because I have a long torso. It makes my legs look longer and creates a waist because I don't have a lot of definition in my waist and thus gives my body more of a flattering shape. I'm no expert on other body shapes, but you should be familiar with your type. 

What is Your Color Palette? 

Do you know which colors flatter your skin tone? Have you done a color analysis to determine if your undertones are warm or cool?  It's a game changer to figure out what your undertone is. That is what colors are going to make you look radiant and which colors are going to wash you out. Chances are you don't look your best in every shade of the rainbow. So knowing your colors and creating a personal color palette makes it much easier to not buy colors that aren't best suited for you. A color palette is important in defining your personal style.  It'll be easy to declutter your wardrobe when you know what colors to toss and which to keep.

For many years I kept buying  undereye concealer with yellow undertones because I naturally assumed since I have tan skin I must have yellow undertones. While the product was my skin color, it always looked yellow on my skin. I kept trying different colors trying to figure out why I couldn't find a match, until I finally discovered that I had pink undertones! That's why I have a beige blonde hair color because that flatters pink undertones. 

Even lipstick selection is according to undertones. You can't just go out and buy the same shade Taylor Swift is wearing, it might not look good on you! I wear red lipsticks with a blue undertone (right side) but you may look better in a red lipstick with an orange undertone (left side). 

My skin has a neutral undertone that leans warm. So I can pull off the widest range of colors as neutral skin tones doesn't have any colors that they need to stay away from. Gold jewelry compliments warmer undertones the best. My undertone told me that ivory looks better on me than traditional white. I even bought loungewear in my color palette so I can feel good at home. I highly recommend getting your colors done to determine what colors look best on you to find out if you have warm undertones or cool undertones. Colors will pop more if you match your undertone. 

What is your signature? 

What makes you stand out? For my co-worker, I would say it's that she wears red lipstick everyday. For someone else it could be their unique jewelry. For me it's my hair color. Someone once said, "If anyone tells you (a blonde), you should be a brunette, they don't want you to be pretty. Never trust anyone that tells you to go back to brown hair. " lol

Hair is a major tool for styling and can completely change our look. I totally believe in the power of hair when it comes to style. Hair instantly elevates your outfit. If you're in a style rut, start with your hair. Do something that shakes it up a bit.  Get curtain bangs, try a subtle balayage, do a fancy braid,  or learn a new technique for curling your hair. Be inspired to try something a little bit different that you haven't had the guts to do yet, it's the perfect timing during quarantine. I bought my mom this Volumizing & Texturizing powder that comes in two strengths, because she's used the same hair products her whole life, and she loved this product! 

My mother like me has a lot of clothes, I get my fashion sense from her. Sometimes she'll see me wearing something new and say she wants that too so I buy it for her too. So we could dress as twins if we wanted to. lol The other day she called me just to say that she felt fabulous at her doctor's appointment because she curled and styled her hair with that powder and was wearing a perfume I bought her and an outfit she styled. She felt good because she was the total package. One of her childhood friends once told her, after a certain age you should never leave your house without a bra and lipstick on. This all goes back to when you look good, you feel good; and feel more confident when you walk into a room.

Shopping Ban 

If you're stuck in a style rut and don't feel great in your outfits, I recommend instituting a month long shopping ban so you have time to rediscover your closet.  A 30-day no buy challenge can feel huge when we're used to filling part of our lives with unnecessary shopping.  By going on a shopping ban, it gives you time to think about how you want to dress and forces you to be more creative with your outfits. I think the pandemic has made the wardrobe boredom factor and the desire to buy new things to cheer us up even more prevalent. 

The shopping urge creeps up on us looking to fix the boredom problem that we're currently experiencing in our closet because we're feeling uninspired and we feel we have nothing to wear. We're bored because our style is not speaking to us. So think about who do you want to embody in your style? Curate a pinterest mood board of looks you like and follow people whose style you want to emulate. Then go through your closet and see if you can recreate the looks you like. 

Afterwards, create a list of basic essentials you need to help you create the looks you like. I use the notes file on my phone to write down gaps in my closet that need to be filled. If you don't have a shopping list prepared you don't really shop with intention so you tend to bring home the wrong stuff. If you are bored or emotional, you will keep chasing that feeling that you will never feel satisfied with your wardrobe.  Whenever you buy something new, ask yourself if you will be able to make 3 outfits with it and wear it 30 times. 

When you develop your style it will make for a more curated wardrobe.  If you focus on buying less but buying higher quality items, you are instantly leveling up your style. Why go to H&M and buy 10 different things from there when you could save that money and buy 1 or 2 high quality items instead? Those few items you invest in will make you feel like a millions bucks! You are better off having 5 amazing outfits that make you feel beautiful and comfortable; rather than having a bazillion outfits that don't do anything for you.  The confidence you gain in getting dressed does spread to gaining confidence in other parts of your life. 


Your lifestyle determines the types of clothes you wear the most so 70% of your wardrobe should reflect your occupation. If you want to have the wardrobe of your dreams, your wardrobe should reflect the life you're living otherwise you will never wear those items and that's a waste of your money. The more you look in your closet and come across pieces you can't wear, the more frustrated you are and the more you think you have nothing to wear.  Sort through your closet and take out what doesn't fit and flatter. Either donate it or put in storage. Same with anything you haven't worn in the last 2 years. It's not doing any good sitting in your closet. I've sent 4 bags of clothes to ThredUp this spring.

You have nothing to wear because your clothes don't fit properly. The key to having an amazing wardrobe is being comfortable in everything you own. Not holding off buying new clothes until you lose weight. You deserve to have flattering clothes now to wear. Shop second hand.  It's an amazing feeling to see everything you own, so give your closet a good decluttering. The first picture in this post is my summer capsule wardrobe that I separated into one section of my closet. 

I don't want to be a minimalist, I just want to open my closet and not be overwhelmed. I have accumulated a lot of clothes and have more than the average person needs. I still want to have a big variety of things, but I like the mindset of a minimalist which is just having things that you love and wear. 

Studies have shown that what we wear has a measurable influence on our wellbeing. Thus fashion styling isn't superficial. To be able to dress yourself through a well curated uncluttered wardrobe keeps you inspired so you will want to wear it again and again. Then you will always turn up as the best version of yourself. Dressing for how you want to feel can really elevate your life, it gives you that confidence and makes you feel good. When I'm put together and have my hair done and makeup done and an outfit that I feel really good in, I also feel my most confident self and I feel like I can take on the world!

Related posts:

Summer Capsule Wardrobe

Choosing Neutral Basics

How to Look Expensive on a Budget

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