Quite possibly my favorite part of working in clothing retail was seeing the outfits my co-workers wore to work. Men and women of all life stages created outfits I never would have thought up on my own. It was a fun and creative environment surrounded by diverse people who appreciated the art form of personal presentation.
I have shared with you before that life has changed a lot for me since my retail years but the importance of personal presentation hold true. More than being artistic expression, your personal style communicates a message to people around you whether you want it to or not.
I’ve needed to reinvent my personal style and I’m sure I’m not alone. No matter what you “do” (employment or otherwise) what you wear affects how you carry yourself and how others interact with you. Here are some tips for when you need to shift your style to embrace new changes too.
How to Discover Your Personal Style:
1. Search for styles you love on people in a similar stage. Use celebrities who have professional stylists but also look around you at the people you see in your circle of friends or at work. Read fashion magazines and tear out pictures to make a fashion board or use the internet (Pinterest is fantastic for this).
Here are a couple link suggestions to get you started:
2. Don’t copy, be inspired! Find a look that you could see yourself wearing comfortably and confidently but don’t be concerned with matching every detail. Let your fashion search/board guide your overall look, but allow your personality to come through in your execution.
3. Assess your current wardrobe and decide which items you own that fit the style you love. This step will make it easier to see what you need to buy and will save you time getting ready in the morning. Try it all on! If it’s not flattering and needs more than minor alterations you need to let it go. Donate or consign the items in good condition and throw away items which are torn or stained.
Here’s a few places to look if you need some help deciding what to keep:
4. Make a list of pieces you need to fill in gaps. Decide which basics you need and which trendy items you want. You may want to invest a little more money in basics like t’s and denim because these items will be used for multiple seasons and be worn frequently. Trendy items like statement necklaces are best purchased cheap since you will likely only use them for a short while and they will be accenting your more quality basics.
5. Shop with direction. This step has saved me a lot of time, money and “buyer’s remorse”. As you decide what to purchase, try to imagine your potential items with your full look. You already did the work of clearing out your closet and envisioning your style so use your list to steer you away from impulse buying. Instead, confidently grab items you will love and use frequently and be sure to stick to your budget.
6. Accessorize! An outfit always looks most complete when complimented by the appropriate accessories. Accent your basic items in seasonally colored belts, scarves and appropriate jewelry to finish off your favorite look. (For more on this, read my post on budget savvy seasonal fashion)
Finding your personal style will keep you on trend, in budget and looking your best no matter what stage you’re in. Once you’ve found a style that fits your personality you can reevaluate your wardrobe seasonally to stay current and weed out unwanted items gradually. Most importantly, no matter what style you chose, make sure you wear it with a smile!
Wishing you sweet style-matching success! ~Heather
What is your personal style? Let us hear about it in the comments!
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