Need an easy formula for how to find my style? Here are five key steps to help you on your way to dressing more authentically!
It can be so difficult to determine how to find your style these days. The inpouring of fast fashion, celebrities, influencers, and savvy marketing tactics haven’t made things any easier.
Finding your personal style is a lifelong journey because it goes hand-in-hand with finding your true self. We all go through changes that affect the way we see ourselves and in turn, affect the way we want to dress.
Being on a similar journey, I know this all too well and have cultivated the best strategies that will lead you to discover your personal style.
This simple guide will give you thoughtful advice on how to find your style so you can move towards a life of living and dressing more authentically.
This post is all about how to find my style.
Best Tips For How To Find My Style
1. Find Your Style Muse
The process of ‘how to find my style’ is similar to an artist painting a masterpiece. There’s something driving the artist to create. Oxford Languages defines a muse as “a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.”
Find your inspiration or style muse by identifying those individuals, characters, or personas that resonate within you. If you had to choose a group of individuals as your style tribe, who would they be? Spend time identifying these people, real or imaginary, whose style you see yourself aligning with.
Find style muses through the following:
- Celebrities and public figures
- TV and film characters
- Social media influencers and personas
- Literary characters from novels and poems
- Individuals in song lyrics
- Family, friends, colleagues, anyone you know
- Historical figures
- Styles from your imagination (i.e. you have a style or persona in your mind and you put those thoughts down on paper)
Be very selective with your list. You may start out with 21 individuals but edit your list down to seven throughout the course of a few weeks (or months). This is good and expected. Give yourself time to get into the mindset of finding your muse and your muse(s) will naturally come to you.
If you’re a visual person create a Pinterest board and add your style inspiration, muses, colors, seasons, and anything that artistically resonates with you. Revisit the board often and edit it as necessary.
Related Post: Style Types Fashion | What’s Your Style Personality?
Use social media as your muse
Use social media content as a source of inspiration. If you’re an Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube follower, pay attention to the accounts you follow and why. Any content or accounts that stir up negative thoughts and emotions you should unfollow immediately. Negativity kills creativity, so focus on curating your dream world on your social media and transcend the noise.
The above social media tip was a game-changer for me and I know it will be for you as well. People say that social media can be so negative, but we each have control over what content we choose to view and engage with. Don’t be afraid of what others will think as you unfollow (or even block) them. If you can’t be authentic with curating your social media content, how do you expect to be authentic in creating your style?
2. Shop Your Closet For Pieces That Embody Your Muses
The next step of ‘how to find my style’ begins in your own closet. With your inspirational list or Pinterest board handy, go through your closet to identify clothing and accessories that align with your inspiration. Set these pieces aside.
Now, take each piece and try styling it with basic items or by itself. Your focus should be on that individual item, so don’t add too many details that may distract you. Stare at yourself in the mirror and allow yourself to feel how you feel about that piece. Does it look good on you? Does it feel good on you? Most importantly, does it feel like you? If your overall mindset about the item is positive and happy, take note and move it to a separate pile. Continue this exercise with the rest of your inspired pieces.
Record your experience as you go
Items that spark negative thoughts and emotions are important to write down why. For example, you may resonate with the style of a fitted knit top but felt negative about it due to the itchiness of the fabric. Or, a pair of pants might elongate your legs, but you can’t stand the color. Separate these items from the ‘positive’ group of clothing and accessories.
Write down all the positives you experience in terms of style, feel, fit, color, print, and even adjectives (e.g. happy, sensual, smart, warm). This process is about taking visuals (what you see) and expanding them to your other senses, including intuition. Do these ideas align with your muses and Pinterest board? Edit as necessary. Keep these notes handy for future reference and going deeper into your personal style.
You might find that something you thought inspired you didn’t translate well into clothing or accessories. Be mindful of this and pare your inspirational Pinterest board and list of muses back.
Style with your true pieces
At this point, create a space in your wardrobe for the pieces that sparked positive thoughts and emotions. We’ll call these your ‘true pieces’ going forward. Now, each day you get dressed, be sure to style with at least one of your true pieces.
3. Perform a Wardrobe Audit
Now that you’re styling with your true pieces each day, it’s time to perform a full wardrobe audit. This exercise is where you literally take each item in your wardrobe and style it up to ensure it belongs there.
A wardrobe audit takes you through the following actions:
- Determine what clothing and accessories to discard
- Create a wardrobe inventory
- Organize your closet to showcase the current season’s items
- Make new outfits from your closet
This is a serious exercise for ‘how to find my style’ and you’ll need an entire weekend (at the very least) to do this, especially if you like to take breaks and regroup. It’s completely worth your time, trust me. The end result is an organized wardrobe that’s modeled after a store because that’s what shopping your closet should be!
If you’re interested in a full breakdown of how to perform a wardrobe audit, check out this post: How To Shop Your Closet The Right Way.
4. Incorporate Trends And Timeless Styles
At this point, you’ll have edited your closet down to a starting point for your newfound style to begin. Expand your research of inspiration and muses to fashion trends and timeless styles that interest you and resonate inside. You might not own any of these things currently, but this is where the real fun begins.
Shopping becomes more of an authentic experience as you make more conscious purchases, learning a little more about yourself with each one. Each day is another step towards mastering ‘how to find my style’. Slowly, you’ll turn your wardrobe into something uniquely beautiful. Avoid going on unplanned shopping sprees if you can. This process is meant to be a slow burn, like anything worthwhile in life.
5. Ditch Unhealthy Fashion Rules
Healthy rules and boundaries exist to protect, guide and maintain order. Then, there are other ‘rules’ which simply exist to control and stifle others. Are we getting into the politics of fashion? A little bit you might say.
Part of ‘how to find my style’ is casting off everyone else’s idea of how you should dress, so you have the freedom to decide for yourself. Similar to the purpose of social media curation mentioned in step #1, it’s about pressing the mute button on unnecessary noise and distractions.
Are you afraid to wear white after Labor Day? Do you avoid wearing black and brown together? What do you do when you don’t have a belt to match your new pair of shoes? And how about Wednesdays…do you always wear pink?
All jokes aside, these are just a few of what I consider to be unhealthy fashion rules that have stolen joy and creativity from myself and many others throughout the last century (and possibly longer). Hasn’t every notable fashion breakthrough been from someone who’s decided to ditch those rules? For example, black used to be associated with servants and widows until Coco Chanel introduced the “little black dress”. Thank you Coco!
Unless you have a moral or ethical conviction for specific fashion rules, it’s time to let them go. What freedom you’ll feel without a silly fashion rule telling you to basically, “don’t be yourself”.
Related Post: Fashion Advice You Need To Ditch In 2023
Create your own rules
On the flip side, you’re free to create your own fashion rules. After performing many of the exercises above, like the wardrobe audit, you may come up with a few personal rules to follow when shopping or styling.
For example, one of my rules is that I don’t wear shift dresses. I’ve mentioned this in other posts, but I used to have a problem where I kept buying shift dresses because they looked so cute on the model. I would force myself into thinking I could make them work, but no matter what, I was always disappointed once I wore them. I began shaming myself thinking there was something wrong with my body shape and weight, which was totally off-base.
You can imagine how this could spiral out of control to an amount of dieting and exercise that will never bring the desired results. Thankfully, I finally realized shift dresses don’t work for my body type and a healthy, new fashion rule was born for me, and me alone. I do not wear shift dresses. And I’m okay with that. I’m now free to focus on dress styles that are more aligned with my true, happy self…and I still enjoy shift dresses on others from afar.
Your own fashion rules should guide you to make healthy choices that are aligned with your authentic self.
This post was all about how to find my style