Part 2 - Defining Your Style (in what you wear & in your home)
In part one of our: How to define your style series (if you missed it, you can read it here), we both agreed that if you have a personality, you have a style. You just may not have taken the time to figure it out yet. And we are here to help make it a little easier!
Here are some things that we find have helped in our work with clients (and in our own personal style discoveries):
1. Look to your own closet
When it comes to my own style or working with clients, everything always goes back to the closet. Spend some time in your wardrobe and pull out your favourite pieces. The ones that garner compliments, your go-to garments, and those you wear when you want to look like you've really made an effort! These will start to tell a bit of your style story. Is there something you would consider a signature piece? Maybe it is statement earrings, sunglasses, ballet flats or a tailored blazer - attaching a trademark item to your sense of style can be another step in the right direction. Note: this doesn't need to be one thing, hi-lighting key pieces in your style rotation can also reveal a lot about your personality.
Keep an eye out for outliers. Something you may have purchased, but rarely wear even if it technically fits and flatters. This could likely be because it doesn't align with your style personality. For example: if your wardrobe is full of classic pieces with a modern twist, a Bohemian style embroidered top might not blend well in the overall wardrobe.
Go take a peek in your closet and as Lori suggested, and pull out your favorite pieces, the ones that feel most like “you” when you put them on. Ask yourself are they dressy vs. casual? Do you like traditional styles or do you love cutting edge trends?
For myself, I am most comfortable and feel most like myself in a pair of distressed jeans and a white t-shirt or cozy sweater. Informal and cozy pretty much sums up my home vibe as well! When it comes to colour, you will find lots of neutrals in my closet but with small pops of colour ...guess what, that also describes my home decor! Lots of black, white and grey and then some hits of mustard yellow
2. Look for inspiration
Your inspiration could come in the form of a Pinterest board, a collection of images cut out of magazines, or found on the internet. Pick looks you love even if you feel they wouldn't work well for your body shape, skin tone or lifestyle. This is just data collection - you can always incorporate elements of looks in a different way. Celebrities whose style resonates with you can be a wonderful form of inspiration, or images from shops you frequent. If you follow any bloggers on Instagram, their daily looks or #ootd (outfit of the day) can yield some lovely inspiration pics.
I also recommend assembling a group of pictures that illustrate any strong dislikes - what you absolutely wouldn't wear. Knowing what styles really don't speak to you also reveals a lot about your style.
Finally, start to brainstorm a couple of words about your personality (ideally our style should reflect us) as well as words to describe what you would like your style to say about you.
In this digital world we live in, we are surrounded by limitless sources of inspiration. Or should I say “Pinspiration”. That is the first place I recommend my clients go because it’s so easy. I have lots of boards organized by room and so that is a great place to start. Scroll pinterest and just start randomly pinning things that appeal to you, without over-thinking it too much. When you have collected 10-20 images, go back and look through the pictures and see if there are any common elements that jump out at you. You don’t have to limit yourself to Pinterest, inspiration is everywhere! Magazines, catalogues, tv shows, instagram...and on and on.
3. Consider your Lifestyle
Jot down a few words that reflect your lifestyle and think about various aspects of
your life you need to dress for. This could be work, mom-on-the go, elevated casual, going out looks etc. Your inspiration images can definitely be translated in a way that suit your lifestyle demands.
Want to go a little deeper? Make a pie chart illustrating how you spend your time. If the picture shows the majority of time working from home or out running errands, you may not need a lot of dressy pieces or typical office attire (even if you follow a blogger who has this aesthetic and you love it). You may interpret the look with a more casual dress, denim jacket and sneakers.
While lifestyle is a really key component to creating a home that you love, I think it is
less relevant to defining the “style” of your home than it is when you are defining your fashion style. Lifestyle certainly dictates things like furniture selection, layout, fabric choices etc. I will go into this topic a little bit more in an upcoming blog post.
4. Connect the dots:
Once you have collected evidence from you closet, images and words, the next step to uncovering your style is to start to look for patterns. A colour palette may be emerging, maybe you gravitate toward prints, or love classic pieces in a neutral palette, or your vibe may be more modern or artistic. All the trends you are noticing start to reflect personal taste and style. It could be that you have a plethora of key pieces such as denim, blazers, knitwear, footwear that become the foundation for outfit formulas and recipes you create in your closet.
Brainstorm words that reflect the overall feel of the outfits you love. Examples could be: artistic, feminine, masculine, tailored, bohemian, modern, sophisticated, playful, edgy, creative, alluring etc. You don't need to stick to just one word - an interesting mix that describes your style is probably more on point as well as dynamic.
I've included a sheet here to get you going on your own and have also shared my personal style discoveries to give you an idea of how this can look.
Just like in fashion, there are labels we use to define different home styles. As I
mentioned above, you don’t have to stick with one specific look, but narrowing it down to 2 or 3 that compliment each other is ideal. As Lori just mentioned, once you have considered your closet and saved some images to a Pinterest Board, start looking for similarities and patterns that emerge. Are you drawn to modern clean lines or rustic vintage styles? Here are some home decor styles: modern farmhouse, mid-century modern, transitional, Boho, mid-century modern, french country. The list could go on and is a post for another day.
As we mentioned, everyone has a style and figuring it out just takes a little thought and personal exploration. Once you take the time to do this, it will make shopping for clothing and for your home so much easier! Our goal as stylists is to help you feel comfortable, confident and put together - both when getting dressed in the morning and when you are spending time in your home.
I hope you have found some useful take-aways from these ideas. If you are interested in getting some help from either Kerri or myself, please reach out.
me - email@example.com
Kerri - -firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading!