What is personal style?
Personal style is your signal to the world about who you are. Whether you like it or not, the clothes and accessories you wear say a lot about you. Depending on the country or culture you live in the items you wear on your body can tell people your class, income, tastes, and attitude without you having to open your mouth. You may not like it, but it is what it is.
Fashion versus Style
I want to point out the fashion v. style issue. Fashion is ever changing. Like bell-bottoms and platform shoes fashion comes and goes. Style is personal. Style is eternal. If you buy something (well-made) that you like it will NEVER go out of style.
For example, my mom has some dresses she had made more than 20 years ago that she still wears. I also have some of her clothes that look great today. They are flattering silhouettes with colours that worked well together. These clothes have never gone out of style.
Some things like crop tops (we called them belly shirts back in my day) are for sure going to be unfashionable in 3 to 4 years. I own a couple of crop tops, but I try to incorporate fashion pieces into my personal style. The crop tops I own are colourful and usually printed. The moral of this story is you can incorporate fashion into your style.
Don’t think for one second that wearing all the trendiest items makes you stylish. Why? You and I and everyone else can go to the mall and buy “Radiant Orange” (Pantone color of the year) platform shoes. That is not style. I personally dislike Radiant Orange. I think it is a tragic colour and it is not a color that looks good with my skin tone. If I were to purchase those shoes I couldn’t claim to be stylish. I would be trendy: just another victim of fast fashion and conspicuous consumption.
How can you determine your personal style?
At the end of the day personal style takes into account many factors like
- your body shape
- cultural background
A lot of websites will tell you to find a celebrity style icon. Forget that foolishness. Start with yourself. What are you comfortable in? Look in your closet. Is there a colour that keeps coming up? Is there a style of pant that you find looks really great on you? Those are probably the pieces that look great on you. You are most likely comfortable in those things. Find cuts and colours that work with your body shape.
What can you afford? Sometimes you can’t and won’t find what you like in the store, so you have to make it or get someone else to make it for you. There are lots of great local artists in your city who probably make things you will never find in the mall. I find that many independent businesses carry clothing that is truly unique since the owners usually carry items that fit within their personal style and tastes. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that these things are cheap. They are not, but there is a reason for this. They are more often than not well made! They will last you for a LONG time.
Depending on your occupation and cultural background you have to find a way to express yourself while staying in the confines/boundaries of your social circumstance. I see lots of women who cover up from head to toe in awesome outfits. I can instantly tell that they are happy with themselves and what they are wearing. They added a twist to what some would call a religious uniform.
If you are a woman who works in construction maybe you can find or make or decorate a work item that fits your style. Maybe you prefer a sea green tool belt. Why not get your friend who works with leather to fashion you one?