I’m currently sitting on a train in Melbourne’s city loop.
Right opposite me is a man in his early thirties wearing a fluoro vest and stained navy shorts. His beard is wrangled, and his beanie is covered in paint. Next to him is a woman in six-inch stilettos, a pencil skirt and tailored black blazer. Her hair is slicked into a high ponytail and she is wearing black reading glasses that make her look remarkably like the woman on last month’s OSPM ad.
I know nothing about either of these people, yet I have made assumptions about who they are based on what they are wearing.
From yellow thunderbolt earrings to ripped converse high tops every accessory you choose to embellish yourself with tells a story about who you are and where you come from and that’s why it’s so important to nail your personal style.
What is your personal style?
Your personal style is your attitude expressed in fabric.
I’ve always been a bit of a tom-boy so my personal style is casual but chic. I feel best in ripped high wasted jeans, a plain crew neck and sneakers. I love a good baseball cap and if it’s cold I reach out for bomber. In a more formal context, I’m all about a leather jacket. It makes me feel powerful, confident and a little bit badass which is exactly what I need to slay.
How do you find your personal style?
Step 1: Find your muse
Everyone has a hero when it comes to fashion. If you don’t, jump on Instagram and find one, then create a mood board that features your favourite looks. Putting this inspiration in one place will make it easy to identify common threads and define the look you are going for.
Step 2: Choose a signature piece
I’m going to make a bet that one item features in the majority of the images you collected in step 1. It might be a black trench coat or a pair of studded boots. This item is the flagship of your own personal style so embrace it. Build your entire wardrobe around that accessory.
Step 3: Define Your Lifestyle
You might be a tennis coach that lives in active-wear and spends your day chasing kids around a tennis court or you could be in real estate agent and walk around in black pumps selling homes for a living. These require very different uniforms so make sure you map out the outfits you need to thrive in your life and career.
Step 4: Clear Out Your Closet
You must be ruthless. Critically examine each piece of clothing in your wardrobe and make sure each piece has a purpose. It’s all about making sure you love everything you own and want to wear it over and over again. Once you’ve cut it down, you can rebuild and refine your collection so that it reflects the essence of your personality and the energy you want to radiate.
After you’ve cleared it out, take your unwanted goods to a second-hand market place such as Camberwell’s Sunday Market and make some money recycling your pre-loved items. Together, my friend and I made over $1000 and we were able to use this money to restock our closets with the essentials.
That leads me to my next point.
Step 5: Shop Mindfully
Figure out what’s missing from your wardrobe and make a list. I’m not talking about the red puffer jacket that will go out of fashion in a couple of months, I’m talking about the basics that you will wear over and over again. Instead of trend mongering and impulse buying make sure every new item of clothing matches your new look and assimilates into your existing collection.
Defining your personal style is all about simplifying your life and discovering what makes you feel confident.
Expressing yourself is a beautiful thing so stop overthinking it.
Go forth and conquer my darling.