We all want to look good and style ourselves better but finding (and refining) personal style can be a struggle. The impact of personal style goes beyond making a good impression. Being stylish is also about having confidence in yourself and feeling good in what you wear. Though fashion bloggers and stylists make it look so simple, it can be tricky to know how to put together a perfect ensemble. However, we have taken notes from a few of our favorite style geniuses and made some inferences ourselves.
You can’t expect to give yourself a style overhaul without prepping a few things beforehand. So before you focus on the dressing bit, we recommend you give these a try.
Jot down the names of your favorite style icons and do a bit of research via Pinterest, Google, or Instagram to gather inspiration from their looks. Pulling different types of inspiration from several sources is a great way to figure out what you like and dislike. Make a Pinterest board and create a list of some of your favorite celebs or bloggers. Do a quick search on each of them, and pin the images and outfits that you like. Try to figure out what you like to incorporate those elements into your style.
Weed out your closet
Take a good, long look at your closet and the pieces you already own. Toss what you haven’t worn in the last year so you can start fresh. Then you can begin to rebuild and refine your wardrobe with a style that truly reflects where you are. A good closet cleanse will allow you to feel ready to become a better dresser. You will be amazed at how easy it is to get dressed when you have only a few spot-on options, instead of unnecessary clothing clutter.
Shop for some essentials
Instead of purchasing something specific for certain events, try to have a few dressier pieces in your wardrobe that are more versatile. Opt for things that are simple and more classic, rather than trend-led and you will be able to wear it again and again. Try to build a capsule wardrobe of sorts by investing in some basic key pieces – like a plaid blazer, some white t-shirts and shirts, and a few pairs of jeans and formal pants – and you will never run out of outfits to wear as, accessorized right, these key pieces can be styled to put together different looks.
How to dress right
After you have the basics in place and an idea of how you want to look and present yourself, it would be a good idea to keep some important things in mind.
Master the art of accessorizing
Accessories are, without a doubt, the easiest way to pull any look together regardless of the vibe you want to achieve. You can update jeans and a white t-shirt with a bold necklace or pair layered and delicate jewelry with a dress for a more feminine feel. A cool ear cuff or stacked rings can give you an instant edge, and pearls can make you look polished and lady-like in an instant. Add a patterned scarf, opt for edgy ankle booties instead of your normal black ballet shoes, or pull out a bright clutch to add more personality.
Invest in some bags
A handbag is one of the most versatile and important accessories that a woman can own. There’s no such thing as one too many when it comes to bags and purses. You will need different ones for different occasions but you should have at least three different kinds for starters – small, medium and large. Make sure you have a small bright clutch for an evening party, a medium sized one for when you are going about your day, and a large one that fits your laptop for work. Over time, work on building a good bag collection as changing them up to match your outfit can make you look quite pulled together.
Try new things
Changing your look can be scary. We often feel nervous to wear outfits that are out of the norm and wonder if people will think we look weird. These insecurities are totally normal when stepping outside of your comfort zone. But give it a try for one wear—if you still really hate it, rethink it. You might not be used to wearing boyfriend jeans with heels, but if you know you love it on others, at least give yourself a chance. Start by easing into your bolder looks. For example, if the boyfriend jeans and heels combo is too intense, swap the heels for ballet flats. Or if the pink skirt seems too bright, tone it down with a black top and jean jacket. Over time, by trying new things you will find what you like and what works for you.
Dress for your body type
Experts believe that you should understand your body type and wear clothes that flatter it. That means going for a frock with a nipped-in waist or a skirt that emphasizes your curves. Concealing your frame under a billowing silhouette won’t do you any favors. It’s true that if one is on the heavier side, one tends to wear loose fitting clothes to hide their trouble areas but doing so will only make you look frumpy and badly styled. So steer clear of trying to hide your body in baggy and lose clothes. Instead, work on identifying your best features and play them up.
The single most important thing when developing your style is to be true to yourself. Don’t focus on the size or the designer label. Continue to experiment with different patterns, textures, accessories, and shoes. It all boils down to feeling good in your own skin – your style should reflect and celebrate your life, your individuality, and personality. Own your style, be proud of it, and embrace fashion as a way to express who you are and who you want to be.