Discovering and taking ownership of your signature style is an important milestone in any fashionista’s life.Sometimes, though, amid the multitude of clothes you already own and all the options in stores, it’s hard to know what you even like anymore. Get back to the basics and start cleaning up your closet with these five quick and easy tips from the experts.
Consider your landscape
Think about your lifestyle and how it relates to your fashion choices, says wardrobe and image consultant Pam Friedlander. Whether you live in a cold, bustling city or you’re a small-town girl with a big-time job, having a firm grasp on the fashions of your city and how they fit into your life will play a huge role in helping identify your style.
Check out magazines
Pick up a magazine or two and see what you like. “Cut out photos of fashions and celebrity styles that appeal to you,” says Friedlander. Then go through and see what the dominant trends are. Were your picks mostly modern classic or Kim Kardashian-esque? Do they mesh with your lifestyle and fit into your budget? Do they work for your body type? These are all things to take into consideration.
Assess your body (and personality)
“The best way to identify your style is to make an accurate assessment of your body,” says style consultant and author of Steal This Style, Sherrie Mathieson. Consider your proportions, age, skin, coloring etc. and combine them with your personality. Are you extroverted, free-spirited or super-feminine? Note what really appeals to you on others. Will these clothes work well with your looks and personality?
Examine your wardrobe
Once you have a good idea of the styles you think you might like, examine your wardrobe, says Friedlander. “Do you own a lot of soft, feminine, flowing fabrics? Do you enjoy bold color and statement prints? Or do you gravitate more toward structured, tailored styles?” Breaking down your current wardrobe like this can help you not only define your style, but also discover what’s missing.
Dress for the life you want
Last but not least, dress for the life you want, says Hilary Rushford, personal stylist and founder of Dean Street Society. “That may include a promotion or career change in the workplace, but it also might include a relationship, child, new city, new home or new life rhythm. If you want to fall in love, start focusing on the bright colors that will catch his eye. Or if your dream is to become a full-time writer, find comfy, chic clothes that inspire you to work,” says Rushford. “Your style in 2012 isn’t about a trend, a theme or a few pieces of clothing. It’s about making sure you’re conveying the best version of yourself and the woman you’re becoming every time you step into a room.”