Developing a personal style begins with your understanding of self. To know who you are means that you can best represent yourself to the world. However, while you are figuring that out, ‘fake it until you make it’.
It takes time to know yourself, and just when you think you have it figured out – you’ll realise that you, and therefore your style, have evolved. As we experience more of the world, change jobs, create families, change homes and communities, we grow as people; our expectations of self and others change, and we become more than we were before.
We expect more from ourselves and we care about how we are perceived in the world in a very different way than we did when we were younger. We have an image to project – a business woman, an artist, an activist, a mother – or all of the above and so many more. We are tapestries of our experiences and beliefs. I cannot help you find yourself, but I can give you tools to help you with the journey. I can help you feel comfortable in your own skin and in the spaces you live – from an aesthetic point of view (not a medical one – see a doctor for that)!
Step 1: Figure out what aesthetics appeal to you.
- Do you like colour? Which ones speak to you?
- Do you like black? Would you prefer white?
- Do you like your current style?
- Do you walk into your wardrobe and always have something to wear?
- Do you wear makeup? Do you like it when you do?
- Do you enhance a look with accessories?
- Do you have a handbag? Do you have more than one?
- Do you follow fashion trends? Do you apply them?
- Do you have a favourite pair of shoes? Why are they your favourite?
- Do you wear belts?
- Do you wear scarves?
- When you look at celebrity style, is there anyone you’d like to emulate?
- Does the climate you live in suit your fashion sensibilities? How do you adapt?
- Are you happy with your skin condition?
- Are you happy with your hair style?
- Do you want to make changes? Are you willing to take risks?
Take a photo of them – these probably constitute your ‘uniform’. If this is work/world appropriate – then this should be the basis of your wardrobe at the moment. Your uniform is usually you default happy place.
Step 3: Take some risks and extend yourself beyond your uniform.
Find joy in yourself and your wardrobe.
Step 4: Remember – you dress for you and the joy that it brings you – it’s just a bonus when someone else admires your outfit.
Now, that you have taken the massive step of evaluating where you are – contemplate where you would like to be.
- What do you want to see and feel when you look into a mirror?
- What do you want to feel in the spaces of your home?
- Are you willing and motivated to make changes?
- Who can support you in your journey?
- What is your financial and emotional budget?
- What is your timeline?
Obviously, the bigger and faster you would like to move, the more expensive the journey will be on your finances and emotions. The rewards will be huge, but the challenges will be too. For most of us, it takes a defining moment to push us through to make changes. It takes a critical reflection of self and our state of happiness – and if we find it lacking, then it takes courage to lean into change!
Take heart – the other side of the bridge is wonderful, even if the journey is a bumpy road full of obstacles!