To many of us, personal style is an elusive concept. With the amount of fashion trends circulating social media at any given moment, it can be hard to identify what you like because of personal taste and what you like because it’s trendy — this is an important distinction to make. That is, unless you want to be dropping hundreds on a new wardrobe every few months.
Style is an excellent way to express who you are and VALLEY wants to help you curate a clothing collection that is uniquely you. Here are a few ways you can achieve personal style.
Consider the qualities of the items you love. Are they tight or loose, full of color or black and white, bohemian or streetwear? Pinpointing what your favorite pieces of clothing have in common can help you when you are looking for new pieces to add to your wardrobe.
The items that you rarely wear, on the other hand, are likely examples of trends you partook in that weren’t true to yourself. It is probably best to avoid similar pieces moving forward.
Start With the Basics
One of the most important aspects of any closet is a good assortment of basics. This means pieces that are neutral and versatile. VALLEY recommends adding these items to your wardrobe: basic T-shirts in black, white and tan, a black tank top, a cardigan in a neutral shade, a quality pair of blue jeans, black pants, a little black dress and a jean jacket. Simply put, items that can be worn alongside statement pieces without overwhelming the look — basics hold a closet together.
One of the best ways to discern what you do and don’t like fashion-wise is to pay attention to what other people are wearing. When you see someone whose style you love, ask yourself what aspect of the look you are responding to — is it the shoes, the silhouette, the styling? Then, copy them. Buy the same shoes, search for a dress with that silhouette, use their styling ideas. While copying people certainly is not having personal style, it is a good step in learning what you feel comfortable in and how to put a look together.
Draw From Popular Aesthetics
There are a plethora of aesthetics in the fashion world — from goth to cottagecore and everything in between. Take a look through some of the most popular aesthetics and decide what characteristics they have that you like. You can then incorporate some of these features into your style. Part of the fun in having a personal style is that you don’t need to subscribe to any particular aesthetic. Rather, you can take pieces from many different aesthetics and bring them together into a look that is personal and unique.
Buy Loved Items
The best way to ensure that you are not spending money on trends that will be out the door in a few months is to only buy items that you fall in love with. This doesn’t mean a shirt that you think is cute, this means that dress that you haven’t been able to stop thinking about for the last week. Wait for the feeling of awe rather than shopping just to shop. It will take you longer to fill out your closet, however, the pieces you do purchase will be loved well and for a long time.
Establishing a personal style takes time and commitment, but knowing that you are dressing for yourself is liberating. Being comfortable and feeling like you are presenting in a way that is true to who you are gives an unparalleled sense of confidence. Start working on your closet now — before you know it you will be your own style icon.
Tag us on Instagram, @VALLEYmag, with pics of your personal style.