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Defining your personal style

personal-style

A few weeks ago as I sat in on a few of the Alt for Everyone classes, the topic of personal style kept coming up. William & Susan Brinson were talking about creating your own personal style in your photographs; I talked about expressing your personal style as you develop your brand.  But the resounding response to any of these is “Just exactly how do I go about doing that?”  I’m also a member of the Smart Creative Style private FB board, which is where the conversations are happening about Monica’s course on how to pinpoint your style and execute it.

It’s a difficult topic, for sure. If you’re creative, you’re probably toeing the line of design ADD. “But I like SO MANY THINGS,” you exclaim.  True – so do I. But somewhere you have to draw the line between something that you can appreciate, and something that really expresses you.  For example, I can appreciate Anthropologie’s overall aesthetic, and while I can occasionally pick a few pieces here and there that work within my overall look, it’s not necessarily descriptive of my style overall. In contrast, I probably best relate to the J.Crew ideal customer: a preppy polished mix of denim, high heels, and blazers all in punchy colors with a statement necklace.

It boils down to this: what is absolutely essential for you?

And personal style can be expressed in different ways for different mediums — interiors are often different than fashion, for example.

Personal style is the creation of a specific look – your own distinctive spin on things. It’s the way you express your  preferences and the lifestyle you either want to live or actually live. For me, personal style is the blurred lines between how I feel about myself and how I want to be perceived. To some extent, I dress the way I do to express not only who I am to the outside world, but to make myself feel good about who I am and what I do. I really like this breakdown of  7 personal styles – do you relate to any of them?

Ways you’re expressing your personal style, whether consciously or unconsciously:

  • makeup
  • hair
  • clothing
  • accessories
  • interior design (a totally different take on personal style than fashion sometimes!)
  • handwriting
  • choice of vehicle
  • brands you support
  • colors you choose to wear

Here’s my checklist when I shop. In this stage of my life, I want to be dressy/casual with a dash of whimsy. Contrast is what makes fashion interesting to me -I want to wear a tailored dressy blazer with an easy textured tshirt, skinny jeans, and colorful heels. I look best in structured pieces that express color and optimism. I want to always look/feel pretty, and never overly trendy. I lean towards classic pieces styled for my casual lifestyle as a mom but still dressy. In other words, I could potentially wear either flats or heels with anything I wear and easily transition into a more dressy look if need be.

I know I sound like a broken record, but Pinterest is one of the best resources for pulling together your visual inspiration. You can check out my personal style board here. I highly encourage you to pin whatever moves you – do you have a gut reaction to a certain image? There’s probably a reason, even if it seems out of left field.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to break down a few of my signature style pieces — and I can’t wait to hear from you about your own personal signature style journey. Is it something you struggle with or do you have it down?

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