There’s a big difference between understanding fashion and having style. Fashion refers to the coming and going of various clothing trends, and style is the unique way you work with the ebb and flow of the trends.
The thing is, it’s much easier to play catch up with different trends than to define your own style. But, you have to start somewhere! The more you work on how to be stylish the easier it becomes.
Here are 8 tips to help you define the direction of your personal style.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment with Style
The thing about style is that you won’t get it right on your first try, and it’s not something that should totally confine you either. Think about it: you wouldn’t wear the same work outfit as you would to the gym, or to go to a wedding or on a first date.
However, there should be a clear, underlying style that connects all of these looks. Take a moment to consider what you want people to know about you when you walk into a room.
No matter where you go, your style should say something like, “I’m fun and sporty” or “I’m cool and collected.” Maybe you want to show off your creative side through clothes or stick to a more casual, conservative look.
Whatever it is you’re going for, define the air you’d like to have about you then go from there. Play with various forms of fashion and style until you find what feels right.
2. Identify Your Style Icons
A great way to speed the process along when defining your personal style is to pick out people whose style you’d like to emulate. These could be big-time celebrities or people in your everyday life. It doesn’t really matter who you choose so long as the people you pick have a cohesive style.
This helps you understand how to put outfits together when you’re shopping and getting dressed. You can use their latest outfits as inspiration to come up with your own unique looks.
Keep in mind you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to look like a celebrity, either. There are many ways to work with the money you have to get the looks you want.
3. Opt for Overdressing Versus Underdressing
Having a clear sense of style makes it much easier to get ready for work in the morning or pack a bag for the weekend. If you’re not sure where your plans will take you and how to dress, though, always opt for overdressing.
It’s much better to be the showstopper in the room than the person who showed up unprepared. Of course, it’s not like you’d wear a ballgown to happy hour or an athleisure outfit to work. But sometimes it’s hard to pick out what to wear for brunch or a baby shower.
Whenever there’s a grey area, the best way to show off your style is to dress up your look a bit. If athleisure does happen to be your thing, you’ll be glad to know that even leggings can be dressed up a bit – check it out!
4. Have Some Go-to Basics
If you’re really indecisive, the best way to make getting ready easier is to make sure you have a handful of go-tos in your closet. This includes things like your favorite pair of jeans and classic t-shirts and simple tank tops.
Such clothing items help you create various outfits throughout the week. Plus, they’re great when you’re going all over the place in one day and need something to get you from the office to date night with ease.
You’re go-to clothing items also set the foundation for your style. They’re the things you can come back to when you’re not sure what to wear or the look you’re going for. They also help you identify what your biggest opportunities are to switch up your style or blend different styles together.
5. Learn to Accessorize
Keep in mind that you can’t depend on clothing alone if you want to be among the most stylish women you know. You need to learn how to accessorize, too.
This doesn’t necessarily mean wearing every single piece of jewelry possible. In fact, good accessorizing is rarely that. It’s better to understand when you need to opt for big earrings and a subtle bracelet and when you should wear studs and a necklace instead.
Accessorizing also includes your choice of shoes and handbag and whether or not you’d like to wear a scarf, a pair of sunglasses, or a hat with your outfit. Still, the point is to be stylish and put-together rather than looking busy and all over the place.
6. Consider Hair and Makeup As Part of Your Look
Your hair and makeup isn’t exactly an accessory, but they’re definitely part of your outfit.
There are days when a quick hairdo and some simple makeup will do and then there are outfits that look much better when you go all-out. Then there are the times when you can get away with something in-between – like sporting a quick messy bun with a full face of makeup to work.
You don’t have to bend over backward to find what works here. Just learn to work with your hair and make your natural facial features come out. Don’t hide behind makeup and don’t try to turn your hair into something it’s not, either.
7. Make Your Wardrobe More Versatile
Just as you probably don’t wear your hair and makeup the same way every single day, you should try to mix your outfits up a bit, too. Play with different colors and see how new outfit combinations look before you leave the house in the same thing you wore last week.
A little bit of creativity can go a long way. Before you know it, you’re wearing all kinds of different outfits and finding new ways to wear your clothes. Learning to be more versatile with your wardrobe feels like you just went shopping. It gives you all the new looks your style needs while saving you a whole bunch of money.
8. Have Fun
As awesome as all the style tips above are, this is the most important. Your style should never feel like something you “have” to wear or “need” to use in order to look good. It should always be about having fun.
This is the best way to be confident and comfortable in your clothes. Don’t create your style in order to live up to other people’s expectations or even to be right on-trend with the fashion movements of today. Instead, create your looks based on what makes you feel like your absolute best.
How to Be Stylish All Year Long
The greatest thing about having a personal style is that it never goes away.
Once you find it and know how to own it, you’ll always be able to figure out how to be stylish. No matter the occasion, your personal style is something you can rely on to dress appropriately and wow the crowd, all while being yourself and having fun.
For more style tips and tricks, click here.