| Jen Reilley
With Pinterest supplying a constant stream of cute new outfits, and your local mall providing ever-changing window displays of the latest clothing inspirations, it can be easy to just jump on the latest trend bandwagon. But as each season passes, you may find your closet more similar to Forever 21 or the Style section of your favorite magazine than your own personal style - especially if you don’t even know what your own personal style is.
Developing your personal style can be a valuable way to express yourself through clothing, and to reinforce your own personal identity in a tangible (and fun!) way. Having a closet that is uniquely and truly YOU can feel empowering and exciting, and it definitely makes getting dressed in the morning easier and more enjoyable.
It’s important to develop a personal style that not only reflects your personality, but also fits into your lifestyle. If you LOVE crazy patterns but you work in a very conservative law office, you might want to keep the patterns to smaller statement pieces that can be layered or removed like scarves or purses. If you are obsessed with sundresses but live with Arctic temperatures, you’ll want to work on your layering.
If you have no clue how to begin defining your personal style (and then shopping in accordance with it), you can start with asking yourself a few questions:
What kind of clothing do you find yourself drawn towards?
What colors look good on you?
What shapes flatter your figure?
What pieces are necessary for your lifestyle?
What kind of clothing does your workplace require?
Still feeling confused? While buying every outfit off of Pinterest isn’t exactly recommended for developing your personal style, Pinterest can definitely help you define it. By creating a Personal Style board, you can pin fashions to it that you like. Try to pin at least 20 pieces or outfits that really draw you in, without thinking too much about it. After you’ve pinned at least 20, take a look at the board overall and notice any trends. Do your choices lean towards classic or trendy styles? Do you tend to choose feminine or more androgynous items? Do you like the look of dressed-up outfits or do you prefer casual?
After you feel like you understand your own personal style better, especially for future shopping trips, also take the time to go through your closet and donate items that no longer work for you. If you’ve decided to forego trendy but edgy items in favor of a more feminine look, you might find that your leather jacket no longer serves you. Or, if you’ve decided on a more grown-up wardrobe, the Hello Kitty tees may need to be ditched.