I remember when I was little and I would watch movies and see all the glamorous actors and actresses signing autographs on the red carpet. I use to practise writing my signature until I perfected it. Your signature was something that was consistent but represented you. All the style icons we know of have a signature style – whether it was alluring, classy, glamorous, sexy or classic.
Having looked at the difference between fashion and style and now understanding the difference, I can confirm that for me, I want to and have always wanted to develop my style. Not only in my clothing but I want to express my individuality through all aspects of my life and my aim this year will be to do just that (or start at least).
In terms of my wardrobe, my goal is to buy very little and create more. I want to experiment with what I already have and save the cash for only what I need, or for purchasing specific items that I think will be important for my style. No more throwing money at the stores to make the owners and their kids richer (have you ever thought about it? Every time you shop at Topshop you keep The Green family who own it, very rich – your money probably helped fund Chloe Green’s shoe line! Not that it’s bad but it’s something to keep in mind).
I also want to think about what the other things I do in life say about me, from my food choices and travel destinations to the way I interact with people. It’s never too late to develop in character and/or improve yourself.
So how does one find ones style?
I think that style is developed and is a combination of the things you’re drawn to, the things that suit you, the things you are most comfortable with and the issues that are important to you.
I’ve always loved old Hollywood there’s just something about it to me that seems perfect and when I look back, I have always loved things that were glamorous. The image in the picture above is an example of the look I love – feminine, bold,vintage and glamorous all at the same time. There is a quality to it.
You probably already have a style but you’re either not sure what it is or haven’t yet uncovered it. The best way is to first get a visual overall view of the things you are drawn to, your style inspirations and aspirations. You can cut out images from magazines or the internet or use something like Pinterest which has been really useful tool in helping me to do this. I would recommend creating a few boards of the looks you like – fashion images, home images, food, places, art and any other interests you have – and seeing if there is a recurring theme amongst them. It can also be useful in helping you to know what to change about your style if you want to change or update it.
From my Pinterest boards I can see that my style inspirations are:
Glamour – old holly wood, Italian,
My culture – African print
Colour. Richness. Quality.
I can see that all of this is reflected in the clothes I choose, hair styles I like, décor of my room, the way I talk to people and what I talk about. I love film, music and so Hollywood glamour comes from there. I want to travel the world and love experiencing new cultures and customs, food and fashion. I love stories, tradition and durability as well as quality, excellence and creativity.
In developing your style you want things to look effortless – like “It was made for you dahrling!”. The more you fine tune it the more it will start to become easy to recognise things that fit i.e. “That’s sooo you” and things that don’t.
With clothes this fit usually happens when you wear items that suit your body shape as well as expresses your personality.
I know for example, that I look good and have been complimented in V-necked tops and dresses. I also look good in tulip skirts, chinos, military style jackets, A-line skirts/full skirts, sweetheart neck line dresses, tea dresses, chiffon, bell sleeves, turned up cuff t-shirts and pencil skirts and you’ll notice from my outfit posts, that I have quite a few of these styles of clothing in my wardrobe. They suit my body shape and highlight the good about me. They also say feminine and classy – two things I love – you won’t find me in bomber jackets and jogging pants (i’m just not cool enough to pull that off and it’s not my style). The patterns and prints that I choose to purchases them in, are then determined by my personality – I love bubbly, bright things so I have many chiffon skirts in bright colours .
Another great tip is to watch out for the times when people compliment you on your outfit or a personal item– did they like it or did they like it on you. If they liked it on you what exactly did they like – your shape?, did it bring out your colour?, did it keep you in proportion?, did it say something specific?
Practicality and comfort is also key. If your job means you are on your feet all day sky-high heels may not be your best option but it doesn’t mean you have to forfeit your style – find flats or comfortable wedges that you can incorporate that suit your personality for example my flats would usually all have bows on them or if not they are in the smoking slipper style because that shape suits my feet.
Some people also like to take things like ethics into consideration and this is a part of their style. They want things organically grown, produced responsibly and won’t shop in places where the owners go against this because this is important to them. It is in line with their values. Style permeates all aspects of life.
There isn’t a hard and fast rule to creating a signature and if you want to experiment, go ahead! That is what fashion is for – trying new trends! You observe a new trend and then you decide if it fits in with your style or doesn’t. You can always update and change your style completely, it’s up to you.
If the style you like doesn’t match what you currently have you can slowly start to incorporate it into your wardrobe and other parts of your life. Think: what are the key elements or staple pieces underlying the style I like. What do I have or do that fits that style and what do I have or do that doesn’t. What do I need to get to get started? At times, you may need a full wardrobe, environmental and personal overhaul but that is ok – just do it slowly according to your budget and time.
Knowing the difference between style and fashion is important and when considering your finances and lifestyle in the long-term, this knowledge can make all the difference.