by Contributing Writer: Khalilah Jones featured Photo by Jen Fox Boudoir and Erotica
There’s a common misconception that personal style is reserved for vain, narcissistic people that are uber fashion-savvy, while in reality, clothing affects everybody and their grandma. Every single day we wake up and throw on clothes to wear as we go about our business. You HAVE to wear them, so you might as well make sure they are serving you well! Unlocking your personal style can minimize the noise of the fast-fashion industry and help you to feel totally at home in your clothes and more importantly, in that beautiful skin of yours.
You guys, here are four steps to help you more clearly define your style, absolutely love your wardrobe, and move forward confidently with your fashion choices!
- Get Inspired
The first step to finding your personal style probably seems like a given. You have to learn more about what you’re drawn to. I mean really take an introspective look and figure out who you really are and what makes you tick style-wise. This requires looking out into the world at the options available and seeing what sticks, and what doesn’t. Kind of like tossing spaghetti noodles at the wall and when it sticks you know it’s done! There’s so much information readily accessible nowadays. When consuming this information daily, take note of what “speaks” to you. People watch, check out street style, identify characters in movies, history, and your fave fashion icons for inspiration. This can really help you start to parse out what works for you. Of course, trends can still be considered for inspiration. But for the love of all things holy, do not blindly follow them! Take note, while there are fabulously banging looks that have been created by others, not every single sassy element of an outfit will work for your personal lifestyle or even your body. Snagging inspiration from the world around us, allows us to hone in on what actually makes sense for our wardrobe. If you’re the Pinterest type, make a board and pin styles that catch your eye. Search #styleinspiration #streetstyle #styleinspo #blackgirlstyle #whatiwore on Instagram. You will see common elements (i.e. textures, silhouettes, colors, patterns) and recognize what speaks to you and can then define your own style.
- Practical Application
Next, take a real introspective look at YOUR life. Be realistic with yourself about what your lifestyle entails and what is going to be most practical for that…not the perfectly posed IG moments. Listen, I can’t tell you how many beautifully constructed, structured suits I’ve longingly scrolled by online. I love the aesthetic and feel like they are for sure “boss babe” apparel. But that simply isn’t my reality. I hate ironing, I don’t have much disposable time to spend getting things altered and my day to day functioning requires too much running around for these gorgeous pieces to be included in my style repertoire. As much as I love fashion, if I’m being real, the industry absolutely tries to convince us that we are in love with something and we have to have it. I want to encourage you as a consumer to come to terms and make peace with the fact that we can’t own or wear it all, and we shouldn’t even try. We have to make better and more intentional choices. You can admire a trend or designer, but not rock it yourself. Some things are better appreciated from afar. And honestly, it can be exciting to keep that “what if” allure.
- Kill It With Confidence
So, you’ve dreamed up your perfect wardrobe, and then brought it back down to earth. Now is the time to find confidence in the style that is all yours. This is the pivotal moment and guess what, boo? You’ve got this! When you find items that just feel organically, “right”, and the style that oozes comfortability, baby, there’s NOTHING that can stop you! Lean firmly into the pieces you gravitate toward and that you have established are practical for your life. I promise you, that confidence will build exponentially each time you realize that the way you dress is your way, and not a dupe of someone else. It is very unfortunate that we’ve become accustomed to assimilation and conformity at the expense of our individuality. We are so often lost in a sea of safe “sameness”. I invite you to free yourself up to be uniquely you…and OWN it, honey!
- Cultivate Creativity
The last step to getting your personal style cracking, is to get creative. After finding what makes you feel special, now is the fun part! The door is open for experimentation. Defining your personal style does not mean that your wardrobe is set in stone and now frozen in time and can never change! We are always changing and naturally, so too, will our style, but with a big picture understanding of who we are. Aside from milestones or huge life events, we tend to grow in small, nuanced ways. Our wardrobes can grow with us, but our signature style remains the same at its core. Your style is an extension of you. Let it be and I cannot stress this enough…OWN IT!
These four tips will make all the difference in the world in presenting your best YOU to the world at large. While I absolutely love a well put together outfit, and admittedly, I do receive lots of compliments based on my image, I can unequivocally say that the biggest reason why people are attracted to me as a person, is confidence. And that confidence comes from knowing who I am, knowing I’m not for everyone but knowing I’m for Me and that nothing else matters. I do believe there’s a certain enduring quality in the confidence that basically removes the “I wonder if they like me” anxiety and replaces it with “I like me and hey, I might like you too”.
There you have it! I hope you found this helpful. Take some time to reflect on if your image is really serving you. If not, take a deep dive into defining your signature style. In the meantime, remember, pretty is not a look, it’s a behavior!