In college I majored in Design, and you better believe it that as often as I was asked what I wanted to do after school, I was even more frequently asked for my opinion on so-and-so’s style. It seemed as if people were so unsure of what style is, and what their style is, that they needed some outside validation. Seeing as “finding your style” seems to be such a frequent concern, I think the subject warrants its own entire article.
Whether we are talking makeup or clothes, here’s what you should be thinking over on your journey to your style:
1) Comfort level: I think this is so overlooked, but is the foundation of all image issues. If you aren’t comfortable in the dressing room, let’s be real, you aren’t going to wear it in public. Before going shopping, really consider what products or clothes you already have that you haven’t worn because you aren’t comfortable in it. Think about why, so you don’t make the same shopping mistake.
2) What you admire: This step is so much easier, because we admire (heart, favorite—you get the picture) styles on others all the time. The trickier part is finding a theme in common. Is it the vibe, the silhouette, the colors, the trendiness of the look? If you can whittle down what you enjoy in terms of style on others, then you are two steps closer to having the look you want.
3) What holds you back from having the style you admire: This step is sort of the marriage of steps one and two. The quest for your style will be never-ending and steps one and two are fruitless if you don’t put in the self-analysis now. This requires a lot of honesty with one’s self: now that you know what you like, and know what you are and aren’t comfortable in, what else is holding you back? Is it finances, insecurities, doubt, peer pressure? What is stopping you from going out today or this month or this year to buy pieces to add to your dream wardrobe (or makeup collection)? Whether you know you can’t afford the brand you love, or you feel guilty about purging what’s already in your closet, or you don’t think the style you like suits your body shape—whatever your concern is that is holding you back, take note of it.
4) And most importantly, this is the major tip, what really matters: YOU, ROCKING IT. I bet you saw this one coming but its unavoidable. Confidence is what makes or breaks style. Someone could wear the most outrageous clothing combination, and the difference between whether people criticize them or admire them all lies in how they are holding themselves while wearing it. I’ve seen it time and time again, and I’m sure you can think of a few examples too. You see, if you don’t have confidence, people can tell, as eerie as that is. When you wear something confidently, you are sending out the signal that you know what you are wearing, you are wearing it intentionally, and there is no room for doubt in others believing in you and your style. This works whether your favorite thing is cargo shorts or 90s sunglasses or bodycon dresses; when you wear something purposefully, you leave little room for others to doubt you. This is simultaneously the easiest and hardest tip ever, because it is a mental and behavioral change, as opposed to simply buying something new—but trust me, you are more than capable.
So here it is again: understand what you are comfortable with, figure out what you admire, dig deep and understand what holds you back, and then go out into the world wearing what you love, purposefully. Go about your day with the quiet confidence and friendliness that stems from believing in yourself, and you will be leaving no room for doubt as to how stylish you are. Watch the compliments roll in. You are fantastic.