Find Your Signature Style in 10 Simple Steps
Let me guess… You wake up in the morning, get everything done, and stand in front of your wardrobe thinking: “I don't know what to wear today” or even worse, “I have nothing to wear”. That's clearly not needed in your morning routine. But before anything else, let me say this: you're not alone, and I know first hand how it feels – yes, I promise, this is something I know too well myself. But I also have the solution for it. A well-curated wardrobe that ultimately reflects who you are, and that provides you with tons of options, even from a few pieces – that's the curation secret. A small but effective wardrobe, one that reflects your personality, and saves you time and money. You know how? Your signature style.
Now let me say this. A signature style is not a uniform – well it could be, but it doesn't have to be. The idea here is to create a wardrobe that offers variety while staying true to your sense of style.
And a signature style is not a collection of bland “basics”. Basics are essential, but they are not meant to be the most significant part of your wardrobe.
Ok, right, this starts to make sense, but what exactly is a signature style anyway? Well, your signature style is a bit like your personal brand. It's about creating a wardrobe, a closet that makes you comfortable and confident, that reflects your personality, your needs and your lifestyle. Yes, all this at the same time!
And even though it sounds like a lot, it's actually pretty simple – when you have a roadmap, that is. Let me talk you through the 10 steps to creating your signature style.
Step 1 – Get Inspired
Before diving into your wardrobe and creating various outfit combinations, your very first step is to find inspiration. I personally love Pinterest – I also hate it at the same time because I can spend hours scrolling and scrolling, pinning hundreds of things without realising the house is burning, but that's a story for another time.
You can get inspiration from various platforms, from TV shows to real-life encounters. Just gather inspiration and “pin” what you like, and analyse the “why”.
Step 2 – Analyse your Outfits
The second step is about yourself and what you already wear. Ask yourself what makes you feel comfortable and confident – or what doesn't. And again, you're going to try and pinpoint the exact reasons behind these questions.
Comfort is critical; and without it, it's impossible to define a signature style – unless your signature style is all about hurting feet and scratchy jumpers, which I would never dare to judge.
Step 3 – Understand your Lifestyle
This is simply about being realistic. If you're a stay at home mom of 3, then your lifestyle is very different from that of a 50-year-old empty nest executive; which means your wardrobe is also going to be very different. And this is excellent news! The idea is to build the wardrobe that works for you right now, and that reflects your life right now – no faking here. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, I do not believe in “fake it until you make it”. Where you are now is beautiful, so we do not want to pretend anything but the truth.
Step 4 – Shop your Own Closet
One of the best things about curating your closet is this: it is yours! So it's very likely that you'll already have a good starting point. Whatever is in your closet was bought by you, according to your tastes. Now some curation and cleaning out will be necessary, but you will already have key pieces available to you right now.
I know it can be very tempting to try and start over, but this is not a sustainable way of doing it. If you're really missing a lot of pieces, then take it slowly, and start where you are, with the pieces that work best. Your budget will dictate how fast you can reach your ideal goal.
Step 5 – Clean out your Closet
Ha! Here is the exciting part – or not..! The closet cleanse. Actually, if you want a full resource about wardrobe cleanses, I will create one, just let me know in the comment section below.
So how to go about it without feeling overwhelmed? The first thing to know is: you absolutely need to declutter your wardrobe if you want to create your signature style. Why? Because we want clarity and we want to get rid of anything that doesn't serve us.
So here it is: just dive in, and get this closet cleanse done, based on what you've discovered in the previous steps.
Step 6 – Stay Away from Trends
It might be evident for some of us, but I'll say it anyway: one of the best ways to lose yourself and your signature style is to follow trends. Now don't get me wrong, we don't hate trends, and we certainly don't hate fashion! But one thing is sure: your Signature Style is timeless and reflects your personality, and yes, it will evolve, but not as fast as trends will change.
So what does it mean? Only consider trends that either fit your Signature Style or those you are ready to include into your Signature Style. “Everything else? Just ignore it – it's easier to do when you know for a fact what your style is.
Step 7 – Have Fun (Really, Don't Take it Too Seriously!)
This is probably the most essential step in the whole Signature Style process: don't take it too seriously. Why? Because the best Signature Style is confidence! And I know it can sound cheesy, but I'm oh-so-serious with this.
Sometimes we tend to force ourselves to fit into “boxes”, simply because a few years ago, we decided to do things a certain way. Well, you can get adventurous with your style, it's not going to hurt anybody. Fashion is a way of expressing yourself and your personality; so you can always choose something else if one specific idea doesn't work.
Step 8 – Don't Feel Pressured To So-Called Professionals
It can be tempting to blindly follow what professionals are saying, because “they must know what they're talking about”, right? Well, maybe, but they don't know you! And that's the only reason you need, to prove that you know better.
Now I'm not saying they are all wrong and they have nothing to teach you, but make sure that whatever they tell you is aligned with what you've decided in steps 1 and 2 (what you like visually, and what works for you as a person).
Oh, and don't get me wrong, I include myself in these professionals!
Step 9 – Know Your Values
Sustainability is a huge topic! Which means it can be overwhelming to know where to start. But the key is: know what you care about most. Whether it be cruelty-free fashion, fair-trade fashion or organic fabrics, knowing what you value the most will help you make the right decision.
And if you are into the environmental impact and understanding fabrics, then download your free guide Fabrics 101: A comprehensive guide to UNDERSTANDING FABRICS and making SUSTAINABLE CHOICES
Step 10 – Do What Works For You Now
Ultimately, it's all about you and what you like and you feel good in! And it also means understanding what you want to wear today – which might be completely different from what you want to wear in a week, and that's absolutely fine! So don't force yourself into a box, and enjoy the process.
When I was training as Personal Stylist, I learnt everything about body shapes and colour analysis, and style personalities and all this stuff. And yes, it is valuable! Yes, I use those skills regularly, but I also know one thing: nothing suits you more than confidence, and it does not matter what theories strangers come up with about what colours you should or shouldn't wear. If yellow is your favourite colour, then wear it! You'll look good and confident, even if it's not in your “seasonal colour palette”; and if not, you can always adjust it, until you love the look on you.
And that's just one point, to prove to you that: being confident is the best Signature Style you'll ever create for yourself.
How confident do you feel in your current wardrobe? Do you think it represents you and your personality? Let me know in the comment section.