Top 5 Ways To Define Your Own Personal Style

5. Buy a decent-sized Moleskine notebook & start making a look book for yourself.

Stick into it any pictures of models, clothes, makeup that appeal to you. Copy into it quotes from anyone whose style you adore — like Karl Lagerfeld’s quote: “Good taste only tastes good to the people who think they have good taste; a good taste can be very uncreative & boring. Good taste is something very bourgeois, very established, so it needs fresh air.”

Read fashion history books & make notes in aforementioned Moleskine about things you like. Pillbox hats? Platform shoes? Sailor chic? Write it all down & don’t worry if it’s not “in fashion” now — remember that fashion is cyclical & besides which, constantly being “on the pulse” is boring.

Do your research. Read fashion websites (my preferred mode of obtaining information & inspiration) & buy magazines — not just Vogue but things like FRUiTS & Cutie too. Go to the library & look at stacks of fashion magazines from the 1970s & 80s if they have them. Take photocopies of anything you like. Watch movies with a strong aesthetic — say Amelie, The Virgin Suicides, Pulp Fiction, Bladerunner, The Addams Family etc.

4. Start borrowing clothes & accessories from your friends: experiment & find out what works for you.

I say borrow because it’s cheap! There’s no sense in buying something which you’re not sure about. A short-term loan from a friend is a great way to discover what suits you, & if you don’t like it, just give it back! (You should try to bribe your friend if there is anything you really love.) Allow your friend to dress you up if they’re game — you never know, they might just kit you out in something you adore. Fill a plastic bag with accessories that they no longer wear, take them home & work them into your outfits over the next couple of weeks. Do you look better in small, Lennon-esque sunglasses or huge, oversized shades? How does a cowboy hat suit you? A beret? Are you more comfortable with an enormous vintage doctor’s bag or a clutch? You get the idea.

3. Start taking daily outfit photos — I cannot stress the value of this enough.

Do it with a Polaroid camera if you can. Stick them in the back of your Moleskine. Write commentary alongside each one, including what was good, what wasn’t, & what you’d change if you wore it again. This will make such a difference to the way you dress yourself, & will teach you a lot about your colouring, shape & proportions.

2. Write yourself a rough style concept.

An example. It doesn’t need to be long, but flagrant use of adjectives can help solidify a picture in your head. You could start off simple, with “wide-leg pants & cropped cardigans” but then expand it to “wear with geta & pearls“. Allow your imagination to roam, & if all else fails, go back to step five!

1. Be prepared to spend some time thinking about your look!

The most stylish people don’t magically conjure their outfits into existence: a lot of the time, their wardrobe is the cumulative effect of lots of list-making, hunting, haggling & a staunch attitude towards keeping weird old treasures. Feel free to make mistakes — if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not pushing the envelope hard enough. Finally, don’t be afraid to redefine your style concept — to make it wilder or more wearable. This will keep you from getting stale & is also a lot of fun!

P.S. Hello to all my new readers from Problogger!

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