I have made several fashion blunders in my life—from impulse buys that I couldn’t find a suitable use for to wearing hand-me-downs simply because they were in my closet (even though they didn’t suit me at all). I think the worst style mistakes have always included an element of veering away from my personal style, which inevitably results in me feeling less than me.
This can happen to anyone for various reasons (some of which are beyond our control). For example, around this time last year, I was heavily pregnant, home from work, sweating in the Texas heat, and wearing my husband’s T-shirts. Not getting mildly dressed up to go to work wearing my non-maternity clothing was a bummer for my sense of style. I made a little vow to myself that as soon as I was recovered from delivery, I would allow myself to enjoy my favorite looks again.
That’s happened to an extent, but I still spend a lot of time at home, and my ensembles are somewhat limited by the need to wear nursing-friendly tops. And many days I’m just tired to the bone. Suffice it to say, reconnecting to the clothes and looks I once loved (and still do) has been a work in progress. What I’ve learned from that process, however, is that making the effort to at least connect to your personal style is worth it—even if you can’t sport it around the clock.
By now, most people are aware of the basics when it comes to fashion advice—don’t be a slave to trends, only buy something if you can wear it with X number of items in your current wardrobe, dress for the body you have, etc. I want to offer something perhaps a little less conventional for those of us who are planning a shopping trip, shopping / editing our closets, or simply wanting to reconnect with the clothing style we love.
4 Fun Ways to Reconnect with Your Personal Style
You don’t have to wear something just because it’s a “staple.” I so often read advice about how we should buy clothing that will last us for years—not just fast fashion trends. And I think this is really good advice. But it’s often accompanied by a list of classic items that “belong” in every wardrobe. You know what, though? You can buy something to last, and it doesn’t have to be a classic piece. You don’t have to wear any classic pieces at all, in fact, if they’re not your style. Not all of us will feel connected to a tailored white button-down or a little black dress.
Explore your color palette. If you’re reconnecting to your personal style—or just discovering it for the first time—it can be really fun to explore your color palette—i.e., the colors and tones that suit your complexion, eye color, and hair color. For me, looking at my color palette reminded me of the colors that have worked with my coloring. Soft Summer, for the win! That said, these colors are mere suggestions—don’t let them box you in. At the minimum, this exercise is helpful in reminding you to at least consider your features when you dress.
Find a style icon with similar proportions. Often, I see a woman with a certain style, and I’ll think, she gets it! I want to raid her wardrobe! The fashionistas who may be truly helpful, however, are the ones who have similar proportions to yours who know how to work with the features they have. For example, I always take inspiration from petite, small-busted women who show how to look like you’re not drowning in your clothes! I’ll take note of the lengths they wear, cut of jeans, the types of tops and bottoms they pair together, etc. I would suggest searching outside of conventional fashion magazines and check out Instagram and Pinterest. Use hashtags to help you out–#petite #plussize #athletic #curvy #athleisure #preppy #stripes #linen #ootd, etc.
Finally, take inspiration from something non-clothing. One time, when I was in middle school, my mom and I redesigned my entire room, starting with an accent pillow. We took the colors and whimsy from the pillow and translated that into an entire concept for the bedroom. You can do the same thing with new purchases or a closet edit. Think of something you’re head-over-heels for, aesthetically speaking. It could be a bracelet, a perfume bottle, a furniture piece—and let your passion for that style bleed into how you dress yourself. What colors, design details, and ~vibes~ speak to you?
How do you connect to your personal style?
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Photo: Alex Iby on Unsplash, Micheile Henderson via Unsplash