Discovering your signature style

               Some of the blogs I have discovered within the past few years have both awed and intimidated me!  If I compared my blogging to others, I would have to give up based on the successes of those who have started earlier and developed further or differently than I have.  But the well bred woman in progress should not compare herself to others, rather seeking what is fulfilling to her own life.  One blog that I love is The Simply Luxurious Life, authored by the exquisite Shannon Ables.  I highly recommend my readers visit it;  I have found so much of the author’s articles and wisdom to be profoundly simple and on point with the lifestyle I am trying to achieve.

               Having recently read through Shannon’s series on developing one’s signature style, I wrote down some thoughts that I hope will encourage my readers who may be interested in developing their own style further. First of all, the series reminded me that style is not just what one wears:  a checkbox list of fashion statements, cuts, or colors.  It begins with an attitude and a spirit;  truly it is one’s unique personality reflected in one’s life, as water reflects the skies and foliage around it or the sky reflects the light.  Therefore, one can never truly develop her style merely by taking quizzes online or perusing Pinterest and pinning wishfully.  One has to live it, breathe it, and feel it to know it.  That includes taking chances and being willing to make mistakes, though hopefully not costly ones.  From everything I have heard and researched, having a personal style analysis done would be an excellent way to get straight to the core of one’s signature style as far as dressing goes, though for many this is not an option.  It is something I have on my bucket list, having already gotten a color analysis last year and being very happy with those results.  But I find myself wishing there was a way to find my style on my own, without feeling so clueless and having to wait until I have enough money to pay someone else to find it for me.

               After reading Shannon’s post about her signature style elements and commenting with what I would consider as my own signature style, the main thing I realized was how much style I already possessed.  The variety of information on the internet can open one’s mind to so many possibilities that she never considered before that it can be easy to assume that one has no personal style at all and must start from scratch, considering and trying multiple styles and fashions for years before one day magically discovering the perfect fit.  Even if she already knows what she likes, it can also be tempting to allow the advice of others to influence herself, trying to become more like others instead of more like herself.  I realized today that for years, I ran from what I was naturally drawn to and floundered in the sea of all things possible because I did not appreciate the unique interests I already possessed, thinking that true style must be over here or over there, whatever was being touted by so-called style experts.  I read dozens of articles on the timeless pieces essential to a classic wardrobe, finding it telling how many of the articles espoused styles that just happened to be the fashion trends of the year the article was written.

               Now that I have accepted that I cannot let others do the legwork of finding my style for me, do I have all the answers now?  Not really.  In fact, I am currently in the unique position of having very little to wear (literally, not the closet full of clothes with nothing to wear).  I have items in my closet that I got in 8th grade, and yes, that was as long ago as it seems (above 14 years).  I have items that others bought for me in my wrong colors.  Almost all of the rest is poor quality and looks as old and worn as it is.  So I have slowly been replenishing my wardrobe, but to be honest I have been daunted by the task because I want to know exactly how to do it and buy top quality, expensive things that will last forever. (Or at least, another 14 years) 🙂

               Writing out the things I already like has provided great clarity of thought. I had been going about this figuring out my own style thing completely backwards.  Instead of perusing thousands of pins hoping to come across just the right thing, akin to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack, for me it has been best to focus on old favorites that provide parameters within which to update my style.  I encourage my readers, no matter how little style sense you feel you have, to write down your favorites, your standbys, your instant successes both now and in the past–colors, cuts, styles, ensembles, habits, traits.  You might find the list to be longer than you think, and whatever it is, it will provide a framework within which to compare any new items that catch your fancy or that are recommended by style experts. 

~ Know thyself ~
Socrates

My style framework; share yours in the comments.

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Always wear earrings
Love pearls
Only wear fine jewelry, never costume
Prefer low heels and athletic shoes
No flats, prefer more of a sole between my feet and the floor
Love dresses
Wear minimal makeup, eyes only and natural colors
Hair is always “fixed” some way, never just loose
Natural hair – I use no dye or coloring or heat styling
Dress according to my color analysis (soft summer)
Painted natural nails, never fake nails
Sunglasses every time it is sunny
Rarely wear jeans or tshirts
(Almost) no synthetic fabrics
No spaghetti straps or sleeveless or strapless without something sleeved on top
Sweaters galore in the winter
Enjoy wearing tights or pantyhose
Love peeptoe pumps but have never owned any
Leather handbag

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3 thoughts on “Discovering your signature style

  1. I have been following your blog for a while now. This topic truly struck me because this is exactly where I have struggled for years. It might be a good suggestion for people who already know what they want to avoid riding on a bandwagon and follow their own heart. But, i am bewildered in a sense that i don’t know what i like or what suits on me, honestly. May be i am afraid of experimenting ( example: Religiously sticking to brown shades of makeup). But it has started causing me great discomfort. I have very stylish, expensive pieces in my wardrobe. But what feels missing is something that could make the entire look more put together. Any advice regarding that? i take care of my dressing, accessories; but something is missing. I know it every day.
    If you look at the individual things i am wearing each day, you’ll find them joyfully attractive but as a complete package, a total miss. I am so looking forward to an advice that could help.

    With love,
    Faiza

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment, Faiza, and for following the blog. The reasons why a wardrobe may feel disjointed or lacking could be as follows: the colors don’t coordinate, the styles are too mismatched, or there is a lack of a signature style or mark that makes the look completely you. I would first recommend pulling out everything and putting it together to make outfits, checking to see how the colors go and if there are pieces that just don’t fit in to the general color scheme. Next, do the same comparison for styles and see how the clothes fit together style wise. It may be a case of pulling out a piece or two that don’t mesh well with the entire wardrobe. This could be also done with accessories. Sometimes it’s easier to be objective when you are looking at the clothes instead of wearing them. As for experimenting, there’s nothing to it but to do it. You may begin by clothes shopping a friend’s closet or trying on items at the store without buying right away to avoid costly mistakes. You might try writing down potential outfits based on what you have to see what pieces you might still need to link it all together. And there are plenty of fashion articles online that advise how to style a particular clothing piece, which may provide inspiration. Best wishes to you as you grow in knowledge and experience into the wardrobe that best suits you!

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    • Another idea for you, Faiza, is to try the Pinning with abandon technique: simply go to your Pinterest account (or create one at pinterest.com), search for clothing such as dresses or jackets or sweaters, and, paying no attention to the preconceived notions that fill your mind, pin everything that strikes your fancy. Even if it isn’t a style you’ve ever worn previously, pin whatever you like at first glance: don’t think about it too much. A few days later, go back to the board of your style you created and scan it for any styles that repeatedly show up. You can also go through and delete anything you don’t really love. What’s left will, hopefully, be a visual of a least a few new styles to try, or new ideas to tweak familiar styles. Hope this helps.

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