Original article written for Review Australia by Lauren Grace Harding. This article is republished here with permission from Review Australia. You can visit the original article on Review’s website by clicking here.
How do we go about creating or redefining our own personal sense of style? This can be daunting given the sheer number of clothing choices available online, as well as coping with life dramatically changing during a pandemic. Setting aside some time to gain clarity & insight about yourself and what you love, will enhance your confidence and make dressing each day a joy, instead of a chore. Read on to discover the steps you need to take to discover your own sense of style and take it from now to wow!
Review your current wardrobe & style history
No matter how much we feel like we have matured, we all have fashion hits or misses in our past! Remembering what has and hasn’t worked for you will reveal a lot about where you need to direct your style in the future. Perhaps there was a dress you felt uncomfortable in or a particular colour which didn’t work very well with your complexion.
A great way to gain an idea of your personal style is to have a look at your wardrobe and identify the pieces you love the most and understand why you adore them so much. For example, are you attracted to structured clothing such as blazers, collared shirts or suits? Perhaps you love particular patterns such as polka dots, stripes or florals? I adore knitwear, especially this new We’ve Found Love jumper with the detachable broderie anglaise fabric!
It’s also helpful to look back and consider your “fashion fails”! We’ve all had moments when we’ve worn something that either didn’t suit us, fit correctly or just didn’t make us feel great. It’s important to have a true sense of what you don’t want to include in your wardrobe too. Here are some great questions to start with:
- Are there any pieces you love and if so why?
- Have you developed a love for certain fabrics?
- Are there any pieces which haven’t worked for you, if so why?
- What are the gaps in your wardrobe that you need to fill?
A solid understanding of who you are and what you love is an important element in creating & defining your personal sense of style. This is inevitably going to change as we grow and our life changes as well. Understanding what clothing works best for you & your body shape, which colours enhance your skin & hair colour and being aware of your lifestyle all contribute to creating your signature look.
Consider your lifestyle
Taking your current lifestyle into account is one of the more practical parts in this process. This is where it helps to consider the climate where you live, your family & employment circumstances. Do you live in an extreme climate where it’s mainly hot or cold, or are there four distinct seasons you need to take into account when it comes to your outfits?
Your family & work are key factors here – have you recently started a family and need to rethink your wardrobe? Or have you moved from working in an office to now working from home? You might be considering the need to incorporate more relaxed & comfortable clothing as you shift away from structured suits and office wear that you no longer need. These Estelle pants in camel with the Coco crew neck jumper are a great option to look polished whether you’re working from home or in the office!
Discover who your fashion icons are
One of the fun parts in creating your own sense of style is discovering your personal icons! Pinterest, Instagram, online magazines and even your favourite style bloggers are great sources of inspiration. Also consider taking a look back at various decades throughout history to identify women you admire for their fashion sense, who reflected that point in time.
Once you have your own “style mentors” it’s time to analyze why you have selected them as your favourites:
- What is it about your icons which you admire?
- Are they from a particular era in fashion?
- Do they have key pieces which form part of their signature style?
After analysing your responses to the above questions, a pattern should begin to emerge of key pieces, accessories or looks which you are attracted to and can start to focus on when creating outfits. Taking note of this will help you further on in the style creation process. The Tori dress is a great take on the ever chic & elegant Little Black Dress – a favourite of icons throughout the years!
Review’s “Icons” collection is inspired by the women of the 1950’s and showcases key pieces which represent iconic styles from this decade, as worn by Audrey Hepburn, Jayne Mansfield, Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy. The Icons range features pieces that will become wardrobe hero’s for life.
Create a style vision board
Once you’re clear on which fashion pieces you gravitate towards, have identified who your personal style icons are and why you adore them and are aware of your lifestyle needs, it’s time to get visually creative! This is where creating a style vision board really helps as you can refer back to this when shopping for new pieces. Platforms such as Pinterest or Instagram are perfect for this as there’s an abundance of outfits and pieces you can pin & save.
Your style vision board should work in tandem with you when you go shopping now….and don’t forget to make sure that you’re selecting pieces which you know will work with your personal style! Pearls are always a must have on my vision board, so I adore the sweet pearl detail on the new Aristrocrat jumper.
Starting your signature look
Now we’ve done some analysis on what you like/dislike, fashion wins & fails, considered your current lifestyle, identified your icons and created a vision board, the next step is to start incorporating all that you’ve discovered into your wardrobe! Ideally you will have a shortlist of items you know will work for you personally and will mix in with other pieces in your wardrobe. When it comes to taking inspiration from your style icons, the key is to use one or two elements and put your own touch on it to make it your own.
As an example, Grace Kelly is one of my personal style icons – I adore her glamourous gowns and stunning lace wedding dress. I don’t have a lifestyle which requires me to wear floor length ballgowns regularly – but I can easily incorporate a sweetheart neckline or white lace into my wardrobe! The Lorna lace blouse is a great example of how to take inspiration from a style icon (in this case, using her wedding dress as inspiration) and make it work for you on an everyday basis.
Know which brands complement your style
Having a go-to list of brands which you know & love will greatly help when it comes to investing in the building blocks of your wardrobe. For me, Review has been a brand which I’ve invested in for over a decade, as I know their pieces are great quality and perfectly compliment my own feminine and classic outfit choices. Review produce sophisticated & playful collections regularly, with the current July pieces in winter appropriate shades of red, burgundy, camel, biscuit and oatmeal. My personal favourite piece is the gorgeous Hardwick coat with a detachable fur collar.
Trends come & go and fast fashion isn’t designed to be timeless. This is why developing and redefining your own style is not only going to save you money long-term – it will also enhance your confidence and level up your ability to curate outfits you will love wearing daily, which truly reflect who you are. Probably no one has summed up the sentiment of this better than the iconic Coco Chanel –
Fashion changes but style endures…
We hope you have enjoyed this article and found it useful on how to create your personal style!