Personal Style. Its Importance, How to Find It, and a Shopping Strategy
Personal style is complicated. It could easily be dismissed as shallow and inconsequential. And sure, it’s not going to save the world but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.
Above all, it’s one of the key ways we tell the world who we are. Whether intentionally or not, we are communicating something about ourselves through how we look. It’s also a fact that when we look better, we feel better. So knowing our personal style and having confidence in it enhance our overall self-confidence which in turn, impacts how we move through life.
This inevitably leads to the question how do we find our personal style? If you’re just starting down this path, it’s helpful to first soak in as much as inspiration as you can and discern your likes and dislikes. Luckily, we live in an era where there’s no shortage of sources. Then, in order to hone in our true personal style, we have to take it a step further and look inward at who we are, our values, and even our aspirations.*
At this point, I want to note that one potentially troubling aspect of a personal style quest is that it can lead to mindless consumption. For most of us (particularly those of us who love fashion), our styles are always evolving and we want to regularly update our looks. But as we get more clear on our personal style, it becomes more fine tuning rather than big, dramatic changes so it’s not about having an entirely new wardrobe year after year. To help keep myself in check, I developed this shopping strategy over the years and it has really served me well.
- Invest in key pieces: bags, shoes, jackets, and coats.
- Add a few updating or trend pieces per season.
- Comfort is the number one criteria with any item.
- Everything must be suitable for my height, weight, and shape.
- Consider when, where, and how often a piece will get worn.
- Declutter regularly.
- Support companies that employ sustainable practices as much as possible.
Finally, expressing ourselves through style is a wonderful creative outlet. It can even be a tool to help us better understand ourselves. I’ve recently started documenting outfits on Instagram as a way to chronicle the continuous evolution of my own style and to have a record of what is being conveyed through my style choices. (This is a fascinating topic I want to explore more in a future post.)
So I dare say presenting ourselves to the world in our true, authentic style can be transformative, cathartic, and even illuminating. And that can make la vie that much more belle.
*If you need help or guidance on finding your personal style, updating your closet, packing for a trip, etc., I am available for one-on-one consultations. Please see this page for more information.