Recently I've been asked how to curate personal style. As you may have noticed, trends have come and gone, and while dressing "trendy" is, of course popular because we're living in such a period of acceptance, everyone really dresses how they please. If you scroll while online shopping, you may notice an accumulation of trends are all popular right now—making it hard for consumers to pinpoint what they like. Do you want to follow the trends and influencers or break free and dress for you?
I think the best way to understand your style is to understand your personal brand.
For example, I have developed an eclectic style. I call it eclectic because I can't pinpoint any specific trends or styles that define the clothes I buy and what I wear day-to-day. But, I understand my body type, what I'm comfortable in, where I work, and brands that represent my lifestyle.
My body type
While scrolling and buying at the click of a button is fun and easy, it's not the best for people who understand their body type and want their clothes to fit and accentuate them. I frequently have a hard time buying pants and know what style I need to make me feel most comfortable and confident. By understanding that, I am on my way to developing my style. 97% of the time, you can find me in a mom or boyfriend jeans. I like the high-waist fit because of my body type and a looser feel in the legs—I want to be comfortable!
If you ever head to a style site, you can often take a quiz giving you direction on what types of garments you gravitate towards. I feel I have a more casual style because I prefer comfort in my everyday wear. Because of this, I will find myself always choosing unique, comfy sweaters, high-waist jeans, soft turtle necks, or silk tops.
Where I work
I am in the fashion industry, so I usually dress up while heading to work. Because of the business setting, I'm in; I gravitate towards unique tops that share fun patterns and prints, mid-length animal print skirts because I love to be comfortable, cute sneakers that are work appropriate, and statement accessories that help tell my story. What is my story? When I shop, I love finding "hidden gems." I enjoy buying unique pieces that are bold, feminine, have awesome textures and prints, and items that I can wear for years to come. I love accessorizing with statement earrings or a great headband.
Another way to find your style is honing in on brands that you adore, brands that represent your lifestyle, and what you care about. I try so hard not to shop at fast-fashion stores. I think those types of stores make it tough for beginners to get a grasp on what they like because they are trend-based. And not to mention, bad for the environment. I fell in love with Freepeople and Anthropologie at a younger age. I always loved the free-spirit quality their clothes gave off and their passion for details and attention to quality. While they are more expensive, I have been able to hold on to these items for so many years and several washes without them failing on me. Search for brands that help you express your lifestyle. Enjoy thrifting? Over half of my mom jeans and comfy sweaters come from thrift stores. Not only are you helping the environment by recycling clothing, but you're helping your bank account too.
I care a lot now about finding brands that are good for the environment but still best represent my style and how I want to portray myself.
If you could only buy one more clothing item...what would it be? This is a great way to help narrow down the types of clothes you think about! For me, it'd either be a fabulous skirt for work from Anthropologie or a statement sneaker from Madewell.
Photography by Zach Lefebure