Most of the time, fashion, as in the industry, is hard to relate to and it's perplexing how to interpret trends, less wear them well. Style is organic, shaped by our very souls, down to the minutia of how we tie our scarf or part our hair. Most seasons, real life seems disconnected from eccentric designs or cerebral statement-makers. There's fashion, and then there's style. What comes down the runway each season is much less appealing when compared with how clothes fit a body and a lifestyle [and a budget]. So how can we figure out our personal style? Here's a starting point.
Basics are Your Best Friend
I always think of my outfits in layers. The first layer starts with basics, which right now is a variation of a tee with jeans because I am a full-time mama. Your basics might be a shift dress for work, or trousers with a blouse, either way, the first layer can be dressed up or down, depending on how additional pieces build on to the look. The second layer is where I add bits of a current trend in the form of accessories and outerwear. And warning, this is not as premeditated as it sounds. Sometimes I gravitate toward a leopard scarf and other times I want to be dripping in sterling silver jewelry. I let my mood, the weather, and day of activities dictate those additions. That's the fun part!
Choose Fit Over Everything
From brand to brand, sizes can vary a lot. True statement: I am a different size in almost everything in my closet, even pieces from the same store. I have tanks in XS, sweaters in XL, and everything in between. The best advice is to know your measurements (a tailor's measuring tape is very handy), and stick to what suits your lifestyle. Whatever you do 8+ hours a day will dictate if your closet needs more professional pieces, more casual pieces, or a good mix of both. Well-fitting clothing is the secret to why the world's best-dressed women always look so "done". If tailoring is not in your budget, I recommend buying then trying things on at home with your go-to pieces to get an idea if the items are worth keeping.
Commit to a Color-Scheme
Taken with new-found wonderment and independence in my college days, I filled my closet with colors and prints that were trending, but weren't really me. Soon I realized there was a difference between liking a top, and feeling the top was a good fit for my personal style. This style infidelity made me feel consistently insecure, and in so doing, the confusion wasted a lot of precious time and money. Then Pinterest came along and laid out before me the answer to the riddle when I saw the theme across all of my style pins: neutrals with statement-making accessories. A few thrift store donations later, and my coordinated closet made dressing each day effortless (which is a natural confidence-booster!). Win-win.
Never again will I fall prey to dressing any other way than what fits my body, my lifestyle, and my soul. What we wear non-verbally expresses who we are. We all want our personal style to be our way of saying I'm comfortable in my own skin, proud of where I've come, and hopeful to where I'm going.