How to Have Your Own Style

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Individual style can make a good first impression, keep you looking your best, and boost your confidence. Finding and developing your own look is a work in progress. Your style should work with your lifestyle, body type, and color preferences. Look for inspiration from fashion icons or internet resources, and experiment with how you express yourself.

EditSteps

EditSeeking Inspiration

  1. Review your wardrobe to find inspiration inside your own closet. Before you revamp your style, sort through your clothes and try on some items. To play with different looks, try pairing your favorite garments with other items you typically wouldn’t try. Donate any items that no longer speak to you or don’t make you feel confident.[1]
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    • For example, perhaps you always wear T-shirts with blue jeans. Throw on a flannel or cardigan sweater over top, and accessorize with a beanie. Or, try pairing your shirts with funky skirts or leggings.
    • Consider the last time you wore an item. If it’s been many months to 1 year since you last wore an item, it may be time to rehome the garment and update your look.
  2. Take pictures of your favorite outfit combinations to reference later. When you create awesome looks that scream you, take a picture with your phone or camera to document the look. That way, you can simply review what previously made you feel confident and strive for a similar look.
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    • You don’t have to go with the same exact look as your images. Use them as inspiration, and expand upon the outfit with other garments or accessories if you’d like.
    • Maybe for a date night you wore an awesome black dress, patterned tights, boots, and a belt. Take a picture of this, and next time you get ready for a night out, consider wearing the same dress but with different tights or heels instead of boots.
  3. Research common styles and style icons online to find inspiration. Think of a few famous people whose style you admire, or consider different common style labels you want to incorporate, like bohemian or punk. Search for outfits on Google, and look for casual, dressy, and professional ensembles in neat patterns and attractive colors.[2]
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    • This will help you find items you like and dislike so you’ll have some ideas in mind.
    • Style icons can be fashionistas, actors, celebrities, athletes, or public figures. Some examples include Marilyn Monroe, Katherine Hepburn, Twiggy, Madonna, and Oprah, to name a few.
  4. Make a “Style” board on Pinterest and save your favorite looks. Search generally with keywords like “style” or “fashion,” or get specific with search queries like “bohemian looks” or “punk fashion.” Then, make a Pinterest account, create a board called “Style,” and save pictures that inspire you to reference later.[3]
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    • Save images of complete outfits, interesting accessories, cool shoes, and unique jackets. Before you go shopping, take a look at what you’ve saved so you can look for similar garments.
  5. Look for ready-to-wear collections in fashion magazines or websites. Styles and trends come and go as the seasons change. You can review current collections to find inspiration for your own look. Look for items you can wear all year long, regardless of the latest trends.
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    • For example, many websites have separate tabs or sections for “Outfit Inspiration,” “Streetwear,” or “Collections.” Click these tabs, and look through different outfits that you can make your own.
    • Maybe you are inspired to wear sneakers with a skater dress, or maybe you want to try wearing hats instead of tying up your hair.
  6. Review couture styles for general mood inspirations for your outfits. While avant-garde looks may be over-the-top for daily looks (or maybe not!), they help you get the creative gears turning. Keep an eye out for neat color combinations, interesting textures, bold accessories, and overall look of the model.
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    • For example, maybe you find a dress with an asymmetrical hemline and a bold color in your favorite magazine. While you may not go for that exact dress, you can play with different collars in your own style, such as turtleneck sweaters or cowl neck tunics.
  7. Go shopping and see what items speak to you. Visit your local mall or favorite store, and browse selections at your favorite stores as well as stores you’ve never shopped from. Look for colors in your palette, and try on your favorites to ensure they fit great.
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    • Consider what you have in your closet already as you shop. If you know you need a new button-down to wear to job interviews, or a new pair of running shoes for the gym, start with items like these.
    • Shop at thrift stores, vintage retailers, and consignment shops to find one-of-a-kind, unique garments. You can shop for new outfits at these locations without breaking your budget!
  8. Ask for advice from your friends, parents, or retail employees. If you are having trouble generating your own style ideas, reach out to a friend or parent and ask for suggestions. They may have helpful opinions about what colors or silhouettes flatter you or what looks really don’t fit your personality.[4]
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    • You can also ask the associates and stylists who work at retail stores for tips and opinions to update your style.

EditMatching Style to Your Life

  1. Dress in slacks and button-down shirts for a professional style. An awesome professional wardrobe will show off your sense of style and show others you are qualified, capable, and experienced. Purchase career essentials to prepare you for your next interview! You can make your professional look your own by adding unique jewelry, scarves, and shoes.
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    • You can also go with khakis, polos, sweaters, blazers, blouses, pencil skirts, and dresses.
    • When selecting accessories in the workplace, choose items appropriate for the workplace. For example, wear closed-toed pumps over your strappy stilettos!
  2. Wear vintage T-shirts, distressed jeans, and flannels for a hipster look. Hipster style is noted as a super cool, laid back, repurposed look. Go with purposely distressed garments, edgy combat boots, oversized scarves, and thick-rimmed glasses. You can shop at thrift stores and Goodwill locations to be a tried-and-true hipster.[5]
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    • You can also purchase hipster clothing at stores like Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and Etsy.
  3. Tie up your hair and wear sports jerseys and shorts for a tomboy style. The sporty, tomboy look is all about comfort. Focus on dressing with T-shirts, denim, and hats. Consider playing a sport or starting a workout routine to complete your sporty look![6]
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    • You can wear oversized, boxy T-shirts, slouchy sweaters, baggy joggers, Converse sneakers, or running shoes.
  4. Go with simple prints or plain colored garments for a casual style. Casual style should be comfortable and effortless. You can wear things like solid colored T-shirts, jeans, and sneakers. Try throwing on a baseball cap or styling your hair in a ponytail. You’ll be out the door in no time with a cool and casual daily look.[7]
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    • You can also layer with sweaters, hoodies, and scarves.
    • Consider using a small backpack instead of a purse.
  5. Dress to impress in nice clothing if you are styling for a night out. Go for a sophisticated, glamorous nightlife look by wearing things like button-down shirts, straight-legged pants, form-fitting blouses, and dresses. Wear dark colors and items with sequins or shine! You can add your own flair with accessories or by dressing for your body type.[8]
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    • Some nightclubs have wardrobe requirements, such as baggy clothing, sneakers, cut-offs, hats, and jerseys. Some clubs allow jeans, as long as they are straight-legged and uniform in wash.
    • Look at the club’s website for wardrobe requirements, or call ahead and ask. If you show up wearing the wrong clothing, you may be turned away.

EditShopping for Flattering Outfits

  1. Embrace your shape in flattering clothing that makes you feel confident. Wear items that highlight your assets and camouflage your insecurities. Pick your clothes based on your body type:[9]
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    • Pear shaped bodies typically have a defined waist with hips wider than your shoulders. Wear straight-legged pants and jackets that accentuate your shoulders.[10]
    • Apple body shapes lack a defined waist and carry weight around the stomach. Wear V-neck shirts to create a vertical line, patterned garments, and well-fitting jackets.[11]
    • Rectangular bodies lack a defined waist and their hips and shoulders are similar in width. They are easy to dress, and you can wear clothes with medium to high necklines.[12]
    • Hourglass shaped bodies have a defined waist and wide hips and bust. Wear V-neck shirts and darker colors on top.[13]
    • Inverted triangle bodies have small hips and wide shoulders. Draw attention away from your torso by wearing open necklines, bold textures on the bottom, and eye-catching shoes.[14]
  2. Choose your color palette based on your skin tone. You can choose signature colors to make your style unique and flatter your appearance. Maybe purple is your favorite hue, or maybe you get a lot of compliments wearing red. Determine your skin tone, and choose colors based on your complexion.[15]
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    • Choose warm-toned colors like orange, red, amber, green, and red-purples if you have warm skin tones (olive or yellowish undertone).[16]
    • Wear colors like blue, emerald, deep purple, pink, and ruby for cooler skin tones (bluish and pink undertone).
    • Go with light peach, light blue, and dark green colored clothes for neutral skin tones. Neutral skin tones have a mix of warm and cool undertones.
  3. Pair your wardrobe basics with unique accessories to elevate your look. If you tend to dress simply, like jeans and a T-shirt, try throwing on a scarf, sunglasses, or hat to make your look more interesting. Adding small elements can enhance your outfits and make you more confident![17]
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    • For example, go with neutral basics and add a pop of color or a cool pattern. You can also try a bold necklace or stacked rings. You can also throw on a cool hat or jacket.
  4. Splurge on a staple item to individualize your style. Pick 1-2 items to become part of your style identity, something you can wear daily that others will instantly relate to you. Wear your signature piece with many outfit combinations so people recognize it as your look.[18]
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    • For example, Jackie O is known for her large sunglasses. Audrey Hepburn made cropped pants and ballet flats popular.
    • Your staple can be something simple like a personal piece of jewelry or something bold like a fur coat.
    • Try things like a bold red lipstick, a bright colored bag, or a customized jean jacket.
  5. Hire a tailor to make sizing adjustments and to add personal touches. A good tailor can transform a garment into a perfect, individualized must-have. They will hem long jeans, repair small rips, and update outdated garments. Find a local tailor by searching online, and stop into their shop to discuss your garments.[19]
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    • For example, a tailor can sew vintage buttons onto a black cardigan you love but want to make unique.

EditTips

  • You can find style quizzes online to help you piece together your own look.
  • Know that style is an evolving art. Add to your look over time, and ask others’ opinions to help get ideas.

EditWarnings

  • Make your style your own, rather than copying what you see other people wearing. You can use others’ style for inspiration, but always stay true to yourself!

EditSources and Citations

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