Each New Year I hear people say, “New year, new you.” Well, I don’t exactly approach it like that. For me, it’s more like, “New year, improved you,” which is a lot easier to handle and a much more realistic goal. Not only am I always looking to improve upon myself, but my personal style gets a little revamp each year as well.
I’m not one of those people who is overly concerned with getting older, and in terms of style, I feel my personal style has only become better with age. Sometimes those Facebook memories from 8+ years ago can look pretty scary, but everyone goes through those trendy parts of life and lives through them. Here are a few rules that I have come up with over the last three decades that have helped me define my personal style.
Collect inspiration – don’t only copycat
When I first got to college I was a flat out copycat. Sorority jerseys, Nike tempo shorts, boat shoes, North Face jackets…I owned and wore them all (probably all at once too, unfortunately). I know the feeling of wanting to fit in and dress like everyone else, but I would love nothing more than to tell my 18-years-old self, “YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THAT!” I also want to scream, “DON’T USE THE FAKE TANNING BEDS OR GET BAD HIGHLIGHTS OR EAT AFTER 2:00 AM!” And, this list could go on…and on…and on.
This advice can be hard to follow in the ever-present social media era that we currently live in where you can buy other people’s full outfits with a few simple clicks. It doesn’t get much easier than that, but where is the creativity? Since we live in a social world oversaturated with fashion bloggers, it can be hard to not get caught up copying. Don’t get me wrong, I have definitely bought items that I saw on fashion bloggers. Instagram has transformed the way we shop, however, when I see multiple accounts pushing the same pieces, I just don’t want to look like everyone else.
If you are looking to social media for fashion inspiration, you can find it on more accounts than only fashion bloggers. I love how local interior designer Rachel Cannon pairs outfits she sees with interiors, landscapes and color palettes on her Instagram page. So pretty and inspiring!
Try Something New
I thought over-the-knee boots were not for petite ladies, but I bought a pair and styled them that made me feel so cool – for lack of a better word. Just because you think something might not work for you – and it might not – doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t at least try it out. Style is all about finding the right fit for your body type and personality, and the only way to discover this is by trying new things. Sure, there are a few trends here and there that I tried that didn’t work out…but hey, I’m still here! Just do it and worry about it five years later when it pops up on your Facebook timehop.
Be Basic…at times
No matter how you define your personal style, you need to have some pieces that can work for any time, age or environment. My extensive collection of Dr. Martens that I knew for a fact would never go out of style actually did, but my Cole Haan penny loafers are still here! When I bought my first pair of Ray-Ban aviators in college (because everyone else was wearing them), my dad pulled out his from college that he still had. Some things will stay in style forever. I would bet that I will have this tweed lady jacket in my closet for years and years, because it pairs well with so many other items. Invest in basic pieces, but also add your own personal touch to your full ensemble.
Don’t be Afraid
Let’s be honest. Baton Rouge is not the most fashion forward city. I buy a lot of things that I fall in love with but don’t necessarily know where to wear them. I saw a rainbow sequined jumpsuit with a plunging neck that I JUST HAD TO HAVE. There was no questioning the price, where I would wear it, nothing could change my mind. I bought it. I love it. And, I’m going to wear it and give zero about any crazy looks I might get. It’s fun and I feel like a million bucks in it. I can’t be afraid of what other people are going to think – and you shouldn’t either. Find your own rainbow jumpsuit and ROCK IT, GIRL!
Your personal style changes as you get older and find yourself in different environments, whether that be the state you live in or the job you have or your disposable income. Glasses might not have been trending in sixth grade for me, but now they are one of my style staples. I have multiple pairs of quirky glasses that I love to wear. Also, working in athletics has given me a more casual, comfortable vibe, and I wear tennis shoes with ev-ery-thang! One of my favorite ways to style an outfit is with an unexpected pair of tennis shoes.
I attribute my love for mixing patterns to J. Crew after working in two of their stores. Give me something floral and I will pair it with a bold stripe. Leopard + gingham = love. Some people might say this doesn’t match. I don’t care. Remember, don’t be afraid.
When I read fashion magazines asking people to define their personal style in a few words, I can never think of what mine would be. Now that I have written this post, partly cleaned out my closet and put together some future outfits…I still can’t come to an exact conclusion. But for today, I’ll try this.
Classic. Surprising. Girly meets Tomboy. Colorful. Fun. Easy and Attainable.
How would you describe your personal style and what are some of the styles or pieces that define it?