We all struggle with being different in a world in which being as ‘different as possible’ is the new cool. It can be puzzling and frustrating pining after looks, styles, trends, meanwhile trying to be original, creative, and just yourself. Countless times people have come to me, asking ‘how did you develop your style?’ and, to be honest, I struggled with it for such a long time until I could say ‘yes, this is my style, and this is how you do it’. I’ve been through all of your phases; casual, goth, preppy, boho, high fashion, sophisticated, casual again until I finally found that boho was my true, inner love…yet it didn’t have to be strictly that. I loved mixing in a bit of vintage and prep; just because you’re layered in stone jewels, doesn’t mean you can’t wear a collared shirt. That’s the beauty of defining your style, and hopefully these steps will help you develop a trend that’s truly you.
1. Find inspiration. First, it’s important to be open-minded and know yourself and what you like a little bit. Go through pages in magazines; circle what you love, and cross off what you don’t. Put an inspiration board on your wall, or make a Pinterest. Be honest with yourself; don’t cross off something because it’s sporty when you’re trying to be boho. It’s okay to have a mix. Narrowing down what you like and seeing it visually will truly help with developing your style, since you’ll be able to witness the common thread that runs through your likes and preferences.
2. Buy the basics. Hopefully after the first step (which is the hardest and might take the most time), you will have a sort of style in your head in which you want to go for. This doesn’t mean you have to go to the mall and buy every basic that fits your new style all at once, but if you’re trying to be edgy, go on a search for that perfect leather jacket and ripped pair of jeans. If you want a more high-fashion look, go for crisp collared shirts, leather skinnies, and pointy ankle boots, etc. Once you established having your own ‘must-haves’, it will be much easier to create outfits.
3. Accessories. If you’re caught between two styles, accessories are the perfect way to go about it. Like I said, I love myself some vintage, so adding boho accessories to a more old-school outfit is what works best for me, that way I can have my prep with some bohemian edge. If you’re stuck with wanting a polished outfit yet want a little spunk, pair those white, crisp skinnies with a pair of chunky, black studded ankle boots. It’s almost like college; majoring in high-fashion, with a minor in edgy. Those minors should be your accessories.
4. Put it all together. Once you’re confident in your style and wardrobe, don’t be afraid to have a whole trial-and-error type of thing between outfits; try on some jeans with your new shirt, see how it looks. Not everything is going to be perfect the first time around. By trying and seeing, you’ll find out what you truly like and how you’re going to go about your own style.
5. Little extra things. Having your own style doesn’t mean you have to limit it to just clothing; interior design and taking photographs are other great ways to re-enforce the style you love the most. If you’re into minimalistic clothing, try making your room simple (only if you want to, of course). I’m not saying this step is by no means required, but if you’re in love with a style and want to stick with it, surrounding yourself in it is a great way to do so. By expanding it to other horizons (Instagram, your Tumblr, your room), it will make you feel even more inspired and even more inclined to find what you truly like. It’s like that saying; surround yourself with what you love, discard what is old and unnecessary.
I hope these 5 steps truly help with narrowing down a style for you, my friends! Don’t worry if you don’t get it right away; style is tricky, and it’s not something that might click right away. Just stay true to you, and most importantly, try not to copy everything exactly. The beauty of having your own style is just that; it’s your own. Add your own little quirks to it, and everything will be okay.
Words & Photography by Christie.