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How to Find your Personal Style & Rebuild your Wardrobe

It can be difficult navigating your own personal style and everything that comes with it! When you’re shopping it’s difficult to know where to start, and what you really need to add to your wardrobe. It normally ends with us having a lot of different pieces in our wardrobe, yet feeling like there’s nothing to wear and disliking all of our clothes.

When you know your personal style and are able to have a wardrobe full of pieces you actually love to wear it makes all the difference and saves you money in the long run!

Here’s how to find your own personal style and revamp your wardrobe full of clothes you’ll actually love to wear:

Phase One: Style Inspiration

Personal style can be hard to navigate, but it’s important to start off by taking a look at what inspires you! Here are some easy ways to help gauge what sort of outfits and pieces you’re drawn to, and where you can look for style/outfit inspiration.

1. Pinterest

Pinterest has tons of outfit inspiration pictures to look at! When you’re bombarded with all different styles and looks it can be overwhelming, so this is what I do to get inspiration from Pinterest:

  • Create a ‘style inspiration’ board (you can name it whatever your heart desires) and save all outfits and items that catch your eye and that you really love. Once you’ve saved enough outfits, go through all the pictures and pick out what items are repeatedly seen. Is there a colour scheme noted throughout the pictures? Certain clothing items, Fit, Fabric, etc? Are you drawn to edgy looks, chic outfits or boho? Take notes of the similarities between the majority of the outfits you’ve pinned.
  • For example, When I look through my style board I notice the majority of outfits saved have leopard print pleated skirts, bodysuits tucked into high waisted jeans, off the shoulder sweaters, and flowy blouses. This tells me some of the pieces I gravitate towards, and the pictures can give me inspiration on how to style them!

My Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/chelseamproulxblog

2. Style Icons

Alongside Pinterest, I also look at who’s fashion style and outfits I repeatedly am in awe of. This can be a celebrity, YouTuber, Blogger, etc. Take note about what it is about their style that draws your eye- there are probably some similarities within all of their outfits you never noticed before!

Draw inspiration from them, and figure out what pieces out of the majority of their outfits you love. Is it how they style a simple outfit that catches your eye or is there a style theme; For example, bohemian or Parisian.

It’s important to note (especially in regards to celebrities) that they have personal stylists, tailoring, photo editing, and can afford the luxury items that many of us cannot! Remember we are simply drawing inspiration from them- and therefore can find a much more achievable, realistic and affordable look.

3. People in Your own life & around you

Draw inspiration from all around you! Is there someone in your family who you look up to for outfit inspiration, or even a stranger passing you by who’s outfit you adore? Try and make a mental note of what it is about their outfits you liked. Whether it’s the fit, material, brand, colour, etc.

Phase 2: How do you feel?

This is SO important. At the end of the day, clothing is a physiological need (Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs anyone?) However, they also are a form of expression, art, and can make you feel empowered and confident! That’s pretty cool if you ask me.

Find the clothing items that resonate with you, and make you feel good! Your clothing should make you feel confident and your best self. If it doesn’t, don’t waste your hard-earned money. These pieces that make you feel your best, are apart of your own personal style and are essential to your wardrobe! This is how you will know what your personal style is- it is based on how you feel in the clothes! The clothes don’t wear you, you wear the clothes.

Phase 3: Shop & Declutter Your Closet

So, now that you’ve gotten inspiration for your style, take a look at your own closet. When I’m trying to get a feel for my current wardrobe, I honestly remove everything from my closet and toss it on my bed. This gives you a fresh start, and it’s easy to start the decluttering process and closet reorganization.

  1. Go through all your clothing items & remove items that still have tags on them, ripped or stained, or that you haven’t worn in 6 months or so. Even if you tell yourself “I will eventually wear this”, you won’t. It’s best to get rid of it altogether.
  2. With the clothes left over, take a good look at what you have. Do you notice any consistencies with the pieces in your wardrobe or is your style all over the place? This is where you can figure out a lot about your current clothing spending habits, and what needs to change. Chances are you have a lot of “trendy” or “fun” clothes, with no basic pieces to build off of!
  3. Take a look at the clothing items you reach for the most in your closet. The ones that you wear the most, separate them from the others and analyze what it is about the pieces you’re drawn to. It might be that they’re mostly made from the same material, or they’re from the same brand, same fit, etc. Learn about what you’re most drawn to and feel confident in! (and please keep them, since whatever you feel most confident in should always be a staple to any wardrobe).
organizing a closet

At this point, you have taken note of pieces for your wardrobe that inspire you, and you have decluttered your wardrobe to leave room for the rebuilding process!

Phase 4: Figure out what is Essential for Rebuilding your Wardrobe

Once you have an idea of your personal style and are wanting to rebuild your wardrobe, it’s important to note the “necessities” of a wardrobe. All items that you should have for different circumstances in life such as interviews, dates, night-out, etc. This list will look different for everyone, however, this is a general guideline of items that can be adjusted to your personal liking. Here are the essentials you should have in your wardrobe:

Tops:

  • Button up blouse (great for interviews, can be dressed down by tucking into jeans)
  • Knit Sweater
  • White T-shirt (perfect basic piece)
  • Camisole (neutral)
  • Bodysuit
  • Patterned shirt (striped, etc.)
  • Cardigan

Bottoms

  • Dark wash skinny jeans
  • Black Skinnies
  • Straight Leg Jeans (this could be Mom jeans, a classic straight, boyfriend, etc.)
  • Cigarette pant/Dress Pant (great for work)
  • High waisted Trousers (great for work & casual)
  • Leggings
  • Skirt

*Not all people are fans of skinny jeans. You can tailor this list to your own personal style, and instead, have “dark wash flare jeans” for example. However, skinny jeans, in my opinion, are a great item to have! You do you, Girl!

Formal

  • Little Black Dress
  • Summer Dress
  • Modest Dress (good for weddings, funerals, church, interviews, etc.)

Shoes

  • Heels (1 neutral + 1 Fun colour)
  • Loafers
  • Comfortable walking shoe/Sneakers (depending on personal style this could be: Converse, Nike’s, Toms, etc.)
  • Knee-High Boots
  • Winter Boots

Accessories

  • Floppy Sun Hat
  • Panama Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Thin belts- neutral colours (Great for jeans or around the waist)
  • dainty necklace
  • Earrings (stud or small hoops)

Jackets

  • Denim Jacket
  • Moto Jacket
  • Faux Leather Jacket
  • Blazer

Undergarments

  • Bras (link to my guide on Bra shopping + Tips)
  • Underwear (high waisted can be flattering for those wanting tummy control)
  • Spanx (Underwear + Shorts) *optional
  • Tights

Phase 5: Acquiring Pieces for your Personal Style

Now it’s time to go out and acquire the pieces you need for your wardrobe and to show off your personal style! Here’s where all your early inspiration notes can be put into use.

When shopping, it’s important to find stores that reflect your personal style and even your morals as shopping ethically is important to keep in mind! before I go shopping, I always look online ahead of time and make a list of what I’m looking for and what stores I can find it. I do this so that I’m not sucked into the fast fashion trends that are influencing you while walking through the mall!

Another thing to mention in regards to the stores you go to is to make sure you are paying attention to the store’s target audience. Over the years I have made the mistake of shopping at mostly straight-sized clothing stores and attempting to squeeze into the clothes because that was all I knew. I have found stores that cater to all shapes and sizes, and have been much more successful at finding pieces that show off my personal style all the while fitting me more appropriately. It’s important to be unashamed in where you shop since you will not only look better in the clothing but feel better too!

Phase 6: Be Confident & Rock your new Wardrobe!

At the end of the day, whatever you feel confident in is a winner in my books. Regardless of if it doesn’t follow “fashion rules” or if it doesn’t “flatter your body type”- Girl if you love it and feel good in it than wear the heck out of it and own it!

Smiling in front of mirror to show off personal style and feeling confident

I love re-organizing and revamping my wardrobe, so I always enjoy this whole process! If you’re anything like me, I hope you find joy from this and can’t wait to start writing down all the lists of items you’ve curated from your research.

Thank you so much for reading, and if you found this helpful at all or if you have any other suggestions or tips for finding your personal style let me know in the comments! 🙂

Chelsea Proulx

Lifestyle Blog

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