Updated: Jan 29
We all know that woman with the great sense of style. It's 100% 'her style' and unlike anyone else's. We've tried unsuccessfully to pull it off - what works so well for someone else just doesn't seem to translate for us.
For great personal style to exist, there needs to be a celebration of who you are. It's not about fashion at all - it's about celebrating the woman within - your authentic self.
It's never too late to reclaim and celebrate your authentic self, and develop your own unique sense of style, and it's never been more important in a world filled with filtered look a-likes.
In her book The Language of Clothes, Alison Lurie tells us "Long before I am near enough to talk to you on the street, in a meeting, or at a party, you announce your sex, age and class to me through what you are wearing - and very possibly give me important information (or misinformation) as to your occupation, origin, personality, opinions, tastes, sexual desires and current mood...I register the information unconsciously; and you simultaneously do the same for me."
Self discovery, and learning how to express ourselves authentically through our clothes, allows our brightest and best self to shine. It's about being true to who we really are - and allowing our wardrobes to reflect our own creative choices, not those of others. Remind yourself that you are free to choose clothes that align with your inner essence.
If you feel like you need to discover or revisit the synchronicity between your inner self and your clothes, take some time to reflect on the following:
Consider what clothes you currently have that you really love?
What clothes or styles don't feel right for you?
What fabrics, colours, textures or styles are you naturally drawn to?
Be willing to part with anything you currently have that's not perfect for you and start to explore. Over the past few years, I've become highly attuned to all the different elements that make up my personal style that are grounded in authenticity.
Luxurious, smooth fabrics feel good against my skin and find harmony with my fine, smooth hair and skin. Elegant styles with a touch of difference, whether through a design detail, fabric or print, make me feel sophisticated but not too formal or stuffy. Block heels have become my best friend since I now favour comfort with my footwear, but still want the instant lift that only a great pair of heels can provide. Brightly coloured nails and a matching lip, in my signature red or pink, always adds personality to my outfits and I love bringing out my green eyes with black, winged eye liner. Unique pieces of jewellery that I've picked up on my travels become treasured memories that I wear.
When I look in the mirror, I see pieces that match my personal preferences. I feel in sync with who I am and my style expression feels true and in alignment for me, and that feels great.
That's why copying someone's else's style, or buying the entire outfit on display in the shopfront, will so rarely put us on the path to true style. We need to bring our own sense of self and authenticity to the equation.
Even though I work with six different style archetypes, which help to define the types of clothes and styles that work for different personalities, everyone's expression of those and their mix of archetypes is different. Your most authentic style expression is made up of all the parts that are you.
So be willing to go on a journey of self discovery and start to seek out clothes that really light you up and feel like they are an extension of you. Keep a physical or virtual style book to remind yourself and keep track of all the things that you are drawn to and that inspire you. Make note of what works for you - what styles and colours flatter you, what shapes and designs show off your best parts, what feels good for you to wear.
And once you've found your personal style expression, stick with it. Let it become your signature style.