How Do You Define Your Personal Style?

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Some may refer to their own style as cute or playful, while others take to coining their look as a parallel to people, such as dressing like the first ladies, edgy and retro like Twiggy or Edie, or even Chloe Sevigny-esque. Magazines offer online quizzes, where inevitably for the 5th time you are a “Carrie” or a “90s grunge girl”. But how would you describe your style, and what steps will you take to really determine this?

First question: Which 3 designers would you choose to fill your forever wardrobe?  For some, the answer comes easy. My friend Sarah would ramble off the following:  Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Tom Ford, in no particular order.  I have a much more difficult time with this question, as I find myself and my personal style and focus to be spastic and constantly after something out of reach.  3 brands? Definitely Chanel, Raf Simons for Jil Sander and Dior, and Alexander Wang.  Wait, no, let me start over.  Wang, Public School, and Chanel… What about Acne Studios, or Celine? Ask me to choose one designer for my forever wardrobe and it would be simple:  Alexander Wang.  Now I need to choose 3?  Hopefully you have your answer and this gets you one step closer to finding out your style.

You would think that a good starting off point to determining your aesthetic would be to establish the designers who influence your everyday personal style. If this is already too difficult, how do you move forward with answering the question: How do you describe your style? There are several other factors to consider.

  1. Let’s figure out the “nos”. I was never a Tom Boy, even though I love sneakers, comfort, and men’s influences (more in the form of nuances or small details).  I’d love to be that girl who can dress like a dude, layering basketball shorts over tights and taking major influence from brands like HBA – but I’m just not that kind of girl (no pun intended Dunham). Instead I head to Hood By Air online and just watch the model go in and out of the screen in provocative progressive menswear. I still appreciate it. Do I follow trends? Not entirely, because I’d rather wear what looks flattering on my body rather than what’s in mode. Lastly, I’m not really a stiletto aficionado. I’d rather have 20 pairs of bootie heels and one perfect pump rather than vice versa. One things for sure though: The shoe obsession is real.
  2. Let’s figure out the “must-haves”. It really comes down to taking a moment to analyze your closet.  My winter wardrobe is full of baby doll dresses, girly prints, leather, fur, lots of black, white, and a few pops of color. There is some vintage mixed in with designer, and I wouldn’t go anywhere without my sock collection. There are button up oxfords, unworn YSL platforms, and a few Alexander Wang handbags.  There is more shoes than jeans, which is generally an issue. I prefer skater skirts, high necks, long or short sleeves but rarely show my arms, and comfort-ability in the form of flats, boots, or thicker platforms.

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  3. Let’s figure out what “inspires”. I listen to Nirvana, and I sway to Joni Mitchell, Tom Krell, and Bob Dylan. I couldn’t fathom living outside the city, but I love getting away into nature and exploring secret coves. Beautiful flowers like peonies, freesia, orchids, and lilies excite me, as do books about life, love, fashion, and history. I can always appreciate art and poetry, as life would be so boring without the Warhols or Bukowskis of the world. And I can’t forget about film and my personal style icons who play major roles influencing my aesthetic. Combine that and the real people I grow to know and love everyday, I can be inspired simply through a great conversation. And to get less deep and personal, Pinterest is always a good time.
  4. Let’s analyze the “right now”. Right now I’m wearing an Alexander Wang blazer, overtop of a white and black button down shirt over velvet leggings and white shiny Nike Theas. I’m a little bit athleisure and a little bit refined.

How do I describe my style? Just like every aspect of my life – my style choices are constantly evolving. My style is influenced by the Pacific North West and the grunge scene of the 90s that trickled up from Seattle. My style is refined meets eastside, with a little 1960s flair just for kicks and giggles. There is this fine balance between adopting trends and marching to the beat of my own drum. I relish in the fact that I’m an unconventional chameleon opportunist who takes cues from her environment and her conscious/subconscious mind. For a personal style blogger, not curating a focused style could be detrimental to progressing into an influencer (note: read this article about the importance of this idea on IFB). However, I’m a risk taker who again, constantly evolves. I’m not ready to determine my niche and define the way my style is going to be. Yet, I will forever be the girly girl who likes to kick the dirt and dance on tables in the bar. You may see me in some high heels but I also rock vintage plaid or roughed up, blood stained leather. There are stories to each and every piece I own, and in my eyes, that’s the most important and the most authentic attribute to my style. At least, there’s that.

Now I ask you: Who are you, and how does this influence your personal style?

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