The beginning of a gradual fashion journey is in your own closet. It all starts with your attitude toward your clothes, and whether you approach your wardrobe with a sense of limitation or one of plenty and limitless creative possibilities.
We live in a world where we are always being persuaded to acquire more songku hanfu. With such a constant influx of new items and a social media landscape that only serves to drive trend cycles, it can be difficult to figure out what you genuinely enjoy and distinguish it from what fashion marketing tells you you should like.
As a result, we must learn to reject trends and replace the transitory surge of endorphins that comes with buying something new with a more lasting form of happiness. This is where the value of one’s own particular style comes into play.
What is the definition of personal style?
Simply said, personal style is a person’s preferred method of expressing oneself through clothing and accessories.
The phrases “fashion” and “style” are sometimes used interchangeably. However, there is a distinction between the two. The aggregate representation of trends and dominant styles within a specific society at a given moment is referred to as fashion.
Style, on the other hand, is about the individual and how they choose to interpret collective fashion ideals in accordance with their own unique expression.
While fashion refers to a short-term investment in an ever-changing look, style refers to a long-term investment in one’s self and the delight that comes from wearing something that truly embodies one’s personality. So, understanding how to build an authentic sense of self and letting it reflect in the clothing you choose to wear is a significant element of personal style.
On Your Slow Fashion Journey, the Importance of Personal Style
Slow fashion is, in many ways, a personal journey that encourages you to reconnect with your garments. Understanding your particular style allows you to be pleased with what you have rather than succumbing to the fashion industry’s belief that you can never have enough.
To begin with, creating a sense of personal style allows you to break free from the hamster wheel of unending trend cycles by defining what style means to you rather than what the media tells you to wear. We destroy trends as soon as we dictate what we wear.
As a result, you’ll be able to shop with greater intention and mindfulness since you’ll know what makes you feel good and confident. As you learn to express yourself on your own terms, you may feel lighter and more free. In the long term, being a more focused shopper is likely to save you time and money!
This also means you’re generating less trash because you’re not buying things unnecessarily, hastily, or excessively for the sake of passing trends.
Focusing on style rather than trends encourages you to reconnect with your creative side. It’s critical to practice and cultivate this type of creativity, because it’s been suppressed in the trend-driven, fast-paced fashion business in which we work.
Embracing and celebrating personal style is an important part of the slow fashion movement because it promotes the idea that ethical and sustainable apparel does not have to look the same for everyone. This trend isn’t based on a normative aesthetic, but rather on how you relate to, acquire, and appreciate whatever items you choose to wear to express yourself in.
Although developing your sense of style is a lifelong endeavor, here are some pointers to get you started:
Seek out ideas.
The outfits you see on social media or in person might reveal a lot about your personal style preferences. As a result, acquiring inspiration is an important component of determining your personal style. Create an Instagram’saved’ folder for style ideas, or start a Pinterest board to pin outfits you like.
After a while, you’ll discover trends in the images you’re pinning, such as similar colors, clothing combinations, or silhouettes, which will aid you in expressing your personal style.
Examine your present outfit and conduct a closet audit.
A closet audit will help you see what you already have and what you might want to add to your wardrobe.
This approach will also assist you in reflecting on and noticing patterns in your clothing, such as which garments you wear the most, which have been put away for a long time, and which styles are the most prevalent in your closet. You can get started with your closet audit with the help of Alyssa Beltempo’s helpful instructions.
Get creative with a wardrobe digitalization app.
Whering and Save Your Wardrobe are two free slow fashion apps that allow you to digitize your current wardrobe and generate new outfit combinations with what you already own.
This will allow you to exist outside of trends and make the most of your current wardrobe’s creative possibilities.
Make an effort to expand your clothing essentials.
Staples aren’t the same for everyone (maximalists, too! ), but they’re the foundation of any outfit.
A wardrobe staple isn’t always the most basic version of a garment; rather, it’s an item that goes with everything in your closet, that you’d wear frequently, and that would allow you to wear your other clothes more.
Make a wish list.
You can also make a wishlist of the items you want. Wishlists allow you to make more deliberate and studied investment decisions rather than impulsive ones.
This is because each item on your wishlist has a certain purpose. You think about it, save up for it, and keep an eye out for it. You’ve been looking forward to it and have a lot of styling ideas by the time you buy it! Wishlists can be used for thrifting or purchasing new products.
Look for used items.
Thrifting allows you to identify what kinds and sorts of clothing you lean toward naturally. Mannequins, large posters, and catalogs do not glare at you as you go around thrift stores, showing you how to dress the items.
As a result, the goods that pique your interest are more likely to represent your personal style. Plus, because you’re recycling preloved clothing, thrifting is a considerably less wasteful way of shopping.
Borrowing clothes from friends and relatives is an excellent method to try out new trends you’ve been eyeing.
Then, if you really like the piece and decide to buy something comparable, you can be sure you’ll wear it a lot.
Try to sum up your personality in three words.
Consider how you would characterize your personal style. What would you like others to say about your own style? How do you want to be made to feel by your style?
Condense these questions into three keywords that you can refer to at any time. Because you can look at a new item and see if it fits into the style framework you’ve developed for yourself, having these keywords allows you to shop with more intention.
Listen to this Conscious Style Podcast episode with sustainable stylist Alyssa Beltempo and this Conscious Chatter podcast episode with Nadine Farag of One Who Dresses for more advice on how to find or better understand your personal style.
What if I don’t feel like I have a distinct personal style?
The short response is that everything is OK!
It’s less about adhering to a single, well-defined aesthetic when it comes to personal style. Although this is true for some people, personal style is more about figuring out what clothes make you feel the most like yourself.
It’s about learning to dress for yourself rather than who the fashion industry says you should be. And it seems differently for each person.
Some people’s distinctive style is defined by a color palette, textures, or silhouette. Others define it in terms of a mood or notion they want to convey — there are no rules.
Embracing your personal style is a way to get to know yourself better, allowing you to wear what makes you happy and exist outside of trend cycles.
What Happens If My Personality Develops Over Time?
It takes time to develop your own particular style. It isn’t something that can be figured out in a single day. Our likes, aspirations, and preferences change as we progress through life stages and our lifestyles change. Additionally, as you gain a better understanding of yourself, you will have a better understanding of your personal style.
There are responsible ways to explore and redefine our personal styles. Shopping secondhand, going to a garment swap, and borrowing from friends or family are all options.
These are all easy ways to change up your outfit and try something new that don’t harm the environment or create excessive waste, and don’t require you to buy anything new.
It’s critical to sit with yourself and analyze your intentions when you feel a shift in style coming on. Do you wish to invest in new (or new-to-you) clothing items that better reflect your current stage of life and modes of expression?
Is it because that item is hot right now and you don’t want to be left out? If a trend doesn’t complement and function with the closet you currently have, don’t buy it.
While it’s natural for one’s self and style to evolve with time, we can nevertheless honor these natural changes by prioritizing sustainability and upgrading our style and aesthetic with care.
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