Slower Fashion & Honest Beauty

Friday, 3 January 2020

What it REALLY means to Find your Style * 5 Easy Steps

5 steps to REALLY finding your personal style | Fake Fabulous

Today I'm want to talk about how to find your TRUE personal style, stop wasting money and always feel your fabulous best!
Bold statement?
Yes!
But, it's easier than you think.


Finding your personal style is a BIG clichéd statement that we've all heard a thousand times.
I want to remove the confusion and make it as easy as possible to get it right.

Finding your personal style is the first step to a more organised, efficient and sustainable style-life.

In 2020 we're all much more conscious about reducing our impact, stopping over-consuming and reducing our wasteful habits.
I think that most people would like to live a more sustainable life, especially when it comes to fashion.

Having a focused wardrobe will help you achieve these goals and it's easier than you might think.

Finding your personal style is NOT a question of deciding if you fit into a traditional style-type 'Box'.

We've all seen those blog posts/ Youtube videos/ books/ magazine articles that talk about style 'types'.
Are any of these familiar?
  • Classic Style
  • Avant-garde Style
  • Bohemian Style
  • Romantic/Feminine Style
  • Minimal Style
  • Androgynous Style
  • Sporty/Casual Style

For me, this is an unworkable system.
It just doesn't fit ME or MY life.
I'm not one thing.
I'm many different things.
Different (style) moods on different days.

For example...

  • On a warm summer's day, I might feel like wearing a boho dress or a feminine, floaty frock. (Am I Boho? Feminine? Romantic?)
  • On a cold winter's day, I might rock an avant-garde colourful look with a masculine edge. (Does this make me Avant-garde? Androgynous?)
  • Maybe I'll put together a simple and classic-looking outfit for a formal work event? (Am I now a Classic? Minimal?)
  • Or, maybe I'll be wearing a minimal but sporty look for a weekend? (Am I Sporty? Minimal? Casual???)
You get the idea.

The bottom line is that MY STYLE CHANGES... and your's probably does too.

Maybe your style depends on the season?
The event you're attending?
Maybe your mood on any given day?
Or all three of the above?!

If this sounds familiar, embrace it.
Don't put yourself in a box or feel that you NEED to be in a box in order to nail your personal style.

You CAN figure out your personal style, shop less, style and wear more and generally be fabulous without a boring [BOX] in sight!
Here's how to do it...

5 steps to REALLY finding your personal style | Fake Fabulous

How to REALLY determine your personal style in 5 easy steps...


1. Open your mind to change.

The first step is a mindset switch and it's easy as pie!
As I mentioned above you must forget 'boxes' and 'categories' when determining who you are.
Be open to possibilities.
Once you're ready to surprise yourself you can get stuck in with step 2!

2. Assess your REAL life and stop fantasy shopping.

Here is where we need to be completely honest with ourselves.
Sometimes it can be a bitter pill to swallow but it's an essential step to a more organised wardrobe and a happier life (honestly!)

Many (most?) of us are guilty of shopping for a fantasy life that we don't actually live.
Let me explain...

Maybe we're guilty of being influenced by influencers (or adverts)?
If we see an item all over the internet (or social media) we may feel like we need the item in our lives? {E.g Balenciaga trainers or those wicker summer bags from 2019}
Often, if an influencer mentions (or wears) an item we feel a compulsion to take a peek online... maybe even 'adding to cart'?
Before we know it we're entering our credit card details.

Maybe we shop for the 'fantasy us' that we wish we were?
Buying pieces that don't fit our real lives AT ALL!
Investing in a Chanel handbag when we live in sweats or a two-piece suit when we don't work corporate.
Spending a fortune on fabulous stilettos that we can't walk in?

Maybe we shop for a fantasy glamorous life that we wish we had?
Maybe we're drawn to sequined trousers or white-tie-event gowns when real-life nights out are a casual meal in the local pub and almost always involve jeans!

It's an easy trap to fall into and I'm as guilty as the next person.
I've coveted my favourite blogger's outfits and been tempted to click "Buy now" SO MANY times and I've made more than my fair share of shopping mistakes.

In order to stop this fantasy shopping, we need to be pretty strict with ourselves.
AND it's not always easy.

The first step is to get a large piece of paper and analyse your daily life.
Dividing up your time into how you really spend it.
Be honest.
This is your real life...NOT the life you wish you had.

For Example:
My life consists of...

  • Work (In the lab) [30%]
  • Working from home [20%]
  • Gym [10%]
  • Walking the dog [10%]
  • Meeting friends [10%]
  • Errands [10%]
  • Housework [5%]
  • Casual evenings out [5%]
  • Occasional BIG events [<1%]

Assessing the needs of your life is an essential step to a happier wardrobe.

My schedule means I have absolutely no need for corporate clothing and very little need for evening or event-wear.
I have a HUGE need for comfortable and practical footwear as well as comfortable, warm and practical clothing.

Impulse shopping for stilettos, summer dress (this is Scotland people!) or sequined gowns would be a complete waste of money for me.
Investing in cashmere joggers, decent gym leggings or quality boots would be a good call for my life needs.

Assess your life.
Be honest with yourself.
Do you need to invest more in quality loungewear and spend less on evening dresses?
Or, do you need to invest in your work wardrobe and a good quality classic bag?

Shopping for fantasy pieces is (of course) much more fun than shopping for winter boots or down-filled gilets BUT trust me when I tell you that a wardrobe full of wearable options is much better all round.
Nothing is more depressing than a fabulous (unworn) gown reminding you how glamorous-event-free your life is!

3. Make 4 piles

This step is a physical task that will help you to nail what it means to be YOU.
(Style-wise anyway)

Empty your wardrobe.
Not EVERYTHING in there, just the main players.
By that I mean forget about underthings (for now) and practical items (like down gilets and thermal base-layers) and pull out all of the pieces that make OUTFITS.

{NOTE: Remember that seasonally organised wardrobes will need to be sorted out in stages... one season at a time!}

Take a look at what you own...
  • Tops
  • Knits
  • Bottoms (Trousers/skirts/shorts/culottes/joggers/leggings)
  • Dresses
Don't forget...
  • Coats
  • Jackets
  • Bags
  • Shoes

Sort all of these items into 4 piles (they can be as messy or neat as you like!)

Pile no.1:
Items I love and wear/reach for at least once a week.

This pile is the easiest to assemble.
Be completely HONEST with yourself and add all of those pieces that are constantly on your back.
{Even if it's a pair of baggy grey ugly joggers.}

Anything you've worn this week (and last week... and the week before...).
Not all of these pieces will be pretty!
Some will be purely practical.
Some will be classics that make you feel amazing.
Some will be power players that work no matter what you're doing (like a great pair of jeans)
Remember to include these items that you can rely on for function and comfort... even if they're not very chic!


Pile no. 2:
Items I LOVE but hardly ever (or maybe NEVER?) wear.

This pile can tug at the heartstrings.
These items are pieces you love, that make your heart sing BUT hardly ever get an outing.

These can be luxury pieces that you are "saving" or are too worried to wear.
Maybe they're "fantasy" items from a fantasy life that you don't actually live... a tulle dress, a sequined pencil skirt, 5" killer-heeled shoes?

Maybe the items don't quite fit or you're waiting to slim into them (or fill them out?)
Whatever the reason, these items should fill you with happiness BUT a little sadness too because they're not getting enough wear.

Pile no. 3:
Items I feel I SHOULD love but somehow feel wrong, or don't look right, or I just don't like how I look in them!

This group of clothes is the saddest of all.
The biggest disappointments.
The TOTAL wastes of your hard-earned cash.

You know the score here ladies and gents....

  • Those sale 'bargains' in the wrong size.
  • Those sensible classic pieces you were told you need in your wardrobe because they're essential BUT you don't even like them (e.g. White shirts, black pencil skirts or a 'classic' shift dress).
  • Items that you've had for 20 years and can't bear to part with (even though they don't fit and/or make you look dated and frumpy)
  • Items that aren't cut quite right for your body shape.
  • Poor quality pieces that don't hang correctly or just fit where they touch (shudder).
This pile of pieces should be making you feel a little rubbish about your choices.
Don't worry though, we're going to fix it!

Pile no. 4:
Things you don't like or wear and are just taking up space in your wardrobe.

This pile is an easy one to fix.
It's those bits and bobs that you've not gotten round to getting rid of.
All they're doing is taking valuable space.

They need to go.
NOW.

{Give to a friend, sell, donate, re-cycle... the choice is yours}

Once you have assembled your piles you can move on to step 4.

4. Make notes to find your key words.

Here comes the fun bit...
Take some (or all) of your most worn pieces (from group 1) and your most-loved pieces (from group 2) and take a good look at them.
On a piece of paper write down a word (or words) that describes each piece.

For example...

My most worn pile contains (amongst other things) a pair of cream jumbo cords (paper bag style) and a leopard cropped jumper.

Trousers:

  • Warm
  • Bold
  • Edgy/fashionable
  • Comfortable
  • Casual
  • Androgenous
Jumper:
  • Cosy/warm
  • Bold
  • Fun and Cheeky
  • Modern
My most loved pile includes my sequined evening sandals and a full-length cream coat.

Sandals:

  • Bold
  • Interesting
  • Eclectic
  • Avant-garde
Coat:
  • Classic
  • Edgy
  • Bold
  • Military
  • Statement
  • Warm
As you can see from theses 4 pieces none of them are in a style box.
They're all ME, but all different.
Different styles for the different versions of me.
All dependant on the season, the mood and the event I need to attend.
The one thing they have in common is they're all BOLD.
They're all a little bit different... a little bit fun.

That is the common theme for my wardrobe.
Boldness.
Whether it's in a cut, fabric, pattern, colour or shape.
I love my clothes to stand out and say something.
My clothes are my armour.
My shield.
My confidence booster.

Find some common themes with your pieces.
As you write down a few words for each item you feel genuine love for you'll see a pattern developing.

Is it classic, minimal, elegant?
Is it bright, colourful, fun?
What about quality, luxe, lavish?

Whatever your pieces say to you embrace it and go with the flow.

When I shop I always try to go towards BOLD pieces that fit into my real-life-schedule... relaxed, cosy and practical.

I am, of course, still drawn to those sparkly pieces and impractical footwear BUT I do my best to resist.

5. Say Goodbye.

Sometimes it's hard BUT in order to feel lighter, more positive and more organised you HAVE to say goodbye to those items from piles 3 and 4 (and maybe even a few from pile 2?!)

Hang on to everything in pile 1... unless they've come to the end of their life.

Have a good look at pile 2... anything dated or that doesn't fit needs to go.

Piles 3 and 4 ... you know what you need to do!

Getting rid of clothes and accessories can feel daunting but it's well worth it.
Bite the bullet and do one (or all) of the following:

  • Give items away to a friend you know will suit them.
  • Donate good-quality pieces to charity.
  • Sell high-end items that aren't getting used.
  • If you have the skills re-work some pieces that just need a little tweak.
  • Recycle anything else!


{NOTE: NEVER throw anything in the bin! Even rags can be recycled.}


Once you've realised what your real-life requires and how your style personality fits into that you can begin to curate and invest in your wardrobe.

Once you have an organised space you will feel lighter, brighter and much more stylish!

Any further purchases you make will be more focused.

Focusing on pile one...
Maybe you can ditch your cheap grey joggers, or budget loungewear, and invest in some quality versions?
Investing in quality items you wear all of the time makes MUCH more sense than spending £100 on a party dress that you wear once.
Anything from pile 1 deserves to be the best quality you can afford... even if it's a pair of leggings and a vest top!

Focusing on pile two...
Anything from this pile that you're not wearing because you want to "Keep it good" is a complete waste, in every sense of the word.
Anything special you own that makes you happy needs to be getting used/worn NOW.
Start tomorrow and dig out those special items.
Use them and love them.
Any items from this pile that don't fit or are dated need to go.
It can be very hard but it needs to be done and you know it!

Focusing the contents of your wardrobe on your real life will make getting dressed in the morning quicker, easier and MUCH more enjoyable.
Plus, if you start using your most treasured pieces every day then every day will feel special.

Please share what aspect of your life needs wardrobe attention?
Do you need to invest in your loungewear, gym gear or workwear?
Are you guilty of fantasy-life shopping?
Do you own one too many pairs of heels?
I'd love to know!

5 steps to REALLY finding your personal style | Fake Fabulous

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6 comments

  1. Great timely post. HAPPY NEW YEAR! Lise

    ReplyDelete
  2. Talking complete sense as usual Samantha! My words are SIMPLICITY + OPULENCE. Eg a simple plain dress with a silk scarf. But within that I can 'be' anything I want!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Sarah... we can be whatever we want on any given day.
      I LOVE your words!!!
      XXX

      Delete
  3. great post!, love that you encourage us to wear everything existing in our wardrobes and to discard the less fabulous pieces, so our styles will improve!. Great tips!
    Totally agree that finding those words which define your style can make a difference!.
    And it's so important to shop appropriate clothes for your real lifestyle and predominant season. I'm guilty of daydreaming on shoes that I couldn't walk in. Sigh!
    besos

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too!
      A killer heel calls to me (like the sirens) and I'm instantly crippled :o)
      XXX

      Delete

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