Developing a personal style: here's some advice | Bleader

Developing a personal style: here's some advice


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In all the blogs, books, magazines, and TV shows about fashion, shopping, and style, few address the issue of how to develop your own personal style. Perhaps that’s because the proliferation of websites and social media has given everyone free rein to judge everyone else on their fashion choices. We’re all scared of Doing It Wrong.

Playing it safe you’ll always look good, but not necessarily memorable. Developing your own style means taking risks. It means experimenting. It means making mistakes. The good news is that most of us are not terribly famous, so it’s unlikely that Tom and Lorenzo will call us out when things don't quite work.

Personal style is all about you—what attracts your eye, what you like to wear, and what looks good on you. So the first step is to pay attention to what you’re drawn to on a regular basis. It could be a color, a mood, an era, or a combination of all of these things and more. Gradations of gray? Giant pendants the size of appetizer plates? The Beatles in Hamburg? The 1940s? Study what pricks an emotional response in you.

The second step is to adapt what you like to your own body and comfort level. Love the color red but it overwhelms your coloring and features? Keep it away from your face and go for red shoes and accessories instead. Have a yen to dandify your wardrobe but you’re afraid of going whole-hog? Sprinkle some suspenders into your ensembles. Slowly build up your confidence. People with style don't give a shit what others think. If you've got enough chutzpah, you could pull off a ball gown at a breakfast meeting.

Nobody’s saying you have to go full-on eccentric—most of us want to fit in to some degree. Plus, being a full-time style icon has to be exhausting and even limiting occasionally—sometimes you just want to wear jeans. But developing your own style means being yourself, which for some is the scariest thing of all.

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