Fashion is expression, and your personal style dictates what you say about yourself.
If you already know what your personal style looks like, great! If not, don’t despair.
You can find lots of helpful tips on to develop your own signature fashion style in the PERSONAL STYLE section.
But for now let's find out how you can find and develop your fashion style and what types of common styles there are.
Finding your own fashion style can take years of trial and error and it is hardly ever static. Our ways of dressing change as we grow older, or enter new chapters in our life.
In some cases, a person's fashion style evolves gradually; in other cases, it's a radical shift from one to another.
And in many cases, people don't even know what their style is or simply don't have one.
This is not just a question of looking dressy and fashionable. If you don't define your style or own lots of different garments, you will have hard time coordinating them.
Now, there is nothing wrong with having more than one fashion style, as long as you are aware of all of them and incorporate them strategically into your wardrobe.
The first step to defining your style is by looking for inspiration. There are lots ways you can do this:
A good way of finding out what you like is by looking for inspiration online and creating a vision board. Instagram and Pinterest are great tools for this job.
You can look at different fashion bloggers' styles, celebrities, fashion magazines, or even clothing retailers for inspiration. Whatever grabs your attention, add it to your vision board.
And once you come to editing your vision boards, you might notice that the outfits you chose are all quite similar in some aspect. You are on track to finding your personal style!
One thing to note with celebrities is that it’s generally better if your famous person is not someone from the past. If they are, you might be stuck with only a few images to go by.
So let's assume you absolutely love Brigitte Bardot and the 1960’s style. While there are quite a few pictures of Brigitte floating around the internet, there isn't a huge amount of them. And there won’t be any new pictures. In addition, by copying her exact style, you might also find yourself a bit outdated.
So what do you do instead if you absolutely love 60’s fashion?
Find current bloggers or celebrities that embrace that era! This way you won’t run out of new inspiration and the outfits will be current and fresh even though they are inspired by an era gone by.
Finally, look into your own wardrobe for inspiration.
Which items in there do you like the most? Which ones are the items that you reach for over and over again? Examine what it is you like about them. Take pictures of your favourite garments and add them to your vision boards.
If you want to change your style, this is a great opportunity to do so!
Again I would recommend that you start by creating a vision board to find out what direction you want to head in. To start you off, look at the following style categories and choose one or more categories that appeal to you:
This is an unconventional fashion style characterised by bright and bold colours and large - artsy - prints. Clothes and accessories have unusual silhouettes in surprising shapes and are mostly handcrafted and in handmade fabrics.
An artsy fashion style invokes independent creativity. The followers of this fashion style are usually the ones that want to make a statement of their own through the clothes they wear.
Artsy outfits are not restricted by the usual textbook nature of styling.
A style similar to artsy is the bohemian fashion style, which uses extravagant and wild patterns on exotic textures. It usually takes inspiration from gypsy and hippie looks. While artsy colours are always bright, bohemian colours can be both bright and muted. The clothing is made from free and flowy fabrics and natural materials. Fits are generally relaxed. Accessories tend to be handcrafted.
The best way to describe bohemian would be to use the word non-traditional. The style is more commonly referred to as ‘Boho’.
The casual fashion style is neither sloppy nor overly elegant. Instead, it is a form of elegance but not at the sacrifice of comfort. Relaxed fitted t-shirts and jeans are often the featured garments of this style. Colours tend to be neutral or muted rather than bold and wild.
Even accessories tend to have a relaxed look about them. Casual dressers tend to keep their outfits simple and match the accessories with what they are wearing.
The chic style is characterised by being trendy and fashionable. It is a type of statement to make oneself look smart and striking. Well tailored stylish designs that are at the same time pretty and classy are characteristic of a chic style. Strong - but not extravagant - colours are favoured with perfectly matched accessories.T
The point of the chic style is that it is supposed to look casual but in a not so casual way.
The classic fashion style expresses a sense of stability and comfort. It is built on mainly three basic colours - black, grey, and beige. Garments feature impeccable tailoring and clean, straight lines.
Timeless classic style focuses on simple elegance. Often clothes and accessories are from premium and luxury brands.
Exactly what it sounds like, the eclectic fashion style is nothing but unconventional. Clothes and accessories that normally wouldn’t work together are combined into one outfit. The resulting look does not only work but also stands out.
Eclectic style is reflective of unique and bold personalities. Having an eclectic style can be a challenge, but it definitely makes the person noticed and appreciated for their creativity and ability to translate quirk and fun into their outfits without making them look messy or mismatched.
The feminine fashion style is the ultimate celebration of everything girly.
Clothes, accessories, and make-up tend to heavily feature pink or other pastel tones. Dresses and skirts are abundant in a feminine wardrobe, as are blouses with cute details, bows, ruffles, flounces, and lace. Heels and strappy sandals or a cute pair of ballerinas with a little bow finish off a feminine outfit.
A flamboyant fashion style is not for everyone. It is often mysterious and intriguing and centres around rich colours, embroidery, mysterious patterns, prints, and mosaics.
This fashion style is associated with drama. Garments may be asymmetrical and exaggerated - such as an oversized suit. But its main characteristic is that it is absurdly colourful and splashy. Guaranteed to attract attention!
Often seen in high-fashion magazines, the glamorous fashion style features avant-garde garments, rich fabrics, structured silhouettes, and unconventional cuts.
Meant to be attention-grabbing, it's a precious, perfectly polished look.
Bright and fabulous, it is never complete without jewels, silk, and satin. Some ways to incorporate glamour into an outfit are statement earrings, metallic belts with gold trims, chunky jewellery, asymmetric heels, gold cuffs, statement boots, and elegant clutches.
Originating in the 1980s, the grunge fashion style is all about the "I-don't-care" look. Clothes are form-fitting and layering is often used to create an oversize silhouette. Staples for this fashion style include vintage t-shirts, ripped denim, leather jackets, skinny leather trousers, black boots or spiky heels, bomber and motorcycle jackets, fishnet stocking, and dark colours, both in garments, accessories and for make up. Studs often feature in clothing and accessories, and jewellery includes chunky bracelets and spiky necklaces.
Not just a lifestyle, minimalism can also be a fashion style. In this case, it does not necessarily mean only owning a few items of clothing but working with a limited colour palette. Often, the colour palette will consist of nothing more than black and white, or may even be monochromatic. Garments are simple and clean, and you won't find any frills, ruffles, or bold, wild prints. Accessories are kept to a minimum.
The preppy fashion style emerged from the outfits of prep school students in North-eastern America. Nowadays, though, this style has been adopted outside these campuses as well.Collared t-shirts and girly blouses are matched with A-line skirts. Straight leg chinos or khakis, polo shirts, button-down oxfords, Henley shirts paired with sports jackets, crew neck sweaters, and plaid short skirts are also hallmarks of the preppy style. Accessories feature little headbands and geeky glasses. Even though this may seem like an expensive style, it is not that luxurious.
For the provocative fashion style, it's all about showing off one's best features. Definitely a look to attract attention, the high-fitted and short garments leave the bare minimum for the imagination. Exposure is to be at the maximum and skin is shown freely and generously. Mostly accompanied by heels, shorts or tight skirts, tight fitting tops are chosen to show off legs, bust and stomach.
The romantic fashion style is often linked to the feminine style, but frequently it does not feature pink as heavily. Instead, floral patterns are predominant. Ruffles, lace, pleats, and whimsy details can also be found on garments and accessories. Clothes tend to be rounded, often with a lot of draping. Some typical romantic items of clothing include homecoming dresses, hearts, flowers, and cute accessories.
A sophisticated fashion style requires all garments and accessories to be of the highest quality. Outfits tend to focus on showing off quality, polished manners, and culture. Typically, this fashion style is associated with higher status and business. But this is does not mean that it is purely a business look. Often, it is less formal than business formal. Culture and luxury are at the centre for those who choose this style of fashion.
Thanks to recent fashion trends, it is now perfectly acceptable to be sporting sportswear without actually heading to the gym. A sporty fashion style is a newer form of casual wear.
An alternative term is activewear, and trendy sportswear is also known as athleisure. To cater for this trend, most sportswear is now made from fabric that is comfortable enough to be worn anywhere and stretchy enough to be form-fitting and attractive, without losing its shape. If you want to follow this fashion style, invest in leggings, tank tops, sports bras, and yoga pants.
The tomboy fashion style is the opposite of the feminine style. Instead of highlighting femininity, it is about embracing the masculine. Black is often preferred over pink, and bottoms tend to be baggy paired with graphic t-shirts. Garments may also be bought directly from the men's section. Clothes come without frills and laces typically associated with a girly look.
The vintage fashion style is a blast from the past. From flapper dresses to pinup clothing and from retro swimwear to indie clothing, the vintage look is a culmination of fashion from the 1920’s to the 1970’s. It is the one trend that stood the test of time.
The point of this exercise is not to be confined to the categories you have chosen - this is also not an exhausting list!
You might find that the clothing you like is very unique and doesn’t fit into any of these categories. That’s absolutely fine! Go with what you like, the goal is to develop an overall theme or frame for your wardrobe. (It is also very much possible that this theme will evolve more and more the further down the planning steps we get and also over time).
If you find that there are several quite different categories that all appeal to you equally, you can select all of them. However, in order to develop a theme for your wardrobe, I would not recommend that you dress romantically one day and then sporty the next.
Rather, when it comes to crafting outfits try to incorporate elements of multiple style categories into one outfit. For example, you could wear a dress paired with sneakers.
This way your theme will run through all of your outfits and your outfits will look consistent.