I am a creature of habit in many things, outfits not excluded. When you know what you like, what looks best on you and what makes you feel like the best version of yourself, why wouldn’t you wear it often? We all deserve to feel good in our skin and clothes. In lookbook format, I’ve broken down five of the building blocks that shape my signature style.
In short, your signature style is embracing what makes you feel the most “you.” It’s identifying and wearing the pieces that consistently instill the ‘look good, feel good’ confidence boost; it’s not about chasing trends or dressing in vain. It’s simply wearing what you like to wear because you like to wear it – how you express yourself and your brand. Style extends past outfits and could include picking the same color every time at the nail salon, wearing fun socks every day or having ornate earrings on even when wearing a sweatshirt.
Any who, diving in – I’ve outlined five items I gravitate toward that make up the puzzle known as my style. As I like to say, these are super on brand for me (that’s the point).
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. I wear graphics t-shirts with everything. I would wear one every single day and quite frankly I almost do. No matter what, I’ll find a way to make a t-shirt work – like that time I wore a “GIRL GANG” t-shirt with a skirt to an professional event at a local university. Graphic tees can be paired with anything from skirts to jeans and overalls and sometimes just take some small “alterations” to pull the look together like a belt or rolling the sleeves [tip: safety pin the rolled sleeves in place]. I recently purchased a mystery bundle of vintage tee’s on Poshmark, which was both suspenseful and rewarding, and now that I think about it, I just might buy another bundle….
The first midi skirt I fell in love with (in recent memory) was a perfect heather grey Bisou Bisou skirt; the fabric tucked and hugged in all the right places. It quickly became a staple in my closet, both to dress up or down, often paired with another favorite, graphic tees. Midi skirts are the perfect mix of feminine, modest and classic and (fashionably) appropriate for almost any situation. I have an ever growing collection of midi’s, including dresses, that I’ll be taking to my grave.
Cue “I’m Kelly Kapoor, the Business bitch” energy. Blazers are versatile pieces that can completely transform any look and are encouraged outside of the office. I almost always wear blazers with t-shirts, but my favorite bottoms to pair with are jeans, (mini) skirts and shorts. As of right now, I have about 15 blazers – ranging from your classic black(s) to your bold reds and greyscale cheetahs. And of course, 3 shades of solid pink. And three totally different black/white striped blazers which doesn’t even include the white with tiny black pinstripes…
I am all about a good statement piece in their many forms: necklaces, shoes, jackets, belts and more. Accessories that are meant to catch your eyes have always caught my heart. I’ve never shied away from bold pieces so statements can be found throughout my wardrobe, but I like to sprinkle them in day to day. My absolute favorite necklace is my “spoon necklace” made with two layered rows of tiny silver spoon-like pieces; it’s large, shiny and embodies the statement lifestyle, rarely does it go unnoticed by anyone. Shoe-wise, the phrase “but how often will I wear these?” has never stopped me from pursuing bold shoes in varying styles: red, cheetah, snakeskin, floral, (two) studded, metallic, glitter, (2) gold heeled and pops of white white. Other favorites? Studded and metallic jackets and bejeweled belts; never underestimate the power of a good belt.
So on trend but so deserving – sneakers are both comfy and versatile while ranging in so many different styles. White sneakers are a classic but I find myself reaching for my Vans (cream, pink and checkered) and pink metallic platforms more often than my heels these days. It’s hard to pass up the comfort of a sneaker when it makes your outfit a little more playful, unexpected and casual.
Style is a personal journey
As I’ve been navigating this whole blogging thing, I realized how much my style has evolved over the years. I used to wear a little bit of everything to showcase the width of what I could pull off; I learned my width was often influenced by my impulsivity (or maybe my ADD). An eye-catching color, a fabric that was too beautiful to pass up, a sale shirt or some other adjective would push me to buy the item without finding its place within my wardrobe. Often, those purchases sit in my closet untouched or cause frustration when I try to style them. I had to teach myself to acknowledge the difference between a beautiful top and tops that would incorporate into my closet beautifully. Now I only purchase what I can easily incorporate into my closet – better for my wallet, the environment, and my future self that cringes at photos of me wearing bleh outfits.
I ditched the desire to have width in clothing and embraced the depth of my style – I can be feminine, masculine, minimalist, bold, romantic and classic without leaving my style realm.
What’s your signature style?
Do you know what your signature style is? If not, start by thinking about pieces you love – why do you love them? Is it the color? Fabric? Pattern? How it hugs your body, or doesn’t? Easy to style? Find the adjectives that you enjoy about it. Find those adjectives in other pieces. Build onto those pieces. Maybe you really love floral or stripes – find items that you might not have (maybe pants, shorts, headband, purse) to help incorporate that into your life more. If you love black shirts because they’re slimming, then build on black shirts instead of the pink ones that make you feel otherwise (but you want to wear for whatever reasons). Save the pink for lipstick or accessories.
Are there items that make you say “I wish I could wear this every day” when you put it on? You could start by finding new versions of that piece or getting creative in transforming it for each outfit. For example, I could wear midi skirts/dresses every day so to spice up what I have, I can turn the midi dresses into skirts simply by putting a top over the dress and knotting the top to cinch the waist (or not) or tying it all together with a belt – voila, at least doubled the number of potential looks with some creativity.
Do you have to stop yourself from buying something because you have something like it already? Pro-tip that’s not a pro-tip: that means you actually really like that style and should explore variations of that piece. I have multiple items in two different colors. Don’t ignore something because you already have a similar item – that just might be your signature style.
Describe your most authentic style in three words. Classic? Conservative? Bold? Practical? Once you’ve identified those descriptors, keep them in mind when you shop. It’s easy to be distracted by all of the clothing in a store (believe me, I know) but if you’re mindful you’ll walk out with fewer “closet filler” items.
Ask others to describe your style. Are you the “fun pants” girl at work? The guy that wears a suit on casual Friday? Can someone count on you to look “polished/boho/colorful” every day?
Figuring out your style is a personal journey that we all experience differently – no one has the same closet (note: not fact checked). It may seem frivolous or unnecessary, but style plays a part in establishing your overall brand, but we’ll get into branding at a later date…..
Casual, cool, street influenced
My signature style is casual, cool and street influenced. It’s also usually neutral in color but not muted. Often it makes a statement and hates blending in with the crowd. My style is me.
thanks for reading! i’d love to hear about your style journey, signature style or that vintage t-shirt you just copped at a thrift store that makes you feel like a 90s grunge badass (also direct me to that thrift store). What makes you, you? xo