Something I’m always umming and ahhing on is my personal style, I never truly know where I sit with myself because I’m always into new things. So whilst I skip from phase to phase within my personal style and outlook on fashion, there’s a few things that I can bear in mind to keep my outfits consistent and well thought out.
It’s no secret that I studied fashion for a year at college, so whilst I was there I obviously did pick up a thing or two, I found my first year fairly art-focused though so whilst I was creating and designing garments, I was careful to consider a few rules, which I still apply in my outfits today.
The Foundations of a Good Outfit
As I’ve gotten older and learned more about fashion, style and art, one thing that I’ve learned and stuck to is that there are foundations to making a good outfit; there’s steps that you take. Obviously some trends break the rules and work really well, but even then the foundations are always still there. I think that there are a lot of influencers who use this same rule in their outfits which is why for the most part, things pick up and start trending because what they wore looks really well put together.
So what are the foundations?
- Colour scheme
These are the four things that you need to bear in mind when you’re aiming for a more put-together style. I like to think about my colour scheme the most because this is often what stands out the most, when colours work well together it’s normally the first thing that you latch onto, if you paid attention in art class as a child then you’ll know which colours are complimentary to each other, a good example is yellow and purple, but monochrome is also in style, always, so if you wore an outfit which consisted entirely of purple, there may be more things to consider – such as what fabrics you’re wearing.
It’s pretty obvious that mixing fabrics is unavoidable in this day and age but there are certain fabrics that compliment each other more than others. For example cotton and denim work well together as they’re similar enough to not look too harsh on the eye, however if you wore denim with a smoother material it’d seem harsh and unappealing. Another example of two different fabrics that work well together is tweed and leather, you often see this on the red carpet, specifically amongst men, this is mostly seen in suits but women can also but their own twist on this fabric comination, a velvet blouse with a tweed blazer would be a great feminine touch. When putting an outfit together you should be considering fabrics, in the same way that monochrome colours work together, matching fabrics also works, but as I said: mixing has become unavoidable as time has gone on so pay close attention to what you’re wearing.
With the fit of your clothes and layers, they come hand-in-hand, I think that Billie Eilish is a good example of someone who breaks the rules when it comes to how clothes fit her, and she pulls it off pretty well, but I think that this is something that not everyone can pull off; I certainly couldn’t wear clothes that are so oversized you can’t make out my figure, but I also agree with the rule-breaking approach that we’ve taken to how clothes fit us, I actually think that if we look and feel confident with what we wear, how an item fits us is a forgettable rule; obviously there’s exceptions and limits to this, but confidence is key with a good outfit. I feel more comfortable in looser fabrics that I can tuck in or wear slightly baggier but I also won’t shy away from a more “straight” fit with peg leg trousers being a go-to for me.
What makes “personal style”?
This is a question I’m forever asking myself and I always come up with an answer that resonates with me a lot, and always has. Personal Style is just another phrase for self expression, as far as I’m concerned. Your personal style is another extension of your personality and who you are as a person. That’s why sub-cultures were developed such as preppy, goth and more recently the e-girl/boy sub-culture.
What makes good personal style is another thing though, we can be interested in things and belong to a certain sub-culture within fashion but how well we pull it off as far as our outfits and style goes is an entirely different element to touch on. I think good personal style comes from an interest in wanting to wear clothes that compliment each other.
This is something that I realised on a personal scale; I’m somebody that is bothered about what I wear and something I think about before I go to bed is fashion and outfits, what I wear to work isn’t a good reflection on this, the industry I work in means that my clothes will get ruined by smells and substances so I often wear clothes that I don’t like anymore and rarely look well put-together, but in my outside life I’m always thinking about what I own and what I could pair it with, I’m completely bothered by how my outfits look, however I’ve had experiences with people who couldn’t care less about it and wore things just because they need to clothe, not necessarily because they want to present themselves a certain way.
So if you’re only just feeling like you care about what you wear then you can relate to both ends of the spectrum, but I do feel like I’ve always had it drilled into me that how I present myself to the world matters in some capacity, so I’ve always felt bothered by how I appear, this isn’t a good thing or a bad thing as such because as with everything there are pros and cons but it also formulated a love of fashion and as a result, I pay close attention to trends and I definitely tend to hop from one thing to the next a lot because well: I like everything.
How to establish your personal style
You already have. We all know what we like and how we’d like to look so in your mind, you know what your personal style is. I think it’s the execution which a lot of us struggle with and if like me you’re a hopper it can be difficult to be consistent with an aesthetic, but despite how I’m writing this, I also don’t think that’s a bad thing either.
I think that a good way to teach yourself how to execute your personal style and really get comfortable with it is by making mood boards or collages (be honest: you were waiting for me to say that). Pinterest is my favourite site for making mood boards but if that’s not your slice, then I can’t recommend Polyvore enough. I used Polyvore in my teenage years because it would help me to come up with an outfit and give myself some guidance, I would use the “clip to polyvore” add-on so that whenever I thought about buying something, I’d know how I wanted to wear it and it’d help me see if the outfit that I created in my mind actually looked good.
This is just what I did and often still do though, I don’t actually think there’s a right or wrong way to establish your personal style but I do think that if you’re worried about planning or how to get started, that’s a good way to do it. If you want to jump in head first there’s also nothing wrong with that either, fashion is all about having fun and expressing yourself so like I said: there’s rules and guidelines but the general consensus is that rules should be broken.