3 Tips for Finding your Personal Style

3 Tips for Finding your Personal Style

3 tips for nailing your vibe.
finding your personal style

By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Feb 19 2024 | 6 min read

Honing in on your personal style is important, as it helps communicate to the world who you are as a person. That doesn’t mean it’s easy.

As a grown woman who’s made a career in fashion, you’d think I’d have skillfully honed my own sense of style perfectly by now.

You would be wrong.

I recently performed the intricate, bi-annual dance that is my winter-to-summer clothing swap (these fabled “hall closets” where winter coats can simply hang out all year long? Not in a city like NYC!).

What I found? That I didn’t have many warm weather clothes to pull out of storage!

A few pairs of fancy shorts, a dress or two, but that was about it. Turns out, I’d KonMari’d most of my warm weather wardrobe last fall.

The conundrum was a mixed blessing.

On the one hand, I have nothing to wear! On the other hand, I get to go shopping!

A woman cannot survive on fancy shorts alone, after all.

Before I even begin shopping, though, I consider how my personal style has changed since last year.

First, I think: “What do I want my clothes to say about me?”

Right now, I want my wardrobe to suggest: I am a strong boss woman. Like Rihanna says, Pay me what you owe me!

Then there’s the more innocent, but farther from reality: I am a laid-back city gal of independent means and indeterminate day-to-evening plans.

Do I want high-waisted skinny jeans and button-up blouses that make me feel tough and ready to take on the world? Or do I want easy-breezy frocks that can take me from an afternoon coffee to a later-that-afternoon Negroni at the drop of a wide-brimmed hat?

how to find your personal style
This is what I always look like in my head, if not in reality

All this indecision stresses me out.

Shouldn’t I know who I want to be by now? Shouldn’t I be more settled in my style?

The real answer?! No!

Somewhere along the way, I learned that personal style is not a static thing.

Because your job isn’t static. Your lifestyle isn’t static. Your weight isn’t static. And your wardrobe budget isn’t static!

Thankfully, I’ve learned a few strategies along the way that help me navigate the ever-changing attitude I take towards my wardrobe.

I share them with you here, in the hopes they’ll help you see your style journey in a similar light.

Below, 3 tips on how to find your personal style:

1. Seek out inspiration

pinterest for men's style inspiration

I regularly pin street style photos to a Pinterest board. There’s lots of Jennifer Lawrence in her The Row era, Emma Stone getting pap’d going for coffee, and Zendaya red carpet looks.

Taking the time to capture these images helps me hone in on what I like—monochrome looks, smart tailoring, statement jewelry—and what I don’t (ruffles, anything floral).

Recently I got into a real hole on the ol’ Pinterest looking at pictures of Meghan Markle’s style, both in her previous life as an actor and B-list celebrity, and now in her royal-adjacent life out in Santa Barbara.

What does this mean for you?

Keeping your eye out for style that inspires you clarifies what you actually like, right now!

Sift through different looks long enough, and you’ll start to see patterns in what you like and what you don’t. These standouts will help you hone in on your particular sense of style.

And I know Pinterest is pegged as a “chick thing” but honestly it’s so great for keeping all your ideas in one place (if you like Evernote for that reason, god bless, but I can’t make that system work for me, for the life of me).

The

The tl;dr:

Be on the lookout for outfits that inspire you and save them to Pinterest or a folder on your phone or computer.

2. Accentuate the positive

image: Tim Hughes

 I try to remind myself that I’m dressing for the body I have now.

Unless (or until?) I give up bread and sugar, I’m not likely to lose the extra padding on my hips that my eyes too often gravitate to in the mirror.

So, if I’m not going to change my diet, I need to change my clothes.

For me, that means pants and skirts that help define my waist.

For you, that could mean opting for flat-front chinos instead of pleats. Committing to a color everyone says brings out your eyes. Or simply buying clothes for the body you have now, and not waiting to shop for a “someday” body which may never arrive.

The tl;dr:

Don’t wait to work on your personal style.

3. Clean out your closet regularly

organized closet

Finally, when it comes to figuring out how to find your personal style, you need to be able to easily identify the clothes in your closet that you love. That means, regularly purging clothes you don’t wear, or don’t love (or both!).

As much as it freaked me out to see a mostly barren summer wardrobe, I also felt excited by the possibility of discovering new favorite finds for the season.

RELATED: How to Clean Your Closet

From thrift stores to the mall to my mom’s closet, my next favorite piece of clothing is out there. Now I just have to find it.

If you are experiencing the dreaded Closet Full Of Clothes But Nothing To Wear Syndrome, it’s time for a fashion purge of your own. I’ll bet there’s plenty of items hanging in your closet or stuffed in the back of drawers that are only taking up space. Get rid of those items to make room for clothes you’re excited to wear, and that make you feel like a million bucks.

The tl;dr:

Pruning your closet regularly means you only have clothes in there that you know you love to wear.

YOUR TURN! Head to Instagram and tell us:

How did you find your personal style, and how has it changed in recent years?

I started Style Girlfriend to help guys look, feel, and act their best.