Posted on August 03 2020
Rachel Klewicki, personal stylist, image consultant and Founder of Subliminal Style is giving us 3 steps to get great style. We love these easy tips that definitely make you think about your own style differently. We'll let Rachel take it from here.
As a modern professional, you already know that style is a powerful way to make sure that you are not only seen and noticed, but also understood - it’s like a visual resume that reinforces what you say with something that you do.
But connecting with your personal style is not always easy, fast, or clear. And it’s never only about shopping!
So to help you achieve your authentic look without all the stress and guesswork, here are my top three steps for creating great personal style (that most women actually rather avoid).
1. Notice your Discomfort
The truth is: you can only be as stylish as the clothes and shoes you actually wear.
But so many women tend to leave 80% of their clothes in the closet untouched - too dressy, too sloppy, too clingy, too baggy, too scratchy, too sexy, or too crazy to function properly in real life.
One of the worst things people tend to do when they feel poorly about an outfit is to stop thinking about it, rip the offending clothes off as soon as they get home, throw ‘em in the donation pile, and never think about them again.
Glossing over discomfort robs you of the opportunity to course-correct.
Before you clean out your closet or even think about buying new clothes, do a quick “after-action review” of your wardrobe. Ask yourself: what’s working? What leaves you feeling uncomfortable, bland, or dissatisfied? What can you do differently to avoid the same problems in the future? Which kinds of clothes should you avoid, and which kinds should you seek out?
For example, if you have a closet full of painful heels that you avoid or swap out for flats by 10am every day, you can make a point to invest in comfort heels like Ally Shoes (pumps that seriously do feel like a sneaker).
This will set your wardrobe up for success by helping you avoid clothes that aren’t a good match for your lifestyle, taste, or personality.
2. Embrace your body (but really, though).
If you’ve ever left a fitting room with nothing but a pile of “nos” and a sudden, intense chocolate craving, you know that “loving” your body is easier said than done. When you don’t feel your best, sometimes you just want to crawl inside a shapeless muumuu and hide until humans evolve beyond eyeballs.
But dressing to hide your flaws also hides your attributes. It’s like throwing the baby out with the bath water.
The good news is that great style doesn’t require you to have a perfect body - only that you embrace the one you have.
Give yourself an honest once-over - for a moment, put aside insecurities and vanities alike, and simply assess yourself in neutral terms. What shape are you? What parts look long? What parts seem short? Is your coloring soft or striking? Does your body appear curvy or angular?
Once you’ve assessed yourself, pick out at least 3 body parts that you are proud of - killer legs, great hair, toned arms, whatever makes you happy. Write them down so that you don’t forget about them later, and make a point to highlight those attributes every time you get dressed.
Take note of the styles set off your favorite body parts best, and make them part of your signature look. Maybe you have decolletage that looks great in scoop necklines. Or maybe your slim legs stand out in above-the-knee skirts. Maybe you love how dainty your wrists look in 3/4 sleeve tops. When you shop or clean out your closet, insist on these details as part of your personal style (regardless of what’s “in” or “out” of fashion.
3. Sum yourself up in three words
In order to express yourself, you first have to know yourself!
We’ve all seen the store displays and trend forecasts and subscription boxes and magazine quizzes that try to sum up your style in a single word - bohemian, classic, edgy, or whatever the next fad happens to be - but it’s impossible to sum up any human in a single word. You are not a “one-note” person, and you shouldn’t aspire to be.
If you can pick a style out of someone else’s list, then by definition it is not your personal style.
On the other hand, a lack of focus can also lead to confusion, analysis paralysis, and an image that feels unintentional or scattered. Instead of trying to fit yourself into a prescribed style “type,” experiment by brainstorming three words that, when combined, sum up the essence of your personality.
Maybe you’re a Playful Business Bombshell, a Romantic Beach Foodie, or even a Dark Moody Elemental. These words can be totally silly or totally serious. They don’t have to make sense, and they can even contradict one another - after all, contradiction is part of what makes a person interesting!
Once you have your three words chosen, challenge yourself to represent all three aspects of yourself in every outfit. Find creative ways to connect the words with your clothes using different colors, patterns, and styles. This will help you break free of conventions, pair unexpected items together, and ultimately discover a style that truly belongs only to you.
The Bottom Line.
Personal Style is about taking the time to feel out who you really are -- what you like, what you dislike, how you look and how you feel inside.