Identifying a Style

Research styles. You don’t need to flip through fashion magazines to become inspired. You can find styles everywhere you look. Re-watch your favorite movie and notice what types of clothes they’re wearing. There must be someone in your life whose style inspires you. Reach out to that person for advice.

Dress to express. Style doesn’t have a rule book. You know yourself and your body. Style comes from within; it comes from your personality and aspirations. It’s okay to like a clothing trend, just be sure to think twice before you hop on. Take aspects from trends, but ultimately hold your own personality.

Keep a fashion scrapbook. In a plain notebook or PC, paste pictures and download videos of styles that you like and jot down notes about outfits you see. When you have a fashion dilemma or need to go shopping, flip through the book or go through your videos and find the outfits you like.

Purge part of your wardrobe. Go through your clothes and make three different piles: keep, maybe, and give-away. Have a creative eye and think how you could adapt your current clothes into the style you’re imagining. Offer your old clothes to friends, or try to sell them at a secondhand clothing store.

Be aware of brand name clothes. You don’t need to exclusively shop by brand. The most important rule of having style is to not be defined by labels. You don’t need to wear Gucci or American Eagle to be a stylish person. It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it.

Imagine your own personal style. Use the current trends to guide your fashion not dictate it. Wear what you want. Think about what it is you want people to gain from your style. What does your outfit say to a stranger on the corner? Keep these in mind as you map out some ideas about your style.

Shopping for Your Style

Know your season. Don’t go out and buy a tank top for the next heatwave if it’s January in Pretoria. Sometimes buying out of season is smart if the clearance for that item is low enough. For a general rule, buy pragmatically and buy clothes that you could wear tomorrow.

Consider your budget. Upgrading your wardrobe can be an expensive endeavor. If you have a smaller budget, consider buying in small increments and don’t feel obliged to update everything you own. Create a budget of how much you’ll allow yourself to spend before going shopping.

Shop with a friend. Pick someone to come along with you who either dresses well or plays devil’s advocate to your style. Having a pal around can help you sift through clothes faster and more efficiently. It helps to have someone whose opinion you trust about certain clothes you aren’t sure about.

Consider your colors. Everyone has their colors that they feel comfortable in. If you find something that falls outside of your color palette, think hard about it. Especially try on the clothes that fit outside your color comfort. There’s no reason not to buy something if it looks good, or fits into the style you’re going for. Just think about it and save the receipt.

Know when clothes fit you. A large part of pulling off an outfit is having the proper fit. Finding clothes that do fit you can sometimes be difficult. For tops check the shoulder and chest dimensions. The shoulder’s seam should reach the edge of your shoulder and the chest shouldn’t be too tight. Pants should fit comfortably around your waist and not sag i.e. making use of changing rooms to evaluate the fit could be very beneficial. Don’t buy larger and too small size it’s uncomfortable and unflattering.

Feel the materials. Don’t succumb to uncomfortable clothes for fashion. Feel the material at the store and ask yourself, “would I enjoy being wrapped in this?” You can also pay attention to the fabrics and percentages used on the tags. Limit the amount of these fabrics in your clothes:

  • Polyester
  • Acrylic
  • Rayon
  • Acetate/Triacetate
  • Nylon

Experiment in the dressing room. Take the clothes that you’re imagining in an outfit and bring them to the dressing room. You don’t even have to purchase all the items. This will lower the risks of buying something you’re hesitant about.

Dressing in Your Style

Know how to put outfits together. You can have a lot of nice single pieces of clothing, but it’s not going to dazzle anyone unless you know how to put them together. Learn what colors work well together. Take a look at a color wheel and study what colors complement each other. Know when to rock dress shoes and when to go for sneakers.

About the Author Arnold Sithole

I help men look and feel their best by providing them with information to make affordable choices and to take decisive actions so they can get what they want in the world.

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