People grow up assuming that they either have fashion sense or they don’t. That it’s some genetic anomaly you are either fortunate enough to bestowed with or you’re out of luck for the rest of your existence.
But your style and fashion sense is more like a muscle. One that requires building up, finessing, and a commitment to the journey.
Improving your style with these 10 simples steps will be your first chapter in personal style and will set a foundation for you to build upon.
Quite often people who want to learn how to improve their style end up haphazardly trying and failing. This leads to frustrations and an easy out of “I’m just above fashion” or “ I don’t waste my time on something as frivolous as fashion”.
Why is personal style important?
Your fashion style is a form of self expression. It communicates to the world who you are, and what you want to be known for. You have less than a literal second to make a first impression, and your style greatly impacts those results.
Your personal style can also help you gain confidence and find strength in who you are as a person. It can connect you with future friends, attract you to a lover, or identify your interests.
A picture can paint a thousand words, and your style has the power to paint your words, feelings, and self.
How to improve your style in 10 easy steps
Step 1: Figure out what you want your style to be
There are millions of styles out there, and I have a list of fashion styles, here, if you need somewhere to start.
But, most likely your exact fashion goals will be an amalgamation of set styles and should ideally speak to your unique identity.
I recommend perusing blogs like this one, and saving outfit ideas and images you like to a pinterest board. Start to gather data on what your style goals are.
This will create a good jumping off point.
Step 2: Have a functional closet of items you love
Your closet/wardrobe is the foundation to your style. If your closet isn’t functioning, you can’t find the pieces you want, or you’re just overwhelmed then you need to start here.
Once your closet has been streamlined, you will have a much easier time mixing and matching pieces. And it will be way easier to pick outfits in the AM.
Step 3: Pay attention to Fit
Whether you like baggy clothes, fitted clothes, or a combo of both pay attention to how they fit your body. Ill fitted clothing will look sloppy and ruin even the chicest outfit ideas.
If you need some help dressing for your body type; check out this post.
Step 4: Observe and Make it your own
Did you see a style icons outfit you love, or admired a great outfit while walking down the street? Make a note of it. And not just in your head.
In your notes app jot down the outfit or style influence. From there add similar outfit ideas to your pinterest board or to a photo album on your phone.
Once you have found some images you like, start re-creating them on yourself. Take the core highlights of the outfit and add it into your style rolodex. It may take a few tries to tweak, but this is the only way to starting honing your instincts and learning about your personal fashion sense.
Step 5: Use your go-to style pieces as a safety net
We all have our go-to pair of jeans or favorite sweater that we feel 100% comfortable in. Those are the pieces you should start with when experimenting with a new style or garment.
Start with a base that you know works, and then layer on top of that with the riskier (or newer) style ideas.
For instance, if you want to try a new spring fashion trend, like crochet tops, and that is outside your comfort zone start by pairing it with your go-to jeans. This will be an easy way to introduce a new item into your style without feeling like you’re jumping into the deep end.
Step 6: Don’t let your go-to outfits get stale
It is so easy to keep wearing your same couple of outfits that you know work for you. I’ve had people say to me they still wear the same outfits they wore in college. Your life has probably changed since then, no?
While the core of the outfit might still be a winner, you need to make sure you update it. Just like with technology, your fashion outfits need tweaking and updating as you grow and change.
This could be adding new accessories, trying a different layering piece, or even adjusting the proportions to fit your body.
Step 7: Don’t forget about the details
The details of an outfit are critical to developing the style fully. You don’t serve a naked cake at a birthday party because the frosting, message, and candles make a huge difference!
Likewise accessories and styling details like jewelry, shoes, handbags, and your hairstyle can massively impact your style.
Make sure you finish your look. You don’t have to go overboard but make sure you have one highlighted accessory and your hair matches your look.
For instance, in the outfit below you can see I added a pair of simple gold hoops to complete my look. I kept my hair pulled back because the outfit itself was loud enough and I wanted the outfit to remain the star of the show. Similarly, i choose a simple jewelry piece that adds to the outfit but doesn’t draw too much attention. It acts as a supporting role the overall aesthetic.
Step 8: Don’t impulse buy and reign in your shopping habits
Remember how we talked about your closet being the foundation to learning how to improve your style? It is the database to which all of your style decisions are based.
If you clog it up with impulse purchases, bargain bin deals, or even large extravagant shopping spree finds you will have a closet that no longer functions.
You need to have a better understanding of you closet needs and where you want your style to go BEFORE you start shopping. And my Craft The Closet of Your Dreams Playbook will walk you through how to strategically do just that and more.
Your closet needs to be filled with items you know you will wear and love, which means learning how to reign in your shopping sprees.
Step 9: Know your clothing inventory
This step is a follow-up to step 8. In order to understand what you can mix and match you have to have a good understanding of what is at your disposal. Which means having a cluttered closet or items you forgot you even have, won’t work.
Clean out your closet, and start taking mental notes of the pieces you have left. Then when you see an outfit you want to try out, or a style you admire you will have a good understanding on how to pull it off using items in your wardrobe.
Step 10: Embrace the new, but rent it
Using a service like Rent the Runway allows you to essentially take a test run of a new style. Love the latest boxy blazers but are unsure if they work for your body and look? Rent one and try it out!
This will allow you to try new styles before you commit and to keep your fashion sense evolving. I like to try a style through rent the runway and then if it works I’ll search out a permanent version for my closet.
You don’t need an enormous credit limit, or a Kardashian size closet in order to improve your style. It is a journey that will evolve and grow with you if you commit to it for the long haul.
If you feel you need more guidance on developing a style that is uniquely you, or you just want to level up your style as it stands now:
Now, grow into the fashionista you were always meant to be.
Pin the below image because you’ll need these tips on hand!