I hope you have read my earlier posts about the four “A” s of image management.
If you haven’t, you can read about it here.
Today, lets talk about the third A.
In this write-up, I would like to share about Authentic personal style.
Developing an authentic personal style is not as easy. It takes time and keen observation. It is not something that you can buy off the shelf, like a jar of lotion, and apply it all over your body.
Everyone has a potential for creating a personal look, you just have to uncover yours and coax it out of hiding.
The easy part is that we all know and are aware of what we like and what we don’t like. Whether it is on your self, on others, or in the stores. So how do we proceed from here?
Here are a few quick steps to help you find your own personal style.
- Start by taking a good inventory of your clothes. You will discover a certain trend. Maybe you are gravitating towards a certain color that keeps repeating itself in your wardrobe. Or it could be a certain print or it could even be a certain fabric. Figure out what you have, what you love and define it. Give it an adjective. For example, you may discover that you have a liking for rich , luxuriant fabrics and textures like silk, satin and velvet.
- Once you have identified your favorite pieces, try to create different looks with those pieces. Wear them and observe how you feel when you are wearing it. For example, your favourite shirt that you usually wear with jeans, may look nice with your favourite Patiala salwar or even a mirror work ghagra. Try it out. There are no fixed rules about mixing clothes. Have fun as you do that. The most important thing is that you should feel good when you wear it.
- Next, see if you can achieve at least three different looks with your favorite staple pieces. Try wearing your favourite shirt under a dress or even with a saree, along with your favourite belt! Of course, don’t go overboard as you try out new looks with your old clothes. Start by making small changes, very slowly, moving ahead as you get more and more confident about experimenting with your wardrobe.
- You could try wearing a different accessory, a different colour combination or even a new look by layering different pieces together. You will be surprised to discover how an accessory can dramatically change the look of an outfit.
- Try editing rather than adding to your collection. You maybe killing your personal style by wearing all accessories at the same time. Less is really more. You also don’t have to match everything. Just because your outfit is red, does not mean that earrings, bracelet, sandals and bag also have to be red.
As you go through this experience, there will be a ‘eureka moment’ when you feel that surge of confidence and you say to yourself ‘yes, this works’.
You will know that you have achieved some sense of personal style when you forget what you are wearing, you feel comfortable and confident and even the people around you respond to you in a desirable and an approved manner.
Authentic personal style, according to me, is taking a piece of clothing and making it your own. It is about seeing a piece of clothing and styling it in your own unique way. For some it could be how a belt is tied or looped, for others it could be wearing a watch on a particular hand in a particular way.
Have you noticed how each woman has her own way of draping a dupatta or a pallu. Each woman ‘owns’ her dupatta or pallu and styles it in her own way.
Your personal style reveals itself in many ways and not just your clothes.
It could be revealed from your display picture, your hobbies, your email id, your handshake, your home or even the gifts that you choose for your friends.
Here are a few questions that will help you reflect. Your answers can be many but they have to be in a single word only.
- How do you want to feel at a social situation? (eg chic, calm, sophisticated, friendly..)
- What personality traits best define you? (eg cheerful, organized, poised, confident, shy……….)
- What values determine your purchase of clothing? ( e.g. price, fashion, color, simplicity, sexiness………………)
- What type of clothing are you most comfortable in?(e.g. soft, modest, trendy, athletic, feminine…………………)
- How do you like your clothes to fit? (e.g. tight, loose, free flowing …?)
You will find your personal style hidden within the answers. It will be truly authentic and a true reflection of your inner image.
Now pause for a moment and think about the wardrobe choices that you have made in your existing collection of clothes and accessories.
Are they in line with the image that you want to project?
Until next week, stay happy, healthy and positive!