From high end to high street and from fast fashion to runway, fashion lovers are an undoubtably diverse group. But, if there’s one thing that all sartorial enthusiasts can agree on, it’s that although it is certainly a challenge to find your signature style, it’s an absolute necessity. It can be hard to narrow down your own love for clothing to a single style, but once you figure out the kind of outfits that express you perfectly, it’s hard not to be excited about getting dressed every morning.
There’s just one simple problem though: money. For most of us, re-imagining our own style probably means endlessly scrolling through Pinterest and making at least a few impulse online purchases. But, I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way. You can define your own personal style, start wearing the clothes that you love to wear, and feel more confident about yourself all without spending any money at all.
I know, it sounds crazy. But personal style has a lot more to do with creativity and confidence than it does with an impressive bank account balance (or rather, a shocking credit card balance).
So today, I’m going to tell you about my favourite tried and true ways to create for yourself a unique, signature style, all without having to break the bank.
How to find your signature style
Pinterest inspiration boards galore
As the way any new creative project starts, so shall this one. I love getting on Pinterest and pinning the heck out of pretty pictures of a life I’ll probably never have. But: don’t lose sight of what we’re here to do. My best tips for using Pinterest as an actual inspiration engine and not as a wishful thinking rabbit hole are as follows:
1. Create a new, fresh board. Don’t just go through the hundreds of pins already on your “fashion inspiration” board.
2. Only pin it if you really, really mean it. The goal here is definitely quality, not quantity. So make sure that every single photo you pin to that board is an outfit you would actually wear.
After you create the Pinterest board, take a good, thorough look through it and make a list of your favourite items, or combinations you really like.
Purge your closet. Be ruthless
Now that you have a better idea of the kind of clothing that you really like, and that really fits your personal style, start to get rid of the stuff that doesn’t. Be very critical and very picky about this. Do not ever worry about getting rid of too many clothes – because we always over estimate how many clothes we need. But don’t start throwing things out yet either! You’re going to want to keep the clothing that you don’t want anymore at least until the next step… After you’ve cleaned out your closets, and put the clothes you aren’t going to wear anymore away. Now, give yourself a two week test run. Wear only the clothes that you have decided are going to be a part of your dream wardrobe. And no cheating! If you’re forced to cheat, that’s a good sign that you probably actually want to keep the item that you pulled out. But try your best to avoid that. If there are any clothes or shoes that you are thinking you really want to complete your dream wardrobe, then make note of them for the future. Either for a shopping trip down the road when you can afford it, or for raiding your friends’ closets. Speaking of which…
Host a clothing swap
Now that you know exactly what kind of style you’re working towards, and you’ve given your own wardrobe a test run to figure out what kinds of pieces you might be wishing for day after day, now it’s time to get some new clothes! Now I know what you’re thinking, “without spending any money? how?!” Well, it’s quite simple. You just need to harness the power (and the closets) of your stylish friends, and swap some clothes with each other. Remember I said not to get rid of the clothes you purged just yet? Now is when they come in handy. Get together with your friends and bring the clothes you’re not so into anymore. Swap your clothes one-for-one with your buddies, and everyone gets to go home with some new cool pieces. Chances are, they’ll have something similar to what you were wishing for during your wardrobe experiment in the previous step. After the swap, take all the clothes that your friends didn’t take and donate them to a thrift charity shop, or, if they’re higher quality or designer, take them to a consignment store and you might even make a little cash.
Take notes, make lists
This might seem like a strange suggestion to add to a post about finding your signature style, and probably looks more at home with a post about organization… but I promise you this is relevant. It’s important that as the season goes on you keep track of the clothes that you wish you had, or clothes that you don’t wear as often. That way, either at the end of the season, or the next year when that season comes around again, you can look back on what you might want to change. This is all part of the longer term project of finding your signature style and sustaining it. You don’t want to relapse to retail therapy before you can even make it through a year of your signature style. So to keep your eye on the prize, keep track of your progress and take note of what works and what doesn’t. This might even be your chance to start your own fashion blog and keep track of it that way! 😉
And that is the fool-proof, cheapest way to find your signature style. And it even helps you on your road towards a more minimalist, capsule wardrobe. Which, if you haven’t considered minimalism before, now the’s time to. Find your personal, unique style, save money, and help the environment? Sounds awesome to me.
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