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How to Find Your Style and Fashion Voice

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With so many things in our daily life that scream and beg for our attention, it’s really easy to slip in a routine or to say “yes” to things that are not really aligned with who we truly are at our core.

I know that I struggled with the concept of finding my unique artistic voice and personal style growing up, and if you are anything like me, you probably did too… When we grow up we start hearing all these “do’s” and “don’ts” from both our family and our peers, and sometimes those are contradictory and we end up in a never ending tug of war between how we would really like to look and be, and how the society and our closest to us want us to look and be.

Sometimes we shrink ourselves and go for the “safe” choice out of fear of rejection or embarrassment. We all note at least one situation in our life when we changed our outfits or decided to pass on buying something we really loved because our parents thought it was inappropriate, or because we thought our friends at school or at work will make fun of us, or because someone else could wear it better.

But the problem with shrinking ourselves repeatedly is that, in time, it becomes a habit. And – in time – we start forgetting who we really are and what we really like, always trying to fit in, always trying to please everybody.

 

The problem with shrinking ourselves repeatedly is that, in time, it becomes a habit. And – in time – we start forgetting who we really are and what we really like, always trying to fit in, always trying to please everybody.

So then how do you discover you true fashion voice?

1. Make a list of things you absolutely obsess about

What do you find yourself thinking about the most? Is it ripped jeans, bell sleeves, chunky heels, chokers, white sneakers or leather skirts? Make a list and write them all down.

 

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If you can’t stop thinking about it, then it’s probably part of what makes you, you.

Now little by little try to go for those pieces more often, and also invest in them instead of other items that might not align with your personality so well. Learn to listen to what makes your heart sing.

2. Have the courage to wear what you like in the first place.

I know it’s easier said than done, but honestly, if you like to dress in the spirit of the “I Love Lucy” ‘50s you will never achieve that look by wearing skinny jeans and Converse sneakers.

 

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If you are afraid of the reaction of those who always saw you wearing the same things and you don’t feel mentally ready to make a sudden and big change, start small. Start by incorporating only one item or accessory at a time and build up your courage as you start getting used to wearing it. Before you know it, you will be excited to try more and more items you love and that will become your new style.

For me, for example, heels have always been my arch-nemesis (no pun intended!). I love them, I adore them, but most of the times they are unpractical and they hurt kill my feet. So I used to avoid them completely. There was a time when my wardrobe had zero heels in it. But deep down inside I always craved for the nice elevated look and the added length that my legs desperately needs.

Luckily, when I met my mother in law and also when I started driving, she advised me that the easiest way to enjoy the beauty of heels but without the torture is to always have a pair of comfy change shoes in the car. My mom also always brought change shoes with her at the office.

Drive with a pair of flat shoes and then change into heels when you go somewhere. Also, alternate between the heels and the flat shoes, if for example you need to be standing or walking for a few hours but then you get to sit and not have to be on your feet anymore.

 

Klangwelt

 

3. Don’t pay attention to the harsh critics.

Unless it’s totally outrageous and it puts your life in danger, you shouldn’t have to give up an outfit in order to make others comfortable. After all… it’s your life. And trust me, no matter how you will dress and how you will be, in life, there will always be someone who is not going to like it. That’s the reality! And that’s ok!

If you keep changing who you are and changing your style every time someone has a problem with it, then you will end up without any personal style or personality.

 

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Get yourself accustomed to the idea that there WILL be people who are going to criticize you and spew hurtful comments and make fun. Remove them from your life or just flat out ignore them. As long as you are healthy, happy and not harming anyone, you shouldn’t have to modify who you are for others. Not to say that it’s not important to accept constructive criticism, but just decide first if it’s going to make you better and it is what you TRULY want and like for yourself, or not.

 

If you keep changing who you are and changing your style every time someone has a problem with it, then you will end up without any personal style or personality.

 

4. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Sometimes we don’t know what we want or what flatters us the best. And the only way to discover it, is by experimenting a lot. Have “phases”, have “moments”, try try try. Some will stick with us, some will end up being that chapter that no one reads out loud. But you cannot grow without trying new things.

Even when you have a very defined personal style, there is still always room for growth and improvement.

So try out things and don’t forget to have lots of fun in the process. Whenever sometimes becomes too big of an ordeal, it’s time to step back and ask yourself if it’s truly worth your time and energy.

 

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Have “phases”, have “moments”, try try try. Some will stick with us, some will end up being that chapter that no one reads out loud. But you cannot grow without trying new things.

 

5. Get inspired, but adapt everything to your lifestyle and personality.

Once we find a person or idea who inspires us a lot, it’s easy to fall into the trap of expending enormous amount of energy, time and (perhaps) money in order to try to achieve and emulate the identical life we see that person having or that idea is promising. But sometimes that’s just not possible. Because we are all unique individuals with unique circumstances.

For example, I would like to spend my entire day taking photos of amazing outfits and paint, like I see so many awesome people on Instagram, but the reality is that I have to balance a full time job, freelancing, blogging and spending time with my loved one. So that’s why at times certain things take center stage, while others are done just for fun.

Not all that is “cool” is necessarily good or of substance. Always try to find something meaningful behind your action. Because when you truly follow your heart, then the actions you do become meaningful, instead of just a never ending rat race.

Fashion should be personal, about yourself, not about what others want to see or try to convince you you have to wear.

 

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Fashion should be personal, about yourself, not about what others want to see or try to convince you you have to wear.

 

6. Learn to prioritize between investment pieces and cheaper alternatives.

At the core of each wardrobe should always be one or a couple of items that are an “investment” or a staple in your style. Things that can be paired with a lot of things and worn for years. One “good” pair of shoes, one “good” purse, a few timeless accessories that go well with everything like a heirloom ring or a beautiful watch.

We are all guilty of having a “one summer” outfit or shoes that we got on sale just for a few wears during an out-of-town vacation. And that’s ok! That’s what the cheaper alternatives are for. If you have good tastes, you can find great and stylish pieces during seasonal sales or at fast-fashion brands like Forever21, H&M, Zara etc. (which, by the way, I adore!)

Sometimes, though, we find a gorgeous investment piece that we just NEED to have, and that’s when you have to save up (A LOT) – unless of course you have an unlimited budget – and you have to ask yourself what is more important: a couple of cheaper outfits, or one big, high-quality piece?

 

Chanel and Christian Louboutin

 

Sometimes, though, we find a gorgeous investment piece that we just NEED to have, and that’s when you have to save up (A LOT) – unless of course you have an unlimited budget – and you have to ask yourself what is more important: a couple of cheaper outfits, or one big, high-quality piece?

 

What about you? Do you have any personal experiences and advices that could help someone find their fashion voice? Tell me in the comments below!

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