Define Your Style in 5 Steps (Worksheet Included!) | Art in the Find

How to Define Your Style

Posted on: Friday, April 17, 2015

If you’re one of the millions of women who are struggling to define your style, here is a five step guide that will make it super easy for you! (with a downloadable guide!)

define your style, art in the find, how to define your style

Learning to Define Your Style

Last week, I asked my blog followers for their opinions figuring out how to define your style and I received some amazing feedback.   One statement in particular resonated with me,

my main dilemma is finding my own personal style… I love a tomboy look (denim shirt, tight skinnies, leather booties, fedora), but I love girly midi skirts and nice blouses, and I love the ethnic look with Mexican and Indian prints, but also classy and clean!! I can’t cater to all of these because my closet is just a mess.

So, how do you define your style when you like so many?

I love the honesty of this statement.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve struggled (and still do) to define exactly what my style is to someone.  I’ve come to discover a lot about what it takes to define your style.  I’ll start off by saying, if you’re trying to define your style, you are not alone.  Learning to define your style is not an easy thing to do if you are drawn to a lot of different types of clothing.  But let me tell you right now, it’s okay. 

Wearing a little bit of this and a little bit of that may make you feel like all over the place (and I have been there, I am there, on a regular basis) but deep down underneath, there is a pattern that has developed in defining your style.  While you might buy those fringe gladiator sandals from Zara or those faux leather leggings at Nordstrom Rack, you always go back to the same few pieces in your closet.  This is the pattern I’m talking about in learning how to define your style.

Start With An At Home Closet Assessment

Step 1 | Style Types + Beginning to Define Your Style

Pull out 5-7 of the pieces from your closet you wear the most. What are your 5 to 7 pieces?  Is it a blazer? Your boyfriend jeans?  Your tennis shoes? A moto jacket? A pair of nude heels?  Look closely at each of your pieces and start to notice similarities. Which, of the 4 style types listed below, do each of your pieces fall into?  It’s okay if they fall into a couple of the categories.

  • Are they mostly loose, flowy, textured, layered pieces? bohemian
  • Are they mostly structured, tailored button downs and ankle pants? classic, traditional
  • Are they are mostly neutral & dark colors with leathers & faux furs? edgy, rocker chic
  • Do they have a lot of embellishments, patterns, bows, & color? feminine, whimsical, colorful

Find Your Personal Style | Art in the Find

My wear-most style types were, 1, my jean jacket (classic, ), 2, my animal print heels (feminine, colorful),  3, loads of button down tops (classic), 4, loads of striped pieces (traditional), 5, my boyfriend & skinny denim (clean, classic), and 6, my floral & printed ankle pants (feminine, colorful).

Step 2 | Write Down the Style Type(s) for Each of Your Most Worn Pieces

For each of your pieces, write down one of the four style types it falls into.  Otherwise, you can write down adjective(s) to describe each of your pieces.  Circle any similar style types or descriptive words that you use. What you’re doing is slowing defining your style, pieces by piece. What you should notice with your most worn pieces is that your style will overlap.  From there you will be able to define your style with a bit more clarity.

example:  I wrote down: classic, clean, feminine, colorful, classic, traditional, clean, classic, feminine, and colorful.  (similarities are underlined/bolded).  

Step 3 | Pull in 3 Additional Closet “Outliers”

Anytime you’re testing something, such as your style, you will have a couple outliers.  This is where the feeling of, “I have so many different style & pieces in my closet comes in..”  Outliers are the few pieces that you love but wouldn’t necessarily fit into your wear the most pile.  Look again in your closet.  Pull out 3 of your outliers.  To really define your style, you’ll also be paying attention to the additional pieces that give your wardrobe that added flair!

Define Your Personal Style

for me it was, my tulle skirt(s), my fringe bags, and my accessories (statement necklaces, costume rings). These are the pieces that don’t define my personal style, but rather add to what I’ve already built (classic, relaxed, & clean).

Step 4 | Write Down the Style Type for Each Outlier

Using the same style types from step 1, look carefully at these 3 outliers. How would you describe them? What style type are they? Add these to your list and again, circle any similar style types or descriptive words.

for me, I added colorful, boho, edgy, and bold.  

Step 5 | Narrowing Down the Definition of Your Style

Looking at your list of wear-most style types and outliers style types, take all of your circled words/style types and put them together.  This is how to define your style accurately.

I define my style as being classic, clean, and colorful mixed with feminine, a smattering of boho, a bit of modern edge, & bold statements here and there.  You can call that, classic fem. with touches of boho edge.  

Style Conclusions

Defining your style involves mood, emotion, weight, confidence and so much more.  The not so short & simple answer is that a lot of people fit more than one style type.  But if you take a look at your buying patterns of the past, chances are the majority of what you have purchased falls into a defining style type. Now you should have a better understanding of how to define your style.  Be okay with falling into more than one style type, which I like to call, eclectic.  Embrace the eclectic in us and let ourselves be okay with a variety of styles, starting with building a foundation to define your style.

What did you discover about your style?   How do you define yours now that you’ve followed the 5 steps to define your style?  Leave a comment and let me know.  I read each and every comment and love to hear from you! 

5 Step Guide to Determine Your Style | determine style | style guide | style quiz

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