When I was in high school/early college, I was known as the girl who wore all black and leather. I wore my doc martens and leather jacket with red lining most days, smoked cigarettes (behind my mom's back, of course) to really play into this false identity I had created for myself. Not knowing who I really was or how I wanted to express myself, I felt comfortable falling into this character everyone seemed to think I was. Thankfully, those days are long over and I'm free to wear butterfly earrings and colourful pants and overalls. The way you dress yourself gives you the power to show who you are to the people around you. Here are my best tips on cultivating your own personal style:
1 / Rip off your style icons. Create a Pinterest board dedicated to the it girls you admire most. What do all of them have in common, style wise? Personality wise? Recognizing these themes will help you get closer to the root of what sparks your interest.
2 / Wear the clothes your child self would've died for. I'm convinced our child selves know more about us than we do. For me -- it's always been shiny crystal rings/earrings, sun dresses, and black boots (9 year old me wanted to run away with a motorcycle gang and thought the song "Are You Gonna be my Girl" by Jett was written about me.) When you focus less on trends and more on staple pieces you've loved through the years, you create a style thats entirely unique from everyone else.
3 / Dump anyone who ever makes you feel stupid for liking the things you like. This one is really important. Any friend or significant other that makes you feel dumb for any outfit or any hobby or playlist of songs isn't the kind of person you need in your life. It's not your shirt that's dumb -- it's your friend.
4 / Get rid of the things you never wear in your closet. I'm guilty of telling myself I'll regret it that ONE DAY for that ONE EVENT where I'll absolutely need it. Then it'll sit there for another 9 months without ever seeing the light of day. Donate these items to make space for things you'll love and wear until they fall apart.
5 / Referring to the last tip.... as for those items you love, but never wear because you feel like you need to save them for a "special event" - wear them to the farmer's market. To your coworker's birthday party. To chipotle. Feeling yourself and wearing a super cute outfit will overpower feeling silly about being overdressed.
6 / Thrift, thrift, thrift. Buy yourself a coffee, set some time aside (thrifting tends to test my patience, especially in messier, overcrowded stores) and look through ALLLLL THE RACKS in your local thrift spots. You're guaranteed to find your dream coat or even just a super flattering plain t-shirt for 3 dollars. It's a win either way!
7 / Remember that you don't need a ton of clothes to look good. Buy staples that you feel good in, or stick to a cohesive colour palette (or just have a magical rainbow coloured closet, if that's the #look). No one is going to notice you've worn the same jeans 3 times this week if you style them differently every time.
8 / You're not stuck. You're a constantly evolving work of art, and your taste will change. You can go from monochrome + minimalistic to crazy bohemian prints if that's what you want to do. There's room for rebirth in all parts of your life -- your closet, too.