Exuding a Personal Style Part 1: Is This Me?

By The Road To: Fashion Comments

"A personal style is handwriting – it happens as a byproduct of our way of seeing things, enriched by the experiences of everything around us."Massimo Vignelli

A week into 2015, with celebrations, vacations and resolutions all behind us and a sense of anticipation in the air, there is no better time for a heart-to-heart with yourself. To remind yourself of those precious attributes that make you the person you are; some you were born with and others acquired over the years. Building your own signature style is an example of the latter.

Our style is a mean of presenting to the world who we are or who we wish to be. Establishing a decent capsule wardrobe of staples is your raw material.  However, as with any other means of personal expression, the challenge of adopting a personal style has both its pros— namely the creation of an external presence to complement your inner being—and cons—the need to liberate yourself from the ignorance and indifference of your clothing choices. Pursuing your own personal style and preferences will, by definition, save you from being a  victim of passing trends, as well as help to strengthen your fashion backbone. It is fascinating to consider which comes first: is it a firm internal self-esteem that drives a confident appearance or vice versa? Exuding a confidence which balances both your inner and outer beings, thus animating your presence and impacting your social interactions, is something that requires maturation. Just as internal confidence is reinforced by positive action and gratifying results, so too external confidence is built by observing, learning, getting feedback, and enriching your preferences and choices. 

If you feel it is time to upgrade your wardrobe, whether as a resolution for the new year or in preparation for a new job, and you are looking for a way to start defining and refining your own style preferences, just as in any other endeavor, I suggest you start by educating yourself. Taking inspiration by finding a muse, someone whose style resonates with yours, can be a timesaving strategy. And finding the right muse, someone whose dimensions are similar to yours in terms of where you want to emphasize and where you would rather downplay, can have a positive impact. One such muse could be the model Miranda Kerr. She is a great example because of the many images of her online, the versatile line of clothes she wears, and the variety of occasions where she is spotted. You can find a full range from casual, dressy, evening, to business, leisure, and even sport. I like her combinations: simple, young, modern, yet with a luxurious touch. Some items are more expensive, but most can be easily exchanged with items which correspond to your own budget and preferences.  It is not about mimicking but rather about being inspired and guided just enough to boost your confidence in your own choices. Whenever you try on something you are considering buying, ask yourself: Would that be the choice of my muse? Would she been seen wearing this particular combination? It will become your own internal style compass for making the right choices rather than falling victim to that momentary urge to shop, and dispel your caprice for a particular item which will inevitably find its way to that collection of brand new but unwearable items at the back of the wardrobe. Over time you will notice that your questions change to: Does this outfit suit my style? or Is this me? And that is the purpose of this exercise: to eventually develop confidence in your own style, a style which exudes your unique and personal touch, reflects who you are and makes you feel your best, because "Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself." Coco Chanel

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