Declaration of Style (Your True Style Pt. 4)
How do you dress?
Aesthetics are everywhere these days. Clean girl, Barbiecore, balletcore, coastal grandma: it’s all great for selling you curated Amazon storefronts full of polyester outfits you don’t need, but it doesn’t really help you define your own personal style. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I loved indie sleaze the first time around, but, I’m getting a little too old to do it all over again.
Statistically speaking, if you’re reading this newsletter, you’re also getting a little too “old” to be using TikTok aesthetics and Pinterest board labels to describe how you choose to express ourselves. And there’s nothing wrong with that, it just requires a more unique approach that you may not find under a hashtag on Instagram.
Believe me, though, I understand the struggle of trying to put a name to your style, but, regardless of how lovely the category may be, you are still, in essence, attempting to fit all of you into a box that’s digestible to others. And for what? Assessing and evaluating your style isn’t about getting others to understand who you are, it’s about helping you to understand yourself. Only through understanding yourself, what you value, and what you like can you even begin to work out how to show it, let alone explain it.
Figuring out your personal style is the first (and most important) step toward a more sustainable fashion future.
With all that said, I have just one question: If fashion is our first line of communication (and it is), tell me, what do you want to tell the world? What is your declaration of style?
And with that said, it’s time to get your pen and paper out.
“Who are you?” is not an easy question to answer for everyone, but it’s an important one. The good news is: the answer can be literally anything. For me, the simplest way to come up with said answer is to think about how you would want to be introduced at a party full of cool people?
I want you to think past the surface and really think about what you want the world to see you as first. How would you describe your passion? Your personality? Your interests? Your career? Write that down.
I am: queer, a creative, a first-generation immigrant, Muslim, Texan, a music-lover, an actress, a mother, destined to be famous, three kids standing on top of each other in a trench coat, etc.
If you missed my explanation of Style Languages, figure yours out here.
Essentially, your style language is the thing you value the most when you’re getting dressed, and only when you honor it are you walking fully in your fashion truth.
Comfort, self-expression and convenience are easy, but, if your style language is attraction, be sure to include what you aim to attract: admiration? Opportunities? People of your community? Judgmental stares? Write it down!
Who values: comfort, self-expression, convenience, attraction
How would you describe how you dress? Or, rather, how would you describe the overarching characteristics of the pieces you wear and gravitate to the most? Are you a maximalist or a minimalist? Do you prefer classic pieces? Do you love to play with color or do you tend to stick to neutrals? Most importantly: are you a “but” or an “and?”
If you’re a “but,” you have two (or more) sort of “conflicting” style personalities, and you either dress very clearly to one end, or tend to fall somewhere in between. For example: “classic, but sexy,” “edgy, but romantic,” “posh, but sporty”
If you’re an “and,” you probably stick to a fairly consistent sort of look: “colorful and fun;” “luxury and opulence;” “relaxed and effortless.” Get that pen!
Through: simple, tailored, glam, androgynous, comfortable, bohemian, punk (and/but) chic, free-spirited, bold, understated, vintage, statement, quirky (pieces/silhouettes/looks)
Finally, what do you absolutely love to wear? I mean, you feel utterly incomplete (or worse, underdressed) without it? You should already be writing.
And: chunky jewelry, heels (everyday!), sneakers, lots of prints, layers, my Heart of the Ocean diamond necklace that I stole from that old lady, etc.
Put It All Together
It’s important to not overthink this part: the first word(s) that came to your mind are probably the right ones, and it doesn’t serve you to worry about what will make you sound cooler to people who aren’t you. Here’s the format I prefer, but feel free to tweak it to make it flow with your individual characteristics.
I am (a) ____________ who values ______________ through __________ (and/but) ____________ silhouettes/looks/pieces and ____________________.
And that’s it! That’s literally it. Type it up, print it out, hang it next to your full body mirror and, every time you get dressed, read it out loud to get in alignment with yourself. Change it if you need to! Or never think about it again, idc.
In case you were wondering, I am a stylist who values self-expression through classic but sexy silhouettes and copious amounts of jewelry.
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