Wednesday 16 September 2020

Finding Your Style (and Why It Will Make Your Wardrobe More Sustainable)

I have been told several times by several different people that I come across as someone who has a definite style, and I won’t lie, that makes me very happy. I love clothes – they’re such a fun way of expressing yourself and using your creativity. I love wacky patterns, bright bold block colours, dungarees, stripes, turtlenecks, and splashes of red here and there. I have so many items and outfits that include those criteria, and which I can change in various different ways depending on how I’m feeling that day. I also absolutely love fashion from 70s, and to be honest, that’s where a lot of my outfit inspiration comes from. 


Finding what kind of clothes I really love, and my personal style, is something I’ve definitely achieved since stepping away from fast fashion. I now have frankly no idea what the current trends are, and clothes adverts don’t really phase me at all, because I know what I want to wear and what I don’t.  


I also believe that knowing what your style is, is a great way to slow down your buying habits, and to help that your wardrobe become more sustainable and ethical. Knowing what your style is can help make you more resistant to trends, from buying and wearing clothes you actually don’t particularly even like just because that’s what other people are wearing, and can ensure that you’re wearing outfits that make you feel great about yourself.  And if there’s one thing clothes are supposed to do (apart from the obvious keeping you warm and stopping you from being naked in public) it’s got to be making you feel good about yourself! One of the best feelings is putting together an outfit that makes you feel truly like, well, you. 


Having a clear sense of your personal style means that you’re less likely to get rid of the items you have, to proudly repeat outfits more, and to make more definitive and mindful purchases. Like anything, this is a different journey for everyone and of course your sense of style grows and changes as you do, but these are a few tips I’ve found useful and will hopefully be good starting points for you too!


Scroll through apps such as Pinterest and Depop


These apps are great for figuring out what kind of clothes you love, and your style. Once you’ve pushed past the items that are shoved in your face from the get go, you can find a whole array of clothes in different styles, from different decades and create lots of different looks.


I find Depop’s like and save features really useful as a means of seeing if I properly like an item before buying it. I have lots of items I’ve liked, but maybe aren’t quite for me, but still fit the type of clothes I own. To make sure an item is something I actually want to buy, I’ll add it to my saved section, and if I keep thinking of it or going back to it after a certain amount of time (provided it’s not already been bought), I probably do actually want it. 


This feature is also useful, as overtime you will have essentially made a virtual moodboard of your style without having to spend a penny!


As I’m sure you know, Pinterest works in a very similar way, but it does provide you with more options. You can make multiple different boards for different styles, circumstances, decades, etc., and figure out your favourites without the temptation of being able to buy anything. Again, you’ll need to push through the images that it’ll want to show you initially, but that’s why it’s so useful as a search engine! 

Make a list of people from pop culture (fictional or real) who’s style you love

When looking through films, social media, TV series, basically anywhere where you can physically see what someone is wearing, take note of who’s outfits you love. I don’t know about you, but my internal monologue when watching films and TV regularly goes ‘ooh, I love their top/skirt/jumper/whole outfit’. It’s those moments which have also helped me figure out what kind of clothes I love. 


Some of my style icons include Stevie Nicks, Donna Sheridan (from Mamma Mia) and Sally Allbright (from When Harry Met Sally) – two of which I already have OOTD posts inspired by, with the last one planned for October, so keep your eyes peeled! Yes, two of those people are fictional, but do I care? With these three people, I repeatedly think that I love their outfits, or someone I’m watching a film with them in (most likely my mum) will say that they could see me wearing their outfits. As I said in an OOTD post in July, I basically want Donna Sheridan’s entire wardrobe. 


I actually bought one of my most worn items – a bright red turtleneck jumper – because of how much I love a very similar item worn by Sally in the When Harry Met Sally. I kept thinking about it, and kept wanting one similar, so decided it was a purchase worth making. 


Another film I absolutely loved the outfits in was Misbehaviour, the last film I saw in the cinema before lockdown (I cry). It is a great film and I would highly recommend it to anyone besides the outfits, although the outfits were incredible. I particularly loved Keira Knightley’s outfit in the bathroom scene near the end of the film. There’s nothing I could say about that except give it a chef’s kiss. Is it unfeminist for one of my major takeaways from a film about looking beyond women’s physical appearance to be an admiration of their fashion choices? Nahh…


If you’re able to, have wander around your local charity shops

Try things on even if you don’t buy anything, see what catches your eye. So many times I’ve seen something in a charity shop window, and walked straight back to have a look, and either then decided that I didn’t like it as much on closer inspection, or actually gone in and tried it on/bought it. You can find some unique and ‘out there’ items in charity shops, especially if you try a few different areas.


Go Through Your Wardrobe


As I have recommending before in my post, Quitting Fast Fashion: Where to Start post, there are a few questions I always ask myself when reorganizing my wardrobe:


 Have you worn this item in the last year?


Have you worn this item at least 30 times?


Do you see yourself wearing it another 30 times?


Is this item something I don’t wear all the time, but is necessary for certain occasions (more formal, etc.)?


I find these situations super useful when determining what clothes I actually use, like, and, ultimately, want to keep. Another useful tip I’ve seen but not personally tried it to put post-it notes on all your clothes, only removing them once you’ve worn that item, and then looking back at how many post-its are left after a certain amount of time (6 months, 9 months, 1 year, etc.). By knowing what you already own out of the clothes you already own, you can use that as a means of moving forward and (even though I hate the phrase) leaning into that aesthetic. 


Be more mindful when buying clothes in the future

As I seem to say quite often, don’t just buy things for the sake of it, or just as a one off. Make sure you absolutely love an item before you buy it (obvious exceptions include staples such as vest stops, plain shirts, etc.). As your fashion consumption slows down, your wardrobe will better reflect your true style, as it should be items you regularly wear and love! (I know it’s not necessarily always that simple or straightforward, but as I said at the beginning, it’s a starting point). 


I hope this has helped in some way! What tips do you have for finding your style?

If you liked this post you might like: A Guide to Eco-Friendly Toiletries

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