I ♥ Your Style: A Book & A Project


Have you ever realized you've outgrown your style? When you've realized you've looked in your closet and thought 'I have nothing to wear' too many times? Well recently, I had that sort of epiphany and I decided to pick up a copy of Amanda Brooks'  Your Style: How to Define and Refine Your Personal Style. And let me tell you – it's like this book is speaking to my soul.

Amanda opens her book with a statement about defining your style that I absolutely love:

"... finding your personal style is really about discovering yourself. There's lots of room for experimentation along the way, but arriving at a strong sense of style that suits you and makes you feel great every day and everywhere depends on confidently knowing who you are and what is important to you."

You know when you see someone and think "She is so impossibly chic?" Well, I want to start feeling that way when I catch a glimpse of my outfit in the mirror. The personal style she speaks of is something that evolves with you, and it's something you have to hone and discover over time. The book inspired me to start my own "I ♥ Your Style Project."

So I'm challenging myself (and inviting you to join me) in what is definitely not an overnight process, but more of an ever-evolving one. I'm taking it step-by-step ... and starting at the beginning: editing down & doing some research.

Step 1: Removing all poorly fitting items that you never wear (or that you shouldn't wear). 
No, this isn't the fun part, but it's completely necessary. Out with the old and in with the new! Be realistic with yourself and ask: 1. Have I worn this in the past 6 months? 2. Does this fit me and make me look and feel good? 3. Is this in keeping with my desired personal style?

If the answer is 'no' to any of the above, and we're not talking about a family heirloom or something priceless, get rid of it! Donate it, sell it, whatever you have to do, but remove it from your wardrobe before you take the next steps! (TIP: If you need to, call up an honest girl friend for backup to help you sift through the good, the bad, and the ugly.)

Step 2: Create a style mood board of all the looks that inspire you, keeping in mind your body, lifestyle & desired personal style. Below, a snippet of my style mood board (you can follow it here!)
My Personal Style: Classic, Feminine, Effortless, Sophisticated
My Lifestyle: Urban (subway hopping...enough said), Day-to-night (needs to easily translate from work to drinks), Stylish/Semi-Professional (my day job isn't at an office, but I generally have daily meetings with clients)
My Body: Petite, thin, but curvier on the bottom

In the book, Amanda uses tons of photos of icons, outfits and lifestyles to better explain each style category she talks about. She creates a kind of "inspiration board" that provides you with a visual for each little niche. While I don't think everyone neatly falls into one category, I think this technique is really useful (which may or may not be left over from my days as a fashion student). To begin to define your style, go through Pinterest, magazines, Tumblr, – whatever inspires you, and start saving images, creating a collage of all the things you like.

When you consciously make an effort to take notice of what is your style, you'll start to see trends emerge. Maybe you like A-line skirts or printed blouses or trouser jeans. When you begin to realize what you're drawn to, it will become much easier to define your personal style and shop for your body type. I always find that when shopping with a visual in mind, I come away more successful. So collect some inspiration and prepare yourself for step 3 (the exciting step) with me and I'll see you back here for next week's post!

P.S. If you're coming along on this "I ♥ Your Style Project" adventure, share your inspiration board & let me know with a tweet or email! And don't forget to pick up the book!

1 comment

  1. This is such a great idea! It seems like a great annual or biannual refresh to do anyway. Can't wait to see what step 3 brings. :)


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