Have you ever looked back at a photo of yourself and wondered why in the world you were wearing that? Or have you ever impulsively bought an article of clothing only to donate it with the tags still on because it just didn’t look like you?
With new trends going viral every month and the world of online shopping at your fingertips, it can be easy to mindlessly make clothing purchases you don’t even like. That’s why it’s helpful to determine your personal style—not only will you prevent yourself from buying clothes that don’t look good on you, you’ll stay true to yourself and achieve a timeless look that others will envy.
If you’re not sure what your personal style is, use these 5 tips to figure it out.
Tip #1: Go Through Your Closet
If your closet is cluttered but you feel like you have nothing to wear, it might be time for a fashion refresh. Sort through your existing items and pick out the pieces that you love (if you have any!). Lay them all out and look at them together. What do you love about them? Do they have similar colors, fits, or vibes?
Tip #2: Find Celebrity Style Inspiration
The internet can hurt or help your sense of personal style. On the one hand, social media can influence you to try fleeting trends you later regret. On the other hand, you gain endless access to style inspiration from people you admire.
Hop on visual-heavy social media, like Pinterest or Instagram, and search for a celebrity whose style you like. Keep in mind, you’re not just looking for outfits you think are cool—ask yourself, could you actually imagine wearing that? Once you’ve found a few you really connect with, bookmark their page and return to it when shopping or trying to make a fashion decision.
Tip #3: Make a Mood Board
Celebrity fashion inspiration: check! Next, take a few photos of your inspo’s everyday outfits and create a mood board. Note what colors, styles, or jewelry pops up as you sort through your favorites. How do these items make you feel? Once you’ve put together something visual, take a photo of it so you’ll have it handy to reference next time you go shopping.
Tip #4: Don’t Make Hasty Judgments
When you’re trying out a new look, it’s easy to get insecure. The first time you wear sneakers with a dress, statement earrings, or bold colors, you might want to run back inside and change before anyone sees you. But just because those items haven’t been a part of your look before doesn’t mean they don’t suit your style now.
If you’re nervous trying out a new look, wear it once or twice at home before heading out. Don’t give up on it on your first try—stick with it until you start to feel more comfortable.
Tip #5: Don’t Make Hasty Purchases
The best way to determine your personal style is to reflect on the pieces you’re dying to have, like that deep plunging one-piece swimsuit you’re still drooling over, or the baggy jeans you’ve been debating about for months. The pieces that stick in your head long after you tried them on are the ones you really love.
What’s the catch? You can only figure out which pieces these are by waiting to make purchases. If you’re trying to figure out your personal style, impulse buying is not your friend. Next time you’re shopping online or at the store, check out some pieces you’re interested in and then leave. If you find yourself thinking about them day after day, they probably point to your personal aesthetic.
Finding your personal style is a journey, and it can change over time. By developing a sense of confidence and ownership over your appearance, you’ll create a unique personal style to be proud of.