Understanding and defining my personal style has always been something I’ve struggled with. I have always instantly recognized fashion that I like on others, but for years and years, when it came to dressing myself, I always ended up picking out all kinds of random items that never really came together in a complete wardrobe. To this day, I don’t think that I have a very good, or defined style – on most mornings, my goal is just to get dressed in a presentable fashion as quickly as possible.
Something that I truly hate though, is waste. It drives me crazy to have a closet full of clothes that I don’t wear, and for that reason, I’ve tried much more in the last few years to pin down my own “personal style,” and build a closet filled with items that I not only love, but that I will actually wear, and that come together in a cohesive wardrobe. I am still quite a ways off, but I wanted to share one of my tips that I’ve found very helpful when deciding whether to add an item to my closet – the personal photo board.
By personal photo board, I mean a little collection – either digital, physical, or both – of images of style that you not only like or admire, but that you can see yourself wearing. This is important. I admire all kinds of style and fashions on others, but many times they simply won’t work for me – either my lifestyle or my body type rules it out. I have both a digital version (a bunch of photos saved online) and also a physical (those same photos printed and stashed in a thin binder). You can see a little snapshot of my photo board, above.
I use these boards not only as inspiration for style that I like, but to help edit and better understand what would actually work in my wardrobe. When hemming and hawing over an item, I always go back to my board and ask – does this item fit in here? Would this mythical super fashionable woman on this board buy this item and how would it work in her wardrobe? Going through this process has allowed me to “neg” quite a few items that probably in the past, would have made it into my closet, and sat there unused. My board has also pushed me to include a few items that I wouldn’t in the past – by visually seeing how it might be used in my closet.
So now that I’ve shared my own tip…how about some of yours? What have been some of the steps you’ve gone through in defining your own style – what works, and what doesn’t? Do you have a “board”?
PS: An inspiration board can be anything – photos on your hard drive, images printed out, etc. I might also suggest a personal Pinterest, or Tumblr, dedicated – easy to maintain and you can access them from anywhere. Have fun!