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  • Writer's pictureSumbella

How to define your personal style (with a fun activity) [Style Series #2.1]

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

In this series of articles we are thoughtfully exploring ideas to help curate your own signature style.

There are five parts in this series, and I've written mini, less-than-5-minute articles within each one for you to explore bit by bit.

This article belongs to defining.

1 Reconnecting

2 Defining

3 Auditing

4 Rebuilding

5 Sustaining

Enjoy this series~

Style Series #2.1

The Quote

'Fashions fade. Style is eternal.'

- Yves Saint Laurent

The Analogy

If you’ve been reading along, we have already covered most of the foundations: identifying your values, your cultures and influences, and your why.

Now that you have some of those things in place, it’s time to define.

In this article, I share a simple tool to help you find some key words to instantly describe your style.

Once upon a time there were these things called ‘3D glasses’.

If you were around before cinemas got all ‘good’, you used to have to wear these glasses that had one lens red and one lens blue/green.

If you tried to watch the movie without them, it would look all askew, with things out of place and not quite lining up smoothly.

But once you put them on, things would seem like they were popping out at you!

The Premise

It reminds me of one of my dear friends who always says that when she's shopping, things just ‘jump out’ at her.

When you have a pair of 3D glasses that help make your personal style very defined, things will start to jump out at you too.

In this article, we’re looking at how to create your own 3D glasses so that you can get to see what your personal style is like.

The Activity

1 - Consider the styles you already are drawn to

Firstly, it helps to think about what kind of styles you like: browsing around on visual sites with lots of images can help you do this. You probably already do: check your history or images you’ve saved. Those can give clues about what you like.

2 - Consider your style icons, if any

Secondly, thinking of specific people and the way they dress is also good to consider for this. Even if their styles might not seem to suit you, don’t dismiss them.

3 - Hop-scotch with this word list

Finally, doing the little hop-scotch with the word pairs below is a fun way to narrow down or define your style. In fact, it’s the key part of this article.

Detailed / Plain
Neutral / Colourful
Casual / Smart
Feminine / Masculine
French / Bohemian
Elegant / Edgy
Ethnic / Western
Classic / Modern
Plain / Patterned
City / Country
Functional / Beautiful
Flashy / Simple
Comfy / Formal
Polished / Whimsical
Modern / Vintage
Embroidered / Plain
Timeless / Modern
Flowy / Straight-cut
Comfy / Chic
Eclectic / Formal
Minimalist / Embellished
Feminine / Masculine
Statement-making / Understated
Oversized / Tailored
Sporty / Polished
Formal / Relaxed

Once you've gone through, take note of the ones that recurred often. Can you narrow your words down to just 2-3 of the ones that capture your style the most?

The Summary

So, which words did you end up with? Did they surprise you? Did you drop any and go back?

It’s very cool when you get clear on these words. It’s like having a pair of 3D glasses: it helps put the precise styles you like into high definition, which allows things to jump out at you when you start curating your ideal wardrobe.

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