For Christmas this year, I recieved a couple of books about style: Amanda Brooks' I ♥ Your Style and Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant's The Fashion File. I've enjoyed reading them both so far, because I love learning about harnessing personal style.
However, I've found that these kinds of books (and I have a number of them) tend to repeat themselves. In one way or another, so-called "individual" style is clumped into genres such as "Classic" or "Bohemian." Although I do agree that from first glance it is easy to make surface assumptions about a person's style, I believe there is much more to read into about their personality and history. (Perhaps this is just me trying to think like a costume designer though!) Take the photo above--elements of classic and bohemian are present in this all-around retro look.
To me, style is something either meticiously formulated (which I don't do myself, but it works for many people) or innately apparent in every look you choose whether you're dressing up or down.
For the new year, I challenge you to harness your unique style. Here are a few tips:
- Look into your closet and see what you have. If you don't like what you see, do something about it!
- Start thinking consciously about what kind of style you want to emulate while you are shopping for new pieces. I have lost count of the times where I've tried something on that I know looks great, but just isn't "Kaylie" enough to feel 100% right. Let it go. Believe me, it will save you money and regret.
- When shopping, look for unique pieces. Thrifting is always the best option if you want to accomplish this. For instance, last time I went I found a handmade suede skirt with embroidered horses on it. I mean, COME ON. It will also make you feel cooler just owning something like that.
- If you haven't worn something in the past year, good chance you will never wear it again. Get rid of it to give you space for new pieces that you will actually wear!
- Don't be afraid to take risks. We're young. We will get a laugh out of most of our wardrobe choices in twenty years anyway.
- Experiment with color blocking and prints. Have fun and make people smile when they see you. Unless your style is goth... Then by all means, paint it black!
- Most importantly: Don't ever take yourself too seriously when it comes to style. The best style has a good sense of humor.
Happy New Year!