I used to think that style was reserved for the chosen few – the tall, slender, fashion models in the glossy magazines! And because of that mindset, I never defined my personal style or felt fully confident in my clothes. Compounded by life’s twists and turns (giving birth to 2 lovely boys, gaining weight, a pandemic, and starting a new job), I found that my wardrobe did not truly reflect who I was and didn’t serve me in my day-to-day life – running errands, school runs, working from home and the occasional night out! I felt like my wardrobe and style needed a refresh. and so began my journey of rediscovery. Here’s the 5 steps I have learnt so far that can help you in defining or redefining your personal style:

5 Steps to Defining or Redefining Your Personal Style

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Understand your body shape.

A picture of the 5 women's body shapes

So there are typically 5 body shapes: Oval shape, Triangle/Pear shape, Inverted triangle shape, Rectangular shape and, Hour-glass shape.  Remember that This Is A Guide and sometimes you may fall into more than one shape (I certainly do)!

Oval Shape:

  • Description: Women who are oval shaped typically features a rounder midsection with narrower shoulders and hips.
  • Characteristics: Women with an oval shape often have a full bust, waist, and midsection.
  • Styling Tips: Look for clothes that defines the waistline, such as belted dresses or tops. A-line silhouettes and empire waistlines are also a great way to balance the look.

Woman wearing a brown wrap dress

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Woman wearing a stripped belted dress

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Woman wearing a tiered long sleeve dress

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Triangle/Pear Shape:

  • Description: The triangle or pear shape is normally characterized by narrower shoulders and waist with wider hips and thighs. 
  • Characteristics: Women with a pear shape often have a smaller bust and waist compared to their hips.
  • Styling Tips: Try to draw attention upward with beautiful statement tops or accessories. A-line skirts and dresses can also help balance out wider hips, and  darker colours on the bottom can give more balance.

Woman wearing a white strapless statement top

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A woman wearing a snake print blouse

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Woman wearing a patterned top

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Inverted Triangle Shape:

  • Description: Beauties with the inverted triangle shape normally have broader shoulders and bust with narrower hips and waist.
  • Characteristics: Women with this shape typically have a broader upper body and narrower lower body.
  • Styling Tips: Create balance by adding volume or detail to the lower body. Try flared or wide leg trousers or skirts with ruffles or patterns to help create the illusion of a more proportionate figure. 

A woman wearing a blue empire waist dress

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A woman wearing black palazzo trousers, black top and a green bomber jacket.

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Woman wearing a pleated blue skirt and white tank top

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Rectangular Shape:

  • Description: The rectangular shape is characterized by a straight, evenly proportioned silhouette with minimal waist definition.
  • Characteristics: Women with a rectangular shape often have similar measurements for shoulders, waist, and hips.
  • Styling Tips: Create curves by emphasizing the waistline with belts or fitted clothing. Look for clothes that add volume or definition to the bust or hips, such as ruffled tops or structured jackets.

A woman wearing a tailored jacket and pleated skirt

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Black tailored blazer

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Woman wearing a belted skirt

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  Hourglass Shape:

  • Description: The hourglass shape features a well-defined waist with balanced proportions between shoulders and hips.
  • Characteristics: Women with an hourglass shape have a curvy silhouette with a defined waistline and proportionate bust and hips.
  • Styling Tips: Emphasize the waistline with fitted styles or belts. Choose clothing that highlights curves without adding bulk, such as wrap or bodycon dresses, tailored jackets, and pencil skirts.

A woman wearing an animal print bodycon dress

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A woman wearing a black 3 piece tailored suit

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The important thing in styling your body shape is to recognise your greatest assets and dress in a way that celebrates them, and helps to draw attention away from the areas you aren’t so happy with. 

Take inspiration from others.

The next step to defining or redefining your personal style is by observing and gaining inspiration from others is key. Look out for people who dress in a way that you like. Whether it’s a fashion icon, a friend, or someone on the street whose style catches your eye. Remember though that your body shape may be different from theirs so don’t try to be a carbon copy. Instead, try to incorporate elements that resonate with you and then put your signature on it. That way it becomes unique to you. Several platforms like Pinterest can help you make a mood board of styles that you like. That way you can look for common themes and start to develop your style.

Identifying your starting point.

A picture of a frustrated woman sitting in a closetA picture of a frustrated woman sitting in her closet

This is a critical step to a wardrobe refresh! Have a look at what you are working with – do you need that clothing item? When are you going to wear that piece? There are only so many excuses you can come up with before you have to accept the truth. To be honest, I found this step very difficult. Even though I wasn’t regularly wearing 70% of what was in my wardrobe, I still felt very emotionally attached to each piece. My husband had to step in to assist because he didn’t have that same emotional attachment (and he loves a good spring clean!) Eventually, we managed to get through the process and I felt much happier afterwards. Now that I had a clean slate I was able to see what I actually had and most importantly what I needed to buy!

Creating a Wish List.

Once you have completed the 3 steps above, it’s time for the next step in defining or redefining your personal style – its time to create a wish list of all the things you want to add to your wardrobe. Identifying key pieces or styles you admire can guide your shopping and help curate a wardrobe that aligns with your taste and personality. There were 2 main reasons for this: Firstly, a wish list can help to keep you focused. I don’t know about you but I can easily get distracted by the first shiny top I see on the rack. And secondly, you can always go back to the list as a reminder of pieces you like and maybe haven’t had a chance to purchase yet. You can also add to the wish list as your style evolves.

You won’t always get it right.

As with all things in life – give yourself some grace. Sometimes you need to make a so-called styling mistake for you to learn what you like or don’t like. I say so-called mistake because style is very much personal therefore what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. There may be highs and lows in this process but  remind yourself that these are yours choices and your style. No one else has to like it, after all it’s your wardrobe refresh! Also, style evolves through experimentation. Trying different clothing combinations, mixing patterns, playing with colours—this process can help you understand what resonates with you and what doesn’t.

Frequently Asked Questions About Defining or Redefining Your Personal Style:

What is personal style, and why is it important?

Personal style is a unique expression of your personality through clothing and accessories. It reflects who we are and influences how others perceive us. Developing a personal style can boost confidence and help to make getting dressed a less stressful l and more enjoyable experience.

How do I find my personal style?

 Finding your personal style involves through self-discovery and experimentation. Start by identifying the  clothing pieces and styles that resonate with you,  but don’t be afraid to try new things. Find out what makes you feel confident and comfortable, because that’s what you will wear more than anything else!

Can personal style change over time?

 Of course, your personal style is not static; it evolves with age, experiences, and lifestyle changes, just like you do. What you wore in your twenties might be different from what you want to wear in your thirties or beyond. Embracing this evolution because it part of the journey and it’s unique to you.

What if I don’t fit into one specific body shape category?

Like I said earlier, you may not neatly fit into one body shape category, and that’s perfectly normal. Focus on understanding your body proportions and dressing in a way that you are comfortable with, celebrates your favourite features while minimizing areas you’re less comfortable with.

How can I stay true to my personal style while keeping up with fashion trends?

I get it, runway fashion can be quite intimidating at time, but look for opportunities to incorporating elements of current trends into your personal style. This will help to keep your look fresh and modern. Always choose trends that align with your aesthetic and personality rather than blindly following what’s popular. It’s about taking the trends and wearing them your way.

Is it necessary to have a large wardrobe to have a defined personal style?

 Not at all, having a defined personal style is not about the quantity of clothing but the quality and cohesiveness of your wardrobe. A smaller, well curated wardrobe full of versatile pieces that you love and actually wear can be more stylish than a wardrobe full of clothes that you rarely touch.

How can I redefine my personal style without breaking the bank?

Defining or redefining your personal style doesn’t have to be expensive. Focus on investing in timeless staples that can be mixed and matched with existing pieces in your wardrobe. Shop strategically during sales, thrift stores, or consider swapping clothes with friends. Online thrift shops like Preworn can help you get the look you want at a great price. 

What if I’m unsure about my style choices or feel overwhelmed?

 It’s normal to feel unsure or overwhelmed when defining or redefining your personal style, especially if you’re in the early stages of the process. But take it one step at a time, look for inspiration from various sources, and don’t be afraid to seek advice from fashion-savvy friends or professionals.

How can I maintain consistency in my personal style while adapting to different occasions?

 Developing a signature style doesn’t mean wearing the same outfit every day. Instead, try to focus on creating a cohesive look that can be adapted to different situations by varying colours, fabrics, and accessories while staying true to yourself.

What if my personal style doesn’t align with fashion trends?

 Personal style is an expression of yourself, so it needs to make sense to you above any societal norms or fashion trends that come and go. Embrace your uniqueness and remember that true style confidence comes from within.

Life is an ever-evolving journey, and so is defining or redefining your personal style. As we grow, change, and experience new things, our style naturally evolves with us. The trick is to relish each phase, finding contentment in our current styles while remaining open to embracing new influences. Above all, style is more than fashion trends; it’s an amalgamation of your personality, values, and tastes. It is a personal form of expression that transcends mere clothing choices. Embrace this journey wholeheartedly, relish every phase, and remember to be authenticity you!

                                                                                               And Check Out More Fashion Posts:


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