6 Fail-Proof Ways to Find Your Personal Style
Being a teen is tough. There are so many questions that you have, about the world, about yourself. It’s a time of great emotional vulnerability because there are so many experiences you open yourself up to- who you are, your future, your sexuality, potential romance, the meanings of the world and finally, what it means to grow up.
At the same time, being a teenager is a time of great emotional strength, because these puzzling questions are difficult—and yet you are dealing with them. You are finding ways to express yourself and answer them, through art, sports, books, music, dance, video games, history, politics. Each of these outlets become personal methods of figuring out who you are. But the most visible way in which you can present yourself is in the clothes you wear.
Developing a personal sense of style helps you connect better with the person you are inside.
By wearing your style on your sleeve (pun intended), you can claim your own definitions. And yes: the pursuit for the right style is difficult, but you will find that developing your personal style is also a way of figuring out who you are. Here are a few ways in which you can find your personal style, and get closer to yourself.
1. Think About Yourself
Take a break from magazines and articles telling you what the trendiest thing is. Spend some time with yourself and make a list of things that you like and dislike, and rate them. Do you like metal music? Do you like lifting weights? If so, how much? If you find that these are things you prize highly, you can actually translate them into the clothes you wear. If you like metal music, you can start wearing customized t-shirts, featuring your favorite band. If you really like working out, you can wear t-shirts that say that. It does not matter how trendy these clothes are: they are reflective of you, and that is more important.
2. Look Through Your Wardrobe
Maybe, even after listing the various things you like, you find that there is nothing that exceptionally stands out. Or even if you do find something, you do not want to wear it on a t-shirt. This makes the next step very important: empty out your wardrobe, and spend a few hours figuring out what you like and dislike. You will find unexpected recurrent themes: maybe you are big on blue jeans or plaid shirts. You have multiple of these clothes because you likely feel most comfortable and happy in them. Retain these clothes as building blocks of your personal style.
3. What Do You Dislike?
With fashion, the apparel we tend to dislike is often because it highlights parts of us that we do not like. Perhaps you do not wear certain cuts of t-shirts because you think they make you look a certain way. Or maybe you are told that certain patterns do not flatter your body type. If these are your reasons behind disliking clothes, tell yourself that fashion and style can be revolutionary. Instead of shying away from certain garments, embrace them to challenge the very norms that tell you to stay away from them. Scary as this sounds, this will create a sense of confidence in you that no one can knock down.
4. Paint Your Own Story
A huge part of style is choosing certain templates for yourself. Do you like bright colours? Pastel colours? Monochrome? Based on these combinations, pick a few colours that you love. While initially building your style, style your outfit around these colours. Comfort is key in those initial days because that will help you evolve and develop your personal style. So, good style is primarily about confidence. Wearing colours you love will give you a sense of comfort and confidence.
Once you know what the overall style you want to incorporate is, figure out how affordable that look is. It is important to budget because while clothes are important, they can get quite expensive. If you find you and your family cannot really afford that one garment you really want, let go. There will always be lots of clothes to choose from, and one day you will be able to buy them all. As for your personal style, stick to basics that you can repeat. Buying a pair of boots, a scarf or a jacket that compliments several looks is smarter and more affordable than buying a dress you can wear in limited ways. There are also some basics you just can’t go wrong with. Gym apparel like well-suited track pants and tank tops, barely go wrong in casual settings and are always a worthwhile investment.
6. The Style is Always Evolving
Once you have decided on a personal style, leave yourself the room to wear something radically different. If you cannot decide on a personal style, know that this is okay, and not a permanent state. The style is constantly evolving, with our many moods and age. When you look back at your photographs from when you are eight, you probably dressed nothing like you do now; and eight years hence, you will probably dress very differently. Realizing this means that you will not be limited by your style, and instead, you will form a healthy relationship with your body and yourself.
Just remember: there will always be magazines telling you that certain things about your appearance aren’t great or fashionable, or stylish. At this point, remember your style, and how it is indicative of what you feel inside. Once you can do this, and be confident about it, you have found your personal style.