When I was younger, I didn’t pay attention to my personal fashion style. I would only wear what my mom would buy for me and what she says would look good. For most of my life, I wore a school uniform. So, I really didn’t bother preparing how to look good in school. Even when I was in college, I wore a uniform. Whenever we would have a wash day where we were allowed not to wear a uniform, I still wouldn’t bother looking good.
At the time, I still didn’t have a personal fashion style.
During college, I befriended a girl that would always look good no matter what she wore. And, I wanted to be the same way. That’s when I started bothering how good I would look. Whenever we would have wash days, I started wearing what looked good on me. Unfortunately, as a broke college student, I didn’t really have that much money to spend on clothes. So, I would go to thrift stores and buy something that I thought felt comfortable but at the same time, would look good on me.
For years, I felt like I never had anything to wear.
Even when I started to have my own money, I didn’t know how to emulate me. I didn’t have a cohesive wardrobe and I still didn’t have my personal fashion style. There was no single shirt, no pair of pants that could magically solve all my problems. Because, the truth was — my wardrobe was all over the place. I didn’t have a personal fashion aesthetic.
I love variety… we all do. But, the thing with my wardrobe was there was too much variety.
Finding my personal fashion style took a lot of trial and error, mostly errors. It took me years to figure out what I actually liked and what felt the most me. Although I am writing these article, I still haven’t mastered my personal fashion style. Mainly because fashion keeps evolving and my taste continues to expand.
But, these tips of finding and mastering your personal fashion style helped me. So, let me share it with you.
Setting aside a day for window shopping.
I love window shopping. It allows me to browse through a brand’s clothing items. But, the thing about window shopping is that you don’t need to buy clothes. Although I love dressing up, I just dread going shopping especially when I need to shop for something particular. It makes me feel frantic, looking around for a random clothing that I needed for an event or something.
Instead, I started taking time to go to the mall just to go window shopping. Aside from that, I would try on something that just screams me. If I like it, I would take a photo of it and save it for myself. Sometimes, I take photos of an item that I wanted to buy off of a mannequin. When I think it’s too pricey for me, I would look for a similar item in a thrift store or in my own closet.
Having a mood board.
When I started working for Village Pipol Magazine, I had the chance to widen my knowledge on fashion. I would make mood boards for magazine cover photo shoots and a stylist would bring those outfits to life. I have started using Pinterest. And, although I wouldn’t usually wear outfits that I would attach on those mood boards for the magazine cover shoots, I knew it looked good. Just not on me.
Then, I started doing it for myself and what outfits I would love to see on my body. Having all these different images of outfits in one place really allowed me to take a look at the bigger picture. It also allowed me to analyze the similarities between these different looks and why I liked them. I saved the outfits I liked and analyzed it.
Analyzing similarities between outfits I liked.
Because of Pinterest, I started analyzing the similarities between the outfits I liked. I realized that I liked mixing different fabrics together. Seeing a black leather dress layered over a long-sleeved cotton shirt legitimately makes me feel so good inside. However, because we’re in the Philippines and it’s always so warm, I don’t think leather would actually make me feel good. So, I would try replicate it with a couple of different fabrics. Then, I decided that a knitted orange top and a classic black slip dress would make me feel fresher during the hot weather.
Going out of my comfort zone.
Trying a new style of clothes can feel really intimidating. The important thing about this is to remind yourself that clothes and fashion are supposed to be fun, especially the ability of playing around and trying new things. As time goes on, we grow and change — physically, mentally, and personally-wise, etc. So, why can’t your style change, too? You never know until you try. When you go out of your comfort zone, start small.
I tend to stick to baggier clothing because that’s where I feel the most comfortable. I also feel like baggy clothing would look good on everybody when styled properly. However, I did start trying to wear clothing that would show off my figure. Recently, I went out of my comfort zone and wore a cropped top, pairing it with a loose-fitting pants while completing it with some white sneakers. Wearing cropped tops and showing off my stomach felt too far out of my comfort zone. Trying it out definitely made me feel confident.
Mimic the looks of people whose fashion style you adore.
When I started looking for inspiration, I eyed the man whose fashion style I adore the most — Harry freaking Styles. At the time, he would wear button-downs and a pair of pants. And, I loved it so much. So, I started replicating that and continued to do so when I felt like it emulated me. I would sit and scroll through photos of him, videos of him, and I would think of similar outfits I could sport.
When he started wearing sweater vests, I did, too. However, I wouldn’t try it out in colors than he does. So, I would wear it in black and mix it up with a velvet flared pair of pants. Of course, I would complete it with a pair of boots that looks perfect with every outfit I have.
As of this writing, I still have not mastered my personal fashion style. However, in the world of fashion bloggers and influencers, use them as inspiration to your advantage.
Angela Grace P. Baltan is a Communication graduate from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, and mental health among others.