Five Steps To Finding Your Signature Style

Signature style is implicitly personal, it is a reflection of your personality or mood and can change as the years go on. Developing a signature style is all about being true to you while carrying off a certain confidence; an awareness of the shape & silhouette of the garment and an innate ability to throw together an outfit that is wholly and completely you.

Kate Moss, Rachel Zoe, Rihanna - they all have their own 'look' that is synonymous to who they are. The irony that a simple outfit can communicate to others everything about you. Your outlook on the world isn't always a conscious awareness when we throw a dress over our shoulders or pull on a pair of trousers, but it's there and it says 'this is me'.

Developing your own signature style means knowing yourself fully and completely as well as drawing inspiration from everything cultural and societal. Below we list 5 tips to finding your signature style to help you develop your own unique look!

1) Signature Style begins by being inspired

Inspiration comes from everything around you. When it comes to developing a personalized style that reflects your person, inspiration can be drawn from the things that matter most to you or which hold a special place in your heart. Think about what naturally draws your eye when you flip through the pages of a fashion magazine or what style of dress or outfit you usually go toward when shopping. Take inventory of your current wardrobe and note if there is a theme, and elaborate on it. Watch movies, see a fashion show, look at style icons of the past, keep a folder with all your favourite magazine clippings.Does romanticism make your heart soar? Is boho your guide? Have you always loved the look of the 70s-inspired hippy chic? Jot these down and see if you can incorporate some of your favourite looks and pieces into a style that is completely your own.

2) Clean out the past & make room in your wardrobe for the future

Giving your wardrobe an overhaul is a good start in making room for the new you and your own signature style. Check out our article which provides 10 Great Ways to Declutter your Wardrobe. A clean, streamlined & organized wardrobe will allow you to make way and feel ready for the new you (not to mention give you more space for new purchases!) A signature style only starts with a few basic pieces, so invest in staple garments like a white tee, a grey marle cable knit cardi, roll-up jeans and tan boots. These staples can be added to and played around with. The real recipe for signature style is how you interpret an outfit and its components, and how much fun you have in playing around with it and experimenting!

3) Shop Smart

Signature style can come at a cost, let's face it. It is hard to develop a Kate Moss wardrobe on a 2-minute noodle budget. Shopping smarter simply means investing in quality and key pieces that can be adapted and worn from day to night, yet still maintaining that personalized style. Before going on an online shopping binge, take stock of your inspiration board and the images you look to when you are inspired. Shop within the guidelines of these images and stick to your list to avoid impulse purchases. Shopping for a signature style can be done on a budget, look to fashion warehouses in your area which sell haute couture pieces at warehouse prices. Even fashion retail chains like Sportsgirl, Temt and Ally Fashion provide really nice looks for super affordable prices. Look at fashion rental options such as GlamCorner for those occasion where you need to up the ante on your signature look for a night out or special occasion. Op-shops and vintage wear stores are also a haven for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces which you can grab at great prices and add to your 'new you' wardrobe.

4) Confidence carries the clothes

One main thing all fashionistas and style icons have is that they wear their outfits and style with confidence. Signature style is all about authenticity, and so if you are wearing a style that is not truly 'you' or is modeled off another person with the same style, it wont work. Style has to be personal, it has to be in unison with the you that you are underneath the clothes. Clothing is only an extension of you, so make sure that what you are personalizing your outfit so that it is in tune with the person you are. Take into consideration how your clothing and style makes you feel and how well it integrates into your lifestyle and what you do. Experiment with different shapes and lengths and find the styles which suit and flatter your unique body type. Have fun with texture and colour, and be proud of the outfit you carry. Don't try and emulate someone else if their style and flow is not in line with your own personality and style.

5) Play up your strengths

We all have one feature that we don't mind playing up. Maybe you are blessed with lovely toned arms or long slender legs? Do people often compliment you on you hourglass figure or the way you can pull off wearing a hat? Wearing clothes that play up your best features is a style that will never go out of fashion. Need some extra help with determining your signature feature? Have a look at Understanding Your Body Shape for tips on what fits will flatter you most. Having a signature style doesn't start and end with your outfit, either. A signature look encompasses the entire package which includes makeup, hair and accessories. Find your signature beauty style with InStyle Magazine to complete your signature look.

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