October 2, 2017
Transitioning from college to an office job. Dressing after having a baby. Entering retirement. These are a few example of the many challenges that life throws at us. And along the way your wardrobe has to adapt, while also maintaining your personal style.
When your closet contains the clothes that are in line with your personal style, you face the day with confidence. And when you walk out the door wearing things that you don’t love and are not in line with your personal style, your outfit feels “off” for the day. You don’t feel like “me.”
Developing a personal style can be a lot of work. It takes trial and error, intimate knowledge of how to dress for one’s body type, understanding which colors are most flattering on yourself, and the clothes must fit into one’s daily lifestyle. Which brings up an interesting question.
How do you keep personal style consistent in light of lifestyle changes?
The key to personal style that endures over time is consistency. Don’t believe me? Here are a few examples. Look up any of the following people with Google and look at their images.
Anna Wintour. The current artistic director for Vogue magazine’s publisher, Conde Nast, is known for her trademark bob with bangs, dark sunglasses, and prints. In the past her go to items were a jacket and skirt, ala Chanel tweed suit. In more recent years, it’s been a nipped in waist with a hemline past the knee, most often in the form of a dress paired with a cardigan. One thing you won’t find her wearing is head to toe black.
Angelina Jolie. In complete contrast to Anna’s style is the personal style of American actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie. Black leather pants. Black dresses. Black skirts. Black trousers. The one style element Angelina Jolie is known for above all others is wearing black. And when Angelina is not wearing black she is most often found wearing another neutral shade, including grey, cream, white, tan, and occasionally brown or camel. Regardless of which neutral it is, Angelina’s clothes are always simple with clean lines and her hair matches.
Gwen Stefani. With a career as a professional singer of the lead vocalist of the band No Doubt in the mid 90s and more recently as a fashion designer and television personality, Gwen Stefani’s personal style appears to be as wide ranging as her skills. Yet despite showcasing outfits that range from rocker chic to girly girl, Gwen Stefani is well known for 3 things: blonde hair, a bold red lip, and outfits that stand out in a crowd.
All of the women above participate in a variety of roles and represent a wide range of personal styles. But they also have 1 thing in common, over the years they have remained consistent in key elements of their look, which has translated into an iconic personal style over time.
As lifestyles change over time, you may shift from working in a corporate environment to a casual setting at home. Or perhaps you move from an region with 4 distinct seasons to a climate that is warm/hot year round. Or you’re putting your “regular” clothes on hold while you dress for the changing body of pregnancy. No matter what the situation is, you can keep core elements of your style as your lifestyle changes. It can be something simple, the hairstyle you sport or the makeup you favor, or you can apply the style elements into the clothes themselves, by maintaining a love of prints, an admiration for blazers, or opting for a specific color.
And if you need help defining your personal style, check out Chapter 5 in my book.
What features make-up your personal style?