How to Have Your Own Style

Four Methods:Start Where You Already AreConsult the ExpertsShop AroundGetting Down to Basics

Many people claim they don’t know what their “style” is, but unless someone else is picking out your clothes every day, it’s a sure bet you already have a style. Read the steps below so that you can identify your favorite clothes and find your style.

Method 1
Start Where You Already Are

You may have developed your own style without even knowing it. Take a closer look at what kinds of clothes you already own.

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    Assess your wardrobe. Look in your closet and drawers and take note of the kinds of clothes you have already purchased for yourself. You will probably see some patterns of your buying behavior.
    • Are most of your clothes casual?
    • Is there a predominant color?
    • Are all the skirts and dresses ankle length if you like it?
    • Are most of your clothes made from synthetic fabrics or natural fabrics?
    • Do you have 15 pairs of slacks and 1 skirt?
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    Pull your absolute favorite clothes out of the closet and line them up on your bed. Only pick clothes that you love and could never part with.
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    Look at each outfit you have chosen and ask yourself why you love it.
    • Is it comfortable?
    • Does it make you feel sexy? Powerful? Fun?
    • Think about how you feel every time you wear each of your favorite outfits. Is there a common denominator?
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    Decide if you wear clothes to impress others or to feel good while you are wearing them. Do you lean towards “fashion over comfort” or “comfort over fashion?”
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    Are your favorite outfits appropriate for most of your daily activities?
    • Do you tend to buy clothes that you are drawn to, even if they are utterly impractical for your lifestyle? If so, those clothes are definitely “your style.”
    • If you gravitate towards hot pink sundresses, but you have to wear a tailored business suit to work, try to take a bit of your style with you every day—add a colorful silk scarf to your ensemble and the longest earrings allowable at your place of employment. You won’t be wearing your hot pink sundress, but you will have a more individual look that expresses your personality.

Method 2
Consult the Experts

If you find that your wardrobe is a hodgepodge of yesterday’s sales, with no particular theme, then you might want to consult sources with some fashion savvy.

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    Buy at least 3 fashion magazines and 3 other types of women’s magazines and look at every outfit on every model.
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    Cut out pictures of all the clothing styles you like. Don’t over think it: look at the picture and make an instant decision. If you love it, cut it out and put it aside.
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    Divide the magazine pictures into as many categories as correspond to your lifestyle. For example, you could have 1 pile labeled “casual,” one pile labeled “work” and one pile labeled “formal.”
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    Sift through each category pile and note the similarities.
    • Does your casual category predominantly contain pictures of velour jogging suits or blue jeans?
    • Are the blouses and tops frilly or tailored?
    • Is everything loose and flowing or tight and close-fitting?
    • The answers to these questions should help you identify your personal style.

Method 3
Shop Around

Go window shopping, especially if you are a tactile person. The feel of the fabric may be just as important to you as the color and the style.

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    Try shopping in vintage clothing stores or thrift stores. These types of stores tend to have a wide variety of styles, representing people from all walks of life. And remember, even if you look at 40 dresses and you don’t like any of them, at least you know what you don’t like.
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    Go to a modern dress shop or to the women’s department in a large store. Large stores may have women's, misses, and/or juniors departments. Seek the advice of the sales personnel. Most often, sales associates know their department and can give you good advice. Be sure you trust the person you are asking so that you are confident you are receiving helpful advice and not false compliments meant only to induce you to purchase something.
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    Start noticing the clothing others are wearing that you admire. Think about why a particular outfit appeals to you. You might even feel confident enough to ask her where she got her clothes.

Method 4
Getting Down to Basics

No matter what your personal style turns out to be, there are some staples you should always have on hand.

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    Buy a basic black dress if you don’t already own one. A simple black dress is suitable for almost any occasion. You can always dress it up with accessories. Love yourself to be you.
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    Keep a variety of belts: wide; narrow; black; decorative. A belt can instantly change the look of an outfit.
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    Use scarves as accessories. Long scarves can be worn around your waist and short scarves can be loosely tied around your neck to enhance anything you are wearing. You can even use a scarf as a headband to tie back your hair.
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    Get a variety of legwear. Opaque tights, especially ones with patterns, are great to wear with short skirts. Patterned socks are a great idea too!
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    Fill your jewelry box with basic earrings and necklaces. A pair of simple silver hoop earrings worn with a tailored shirt and designer jeans is perfect for many occasions.
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    Consider getting a few camisoles or tees. They can be worn underneath a variety of blouses and make sheer materials wearable.
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    Have at least one black sweater and one basic blazer. A blazer can be worn with dress slacks or jeans, or even over a dress.
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    Hang on to a few outfits in neutral shades even if you prefer colorful, wild prints. Some dresses and suits are timeless and are the only appropriate dress wear for somber events.
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    Keep at least 2 pairs of stylish, comfortable shoes and a few pairs of sandals in your closet. You can never go wrong with a pair of glossy leather pumps.


  • Try on everything. Something that looks fabulous on a mannequin may not suit you at all, and something that you never thought you’d wear might end up being your favorite piece.
  • Go shopping alone. Your style, ultimately, is one that pleases you and you alone.
  • Have a clothing swap. Invite your friends over for an evening and ask them to bring a few outfits they no longer want or like. Have everyone try on each other’s unwanted clothes. Everyone goes home happy and it doesn’t cost you anything.
  • Use padded hangers for all your tailored clothes so they don’t get misshapen.
  • If your father has any ties that he doesn't wear anymore, you can use them as belts!


  • Long, loose clothing is very appealing and comfortable, but be careful if you wear such outfits while you are cooking or if you work with machinery of any kind.

Things You’ll Need

  • Magazines
  • Scissors
  • Full length mirror (optional)
  • Black dress
  • Jeans
  • Simple accessories (belts, scarves, jewelry)

Article Info

Categories: Personality Types and Youth Style