28 February 2010

How To Create a Personal Style

"The paradox of fashion is that everyone is trying at the same time to be like, and to be unlike, his fellow-men" - J.C. Flugel (1930)

Everyone wants (or should want) to be glamorous, stylish, and seen as a fashion icon. The most important attribute that the greatest fashion icons possess is personal style. Personal style is the aesthetic that one chooses to express themselves through their dress.Many people often believe, based on the media, that personal style is something unattainable or too lofty a goal to reach. But we here at Fashion Inc. beg to differ. Personal style is not the ambrosia of the rich, famous, and glamorous, but is something for us all to possess. So, in this post, we're going to show you how to do it in ten easy steps. Listen up students...

  1. Find your interests. People often tend to associate how they dress with the activities, hobbies, and people they hang out with. Write down all of these things and find pieces that reflect those things.
  2. Pick up a magazine. If you've never cracked open an issue of Vogue magazine or GQ, go to the store and pick up one. These magazines are the fashion bibles of the world and anything that's hot and stylish you'll be able to find in here. If you want more avant-garde and cutting edge magazines, try Bleu magazine, Trace magazine, or Obvious magazine. Don't pick out a look you like because it looks good on someone else. Make sure you can see yourself in the outfit.
  3. Get measured. If you've never had your measurements taken or if you haven't had them taken since your high school prom, go over to a formal wear store or section to have them taken. Knowing your measurements helps you to find clothes that will complement not compete with your figure. Also, it will help you to know which looks will work on you and which won't.
  4. Go window shopping. Taking a trip to the mall just to try on clothes is an excellent way for you to know if a style or outfit will work for you without having to buy the clothes first. Take an honest (but constructive) friend along to evaluate your choices. Also, take a look at the mannequins. These can be used as templates to start a new personal style or to add items to a look.
  5. Something borrowed. Take a look at any notable personality in fashion and they can give you a list of influences and inspirations on their style. When it doubt, fake it until you make it by copying an outfit from someone you admire or stealing an item from their look. Remember, the master in anything was once a novice. A great place to do this is at LookBook.nu, an online fashion inspiration website where you can browse looks from other people around the world or if you're feeling stylish you can upload a look of yourself.
  6. Hit the books! There are tons of books and resources on creating a personal style. One of my favorites is Fonzworth Bentley's Advance Your Swagger: How to Use Manners, Confidence, and Style to Get Ahead. These books are a great source of knowledge and have large amounts of technical information and tips about dress and appearance. Also researching fashion history books can also give you a retro-style inspiration.
  7. Find a signature item. More often than not, people who are respected for their style tend to be because of one or several signature items they are seen with. Whether it's a headband, a bow tie, belts, fragrance, or hair ornaments, having a signature item makes it easier for you to stand out as an individual and also for people to see you as one. It makes your more interesting and can possibly inspire others to be like you.
  8. Get an icon. What do you want your personal style to say about you? If someone could sum up your style in five words or less, what would they say? Take these answers and then find someone whether famous or not who you feel embodies these qualities and take from their style. Doing so will help you to adopt those qualities and allow you to make what you wear your own.
  9. Confidence. Creating a new personal style takes a great deal of confidence because you are taking a risk by stepping outside of your comfort zone. Confidence lets others know that this is the new you and that you expect good things out of it. And if the change is big enough, people will change the way they see you. No longer will you be an irrelevant Plain Jane but you will have evolved into a full-fledged Glamazon.
  10. Like it! If you wear a style that you don't feel comfortable in, then everyone else will notice it too. The key word in personal style is personal. It's all up to you to find out who and what you want to be. Don't let anyone else's expectations, feelings, or tastes dictate your personal style. When you find something that you fall in love with, go for it and go for it hard. People will respect you for being you and if they can't, they know where the door is.


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