How to develop your style in 4 steps
Having great style has nothing to do with how much time you have to get yourself ready in the morning. It isn’t about having millions of dollars to spend on clothes. And it isn’t about being born naturally stylish.
The key to having great personal style is to have a cohesive system in your wardrobe that is built upon intentionality.
The system I have developed is called the Embody & Elevate Style Method and it not only helps you achieve great style, but it also allows you to begin to see yourself as the woman you desire to be. And it involves the following 4 steps:
Step 1 - Curate
Before you can build out your cohesive system, you need to decide what it is you want your style to say about you.
Think about how you would describe the overall aesthetic of your dream style, give it a name -what would you call it?
Then think about 2-3 words you want to communicate to the world about who you are with your image. These words would be describing words that you would want come out of someones mouth if they were speaking about your image. (They should closely link to your aesthetic)
For example if you wanted your style aesthetic to be “Rocker Chic” your messaging words might be “edgy” “bold” and “approachable”
Step 2 - Refine
This is when you start to realize what is going to work well in your system and what wont work well.
You want to spend some time getting to know how to dress your body in a way that you love.
Different cuts, details and fabrics manipulate the way the eye sees the body - like an optical illusion. And you can use these elements of garments to create balance, proportion and harmony on your body shape. Take some time to learn what your body shape is and how to use the different elements to create a silhouette that you LOVE!
In this step you also want to discover what your personal style essentials are. These are the specific elements of garments that are essential in order to bring your overall aesthetic and messaging words to life in all your outfits. Ask yourself what types of pieces, details fabrics, colors etc say “Rocker Chic” to you and which ones make you feel “edgy” “bold” and “approachable”
You also want to develop a color palette of cohesive colors that you love and that work to support your overall message while making you look radiant.
And finally you want to refine your actual wardrobe. Do a thorough closet purge and remove anything that doesn’t align with your vision, that you don’t find flattering and that doesn't work well as part of your overall system.
Step 3 - Integrate
In this step you actually want to start wearing your new upgraded style - but you don’t want to walk into your closet each morning and have it feel like work.
So you want to develop your signature outfit formulas. Outfit formulas are the specific combination of pieces you put together to create an outfit.
For example: a mini skirt, a t-shirt, a long layer and a pair of boots.
You know that you can go into your closet and grab any combination of those pieces and have a put together outfit just as easily as you could walk in and grab your trusty leggings and t shirt.
You will want to have a few different formulas for the types of activities you regularly do.
And because at this point your closet only contains things that are cohesive - everything mixes and matches together easily so getting dressed just becomes a matter of plug and play with your formulas.
Step 4 - Elevate
There will come a time when you want to do a little shopping. But in order to keep your great style, you only want to shop with intention.
Only investing in things that you know are going to cohesively integrate into your close and support your overall image and work well as part of your overall interchangeable system.
Going through the first 3 phases of the system will save you so much money because when you do choose to shop you will be able to easily identify the best piece to add to get even more versatility out of what you already own.
No more wasting money on things you only know how to wear one way, or worse… that you never wear at all!
And any woman can do this, because style is a skill and like all skills, it can be learned and developed over time. All you have to do is simply decide that you want it and start working through the 4 steps.
But like any skill you can learn on your own - you can also have someone who is more experienced help you learn and develop your skill faster with less frustration. If you are working through the 4 steps and you have questions or are feeling overwhelmed I recommend reaching out to a style coach for support!
- Cortney St. Clair, Style and Image Coach