finding your signature style

I'm back with another recap from the Pinners Conference and today is all about finding your signature style. I was planning on spacing out these recap posts a little more but with my ever-terrible memory, it's better that I go ahead and do them before I completely forget everything from the class. Becoming a mom is the best thing that ever happened to me, but the worst thing that ever happened to my memory- pregnancy brain came and never left (just ask Zach if you don't believe me- he's got plenty of stories). 

I started this segment of the class by talking about what "signature style" even is and why it's so important to find and practice. I best describe signature style as so: If you were a character in an animated TV show or a video game and only had one distinct look, what would it be? For some reason Daphne from Scooby Doo always comes to mind for me (not as myself but as a good example of the concept). If someone had a picture of you in their mind, what would you be wearing? Signature style is your go-to look and what people imagine you in when they think of you. It best represents you as a whole in terms of appearance.

And why is it important to have a signature style, you may ask? Several reasons, but the number one reason is confidence. When you know and establish a style that's all your own, it's a proven fact that your confidence will increase. This improves your quality of everyday tasks, how you perform at work, your overall happiness, how you manage relationships, etc etc. Not to mention how much your life is simplified when getting dressed every morning is no longer daunting or stressful; once you know your signature style, you'll actually enjoy getting dressed every morning.  And the rest of your day will be positively affected, as well. 

Below you'll find the 5 steps to finding and cultivating a look that is all you!

Step One: Figure out your style icon.
A great way to do this is by looking at your Pinterest fashion boards to see who you pin the most. For me, that's Olivia Palermo. Don't have Pinterest? No worries! Think long and hard about which celebrity you find yourself admiring in magazines; who's style do you gravitate towards? Once you figure out who's style you most look up to, you've found your style icon. Now to use this step: emulate what you see this person wearing. There's a 99% chance that your icon pays big bucks for a celebrity stylist which is great news for you- you don't have to! You can simply scour the internet for pictures and recreate these looks yourself, on a budget. It isn't plagiarism or copying- it's being smart and resourceful to put together outfits you love with your own personal spin.

Step Two: Define your style in 3-5 words.
This may seem like a silly exercise, but it's actually really important (you'll see why in step 5). Limit yourself to 5 or less words, and think really hard about which words best encompass your style. Don't feel like you currently have a distinctive style? Choose words that you want to look and dress like. It's important that you grasp what styling of clothing you really love (and ones you don't).

Step Three: Evaluate your age and lifestyle.
I'm not one who thinks that you have to always "dress your age", but I do think we're all most comfortable when we feel like we're dressed appropriately in a group setting. Take a look at your lifestyle before the next time you go shopping- if you work in a cubicle 9-5, you probably should be investing in more work wear pieces. If you're a stay-at-home mom, you need more jeans and flats. Your wardrobe is greatly influenced by the things you do everyday, so take this into account when establishing what styles best suit you.

Step Four: Choose a signature item.
This step is probably my favorite because I think it's the most fun, not to mention vital to this process. Think back to timeless beauties of the past- they all routinely wore something that was unique and made them memorable. For Jackie O, it was the over-sized sunglasses. For Audrey Hepburn, pixie pants and ballet flats. For Bridget Bardot, floppy hats. It doesn't have to be an item of clothing- in modern times, Taylor Swift rocks the signature red lip. Find an item that you love wearing and make it your signature piece. If I had to choose one for myself, I've started to religiously wear statement earrings over the past year. It helps that they're on trend, but I don't think I'll ever be able to stop wearing them!

Step Five: Clean out your closet.
Now the real fun begins. Hopefully the previous four steps have helped you better establish your signature style, and you can now implement what you've concluded into your own wardrobe. Go tackle that closet of yours and show it who's boss. Remember those 3-5 words you chose to describe your style? If an item of clothing doesn't fit in one of those categories, toss it (even if you love the item!). It's important that you create an overall aesthetic that's visually appealing to you; it'll make getting dressed in the morning much more enjoyable. 

And some rules of thumb!
1. Experiment a little. I always advise clients to try one new thing a month, whether it's a style of pants or a different shade of lipstick. Trying something new once a month ensures that you won't waste a lot of money on something you might not end up liking, and you might actually fall in love with an item through the process! This is a great way to gradually grow and cultivate your style.
2. If you love it, by more than one. This is an obvious one, but it's so true. I am obsessed with these LUSH tunics from Nordstrom, so I own them in five colors. They're the perfect length and fit (and currently on sale!), and I've struggled to find any tunics I like near as much elsewhere. Moral of the story: stock up on items you love because you might not be able to find something similar when you need it.
3. Catalog compliments and play to those features. Do you get a ton of compliments every time you wear a particular dress? Pay attention to items you receive praise on and really study the items complimented. Maybe it wasn't just the dress that people loved, but the way it fit you. Was it a-line or midi? Chances are the style and fit of the dress look most flattering on your shape, and you should buy more dresses with a similar fit and structure.
4. Find a good tailor. We all lose weight, gain weight, buy clothes that are too big, etc. For this reason, you always need a good tailor on hand. Ill-fitting clothing, no matter how expensive, doesn't look good on anyone. 
5. Mix designer and budget friendly pieces. Talked a ton about that here!


If you stuck with this very long-winded post, you are a trooper and I'm so grateful for you! And if you fell asleep or started watching The Voice after step two, no hard feelings; I'm still grateful for you, too. :) These slides don't transition well from Powerpoint into the blog and they were subpar to begin with; I can't wait until 2018 when Bear passes me in the technology department. He already navigates the iPad better than me, which isn't saying a lot but still, impressive. How do our kids know this stuff? It's like kids these days are preprogramed for smart device use and I'm over here like, what happened to floppy disks? 

Hope your week is off to a great start! Thank you for reading!
xo, Britt