Finding Your Voice: The Style Edition
Artists of all kinds famously state the importance of ‘finding your voice’ before you can settle into a style that suits. Writers, in particular, famously get through as many as 10,000 words before they even come close to understanding what it is that they want to say.
While style can seem like a very different artform, it’s still a creative pursuit, so the same rules apply. And, given how much of an impact this pursuit and its ultimate destination can have on how well and fit we feel within ourselves, it’s a priority that we could all benefit from getting around to.
But, in order to find a look that fits like a glove, you must look both inside and outside yourself and answer the all-important question - how exactly can I find the right style for me?
Step 1 - Set your style intention with key pieces
Typically for an artist, a certain medium or genre sets the perfect tone for their creative journey moving forward, and your style quest will benefit from much the same outlook.
After all, key fashion items often form the ideal backdrop from which to build a look, hence why capsule wardrobes have been in style since the mid-80s. As well as eliminating choice, focusing on one jacket, one piece of jewelry, and so on, gives you the strongest possible style foundation
The real challenge here is finding those key pieces in the first place. For that, you need to try on jackets until you land on the one that makes your heart sing, or look at jewelry options like those in this charm collection until you find one that speaks to you. Predominantly, you need to make sure that these pieces get you excited because they’re staples that you should aim to wear each day. Then, they’ll very much become the backbones of a style intention with solid foundations.
Step 2 - Understand what works
Once you have those key pieces, take the time to understand what makes them work so well. Is there a certain color that sets your skin tone off just right? Or, perhaps the style flatters your body shape and makes you look good from all angles?
Either way, taking note of these small plus points is your best chance of settling on a style intention you can fall back on. With this key information to-hand, you’ll be in the best position to forever slip into your style when you hit the shops.
As well as helping you to stay on track and avoid disasters (more on those later,) keeping this information in mind means that you can half the time you spend seeking pieces that suit, and still look better for it as you move forward.
Colors are especially useful in this regard, as knowing your go-tos can see you selecting pieces that look great on you as fast as it takes to scan a clothes rail. Shapes don’t have quite the same impact, but even these can help you tell whether an item is liable to look good, even if you don’t have the time or patience to try it on.
Step 3 - Never forget your no-gos
As much as it’s vital to work out what looks good, it also pays to know what truly doesn’t suit you and to keep that knowledge in mind for all subsequent shopping trips. After all, we’ve each got at least one color that doesn’t work with our skin tones, while some of us simply can’t work with patterns or floral designs. Shapes, too, can be significant deciders in the success of a piece, specifically when paired with your body shape. For instance, a pear shape is never going to look great with slim-fits.
The key to making use of this knowledge is to keep it in mind and never forget. Sadly, this is a simple step towards style success that we’re all liable to forget. Even if we know red is all wrong, every few years will still see us reaching for a red jumper in the hopes that it’ll work. Equally, seeing someone else look good in a certain shape might lead us to try it, even if it’s been a disaster in the past.
These digressions are a sure way towards forgetting about the style you’ve worked hard to build. As well as taking you off-track, slipping up means stepping away from the things that suit you best, so make sure it doesn’t happen by forever focusing on the things that work, and steering clear of those that don’t.
Step 4 - Seek representational inspiration
We all seek fashion inspiration from outside sources now and again, and doing so can be a fantastic help for finding your style voice at last. After all, artists have been learning from and adapting the work of other artists for centuries, hence Mark Twain’s theory that there’s no such thing as an original idea.
That said, for inspiration to help you towards your one true fashion voice, you first need to ensure that it’s representational. In the same way that a watercolor artist wouldn’t look to mimic what a fellow painter can do with acrylic, it’s no good your turning to a style inspiration with a totally different color-palette/body shape to yourself.
Instead, look for representational inspirational figures who work with the same colors/shapes that you already know look good on you. Seek, too, models who are roughly the same size and age, so that you know, almost for certain, that something which looks great on them will likely look good on you too.
It may seem complex, but as soon as you settle into your clothing style, you should find that it comes easily. Like a writer who claims the characters dictate what happens once they get into the swing, you may even find that the ideal clothing and accessories start to find their way to you. And, when that happens, stocking your wardrobe never needs to be stressful again.