A signature style is a set of sartorial preferences that are recognizably “your look” and consistently represented in your outfits. These preferences are what make your style distinctive. They amp up the PERSONAL in personal style, and make your outfits your own. A signature style can evolve over time, but might have elements that stay the same for most of your life.
A signature style is not to be confused with a style rut. When you’re in a rut you’re bored and unhappy with your style and desperately want to change things up. The elements of a signature style are different. They continue to spark joy, so you keep them anchored in your look for a long period of time.
Signature styles are diverse and individualistic. The elements can be bold and eye-catching, or subtle and discreet. A set of clothing silhouettes and design details, a specific range of colours and patterns, a type of shoe, necklace, pair of specs, earrings, handbag or bracelet, the colour of your lipstick or nail polish, can all become elements of a signature style. So can the way you wear your hair, the way you style your outfits, or combine colours. Your choice of wardrobe essentials can contribute quite significantly to your signature style too. And last, the overall vibe of your look tends to complete the integrity of your signature style.
A signature style develops quite intuitively. Often it’s a case of building onto the same set of sartorial preferences organically over time until they become a strong part of your style. You can nurture a signature style so that it’s an overt part of your look, or you can keep things subtle. It’s all good as long as your signature style makes you happy.
My clients’ signature styles run the gamut. Some clients only realize that elements of their style are “signature” when I’ve pointed them out, illustrating how intuitively a signature style can develop and grow over time. Others are extremely aware of their signature style and make a point of keeping it front and centre through every fashion cycle. And some clients work towards cultivating a stronger signature style after a bit of soul searching, patience, and trial and error.
It might seem self-indulgent to think about and develop a signature style, but I don’t see it that way. I think about it as an exercise in learning and self-discovery. Style is a celebration of individuality that emanates from within, so the more you are in tune with yourself and your needs, the happier you will be with your signature style. Identifying your signature style also helps you plan your wardrobe and shop for the right items. For example, if you know that certain items and vibes are signature to your look, there is little risk in duplication, and you know the items will make you happy in the long run.
Short blonde hair and statement eyewear are probably the most distinctive parts about my style. White footwear, white jeans, white tops, solid items in sour brights, colourful clothing combinations, black turtlenecks, white pearl necklaces, lace dresses, gold watches, and denim jackets are the elements that I consider “signature” to my style. They anchor my look and make me happy. All of that is remixed with a strong desire to emulate a polished appearance, and create crisp outfits with ample structure that are soft and pretty.
Over to you. Describe the elements that are signature to your style. If you’re unsure about your signature style, ask a friend, loved one, or post the question on our forum and we’ll get you started. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised at the responses, and enjoy the assessment. I know my clients enjoy talking about their signature style. It gives them a good idea of where to focus when they shop and create outfits. This type of self-assessment can be confidence-boosting and fun. So go on, ladies. Tell me all about your signature styles.