An effective, efficient and enjoyable personal style is sustainable and ethical, individual, manageable, practical, authentic and therapeutic (or SIMPAT for short.) A common thread through these elements is that they are personal. This is obvious when it comes to your style being individual, authentic and therapeutic. But it’s also true for the ways your style is sustainable, ethical, manageable and practical. The decisions are very personal.
Here are three things you can do to amp up the personal in your personal style. In my experience, doing these things will give you confidence and a sense of ease in your outfits, and will help you to make good decisions about your wardrobe.
1. Do Your Own Thing
Almost anything goes these days. And as trends become less influential, creating a signature style and evolving it over time becomes more important. Wear the trends, don’t wear them, remix them, repeat them, or reinvent them. Or stick to iconic items and modern classics. It’s all good.
Soul search a little about this if you need to. The way you pull yourself together each day should be in line with your beliefs, values, and personality. Strive to create a style that is genuine and true to who you are as a person. It’s also easier to manage a style that is authentically you.
2. Wear What You Love
Make sure you like what you wear, and don’t worry too much about what others think. Select a few people from your life whose opinions matter and seek their advice when you’re unsure. This is harder to do within the confines of restrictive dress codes, mandatory uniforms, and even the expectations of your audience. But it helps that fashion trends and dress codes are becoming less important.
There are ways to stretch dress code guidelines so that they work in your favour if you’re clever about it. For example, my clients who are not allowed to wear jeans to work have successfully managed to wear crisp and tailored dressed up black, white, and dark blue jeans to the office (and are complimented on their looks.) Add a bit of black and white pattern to an all-black dress code, or wear comfy fashion sneakers under a dressy pair of full-length wide leg pants to keep them hidden. If you like to wear cool jewel tones but look better in warm earth tones – combine the two in an outfit and keep the cool tones closer to your face. Be creative and wear the types of items you love to wear as much as possible.
3. Wear What Works
What looks good on you and makes you feel fabulous is always in style. If certain items and outfit combinations work for your lifestyle, climate, current state of mind, and make life easier and less stressful — wear them. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t on-trend or having a fashionable moment. It doesn’t matter if fashion and style influencers aren’t wearing these looks, or believe they are unstylish. What matters is that you feel good, attractive and authentic in your outfit, so much so that you forget that you’re wearing it and can happily get on with what life has to offer.
Remember that style is beyond age and size. It’s an energy, attitude and confidence that is expressed through clothing, footwear and accessories. An honest representation of yourself is always better than a fake imitation of someone else’s style.