Ever since I was 12 years old, I've been taking those little quizzes in fashion magazines to determine “Which It Girl I Should Dress Like”. You guys know the ones I'm talking about. The quizzes with six seemingly random questions that somehow deduce from your choices of green, ramen noodles, and water sports, that you ought to dress like Alexa Chung.
And those quizzes are fun, but what are they really teaching you about yourself? They’re teaching you to idolize another person's personal style. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a street style photographer, I find beauty and inspiration in other’s styling choices all day long. However, you've got to dance to your own tempo, find your own niche, and Be Your Own Style Icon. So, this isn't a quiz, these are a few things to keep in mind so you can create your own signature style that will turn heads. After all, why should you dress like Gigi, when you can dress like you! Let's Get Going!
1. Focus on Aesthetic
An outfit is more than just an ensemble of matching articles of clothing. An outfit is a curated representation of who you are. It’s thematic and filled with nuance or it’s loud and makes a statement. So when you craft your iconic look, think about what you want to convey. Actually, go a step further and think about the words I would use to describe your personal style on this very blog. Head over to my “What’s Your Style?” post for a little inspiration on how people describe their personal style, then come up with your own.
2. Pick Your Favorite Pieces
Now that you’ve landed on an aesthetic, it’s now time to get to the nitty gritty. Fashion is all about what you make it. So feel free to slam down flip it and reverse it as much as you want. But don’t forget to buy a few staple pieces that represent your overall aesthetic. For example, If you’re going for an effortlessly-cool girl look you’re going to need a denim jacket and a thrifted Henley. Think of your favorite pieces as the foundation of your iconic style.
3. Find Your Signature Accessories
As a habitual loser of all things rings, earrings, and bracelets, this step is the one I’m working on the most. Because accessories can make an everyday look 200% more iconic. Think about it this way, if you wore a different scarf every day for the next six months, chances are, you’re going to be known as the person with a wicked scarf collection. Or if scarves are not your speed, think adding one accessory item that will amp up your look. Like a good, colorful pair of glasses.
4. Make No Excuses and Be Fearless
“Can I pull this off?” Is a question you’ve probably asked yourself while shopping with friends. This question is reserved for those instances where an item is a tincy bit out of your comfort zone; Then the excuses and justifications for not even trying it on get flung about faster than you can put the hanger down. Believe you me, I am totally guilty of this as well, but here’s the thing: You could’ve just put down your next big conversation starter back on the rack. Next time you go shopping, be fearless! Try it on even if it’s bedazzled, has ruffles, and is periwinkle yellow. You don’t have to buy it, but you should at the very least give it a shot. Style icons take risks and you should too.
5. You Can Never Be Too Dressed Up
Yet another tried and true classic shopping question is, “Where am I ever going to wear that?” Well fret not shoppers around the world, I have the answer to this elusive geography-based question and buckle up, because it’s a doozy. Where are you going to wear that? Answer: ANYWHERE YOU WANT. I’m a firm believer in the fact that you can never be too dressed up. However, if that ballgown that you just purchased isn’t “work appropriate” plan to go to an event where you’d wear it.
6. Switch It Up
Once you’ve gotten a foundation-look down, switch it up. Variety is the spice to life and fashion. Sticking to the same colors and silhouettes are sure was to slip into a fashion rut. Avoid this by switching your color palette at least every season. Also nothing shakes things up better than a new pair of shoes which should be bought as often as your wallet can allow.
7. Have Fun!
Fashion doesn’t have to be stuffy or intimidating. Like I said earlier, fashion ought to be a reflection of you. So have fun with it! Break a few fashion rules. Wear white all year round, wear crop tops with a formal skirt, wear chunky platform heels on a Tuesday. Go with the grain, go against the grain, and don’t be so hard on yourself. Not looking like an It Girl isn’t a big deal as long as you look like yourself because you are absolutely riveting.