Developing Your Own Style:

See What Style Works for You.


Most of us feel the need for a fresh start, so why not take a few moments to reflect on changes that will make you not only feel better but also look better?

Before you even think about cleaning out your closet and all those overflowing drawers, take a few minutes and just think. What is your outlook on getting dressed every day? Do you like how your clothes make you feel? If you don’t, then think about concentrating on developing your own personal style. Here are a few tips from fashion expert Jill Martin and stylist Dava Ravich, authors of “I Have Nothing to Wear!: A Painless 12-Step Program to Declutter Your Life So You Never Have to Say This Again!”

“A big reason you’ve been having trouble coordinating outfits is that your closet has too many style options,” says Martin. “We totally understand how it got that way. It’s very easy to get pulled in a million directions. You’re looking through magazines, watching what celebrities are wearing, listening to salespeople at a variety of shops. All the advice on what to wear and how to wear it can get very confusing, which leads to frustration, which leads to fashion overload, which inevitably leads to ‘I have nothing to wear.’”

It’s critical to find your own personal style. “Knowing your style will streamline your choices so that it’s easy to mix, match, and let your personality shine,” says Martin. She and Ravich have defined six fashion styles that have their own trademark vibes. See what style works for you.

[The Classic Girl]
This fashion personality’s wardrobe is filled with basics that stand the test of time. Her wardrobe is mostly neutral in color: navy, white, black and tan. Think Jackie O.; she’ll wear sunglasses and a printed silk scarf around her neck or purse, diamond stud earrings, white button-down shirts tucked into dark jeans, a structured purse and ballet flats. She might dress it all up for dinner with a fitted black blazer, high-heeled pumps and a clutch.

[The Bohemian Girl]
OK, so this is the side of the style spectrum opposite the classic girl. The bohemian girl’s look is romantic and carefree, soft and flowing. Think boyfriend or flared-leg jeans and a peasant top with gladiator sandals and a slouchy oversize hobo bag. White is one of her favorite colors, along with denim, metallics and anything in the tan/brown family. Her jewelry tends to look earthy and natural, perhaps an armful of gold bangles and long delicate chains around her neck.

[The Preppy Girl]
Structured but casual, this wardrobe is colorful and full of pattern. The preppy girl might wear a pink polo shirt with white jeans, a ribbon belt, Jack Rogers sandals and a canvas boat tote. Her favorite colors are usually pink, Kelly green and navy blue. Colors are mixed and matched with each other and teamed with neutrals, such as khaki and white. Madras, seersucker and cable knit are preppy staples. Pearl stud earrings as well as pearl necklaces and diamond tennis bracelets are also favorites.

[The Fashionista]
This is the trendsetter who loves to wear the latest looks. But she is not a fashion victim. She pulls her looks together from a variety of trends, but always makes sure to wear only what works for her. When the shape of handbags changes, she updates her bag; when toe shapes change, her shoes change. When larger costume jewelry is in style, she incorporates it into her wardrobe.

[The Surfer Chick]
She may not necessarily be riding the waves, but she does like to be outdoors if she’s this fashion personality. An athletic-inspired wardrobe filled with bright colors is key. You love Ugg boots and flip flops. Jewelry is minimal. Nothing gets in the way: just a cool, chunky silver ring or cuff bracelet if she is dressing up.

[The Soccer Mom]
This fashion personality loves functional, comfortable clothes for life on the go. Stylish jeans, flattering sweaters and tops, flats and a large tote are her go-tos. She may have a few pieces of fine jewelry, too, but nothing that gets in the way of her busy lifestyle with kids.

“No matter what your career, age, body type, marital status, or location, your personality needs to shine through and your clothing needs to accommodate your lifestyle and make you feel like your best self,” says Martin. Make this your year to find your own personal style and fall in love with your wardrobe.

Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association. Shown: Bisou Bisou floral sheath.

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