“I have nothing to wear”. How many times have you said this sentence while staring at a closet jam-packed with clothes? I hate to admit it but I have this feeling at least a few times a month. But thankfully since I started sewing and my body-confidence is soaring I am saying this less and less as my me-made garments start filling up my wardrobe.
So before you get to making your own clothes, or recycling everything you currently own and buying a whole new wardrobe let’s take a moment to figure out exactly what is your personal style? It can be super-tempting to sign up for a styling service such as Stitch Fix or Dia and Co (I totally get the urge) it could solve all your styling problems! But here’s the thing: nobody knows you, like you know you. And you’ve got style—you just need to FIND it. In the words of Diane VonFurstenberg: “Style is something each of us already has. All we need to do is find it.”
So without further ado, here are a few tips and tricks I use to identify and cultivate my personal style with the help of Pinterest.
Start two Pinterest boards. I have two boards that I use to help build my own personal style. The first board is sewing and styling inspiration. To create this board I browsed through various fashion pins to identify the silhouettes I like. Here I’m not looking so much for color (I can always change that) I am instead focusing on the shape of the garment, how it fits the body, what feeling does it create. I’m also paying attention to the fabric, what’s the texture, how does it drape.
After pinning a few dozen images look at the entire board, are there similarities in shape, silhouette, texture? Can you identify a theme? You can check out my style inspiration board here: Sewing and Styling Inspiration Board
The second board I use to find my style is the color palette board. This one is definitely my favorite. Here I pins images of colors, textures and patterns that I like. I simply enter into the search field “black and white stripes” or “emerald green” and up pops 1,000s of images. The goal here isn’t to necessarily find these colors and patterns in the clothes you like, but find colors and textures that inspire you so on your next trip to the fabric store (which can be totally overwhelming) you have a guide to steer you through the aisles of fabric. You can check out my color palette board here: Color Palette Board
After you create your boards take a look. Do you see any similarities or patterns? What do these boards say about you and your personal style?
- Are there colors or shades of colors that you pinned over and over again? Or are there color families represented. For example, nudes, taupes and browns, or jewel tones, or black and white. As you can see from my board I am definitely attracted to dramatic jewel tones, black and white, gold (over silver) and I consider animal print a neutral. I am not attracted to taupes or browns (they tend to wash out my fair complexion).
- Are there prints you seem to be attracted to? Such as florals, geometrics, stripes? I am definitely attracted to geometric patterns including stripes. I like florals as well as long as it’s a big bright floral (not tiny florals or washed out colors).
- Are there textures you find attractive or would like to experiment with like leather, sequins, velvets or linens? I seem to pin a lot of leather and velvet although I don’t have much in my closet at the moment (good thing I picked up some velvet from the fabric store yesterday!) I’m not into linen or other gauzy material.
- What about the clothes you pinned? Are there similarities in the way they fit the body (the silhouette)? Are they super-feminine, bohemian, preppy? The clothes I pinned all seemed to be close-fitting and highlighting the waist. No matter what size I am I always like to wear clothes close to the body that are well fitted. The clothes all seem to have a very feminine vibe. Many of the items I pinned are quite structured.
After you complete this exercise you’ll have a visual representation of your personal style or the style you aspire to. Use these boards as a guide when purchasing fabrics and patterns as well as shopping for ready-to-wear garments.
Getting dressed is utilitarian—getting dressed well is a skill. And like any skill it takes practice, patience and creativity, something you can exercise everyday! And remember, more important than the clothes in your closet is the way you feel—confidence is key to any successful style and when you are feeling good it will shine through.
Experiment with the tips mentioned above, try something new! Follow me on instagram and comment in today’s post—what are your biggest styling challenges? Where do you need help? I’m listening!
Here’s to a great Monday! Get up, get dressed and strut!!
Happy sewing and styling!