Your 20s and 30s are for finding your fashion feet, so don’t worry – you’re not the only one who cringes looking back at pictures of themselves in dodgy denim-shorts-and-chestnut-Uggs combos.
The thing is though, social media always makes you feel like everyone else has their life – and their wardrobes – together. Surely those with chic outfits and perfectly curated images have never put a foot wrong, right? Wrong. Pinning down your personal style takes practice and a fair amount of trial and error for even the most decisive among us.
If you haven’t nailed yours yet, try not to pressure yourself to find your ‘look’, and instead, aim to figure out what you do and don’t like to lead you there. Here are the key steps that’ll help you along the way…
The only way to learn that blush isn’t the most flattering shade of pink for your skin tone and hair colour, or that mom jeans are the style that suits the shape of your thighs best is by trying them out first, so be adventurous and embrace new trends, if only to rule them out and hone in.
Go through your ‘liked’ and ‘saved’ photos on Instagram, and I’ll bet a few themes crop up. Whether it’s as vast as colourful clothing, or as niche as camel belted coats, it’ll offer a good starting point.
The same goes for influencers: if you follow @EmmaHill for her minimal chic looks, or @SashaEllese for her casual glam, build on the aesthetics you engage most with – you like them for a reason, after all.
Know where to invest
Spending some time trying clothes on in-store and taking mirror selfies that you can later flick through means you’re not splashing out on any and every new piece then later changing your mind, as you can work out what suits you beforehand.
Similarly, if a friend has a great cherry red knit that you love, ask to try it on: that way you can add the jumper shape or colour to your ‘likes’ list ahead of buying it.
Later, once you’ve pinned down the pieces you love and feel great in, you’ll know what’s safe to splash out on. If you find you turn to tan ankle boots once a week, it makes sense to plump for the best quality you can afford.
Think about what you want your clothes to convey
Comfort is key, but do you want to look classic? Modern? Fashion-forward? Super casual? Smart? If you can pin down your general fashion mood, finding the pieces to suit it will be a doddle.
Be sure you’re dressing for yourself, too. Wearing what suits you, and therefore what you feel great in, means you’ll be comfortable and confident, which is the running thread through any great signature style.
Don’t be afraid to go big or go home
Think of your favourite celebrity or influencer, then think of an outfit of theirs that springs to mind. I can bet my new Zara trench coat it’ll be a formula that they turn to often, which is why you were able to pinpoint it.
Once you’ve figured out the pieces you love, don’t be afraid to double up on them. If coloured blazers are your thing, invest in two or three in different shades so you can rotate them. Shopping smart is all about investing in the pieces you know you’ll get maximum wear out of, after all.
Three chic women who’ve nailed their signature style formula
Rochelle Humes: Day glam
Fine knit dresses and knee-high boots are Mrs Humes’ daytime go-to.
Marianne Smyth: Casual chic
Marianne’s favourite combo is a chic knit and laidback jeans.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: Minimal polish
Blazers and trousers are Rosie HW’s forte.