Do you have (or have you always wanted) a signature style? First, what do I mean by “signature style”? I mean a go-to look that you wear over and over again – in fact, you might even become known for it.
For instance, on a given day you’ll pretty much always find me in one of my many hats. Why? Because (for now at least) they’ve become part of my signature style.
My signature style isn’t something that came overnight. It was a trial & error process over many, many years of trying new things, knowing what I like and ultimately listening to my intuition. This philosophy extends well beyond hats though.
Another personal example – I jumped on the bandwagon recently of online dating and found myself looking at pictures for my profile. No surprise to me – every single photo is me in some version of the exact same look. Head to toe. Denim, tee, hat, jewelry, clogs. Repeat. While some might consider this boring, I think it’s liberating in its’ simplicity.
Having too many options is overwhelming. And to me, style is about efficiency, simplicity, confidence, and personal branding.
I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me if I ever take my hat off. I used to get offended, but now I take it as a compliment. It means that I’ve truly cultivated a signature style, so much so that people remember me. If you know what works for you – why not rock it?
A signature style or “go-to” look is one that:
- You always feel comfortable in
- You know looks good on you
- You can wear on many different occasions
It’s easy to be swayed by posts like this, or articles online that tell you that every wardrobe should have a certain number of basics (think: white button down shirt, black pants, a little black dress, etc.). For me at least, these fashion rules have never felt true to me.
Case in point, I have a large amount of denim. Because I like it and it meets my criteria of being comfortable and versatile. But one time, in a moment of fashion identity crisis, I started to fill my online shopping carts with dresses, jumpsuits, skirts, and suits. And it’s no surprise that when the clothes arrived, they took up residence in the back of my closet and they still have their tags on to this day.
I’m sure you can relate to the idea of a style evolution. My own style has gone through major changes over the years. It has evolved from uber preppy in high-school (Lilly Pulitzer, Tiffany’s locket’s) to channeling my inner Janis Joplin in college (dashiki, Birkenstocks, round sunglasses) to adapting to a bicycle culture in Boston (cut off jean shorts, ripped stockings, wacky socks and converse). I even tried the working professional look when I moved to DC (inspired by politicians and Ann Taylor).
It has taken me years, countless embarrassing photos, many a trip to Buffalo Exchange, the process of elimination, and intuition to realize what works best for me. And the same is likely true for you too.
It takes time for our style to evolve. Just as it takes time for us to become the confident, truest version of ourselves.
If you want to develop a signature style, I recommend investing in an upgrade (in quality) of whatever type of clothing you wear most. Identify your signature hue – a color palette you’re drawn to and that compliments your skin tone. Also, think about what colors go best with the signature items you where day in and day out .
Then, ask yourself how you want to feel in your clothing. How do you feel now? How do you want to feel throughout the day? Does your outfit convey the way you feel? Do you want to exude confidence? Feminine or masculine energy? A certain “coolness”? Tap into your intuition (it always knows). Truly understanding how you want to feel in your signature style will help you create a wardrobe that supports that.
Start with these building blocks, add in some quality pieces that are comfortable, versatile and that you love to wear, and you’re well on your way to having an intuitive signature style that will grow with you in the years to come.
I’d love to know – what is your signature style? How did you develop your signature style? And what are some of the go-to pieces in your closet that you can’t live without? Share with us in the comments!