No one can disagree that my 2 year old daughter, Kate, has a very distinct signature style. She always wants to wear pink pants and a character t-shirt, a dress, or a tutu. She totally rocks this look with confidence. As a kid, I also had her same taste in gaudy pink clothes and continued having particular taste in what I wore through all my stages of growing up—though I like to think I got more stylish as the years passed!
But somewhere along the way I lost having a signature style.
My wardrobe could best be described as “what was on the clearance rack at Loft or Gap,” or “what was on the top of the clean clothes pile.”
I would see people at work and be jealous of their ability to always look so polished and have such a distinct individual look.
I know there are a lot of bigger problems in the world than feeling like you enjoy the way you dress. But I think I lost having a personal style because I got older and busier and more apathetic. Adult life gets weighed down my work responsibilities, parenting responsibilities, household responsibilities, and more. The fun stuff goes by the wayside. However, since I’ve revisted being more intentional about my clothing, I’ve been more confident, which I think is so important for moms. The following tips can also help you define what your own unique style actually is, if yours has also started to disappear.
7 Tips for Finding Your Signature Style
Consider the types of clothes you actually need for your lifestyle.
In college and my early twenties I has a closet full of heels and going out clothes. Now, I need casual and comfortable work and weekend clothes. Strappy heels still catch my eye when I’m online shopping, but I know they will sit in the closet. I get a lot more use out of a pair of boots for chasing Kate at the park.
Take a look at your closet and the items you actually wear.
If you are like me, there’s probably a lot of stuff in there that you don’t really use. I end up with a lot of items because they are something I wish I liked or needed to wear, but don’t—like the heels. Enter: a great opportunity for a closet cleanout. Aim to have the items in your closet be there because you actually like them and will wear them and they fit. After you are done with the cleanout, look for any trends you see in left in your closet (i.e. a lot of black) and use that as a template for what your personal style is. Also, look for the items that you always re-wear as guidance for the type of clothing you like and need.
Find people to follow online for style inspiration.
I love the liketoknow.it feature on Instagram because if I like a picture, it sends me links to where I can buy those items. I also follow a few accounts whose style I particularly enjoy for inspiration, like The Mom Edit and The Teacher Diva. If there’s someone whose style you always like, find them on social media and look to them for ideas. You can also start a style inspiration Pinterest board to help identify items you gravitate to.
Buy things you can use for more than one purpose.
It helps your dollars go a little further and it carries your trademark look through different parts of your life. For example, I like buying a top I can wear out to dinner but also to work.
Focus your dollars on the staples and the items you know you’ll love and wear for a long time.
Your signature style is about more than just what’s on-trend for a particular season. It’s about your individual look. Don’t invest in the pieces that you’ll only like for a season or so—that’s when you get the costume jewelry.
Identify your favorite places to shop and keep an eye on their sales.
As an avid online shopper I know that all things will eventually go on sale. I usually identify something I want and wait for it to be marked down before I buy it. Being more intentional about what I want helps me stop falling into the trap of buying things JUST because they went on clearance and not because the item I actually wanted went on clearance.
For more expensive items, don’t overlook secondhand options.
There are a lot of great options online like ThredUp , Schoola , Tradesy , Union and Fifth , and Poshmark. There are also a lot of great local stores like Style Encore , Plato’s Closet , Stuff Etc. , Revival , and The Daisy . You get to have more high end items—but for a fraction of the cost.