Ya, we know this is an ambitious title and really, but Im a mid 40 woman in the midst of a style change and every day I meet women like me. So, I wanted to offer you some simplified direction so you can get started finding your style! This is a fluid plan and it is not about being on trend, but rather finding your personal style. You can do the work as your able and build the story of your style without feeling like a trend might be over by the time you finish!
I. Find a celebrity.
An easy way to get started is to find a celebrity who is still alive, has a style that you love and a similar body type as you.
The reason they should be alive is because it will be so much easier for you to find clothes like what they are wearing. If you choose Audrey Hepburn, everything will be exactly like her rather than you, because you have such a limited lens of what her style was. Make sense? You also want to have a similar body type as your celebrity so that you're not tying to fit your pear, or other shape into Sophia Vergara's hourglass style. Take a high level view of their style and choose 3-5 words to describe it. What you buy will need to match these words.
II. What's your uniform?
Okay, so picked your celebrity, someone whose style you love, body shape you relate to and that you can integrate into your "uniform" for life.
Your uniform is your basic look for life, what you wear most of the time. So, if you work in the corporate world, your uniform is more formal, suits/jackets. If you work in the creative field, you may have a more relaxed and trendy uniform. Your uniform can be dressed up or down with your accessories.
III. Determine your color palette.
You can start by doing the vein test. Look at the veins on your wrist. If they are bluish/purple, you have a cool undertone to your skin. If they are bluish/green, you have a warm undertone to your skin. If you have neither or both, you're likely a neutral skin tone.
Once you know your skin tone, you want to pick proper hues, that you like, and that you feel make you look radiant. Start with neutrals, i.e.: black or navy, brown or grey, beige or nude? There are tons of variations in each hue of each color. Find the hue that works best for you and choose a way to remember it so you can compare things you're thinking about buying to it - print it out, identify a product you already have that matches, etc.
IV. What is your body shape?
There are 5 body shapes that we need to discuss. In order to know which you are, you'll need to either go get your measurements by a professional or take your own at hime with a paper tape measure. Wear no clothing or comfortable fitted clothing and no bra. Start with your bust and measure at the widest point and stay horizontal all the way around. For your waist, measure above the belly button just below the rib cage. For your hips. measure again at the widest point, at the bones on your hips, just about the level of your crotch. Keep these measurements where you can access them when trying on and buying clothes, so you know more confidently what size to choose.
Based off these measurements, you can determine your body shape:
1. If you're hips are the widest point, you have a triangle shape. It is the most common shape and your waste is your best feature! You should be accentuating it.
2. If you're shoulders measure wider than your hip measurements, you have an inverted triangle shape. This is typically a more sporty shape with a narrow hip line.
3. If you're shoulders, waist and hips are streamlined, you have a straight body shape. This is a more athletic shape.
4. If you have a wide torso, broad shoulders, and a full bust, waist, and upper back, you have an apple shape. This shape typically has thinner arms, legs, and hips.
5. If you have a wide bust, a narrow waist, and wide hips with a similar measurement to that of the bust, you have an hourglass shape.
(see our individual videos and blogs for more on each body shape)
V. Make a list.
Based on all these things, make a list of the things you like for apparel. For example:
- Skirts: length and fit, tight or loose, cut at knee or ankle, fabrics, patterns
- Pants: length and fit, waist line, leg width/style, colors
- Tops: neck lines, sleeve styles, fit tight or loose, length short, mid, long
- Dresses: style/fit, patterns/colors, length, sleeves, necklines
Keep in mind that this is not about what is trending. Trends are not absolutes. This is about your personal style. So if your style does not match the current trends, IT IS OKAY! “Fashion changes, but style endures.” Coco Chanel
Accessories do a lot to style your uniform up or down. They are a good place to add colors to change up the neutrals in your uniform.
Start a Pinterest account and use it to build your guidelines and collect images. You can start deep and then edit and reflect later as you refine what you like. Kick out everything you don’t love. As your style evolves, new images should come in.