Finding your own style can help you project who you are. We live in an era where self branding is becoming important. But personally I never cared about others! and you shouldn't as well. What I recommend you is to find your style that will make you confident. If you feel empowered wearing hoodies and leggings so be it as long as it affects your mood positively. I made a step by step guide here to help you find your style.
Know your body type
Most celebrities and public figures start their style analysis journey learning how to dress for their body type. Generally there are two methods to figure your body type. The 1st one is the generic hourglass, pear, apple, and banana, which you measure your shoulder, waist, and hips width and according to the ratio you get to know your body type. The 2nd more accurate (and my favourite) method is following Kibbe's test, which uses the ying and yang methodology analysing the ratio between bone structure and fleshiness/ femininity and masculinity. The Kibbe test is available in a book form so I decided to create an online test for it that you can follow easily.
Do a Color analysis
Have you heard of the 4 seasons color analysis? your personal style starts from there. Usually there are specialists that can do a color analysis for you. But I will give you the basics that will set you in the right direction. Skin shades going from dark to light is one thing, yet skin color undertones dictate the overall look of our skin. Skin undertone can be warm or cool, if you add the overall appearance (contrast) this will give you one of the seasons. You can learn more about this and identify your color season in this blog post I created before.
Analyse your Laundry Basket
Your style lies between what you wear, and what you pin on Pinterest. Yes that's a quote by me and it says it all. So the 1st step now that you know your body shape and color let's have a look at what you are reaching for most in your closet. Open your laundry basket now and categorise things in it. Then write down main keywords that come to your mind looking at the clothes. For example, comfort and neutral can be the most common things if you wear sweat pants and hoodies all the time in beige and black. Make sure you write down at least five keywords from what you find in your laundry basket clothes as common attributes.
Analyse what you follow
Now it's time to complete my previously stated quote 'Your style lies between what you wear, and what you pin on Pinterest'. Open your style pinterest board, instagram or facebook saved photos, or even photos and screenshots of looks you liked. Now make sure you have a bird view on it all seeing all the photos at once. If they are too many then pick your favs. Once you do this write down keywords that you get from them. For example, classic and colorful can be the most common. Write at least five keywords like you did in the last step.
Now let's write the keywords from your laundry basket and inspiration pictures of how you want to dress up. Do you see a huge contrast? or you have more similar keywords? If you have similar keywords or keywords that complete each other that's exactly your style. If you have two extremes of keywords then it's now perfect time to decide which you want to stick to. You might want to transform your style completely, or purchase only things that you wear and find more in your laundry basket. You can also find a keyword bonding both contrasting keywords which would represent you perfectly.
Personalised style map
Now we have all we need to create our style map which we will reference when we make our next purchase. Take your body type, skin season, and final keywords and gather them on a notebook, powerpoint, pdf, paint, canva, what ever you like. You will gather mainly things written and/or pictures that represent it. Now when you look at this all can you bring more keywords out of it? remove from the keywords? this will be the big picture here. This step is mainly to narrow down things and fit them to your body type, skin tone, what you wear most, and what you wish to wear more.
Now when you shop go through three simple steps formula. Body type, then skin color, then keyword filters. You're in let's say Zara and saw a nice top and you are a romantic body type according to kibbe, the 1st filter will be does this suits my body shape? if yes then does it come in a color that compliment my skin season let's say deep winter? if yes is it feminine and classic like my chosen keywords? So now when you shop for clothes you will have a selection criteria that eliminates things that don't suit you or your lifestyle.
Style inspiration icons
Now we need to know who exactly to follow for style inspiration that we know our style. So now apply your formula to filter through celebrities and influencers. Which celebrities have your body shape, then which from those has your skin season, now from those who has more style that is close to you. This might narrow down to you to 1 or 2 but whenever you run out of ideas follow them as their stylists will do the job for you.
Moodboard to follow
Now let's take the map we created before after it was modified, add to it the formula written, then drag your style icons images and create a board that will help you find things now easier that fit your style and make outfit planning so easy later on. Take this board and print it and stick it in your closet door. Every time you open your closet to get ready you will be reminded of your style. Have a photo of this board that you refer to when you go shopping later on.
Declutter what is not in your style
Now that you figured out your style, it's time you go through the items you already own. You know the drill, take everything out and categorise it by seasons and type. Then check item by item and ask yourself the formula questions. Does it fit my body type? skin tone? keywords? would my style icon want to wear that? This will allow you to have a closet that fits your style perfectly and will make outfit planning much easier for you.
Digital closet library
I find pictures for items I own online. Let's say I have h&m mom jeans, I find it's picture and save it. If items you own have no images online then pick something similar by typing for example black cardigan. Or take a photo of the item. Now when you collect all drag them on paint or power point to see all what you have. This will help you add items that suit things you own and ensures that your style is always intact.
Now when you look at your digital closet library, what items are missing? We will go shopping and hunting the best quality items we can add to our closets. Write down what's missing, categorise it and write down places you might like that sell this item. You can also look online for it. Make sure you write the material, color, and fit and if you shop online use this as the filter criteria on the website navigation. I check the side bar and filter with my size, color I am looking for, and material.
Outfit Plan & have a uniform
Congratulations! We finally reached the end. You made it, my last tip for you is to always outfit plan. this will ensure you always look your best and manifest your style that you worked so hard to achieve it. Also, have a no brainer outfit! I wear mom jeans and turtle necks or t-shirts (depending on the weather). This helps me when I run out of outfit ideas.
I hope you see your style evolve from here! best of luck.