Personal Style 101: Tips To Finding Your Style Foundations

Anna R.
March 19, 2024

I’ve seen a lot of things online. After all, I’m a millennial who grew up with unrestricted internet access in the early 00s. But lately, I’ve seen a lot of discourse about personal style. Some people talk about how things like COVID lockdowns, an increasing microtrend cycle, aging, and the rise of social media have impacted their own personal style. While I’m sure we’re all feeling this to different extents, I just want to say, I relate. This shit is hard.

Life has changed a lot, and while I don’t know your life and experiences, I will say, on some level, I imagine we relate. My needs when it comes to a wardrobe and my own philosophies on style have shifted greatly as I enter my 30s and a more corporate world, combined with the fact I have become much more of a homebody post-lockdowns. All that to say, I’ve changed too. I get it, babes.

So enough about that. Let’s have fun, let’s play, and let’s talk about personal style! Personal style is an evolution. What works today might not work tomorrow, so prepare to make peace with change and perhaps some restlessness. Shameless plug, but if you want to hear about my style journey, check it out here! Hey, i’m not running ads, so I’ve got to plug something.

I do think there is a part of personal style that really involves performance. So consider how you want to present yourself to the world. Obviously, I think there’s a bit more to it than that. But an evolved personal style can enable killer confidence, which honestly is just the hottest combo. Tell people who you are; don’t give them the chance to project their stuff onto you, and if (and probably when) they try to project, say, fuck it and keep moving.

At any rate, here are some tips and other things to consider when developing your personal style. But above all, have fun with this.


The Power of Time: Building things takes time, so this is going to take time. Give yourself the time and space to find things that actually bring you joy. Style is lifelong, so you will likely always be adding new pieces to your collection. If you're anything like me, you might be obsessed with having every box checked and everything completed. But with personal style, there is no such thing as a complete wardrobe option; you’ll likely always be adding pieces. So take a break from chasing the perfect wardrobe and focus on slowly building things over time. Also, not to discourage you, know that you're probably going to have to devote time to finding things you enjoy or want. And sometimes, that means hours scouring eBay.

References in Culture: Look to different elements of culture to inform your style. Think Fran Fine from The Nanny, or perhaps the bold colors of photographer David LaChapelle, maybe even the gritty industrial sounds of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult. Whatever it is—art, music, poetry, movies, music videos—take inspiration from something. I’ll admit, this is precisely why I adore Pinterest. I typically don’t look for outfits on there, but rather images that I find inspiring. From there, I’ll build some outfits around them. Get imaginative with things, and maybe, just maybe, if you ask nicely enough, I’ll share my Pinterest.

Don’t Limit Your References to One Size: If you find yourself looking to people rather than other mediums (which I also love and totally do too), consider diversifying who you follow or look to. Look at an expansive range of body types as well as people from backgrounds that are different from yours. I think it’s also worthwhile to pay attention to what people who might have a different style than you are doing. It’s cool to see what other people are doing, and their commitment to self can be really inspiring when it comes to your own style.

Play with Different Elements: This is actually one of my favorite parts of style! When dressing, explore different textures, silhouettes, fabrics, or other elements. It adds something interesting to the outfit; it adds depth. This is also really important if you're considering monochromatic dressing. So think an ostrich feather tube top with flared high-waisted pants, and throw in a patent leather purse for fun.

Utilize Vintage Assets: Vintage can be your best friend. I also tend to find that a lot of higher-end designers end up reissuing versions of their past collections. So who knows, you might just get lucky and have this season's “it” bag that also happens to be 20 years old. I especially favor vintage for jewelry, coats, handbags, and shoes.

Don’t Succumb to Peer Pressure: Don’t worry about what other people are wearing; focus on yourself. Don’t worry about fitting into every trend. If it doesn’t resonate with you, it doesn’t resonate. Don’t force it; stay true to yourself and what you love.

Quality Over Quantity: I know, this one is hard. But I truly believe in quality over quantity. This doesn’t always mean spending more money on something. Take time to learn about the fabrics and how to care for them so that you can get the best option for your money. I also find that when I have a quality piece, I tend to take care of it better and find myself reaching for it way more. Here’s where eBay comes in handy again; eBay, can I get a sponsorship?

Think about the ENTIRE Outfit: Alright, here’s some tough love, babe, but when you're planning, think about ALL of the elements. If something feels off, it’s probably because it is. An outfit is about more than just a color scheme or an aesthetic; it’s holistic.

Consider a Uniform: Approaching style from a uniform or templated perspective can help for moments when you aren’t feeling yourself or just don’t have the time to put something together. I also find that uniform dressing can encourage you to re-wear pieces, which means a better cost per wear. My current uniform? A black leather cropped moto jacket, black turtleneck, black slip skirt, and a belt, bag, and shoe combo I swap out.

Plan Around Where Your Life Is Today: I think the best thing you can do for your own personal style is to create outfits for multiple occasions in your life. That includes days that aren’t as glamorous. When you think about your style and your outfits, consider what you're actually doing or what sensory needs you might have. Also, I think it’s equally important to plan for where you are today. I know it can be fun to shop for impractical cute clothes, but if you aren’t going to the club every weekend… then maybe you need to be honest with what you actually need in your life. Trust me babe, I hate it too.

Match Your Energy to Your Wardrobe: Style, in part, is about design and clothes, but it’s also about energy. Don’t let your clothes wear you; they are meant to be an accent to who you are. They are simply a visual representation of the energy you wish to project into the world.

Forget the Rules: Seriously, fuck whatever rules you know or think to be true about fashion. Fashion is meant to be disruptive, so go disrupt. Be confident, have fun. Well, okay, there is one rule you should always follow… and that’s that shirts and shoes should always be worn in a 7/11.


Well, babe, I hope I could help somehow. Personal style is so fun; don’t let it get daunting. Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done, but remember this doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming. Take time and enjoy the ride. Also, I love to shop, so tag me in!

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