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Discovering Confidence

During my blogging hiatus I spent a lot of time exploring my personal style and understanding what exactly I thought it was. As I came to recognize my style I was surprised to find that I didn’t always have the confidence to wear it. Not body confidence, mind you, but boldness to wear something just because I liked it regardless of whether or not others dubbed it stylish.

It was obvious that I needed to address this fear before I could really delve into my style. Today I will be sharing a few ways I found confidence in my personal style, and helped me overcome some of my fears.

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Recognize Your Tastes

This might seem like a “duh” step, but I think to recognize your taste and to affirm it is an important step to take.

For example, my closet is approximately 40% black pieces, 30% white pieces, and the last 30% made up of browns, pinks, reds, blues, teals, and a few miscellaneous colors.

In short, I love neutrals. I also love really classic cuts. Nothing gets me more than some nice vintage details on a blouse or dress.

Many people call this boring, but for me, there is nothing more exciting that a lovely neutral piece. I can wear brighter colors, but I don’t find them as endearing.

This was very important for me to recognize in my personal style. I hear people who diss neutrals and call them bland all the time—and sometimes they can get to my head. I remember reading a magazine where a stylist critiqued the amount of brown a woman wore.

I remember being hurt, because at that time (in high school/college) I dressed brown monochromatic looks, and I just assumed they were right and my style was wrong.

Ten years later I’m tossing that analysis. People can think neutrals are boring. I find them the best thing. It doesn’t matter what people say, give me a rack of clothes and I will probably settle on a neutral. It is what I like, and it is okay for me to like it, just as it is okay for people to disagree with me.

(After all, if everyone only wore the same style anything could get boring.)

 

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Define Your Style

You might already have some words or definitions to your style, using labels like, classic, preppy, or boho.

Rather than simply define your style with labels, consider some of the reasons why you favor your style. I found that once I defined certain values, I understood where my vision differed from others, and I had more confidence to pursue that vision.

It helps to make a bullet list or come up with an imaginary “designer” bio. Here’s a sample of mine:

My style is for a creative woman on the move who wants comfort without resorting to purely casual style. Her style combines modern elements with classic, vintage details. Play, versatility, and contentment are the foundations of her closet, and she enjoys mixing whimsy and elegance into unexpected feminine looks.

My style values:

  1. Play and creativity
  2. Motion and comfort
  3. Versatility
  4. Classic, vintage details with modern elements
  5. Casual on the dressier side
  6. Contentment and buying well
  7. Looking for unexpected feminine looks

You could always flesh out a list with a few descriptive sentences. One of the biggest benefits of writing this out was to realize how much play was an important part of my style. Since I have my values written out I can see that every outfit I style will not be everyone’s piece of cake, but I can understand why my outfit is important to me.

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Find a Style Affirmation Icon

I know some people find an icon helpful, and they ask themselves things like, “Would so and so wear this?” to determine if they would wear it. And while it might be good for some styling sometimes, you don’t want to limit what you wear just because someone else wouldn’t wear it.

So might I suggest, rather than simply finding an icon, find your affirmation icon.

I’ve always felt a little embarrassed about my love for neutrals (can you see the theme here?), and then I stumbled upon the Instagram/blog of Courtney of Pretty Little Fawn. I felt no shame for my wardrobe taste after finding her (and she doesn’t ever apologize for wearing so much brown, which I love!). I find fresh inspiration from her as well as affirmation of my own style.

There are a few other bloggers I’ve found who give me similar encouragement. Tonya of The Moptop and Alice of Alice Catherine both have great casual wardrobes made of items I regularly wear.

I also follow people who have style values that align with my own. Jane of Sea of Shoes has incredible playful vintage style (she is probably my biggest inspiration for play), and Jenny of Margo & Me is a big inspiration for feminine looks that mix classic/vintage details with modern styles.

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Outfit

Coat (vintage) similar | Culottes (Ann Taylor-old) similar | Boots (Kohls-old) similar | Tights (Kohls-old) similar

 

And those are three practices I’ve used to find confidence in my personal style. I don’t consider myself a fashion expert, but I can rock my personal style, and that is the best feeling.

Is there something you do to stay confident in your personal style? Who are some of your favorite Style-Affirmation Icons? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear!

4 Comments

  1. Liz February 15, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    I think that neutrals are really, really beautiful, especially when styled together with different textures. Always elevated, chic and put-together. While I do like a good colored piece, I find myself always drawn to lighter neutrals..blushes, creams and light greys. I think that personal style can be whatever you want it to be because, well, it’s personal 😉 I have shared the same struggle in a different way. My little town is conservative and “fashion” is not something people care about here. It makes me self conscious wearing certain things because people do stare, but your post reminded me that it’s just who I am and how I express myself and that’s okay!

    Liz
    http://www.lizzieinlace.com

    Reply
    1. Mary Tait February 15, 2018 at 6:36 pm

      Yes! Sometimes when I see people staring I remind myself of how seeing others pursue their own style has inspired me, and I’d like to think that when we are bold in our personal style we can inspire others to express themselves too!

      Reply
  2. Jessica February 16, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    It’s so important to figure out what your style is and stick to what you like! Or else you will end up with a ton of pieces you don’t really love and don’t wear. I love your neutral style!
    ~Jessica
    Jeans and a Teacup

    Reply
    1. Mary Tait February 19, 2018 at 6:18 pm

      So true! Thank you, Jessica!

      Reply

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