What is a „Style“ and how do I get one?

Last post, although it had a positive outcome for me personally, was rather negative so I would like to steer the vibe into a friendlier direction again. I want to write about something that makes me happy and that I know makes many people in this world happy.
I would like to write about fashion ♡

Fashion, what is that? Or style, what does that mean and how does one find/achieve it? This post is my private little study on that topic.

Ever since I‘ve had Instagram my fashion was one of the focus points of my page. I posted about my little lifestyle stuff, about my art and about my fashion and nothing has changed about that in the 8 years I‘ve had a page on that platform.
I always feel happy and flattered when people compliment me on my style and my fashion choices and lately I‘ve been thinking about my fashion journey and how it all came together. I often talk to people on Insta about fashion and clothing and all that and when people pose direct questions it‘s usually stuff like „Where did you get that item?“ „Is it comfortable?“ etc. But a couple of times I‘ve read things like „…I actually don‘t feel like I have a real style in that sense“ or „I don‘t have an idea where to start finding an own style.“

And this kind of made me philosophise… where does a style really come from and what does it mean? I didn‘t do any research because I wanted to find my own answer to it and I‘d just simply describe style as somebody‘s outward expression of what person they are on the inside.
Which may sound simple, like, yes we all knew that.
But I believe that it‘s one of those things that feel and sound simple in theory but can be hard to do in reality so I would like to collect a few ideas and thoughts in this post on how to make it work.

Everybody is different

Everybody is different and no people are ever the same. We are all told that throughout our lives… yet when we see a busy street full of people they somehow all look the same. But every once in a while there is somebody that stands out to you for some reason and that reason is usually related to their appearance. Often, it‘s a good combination of fashion and confidence that gives a person a good dash of memorability. And confidence doesn‘t always mean that proud strut and the head held high that we see many celebrities and bloggers rock.
Us normal people, including my fellow introverts, already begin radiating confidence when we wear a hairstyle that we like on ourselves or when we wear a new pair of shoes that we‘re really loving. Or when we wear our favorite garment or love our new lip stick.

So, my answer to „How do I find my own style“ would be „What makes you feel good and comfortable? The answer to this will answer your question.“

Us humans, we find comfort in the same way other animals do, all while we go about our very human little lives. We like certain temperatures, we prefer certain scents over others. We prefer certain sounds over others. Things that give us comfort speak to our senses but also to our ability as humans to understand aesthetic and have a real opinion on what we like and what we don‘t like so much.

Discovering your style isn‘t done in no time. It‘s psychology that you practice on yourself and if you wish to go on this journey you will learn so much about yourself ♡

Is this my Style?

Or who‘s style is it?

Personally, I‘ve been consciously experimenting with my style for about 10 years now. Back then I was so proud of wearing those platform shoes and a lot of black that I started to look down upon the girls who sported the look that I liked to refer to as „HM Catalogue“ because ooh I was so different.
But with a less cynical view on it… it‘s still a point. There are always certain trends going around that many people stick to and in the more cynical past I just liked to see them as „dictated styles“: styles dictated by the fashion industry to bring new items to the table every season and make you buy them.
Is that why, for a time, nobody could even imagine not owning one of those chunky winter boots? And is that a bad thing?

I don‘t think that trends are a bad thing. The simpler the style that‘s in trend, the easier, too. All Stars had been out of style for many years where I live, one year in my teen days they became a trend again and although you don‘t see them everywhere anymore, many people found them comfy and practical and still have a pair or two in their closet. And for some they‘re still the standard fav that they will wear every day. So in many cases trends just show people great things that they might keep in their lives for many years.

However, trends can have negative aspects.
One I often think about is the environmental impact. Imagine this pair of shoes is in trend for a season or two and when they‘re not in trend anymore many people will throw them away and they just make another pile of trash in the sea of waste that‘s drowning our beautiful planet.
Then, there‘s sometimes a pretty pricey item that‘s in trend and many people will buy the cheaper copies sold in fast fashion shops, just adding to the fast fashion industry again… Or sell their souls for the original pricey item, often just because it‘s in trend while not really liking the item. Would they have bought this item if it wasn‘t trendy?
The regret often comes after the trend has passed.
And if you‘re the one that can‘t afford to buy either… or you wear things that were in trend a few seasons ago… or you just decide that you don‘t want to wear what‘s in trend… many of us know that this can result in snarky comments and even bullying. Just for the clothes you wear or don‘t wear.

Trends versus Style

Now, we‘ve been talking about style before and now we‘re talking about trends. The two are not the same; in short, I‘d describe a style as your character expressed outwardly, while I‘d describe a trend as an outward influence trying to be „sold“ to you.

Personally, I‘ve had both positive and negative experiences with trends. I was one of those to discover All Stars as a comfy sneaker for every day purposes, or Fjällräven backpacks to carry my stuff around, all while they were starting to become a trend.
I have also been one of those to wear Dr Martens in my area and was bullied for wearing those chunky combat boots… then 3 or 4 years and into my 8th pair of Dr Martens the other kids kinda started wearing them, too. Now I see them a lot again, which I like… but why did I have to be bullied for wearing them before everybody else did?
Lastly, I was also the one to buy an Ice Watch when everybody had them or wear skinny jeans because everybody else did. In these cases I bought the items because they were in trend. I didn‘t dislike the items at all but they also didn‘t make me feel comfortable. In hindsight, I realize I truly and simply fell for the trend and it didn‘t do me any bad… but also no good. So this is the experience I really want to avoid these days.

But all of these things added to me discovering my own style and the examples also support my theory that my personal style is made of what I personally find comfortable and aesthetic.

Comfort and aesthetic. We all understand these words and can picture what we personally find comfortable and good looking, correct?
However, I believe that translating these words into your personal style can be a bit tricky and that‘s why I think I‘ve been asked about this a couple of times.
Humans strive for self-fulfillment and one of the most common ways to do that is through clothing, hair and make up. I totally belong into this category I think it‘s awesome. But can a trend, which I personally understand as this outward influence trying to be sold to you, really reach deep enough into your self that it makes you feel „self-fulfilled“?

That‘s probably possible, but not something I can personally imagine too well or relate to. At least not if my own wardrobe should just consist of clothes and items that are currently in trend. As I mentioned, every now and then there comes a trend that will work for me and I will embrace it with open arms. But it will also be something to accompany me for at least a couple of years instead of just a few months.

KonMari but for your fashion sense

Are you familiar with the concept of Marie Kondo‘s tidying technique? That you should just keep the things that really spark joy for you and ditch the others and it‘ll magically keep your home and life clean and tidy?
This is really similar to what I believe is the key to finding your own fashion style. Just wear what‘s at least a 7/10 on your personal scale and anything below has to go. And since there‘s a lot to clothing and fashion, let me make a little list here.

1. Just wear the fabrics you really love.
Linen is my 10/10. It‘s not just comfortable to wear in summer and winter but is also easy to maintain, I don‘t have to wash it as often, it‘s organic and low impact on the environment. It‘s long lasting and stable in value. Viscose, Cotton, etc. are my 7/10 or 8/10, they‘re comfy and easy to maintain but not just as comfy as linen. Polyester is my 2/10, I sweat like a donkey when I wear polyester. My polyester skirt made a weird noise when I moved in it. I just felt uncomfortable in it so I ditched all of my polyester clothes.
// Con is that Linen can be quite expensive.

2. Find the shapes and cuts that suit you and make you comfy
And don‘t be mistaken… There‘s lovely shapes and cuts for everybody. I know some of my fellow girls have big chests or voluminous hips or thick thighs. All of this can be worked with and you‘re all lovely looking!! Don‘t hesitate to look for inspiration. Find bloggers that have a similar shape to your‘s and see how they work with it and even if they have a different style than what you‘re going for this will give you some inspiration. I have pretty big hips, thighs and knees (Size L-XL in trousers) but a slimmer torso (Size S-M Tshirts) so I started wearing dresses and skirts that have an A-Line. This gives my body a cute shape while accentuating my problem area in the most lovely way.
Personally, I think that Smock dresses, if they match your taste, would suit literally anyone.

3. The Quality!
A well made garment truly does wonders and doesn‘t have to be too expensive. Don‘t hesitate to buy second hand! What treasures I‘ve found while shopping for second hand and vintage clothes!!!!

4. Colors
Which colors do you like in general and which ones do you like on yourself? Which of these do you think go well together? Also, which colors do you not like? Anything below 6/10 can leave now, thank you very much.

5. Find Inspiration but try not to copy
Is there a person who‘s style you really like? Understand why you like the style, what elements, what colors, whatever makes you think „yes“ when you look at it. Don‘t hesitate to take some elements and make them your‘s. But really just copying everything won‘t do the trick, it‘ll be another facade, similar to the one with the trends, except that you‘re the one setting these expectations to yourself. Better to be your own original than somebody else‘s copy, no? ♡

6. Don‘t. Hesitate. To. Buy. Second. Hand.
Sorry, I‘m just such a fan of second hand clothes. Vintage shops are cool but can be expensive. There are very affordable second hand clothes (thinking back to Value Village that I just loved to go to when I lived in British Columbia) but these days the online communities are going super strong. Vinted (Kleiderkreisel), Etsy, Ebay and similar. Your country probably has a few platforms, check them out!

7. Signature?
Some people have one or several elements in their style that can be referred to as signatures. This usually means that the person wears this element almost always that way (Like back in the day when P!ink was one of few artists who had pink hair. The pink hair was her signature look. Or does anybody know Emilie Autumn? The heart she drew onto her face all the time, that was her signature look along with the red or pink hair). This can be a cute thing but it shouldn‘t be forced. Get comfy with your style first and see which elements might come naturally with your style and maybe make those your signature look if you like.

At last…

What I often hear and read is „This and this makes me look a little less shitty“ or something along those lines. And please don‘ttttt! Let‘s be positive about ourselves, we are all such cute creatures and all just want to find our place in the world ♡
And true style is something that will not just make you feel a bit less shitty but something that will make you feel really good about yourself.
The trick is to pay attention to what you really feel about certain items and looks. It‘s a trial and error thing and I ended up selling many things that I thought would do the trick for me. But all of this helped me narrow down and discover what I really feel good wearing. This was two years ago and ever since I‘ve just been fine tuning my wardrobe.

I‘m convinced that my style will continue evolving, it‘ll probably never reached the one state in which it‘s perfect for now and for ever. But that‘s normal so whatever. I‘m always gonna enjoy it ♡

If this post inspires just one sweet person I‘ll already be happy. It helped me put my thoughts into order. Let me know what you think ♡

x natashia

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I'm a witch & folklore lover from the Eifel in Germany, constantly on the look for the hidden magic in this world. I love linen clothes, the colour green & books. I share my home with a man, two bunnies, two cats & the fae.

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