How to find your signature style
In a modern world full of trending topics, hot hashtags and a bounty of buzzwords, it can be difficult to know where to start in terms of developing your signature style. Even the definition of the term can be a bit confusing – what exactly is signature style, and how does it pertain to you? It’s your lucky day, because we’re here to sort it all out for you. We’ve rounded up a foolproof set of tips that’ll have you easing into your own signature style in no time. But first, let’s talk about the meaning of signature style and why it’s important.
No matter what you do for a living or what stage you’re at in your life, personal style is an integral part of how others connect with and respond to you. Signature style is exactly that – your look, your vibe, and the unique stamp you put on what you do and how you present yourself. The way you dress says a lot about you, and if you’re a brand or business owner, it has a direct correlation with the visual story you put out into the world. Image is crucial in business, particularly these days, since personal branding and visual storytelling have become conducive to reaching peak success.
Developing your signature style is all about figuring out what excites you in terms of image, how you see yourself, and how you project that into your daily life, from the first latte of the day to the dinner meeting, to running errands and engaging in homelife. Of course, having a signature style does not mean limiting yourself to just one type of look. Rather, it means having a cohesive wardrobe that celebrates your uniqueness and offers variety while maintaining a certain consistency. For example, if your signature style tends towards minimalism, you can shake that up with personal touches like fine jewelry from Opulent Jewelers or a bold lip. If your style is more retro, you could try throwing in a modern twist (like a trending statement necklace or graphic eyeliner) to change things up a bit.
Remember that it’s fine to completely step out of your comfort zone and do something that strays completely from your signature style – unexpected fashion can be very effective and impactful. But if you want to create a style that is quintessentially you, try not to turn out drastic changes too often, otherwise your messaging can become muddled, confusing your peers and potential clients. Besides, if you’re reading this article, you must be interested in developing a look that you’re known for, one that aligns with your work and/or brand, personal life and general essence. If done properly and authentically, your signature style will leave a professional, approachable and memorable impression on anyone who has the fortune of crossing paths with you, both in business and pleasure.
Without further ado, here are the simplest and most effective ways to define your very own signature style.
1. Find your style icons. We use this in the plural tense because it’s not likely that you’ll find just one person whose style is a dead ringer for what you want to portray. This is mainly because signature style is all about the person who embodies it. Having style influencers is very common, and it doesn’t make you a copycat, but it’s best to draw inspiration from a handful of people whose style resonates with you. Take elements from each of your style icons, mixing them together until you find a blend that’s perfectly you. Scroll through Pinterest to find looks that you love on style influencers that align with the vibe you’re after. Look for celebrities who are styled well with an aesthetic you’d like to emulate, and try to narrow it down to the ones that have similar body shape and coloring to you – most of them have been professionally styled in palettes, fabrics and styles with their bodies, skin and hair tones in mind, each piece being carefully selected. That’s why if you can find a few style icons that speak to you and have similar physical traits, you’ll have a great foundation on which to lay the building blocks of your own signature style – without the celebrity stylist charge!
2. Monitor your confidence level. Pay close attention to what you’re wearing on the days you feel like the most beautiful, confident version of yourself. These are the outfits that you should be basing your signature style around. If you feel consistently beautiful in Chanel necklaces, then they should be a staple in your signature style. If you always feel powerful and comfortable in red lipstick, that should become a regular occurrence for you. If blazers are your thing, and you feel like the boss when you wear them, use that to your advantage. Signature style is as much about how you sell the look as it is about the look itself, and nothing sells a look like authenticity and good old fashioned confidence. How you feel in your clothing – and your own skin – is imperative to finding your perfect signature style. And on those days when you look in the mirror and think, “This is it. That’s ME, and I look amazing”, it’s worth taking a selfie and throwing it in a “signature style” album. Then you can reference these outfits when you’re really getting down to creating your look.
3. Dress for your body type. Now, we’re not saying that certain body types have to stick to certain styles, but it’s definitely been proven time and time again that some silhouettes are especially flattering on curvy or hourglass shapes, while others are particularly flattering on slender figures. Others look great on shorter frames and some cuts are well suited for the long and tall. There is no across-the-board rule except this; feel comfortable and confident. This is another instance in which referring to the celebrity doppelgänger that best matches your style comes in handy. Pay attention the their wardrobe – how do they maximize their body type with the way they dress? If you have the same body type, chances are that the cuts, fabrics and shades that look best on them will flatter you, too. In general, hourglass figures look classic and classy with nipped in waists and solid colors to highlight their shape, whereas voluminous sleeves, geometric patterns and ruffles add feminine curves to slender figures. But again, the most important factor here is that you are comfy and self-assured- if you’re fidgeting with your clothes, trying to hide behind a desk to conceal an outfit you don’t feel your best in, or constantly worried about whether your choice of clothing is flattering, those are clear indicators that you’re not dressing for your body. Knowing what works best for your body type shows that you’ve put thought into your style and that you care about your image- and that translates into you being seen as more powerful, more empowered and a force to be reckoned with. For more on how to dress for your body type, check out this detailed guide.
4. Be known for something. This is sort of the whole point of signature style. It’s all about channelling your own personal look and reflecting your brand or business, as well as your personality. But this point is about how consistently incorporating a single element into your wardrobe can be very effective when establishing your signature style. Marilyn Monroe had her signature red lip and beauty mark, Kim K has her bodycon dresses, Jacki O had her trademark big sunglasses, and the list goes on. Do YOU have a thing? If so, what is it? It could be your signature scent, your sleek bob, the Cartier Love bracelet you rock on the daily, or anything in between. Figure out whether there’s something you want to be nearly synonymous with. Then take a trip to Sephora, your local Cartier jewelers, or wherever it is you need to go to secure that one signature item that’s decidedly you.
5. Pay attention to details. Accessories are everything! Your signature style can include many of your favourite accessories. Maybe you’re into pearl earrings. Add that to a minimalistic or classic wardrobe and you’ve got a signature look right there. Or perhaps skinny belts are your favorite? Stock up on the same one in different colors. Got a thing for bangles? Find a way to add them into your daily wardrobe. In love with statement necklaces? Rock them whenever you can. Know what your favourite accessories are and incorporate them accordingly. Just try to stay consistent, because pearl earrings one day and a statement necklace the next send two different messages. You want to make sure your signature style is in line with your messaging, especially if you’re a brand or business owner.
Tip: When starting a fine jewelry collection that fits your signature style, make sure to educate yourself first. This guide to buying luxury jewelry online will explain what to look out for when making this important investment.
6. Keep your industry in mind. There’s no one way to dress for any given industry, that’s a given. But common sense says that if you’re a personal trainer, you’re probably not going to show up in a gauzy goth getup, and if you’re a blogger with a website that consists of minimalistic visuals in a modern muted palette, it might not be the best idea to attend a meeting in an over-the-top tropical influenced outfit. Just as your style says a lot about who you are, so does what you do. Remember who your target market is, what your branding story dictates and what you’re really saying with your signature style. If you own a fashion brand that purveys simple classics, for example, dress in a way that makes sense with that type of brand. If you’re a blogger, dress in palettes and styles that are consistent with your content and online colour scheme. If you’re in an industry where style isn’t much of a factor, you can focus your signature style on your life outside of work, but for the most part they do go hand in hand. Of course, your style can change depending on whether you’re at work or having downtime. However, maintaining a balance and keeping your wardrobe as consistent as possible as it pertains to your line of work is an easy way to be relatable and reliable in the eyes of your peers and clients.
We can’t stress this enough – the most pertinent key to finding your signature style is to know yourself and your brand, and to dress in clothing and accessories that make you feel comfortable and indestructible. Nail that down and the rest will fall into place, but these tips will help you define, refine and manage your very best signature style. This process will go miles to maximize the visuals in both your personal and professional life.
What look will you be known for? Get out there and find out!