I’m Lori, a personal style consultant in Vancouver, BC. I work with clients both in person and virtually to help them fill their closets with clothing that they love to wear, know how to wear (multiple ways) and to help them look and feel their best at any budget or stage of life.
We all want to feel comfortable, pulled-together, and confident. Like it or not, we live in a visual society and what we wear speaks, and also impacts how we feel about ourselves. But, being “stylish” can feel intimidating, hard to understand, and far too time-consuming given the demands of day-to-day life.
Style does not need to be complicated. Once you have taken the time to figure out what works for you and why, getting dressed (with style) can actually become quite simple.
Here are some ideas to get you on the path to simple, yet elevated style:
Figure Out Your Style Personality
The best way to begin to simplify style, is to really hone in and understand your own style aesthetic. This does take some time, but once you’ve done your homework, your wardrobe will start to feel more cohesive and reflect you and your current stage of life. Plus, it can actually be a lot of fun once you get going!
Kat recently shared a post “How To Use Pinterest to Find Style Inspiration” which is exactly where I recommend starting. While you will primarily be collecting data on elements of style you love (colours, textures, silhouettes, celebrity style inspiration etc.), it can also be helpful to note any strong dislikes – what you absolutely wouldn’t wear. Brainstorm a couple of words about your personality (ideally our style should be a reflection of us) as well as some words to describe what you would like your style to say about you.
Spend some time in your wardrobe and pull out your favourite pieces. The ones that garner compliments, your go-to garments, and those you wear when you want to look like you’ve really made an effort. These will also start to tell a bit of your style story and become the star players of your day to day outfit rotation.
Develop a Style Uniform
The clothes hanging in our closets should fit us today not only on our bodies; but in lifestyle, personality and taste. Once we have that covered, a good place to start is to develop some basic formulas or recipes for getting dressed.
One way to do this is to create a base style uniform. I am not suggesting you need to wear the same thing every day, but if you have a go-to starting point that is comfortable and easy, elevating it to the next level becomes a breeze.
Examples of base uniforms could be: high waisted jeans with a T-shirt (I am currently loving the Old Navy rockstar style!), jogger-style pant with a soft knit top, or a sweater dress. Whatever the combo, these pieces are easy to throw on and comfortable to wear.
Elevate The Look
Layering is our best friend when it comes to taking our base uniform to the next level. A few simple add ons: a statement piece of jewelry, a jacket (moto, trench, bomber, denim…), an interesting shoe quickly amps up the style. Remember those items in your wardrobe that garner compliments, or make you feel amazing? They become your best friend and part of your frequent rotation.
No matter your style personality or what you are dressing for, I’ve found this to be a winning formula:
basic(s) + interest + completer piece
Here are a few examples of style formulas:
Embrace Trends You Love
I never advocate shopping according to trends, however, it is important that we remain current to avoid getting into a style rut, or appear like we aren’t participating in modern society!
If a trend does not speak to you or align with your style personality, you absolutely shouldn’t be wearing it. And, nothing is worse than seeing someone adorned head to toe in trends.
But, if something you love is trending, that is the perfect time to add it to your wardrobe. You will organically keep your look modern through wearing something you love. This could be in colour, print, silhouette, or shoe style. Shops like: Joe Fresh, Old Navy, H&M and Zara are perfect to pick up a trendy piece without breaking the bank.
Once you’ve spent some time defining your style personality and in your closet creating some go-to looks/formulas that align with your lifestyle and style personality, you’ll see how simple it can be to leave the house feeling comfortable and pulled-together, with style.
Have questions? I’m happy to help and would love to connect!
Leave me a comment below if you have any questions relating to the article (or anything style related!) and for simple wardrobe and style tips, feel free to sign up for my monthly newsletter.
Lori Thomas is a personal style consultant who offers in person and virtual styling. She created Stylesmarts to help teach the tools to achieve personal style; empowering people to look and feel their best on any budget.