Create Your Own Dress Style

If you want to catch the eye of strangers and cultivate a striking presence when you walk into a room, you need to set yourself apart from the crowd. You can easily do this by creating your own style of dress. Creating your own unique style that reflects your individuality can be fun and easy.


  1. Evaluate your closet. Go through what you already own and decide what you like. Pieces that you keep should have a fit that's flattering to your body, as well as an overall look that blends with your shape. Throw out or donate anything that fits poorly or that you're hesitant to wear out of the house. A good rule of the thumb is that if you haven't worn it for 6 months (barring seasonal items such as sweaters for winter or swimsuits for summer), get rid of it.
  2. Pick out the elements that you like. On the clothes that you do keep, evaluate what exactly it is that makes you like to wear them - such as the cut, the sleeves, the embellishments, or the color. Write down a list of these elements and take it shopping with you later.
  3. Look for inspiration. One way to foster and develop your own style is to find out what looks good on other people. Leaf through magazines or watch TV for trends that catch your eye. If people often compliment you on looking like a certain celebrity, search their name online and see what they wear to compliment their coloring and size. Alternatively, visit crowded places such as malls or downtown sidewalks. Observe what people are wearing, and take note of fashions you like.
    • Consider incorporating elements of subculture fashion into your wardrobe. Some subcultures promote unique fashions that reflect a certain lifestyle. You don't have to go all-out and adopt an extravagant, outlandish look based on a specific subculture, but you can look to them for inspiration. For instance, perhaps you like the bell-shaped skirts that gothic lolitas wear, or the flight jackets favored by skinheads. When you see something you like, small ways to bring some element of it into your wardrobe.
  4. Ask for help. If you're having a hard time finding inspiration, or you worry about having bad taste, ask for an outside opinion. Contact a close friend or family member whose sense of style you admire, and ask him or her what might look good on you. Or, visit a department store or boutique that carries fashions you like and ask a salesperson to help you assemble a stylish look that's right for you.
    • Don't be afraid! It can be difficult to ask for help. Remember that most of your friends and family members will want you to feel as good as you can in your clothing. Also, most people who work at clothing stores love to help people find the right look and will be eager to help you.
  5. Don't forget shoes. A new pair of shoes can add a different flair to your look. Look for something you can wear often and that fits with the general look you're trying to achieve.
  6. Go shopping. When you've decided what you like, start shopping. You don't have to replenish your wardrobe all in one go - instead, consider shopping at small intervals, such as every few weeks, until you've assembled a closet you like. Visit thrift or consignment stores, malls, outlets, boutiques or department stores, or shop online.
    • Shop with a friend who is not afraid to offer gentle (but constructive) criticism with you while you shop. This way you, will get an honest opinion of your style.
    • Shop off-season. Ease some of the strain on your budget by shopping off-season. For instance, buy shorts and swimsuits in the fall, or sweaters in the spring.
  7. Find a good tailor or seamstress (optional). Clothing sizes are designed to fit the masses, and therefore might not fit you as well as you'd like. If you find a piece you love but the fit is lacking, take it to a tailor or seamstress for alterations. Most everyday-wear fabrics can be altered fairly cheaply, and the price will be worth the confidence boost that comes with wearing clothes that fit well.
  8. Accessorize. Punch up your regular look by adding a few interesting accessories. This can be as simple as buying clean laces for your shoes, or wearing a muted belt. If you really want to alter your look, try adding jewelry, scarves, hats or hair pieces.
    • Embellish what you already own. With a little sewing skill, you can add ribbons, beads, embroidery, clasps, appliqué or other notions to your clothes. Visit your local craft store for ideas and supplies.
  9. Mix and match. Try pairing different pieces for a compelling, unique look. For instance, even if you didn't think your new tank would look good with your capris, try it out. Maybe all you need to pull the whole outfit together is that belt you haven't worn since last summer.
  10. Change your hairstyle. True, your hairstyle isn't part of your clothing, but it can drastically alter how your clothing looks. Try styling your hair a different way in the morning, or see if a new shampoo or product helps it look better. If you're going to try a radically different cut or color, consult a stylist as to what might look best on you. Find images in magazines or online for inspiration, and take them to your appointment.
  11. Be yourself. The most important thing about your new look should be that it makes you feel great. Creating a personal style is really just wearing what you want. Think more positively and be more constructive and expressive with your ideas and abilities.


  • Follow the three F's: flatters, fits, finances.
  • Don't be afraid to copy. If you admire someone's style, borrow ideas from them. Just keep the number of elements you copy to a minimum or you may rub them the wrong way.
  • Don't try to wear clothes that are too small, thinking it makes you look slim. Because, it doesn't. Every woman over 30 should own a full length mirror and use it before she walks out the door.
  • Wear colors that make you feel happy and pretty. When you feel good in your clothes, you'll look good in your clothes.
  • If you're looking to control your budget, don't end your search at big-box discount stores. Although they are always lowering prices, you can find even cheaper stuff at second-hand shops.
  • If you're a girl, try new makeup. Visit the makeup section of a department store for a complimentary makeover. Tell the makeup artist what you’re interested in, but be willing to accept his/her input; you could be hiding your best features. Be prepared to purchase at least one thing as a thank-you.
  • Don't dwell on it if someone copies you. There's more to you than your style and there's more to your style than that one aspect. Take it as a compliment and find something new.
  • If you want to really be unique, you can make your own clothes and accessories. Of course, this will require skill in sewing, crocheting, etc.
  • Have fun clothes with loud prints and cool patterns.
  • If you're a shorter girl, try wearing a ruffled or gathered outfit. It'll make you appear taller.
  • If you don't have a big budget then shopping at thrift stores is a good idea. Also H&M and Forever 21 have cheap clothes, or go to places like Hollister or Topshop in the sale time to pick up some cheap clothes for parties.


  • “Trendy” actually means that something that is very popular for a while and then quickly goes out of style. Avoid trends unless you genuinely like them.
  • Be sure to thoroughly wash anything you’ve bought at a second-hand shop, especially hats or hair things that might carry lice. When it comes to personal hygiene, you can never be too careful.
  • Be wary of the monochromatic look: you may love hot pink, but sporting an all-pink outfit might just make you look like Pepto Bismol. Break up the monotony with neutral (or non-pink, at least) belt, shoes, or accessories.
  • Don't wear anything that makes you hurt. Even if it’s popular now, in the future, people will laugh when they see pictures of people torturing themselves with fashion.
  • Avoid patronizing online retailers who don't have an easy-to-manage return policy.
  • Never wear any garment that doesn't flatter body type, no matter how fashionable it may be. Try another style instead and accept that not every style was made for every person.

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