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How To: Define your Personal Style + Take Fashion Risks

Ellyn Theis

Posted on February 25 2022

How To: Define your Personal Style + Take Fashion Risks

You will make a million choices today, ranging in importance and gravity.

When weighed against a career, health, or family decision, it feels natural to dismiss personal fashion or style as frivolous. 

Otherwise put: an unimportant part of your day. 

WRONG!

Try to think back to a day when you felt particularly confident. Maybe it was a date night, or maybe it was a random Tuesday. I can describe one instance of mine. 

  • I woke up just before my alarm, giving myself a few minutes to wake up and smooch on my dogs before taking them on a walk.
  • I watched a Tik Tok that my friend sent me and laughed out loud. 
  • I listened to an interesting podcast while sipping coffee and taking care of my hair and makeup. 
  • I wrinkle-released the shirt that I chose to wear for the day and looked through my earring collection.
  • I put on a new lipstick color and thought to myself, "well, that's definitely different! 

 

My confidence, influenced by the personal style choices I made that morning, set my day up for positivity and productivity.  I don't know about you, but I happen to get a lot of shit done when I'm feelin' myself. I'm more organized, less stressed out, and the best version of "Ellyn". 

Otherwise put: maybe personal style isn't so unimportant after-all! 

 

 

 

The strive to be "original" or 100% unique can be crippling.

Eliminate that pressure by acknowledging that every single fashion icon, celebrity, artist, designer, mom in the pickup lane, etc. that inspires you has been inspired by someone else. And her inspiration? You guessed it... inspired by someone else. 

 

You probably already buy things that you enjoy and that align with your values. 

example: You have a ton of cotton graphic tees. 

analysis: Maybe you value ease and comfort. Maybe you would enjoy experimenting with different ways to mix + match the comfort of a cotton tee with complete, refined, non-fussy pieces. Think: your favorite worn-in band tee paired with a blazer. 

HEY, PAY ATTENTION...

to your environment when you feel happy. :-)

 

example: I am happiest when I am in an art studio, making pottery. Wearing (1) easily removable light layers, (2) clothing that fits closely to my body so I don't drag it in clay, (3) 3/4 or shorter sleeves so I'm not constantly pushing up my sleeves and getting them dirty, and (4) high waisted pants so I can bend without showing off my butt crack will be the most practical pieces for that environment. 

analysis: Maybe I would enjoy experimenting with different styles of light layering pieces- kimonos, cardigans, or bomber jackets. Since my hands are dirty when they're in clay, stacking bracelets might not be my jam, but I might enjoy trying out a funky headband or statement earring. 

 

 

A "signature" can be centered around something like a ring you inherited, or based upon a trend you admire like a flare-leg jean. 

example: I have a gold pendant necklace on 16" chain. I live, sleep, and breathe in it. I feel weird when I'm not wearing it. I would call it one of my "signatures". 

analysis: I might enjoy experimenting with different chain lengths or layering necklaces to complement my necklace. Maybe I would enjoy trying out different necklines that would feature the pendant in unexpected ways, like a button-down or graphic tee. Focus on a "signature" that makes you feel the most like yourself, then experiment with ways to complement it! 

 

 

 You aren't going to love everything that you try, but give it a whirl for an hour. 
Think about why you aren't loving it. Maybe you could shift something else in your outfit- a different shoe or a different hairstyle. Maybe it doesn't align with your daily values and needs. Maybe you feel like IT is wearing YOU. 
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example: I really wanted to love plaid shackets. (1) They are everywhere, and (2) they look so casual and comfortable on everyone else I see. But, let me be the first to tell you... I felt like an absolutely over-heated fool in a plaid shacket. I gave it an hour, tried a different top and bottom combination, and then determined that a thick, oversized plaid shacket is cute, but it just isn't very practical for my personal daily values and needs. Your personal style shouldn't cost you your comfort. On to the next!
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By eliminating the pressure to come up with something totally original, researching the pieces you already have in your closet, paying attention to your environment when you feel the BEST, and choosing a couple signature pieces to focus on, you have a mess-free way to expand your personal style while staying authentic and true to yourself.
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Although your outfit probably will not be the most important choice you make today, the world needs YOU to show up as the best version of yourself. So be true to yourself always, take a little risk, and wear that funky lip color if it makes you happy.  
written with love,
ellyn theis

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3 comments

  • Tiffany K.: February 27, 2022

    Great pointers, Ellyn!

  • Emily R.: February 25, 2022

    Great read !! Really made me look into my personal style and reimagine a " Go – to " look in a fun different way.

    More take aways:
    - style and comfort are friends
    - lean into your personal style & elevate it
    - ellyn loves her dogs
    - lipstick

  • Emily R.: February 25, 2022

    Great read !! Really made me look into my personal style and reimagine a " Go – to " look in a fun different way.

    More take aways:
    - style and comfort are friends
    - lean into your personal style & elevate it
    - ellyn loves her dogs
    - lipstick

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