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How to Define Your Style

I read an article about fashion’s leading editor Anna Wintour's ‘3-Step Outfit’ she wore all summer, penned ‘The Power Triangle’.

To me she is instantly recognisable for her signature blackout sunglasses, thick bob haircut and sporting Chanel jackets in the front row (aka frow) of the latest runway shows. However, it would appear my description of Ms Wintour is somewhat outdated. Her 3-step ‘Power triangle’ consisted of a colourful statement necklace, floral dress and a pair of nude sandals. Haven’t we all worn that summer look before? So what it is that makes her so defined, and can we all have our own defined style?

I’m going to break it down (as well as redeem myself from my earlier outdated statement) and reveal 3 key elements that define ones style; All of which you can apply to yourself and learn ‘How To Define Your Style’.

Let's start by familiarising ourselves with our favourite stylish celebrities. (Pinterest is fabulous for collecting visuals) From actresses, pop sensations, models, presenters, reality stars, politicians, royalty… our computer screens, newsstands and TV’s are laden with figures who just appear to effortlessly look good in everything they wear. Next recall mental images of the most stylish people you actually know - friends, family, social acquaintances, work colleagues etc.

Next, we’re going to practise applying 3 key elements that create defined style to the already stylish, so we can become confident with the formula before applying it to ourselves. So, what are these 3 key elements of style?

1. At least one natural asset that your style icons will always show off, such as: hair, eyes, lips, figure

2. A habitual accessory, such as: sunglasses, bag, clutch purse, court shoe, statement jewellery, bold make-up

3. Garment type continuity - usually determined by body type - which will be either: Classic & Structured, Soft & Flowing or Unusual shapes & Proportion

It is the realisation of how to work just these three elements 1.Natural asset 2.Habitual accessory 3.Garment type, that if done consistently will give you your defined style, and they don’t even have to be of equal balance - in fact there is often a stronger lean towards one of the three.

Even more compelling is once style is established our senses trick us into knowing that that person will be looking amazing before our eyes have even seen what they are wearing – sounds a little crazy, but it’s true!

Anna Wintour wearing her signature blackout shades
Anna Wintour's identifiable, defined Style

Lets go back to Anna Wintour, and apply the 3 elements of a defined style:

1. Natural thick bob hair

2. Habitual Blackout sunglasses

3. Garment type an overlap between Classic & soft.

1 & 2 are her strongest elements, hence it was easy to over look her current summer phase because that was her adjusting element 3, her weakest element, however still maintaining her signature stronger natural and habitual elements, and ultimately keeping her defined personal style.

What about Meghan Markle - Actress, turned Royal, turned mum, turned celebrity:

1. Natural dark hair, glowing fresh skin & wide smile

2. Habitually does not go for accessories (tricksy!)

3. Type Classic & structured

Naturally defined by her hair, beautiful mixed-race complexion, soft freckles and wide smile. Simply no habitual accessory needed and fuss free garments, both of which accentuate her natural beauty.

Meghan Markle smiling and waving, wearing cream knit and wool coat
Meghan Markle's Simplistic Style

Here’s another one, singer, designer and fashion icon, Victoria Beckham:

1. Naturally pouts, NEVER seen smiling

2. Habitually clear/natural lipstick

3. Garment type, a mixed bag but rarely in patterns

Her consistent pout, colourless lips, and lean frame makes her into a perfect coat hanger for what ever she wears, and has become her defined look.

Victoria Beckham pouting, wearing orange shirt, dark glasses
Victoria Beckham's signature pout, natural lip colour & coat-hanger look

Let’s look at Global superstar Adele, who has had a dramatic change in figure:

1. Hair and curves (I’m sticking with curves, I’ll explain why)

2. Liquid eyeliner

3. Soft and flowing

Adele’s curves and sumptuous hair are her natural assets, rarely seen without her liquid eye-liner which has become her habitual accessory, and garment type soft & flowing - which is the most flattering for her natural body type.

Global superstar Adele rarely seen without her liquid eyeliner & known for her curves

I’m sticking with her natural assets being her hair and Curves because even with her dramatic weight loss Adele is still presenting a curved figure, albeit with a little help from peplum style clothing.

Adele's new body still conveys curves, albeit through clothing choices

Have a practice on your favourite fashion icons and then try identifying your 3 key Styling elements that make up your signature look.

Finding it hard to self-analyse?

You’re not alone.

This is normal and is why I offer a “Define & Refine your Style” online Workshop. You can book a one-to-one session with me or invite a friend or two to make it a more sociable occasion.


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