Since becoming a Mother (11.5 years ago), I had let myself go. I suddenly didn’t matter that much anymore, being a Single Mum, workload, my Mother having cancer and more resulted in me not being a priority in my life. Even though life had taken over, I always knew what my Signature Style would be like and it’s honestly only recently (once settled, happy and content with life) I have had time to make myself a priority again – I daily take time for self-love and self-care, eat healthy, go for daily walks along the canal, listen to Jazz music while working, breakfast date with myself every morning and dinner date with my baby every evening, I treat myself to chocolate almost every day (yes, you read right, almost every day), sip Earl Grey tea and eat clotted cream shortbread cookies, share a bucket of Haagen Daz strawberry cheesecake ice cream with my baby while watching a movie – the list is endless!
Back to Signature Style… 😉
Having been working on this feature and the research done, I’ve come to the conclusion that my Signature Style would be Charlotte Yorke’s style from Sex and the City (check out this Pinterest board to get a vision of it).
I have compiled a a list of ‘How to define your Signature Style’, ‘7 ways to find your Signature Style’ and ‘Find your Signature Scent’ ideas below from around the web to whom I could relate to. Hope you like it. Feel free to leave a comment 🙂
~ DEFINE YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE ~
Step 1: Identify What’s Working
You probably have a handful of go-to pieces you instinctively reach for when you want to look put-together. Now imagine having a rack full of them. The first step toward achieving that goal is figuring out what makes those favorites so, well, favored, says Amy E. Goodman, the author of Wear This, Toss That. “Pull out the five things you would wear every day if no one was keeping track,” she says. Choose something in each clothing category: tops, pants, dresses, and skirts. Then ask yourself a few questions about each piece. Jot down your answers so you can use them as a shopping guide later (or download the Never Buy the Wrong Thing Again worksheet).
- How would you describe the item? Crisp and tailored? Soft and ruffly?
- What image does it project? Smart and professional? Edgy and fashionable?
- What color is it? Does the shade brighten your complexion?
- What fabric is it made of?
- What is the silhouette like? Nipped at the waist? Flowing and hip-grazing?
- What parts of your body does it accentuate?
- What parts of your body does it de-emphasize? Is it comfortable?
Your answers reveal: Your style barometer. Use your notes to help pinpoint what you like. “Be careful of buying replicates,” says Goodman. You may learn you prefer darks and flared shapes, but you need only one good pair of black boot-cuts. “Think of it as nailing down a signature look, not getting into a rut,” she says.
Step 2: Analyze Your Mistakes
Like rehashing a bad relationship, this cringe-inducing ( yet cathartic) exercise helps ensure that you don’t go down the same dead ends again. Ready? Take out five things you wish you hadn’t bought and ask yourself the questions in step one, plus the questions below. Then let go of those items, plus anything else that’s not pulling its weight—even if it still has its tags or it will be perfect once you lose 10 pounds or you have friends who throw fancy parties. “Your wardrobe should reflect who you are now,” says Kendall Farr, the author of Style Evolution. “Don’t hang on to images of what worked for you 10 or 20 years ago.”
- Do you have anywhere to wear this?
- Is it high-maintenence?
- Does it make you feel old and frumpy? Or young and silly?
- Is it poor quality?
- Did you buy it for the thrill of the bargain?
- Did you buy it only because it was trendy?
- Was it a panic purchase for a big event?
- Does the color make you look pale? Yellow? Ruddy?
Your answers reveal: Your shopping blind spots. (Write down details about your mistakes so you never waste another cent falling into the same trap.) If your favorite pieces are tailored and crisp, that’s why you’re not reaching for the ruffled chiffon top. If sales or the newest trends are your weakness, you don’t have to give up clearance racks or Forever 21. But you will want to hold firm to your “likes” and “dislikes” lists.
Step 3: I.D. the Missing Pieces in Your Wardrobe
Separate your clothes by type. Ideally, you want to have three times as many tops as bottoms—the same ratio you see in stores, says Julie Watson, a wardrobe consultant and a former senior director of merchandising for Banana Republic. “No one remembers your pants,” she says. “We associate with people from the waist up.” Watson also suggests a 60-40 balance of staples (timeless, solid-color pieces) to novelty items (prints, funky details). To refine what you need, write down your responses to these questions, then check off what’s lacking from your closet on the Wardrobe Basics Checklist.
- What items would make the pieces you own more versatile? (For instance, a polka-dot blouse to perk up a pencil skirt or pointy-toe flats to make cropped pants look less casual.)
- Do you spend most days in a corporate environment but have a closet full of cheery sundresses? (It might lift your spirits more if you invested in a new suit that makes you feel great.)
- Have there been occasions (maybe a dressy dinner, a job interview, or a funeral) when you were at a loss about what to wear?
- Do you need to update any go-to items that you’ve reached for one too many times (say, a pair of overly dry-cleaned black pants, a wool suit with shine marks, or a ring-around-the-collar white blouse)?
Your answers reveal: The only things you should be buying. (Stay strong!)
Step 4: Shop Smarter
Take your lists of likes, dislikes, and needs and head to the mall. But before opening your wallet, run through this checklist to determine whether a piece will last the long haul. This may seem tedious, but if it prevents pricey mistakes, it’s worth the effort, right? After a while, you’ll automatically ask yourself these questions.
Will it work with your lifestyle?
- The more an item costs, the more seriously you want to consider these factors.
- Where will you wear it? Ideally, this is a place you go every week or month.
- Does it coordinate with at least three other pieces in your wardrobe?
- Can you wear it year-round? Imagine it with tights, a sweater, or open-toe shoes.
- Can you picture yourself wearing it next season? Next year? In five years?
- Will the effort of hand washing or dry-cleaning prevent you from wearing it regularly?
Is it good quality?
This quick inspection is the fashion equivalent of kicking the tires.
Buttons: Give them a tug to see if they’re well anchored, and look for frayed thread.
Embellishments: Steer clear of stretched seams and excess glue around beading.
Fabric: Test if the material is a lint magnet by rubbing it with a fluffy white knit.
Lining: Make sure it lies flat, without bubbling or poking out from underneath.
Pattern: Eyeball plaids and stripes; they should line up perfectly at the seams.
Seams: Check that the stitches are small and straight—no loose or jumbled threads.
Step 4: Shop Smarter
Does it fit and flatter?
In the dressing room, be merciless.
1. Look at yourself from all angles.
Pay attention to often overlooked areas.
Shoulders: The seams need to align with the tips of your shoulder bones.
Bust: The garment should lie flat against the body without pulling, puckering buttons, or bubbles of excess fabric.
Waistband: If it bunches up when you add a belt, it’s too big. Muffin top? It’s way too small. Find a happy medium.
Rise: This is a tough alteration, so if the crotch is snug or droops low, the item goes directly into the no pile.
Thighs: The fabric should hug curves smoothly, not pinch the backs of the legs.
2. Stand up straight and assess the length. In general, shirts should fall between your waist and hips; long sleeves, at the wrist bones. Pants should brush the tops of the shoes you plan to pair them with (or be alterable). Skirt lengths vary, but a hemline just at the kneecap flatters most body types.
3. Evaluate the give factor of stretchy clothing, particularly jeans. Wear them for 10 minutes or so while you’re trying on tops. If they get saggy, go down a size.
4. Imitate real life. Bend over and sit down in skirts and pants. Do they ride up/pull down/dig in? With jackets and tops, Watson suggests a test she used with fit models for Banana Republic. “Give yourself a hug,” she says, then lean over to “pick up the groceries” and reach up to “ride the subway.” The garment shouldn’t feel constricting or expose your midriff.
Wait! Don’t clip those tags just yet.
At home, try on your purchase with items from your closet and in natural light to be sure it’s truly a good match. Because in the end, the payoff of finding the right fit is worth more than any bargain.
~ 7 WAYS TO FIND YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE ~
What do you call it when you know – and love – your body, wear only what you’re totally comfortable in, accentuate your best features, and leave the house every day feeling like a million bucks? We call it signature style! Check out below, 6 top tips to find Your Signature Style.
Signature Style Rule #1. Stock up. When you find something that suits you perfectly, buy more than one.
Signature Style Rule #2. Don’t make things too hard. “Great style enhances your life – it shouldn’t rule you,”
Signature Style Rule #3. Experiment a little. Once a month, try a different shade of eye-shadow or lipstick, and see how you like it. If it doesn’t feel right, you don’t have to wear it again. But maybe it’ll feel great.
Signature style rule #4. Find a great salesperson whom you can trust – she can be an amazing resource. Salespeople get to know your taste and your body type.
Signature Style Rule #5. Pay attention to your gut…especially if it’s spilling over your waistband. When something’s too tight, or too low-cut, and you feel uneasy, you know it. If you have to psych yourself up to wear something out of the house – or the dressing room – it’s not the look for you.
Signature Style Rule #6. Play to the positive. What are your best features? Remember them when you go shopping. And catalog compliments – if they start rolling in every time you wear a certain lipstick shade or style of dress, you’re onto something.
Signature Style Rule #7. Keep having fun! A signature style has consistency – but it should still have some joy in it. When you stop thinking about your style, when it just becomes a knee-jerk reaction, you can slide from a signature look into a rut.
~ FIND YOUR SIGNATURE SCENT ~
Just like the process of discovering your Signature Style, finding (and sticking to) a Signature Scent can be downright intimidating. Unless you’re 100 percent sure you’ve met your match, the idea of wearing skinny jeans every day is just as daunting as giving off a whiff of vanilla musk 24/7. So how do you figure out what works for you? Luckily, it’s not all about heading over to the beauty counter and spritzing on every single bottle on display. That will just end in a headache.
Read on to arm yourself with expert tips-and tricks-for finding your signature scent.
Figure Out Your Favorite Food (and Season)
“Eighty percent of your sense of taste is driven by your sense of smell – that is why when you have a cold, food doesn’t taste like anything!” explains Rachel ten Brink, CMO and co-founder of Scentbird. Turns out, Brink says that the flavors you’re into may play into what you’ll like in a scent. “Your fragrance preferences are also strongly tied to the memories you attach to certain scents. Seasons evoke strong scent memories. For example, if you love summer, your memories may be tied to the smell of the ocean or suntan lotion, while spring is tied to walks in a forest, green, and floral scents.”
If you’re forever a summer girl and can’t get enough of cool, crisp, beach scents, it’ll be easy to see the connection.
Switch It Up Occasionally
Changing what you wear throughout the year doesn’t mean you’ve lost your signature scent. It might actually be best to give that rose-scented diffuser a rest. “In my opinion, it’s best to change up your fragrances throughout the seasons because weather effects fragrance,” explains Mushmoom Khan, CEO of . “Your body chemistry changes from time to time, causing different notes to effect the body in different ways. In the summer, the fragrance notes dissipate from the skin quicker due to the heat so a lighter, fresh fragrance is better rather than a strong one that will overpower,” she says.
When winter comes around, Khan mentions that your perfume may actually take longer to reveal its notes. “The notes unfold gradually, therefore you can wear a strong scent or blend, which will slowly release its true aroma.”
Concentration Is Key
Read over that little “eau de” mention on your perfume bottles—how strong your fragrance smells differs on its fine print.”There is a difference of concentration and dosage between an eau de toilette and an eau de parfum,” explains Brigitte Wormser, VP of Creation & Development Marketing for Atkinsons. “The eau de parfum is more concentrated of the two. The olfactive structure is also modified in the eau de toilette, [traditionally] giving it a bit more freshness and lightness.”
That might be why you aren’t holding onto that scent in your eau de toilette as long throughout the day.
“Personality is closely associated with fragrance choices,” says ten Brink. “Just as your lipstick color can be a way to express who you are (fiery red, mysterious mauve, feminine pink), fragrance is a great way to showcase your personality and style.”
But our expert says you don’t have to play it so straightforward. If you’re very shy, she suggests trying to go for a sexier scent that is stronger as a way to speechlessly announce you’ve entered the room. “Similarly, if you’re super social and an extrovert, a soft, subtle fragrance may nicely balance your personality.”
Let It Mellow Out (And Sleep on It)
“Eau de toilette fragrances develop quicker whereas eau de parfum takes time,” shares Khan. “The top, heart, and base notes take time to reveal and are what make the blend beautiful.”
To make sure you’re getting the true scent, you’re going to want to put it directly on your skin. Khan says that every scent could actually have a different chemistry depending on your skin type. Another good rule of thumb? If you’re headed to the department store trying to pick up a new product, only sample about three different scents. “Even when I’m creating a fragrances I stick to two. I sample one on my right inner wrist and the other on my left inner wrist as I leave the office. Then I leave it on and keep smelling it until I sleep to see how it changes over time and which one I like better.”
Scents Smell Different on Everyone
“Think of a fragrance as the Mona Lisa,” explains Steven Claisse, Senior Perfumer at Takasago and Perfumer of various CLEAN Fragrances. “Two people can look at the same picture and one sees a wry smile while the other sees a disapproving frown—it’s all perception. How you smell something is very different then how someone else smells something. You may be sensitive to green notes that may be in a floral scent and thus pick up on those green nuances in that fragrance. Your friend, on the other hand, may smell the same fragrance and pick up more on the heady floral then the subtle green aspects that you key in on. Fragrance is truly subjective.”
Of course, this all means not to take it personally if your BFF isn’t into your Chanel No. 5. You should pick the best fragrance that speaks to, well, you.
Wake Up (and Don’t Smell The Coffee)
“The morning is the best time to try fragrance because the nose is fresher,” explains Wormser. So what about that coffee bean myth? Put the latte aside.
“Coffee beans attempt to re-set your nose by trying to give it something different to smell, but truthfully, they don’t work,” shares ten Brink. “The best thing to do is to walk away and smell a neutral environment for a few minutes and then go back before making a decision on a scent. If you are in a heavily scented area [like a department store] and can’t get outside, you can also exhale deeply into your shirt to clear your nose of the scents that accumulated.”
Hit the Right Note
Don’t be shocked if you’re not into the same scent you were when you were 15. Back then, you may have had a thing for super sweet shower sprays. Today? Not so much.
“A single note is the same smell all day long, whereas a blend changes throughout the day and is more complex,” explains Khan. “At 20, you might desire florals, while as you mature, you may opt for something deeper and muskier…your fragrance should reflect who you are, not the other way around. Choose whatever fits your fancy!” Via Stylecaster.com
~ MY SIGNATURE STYLE ~
While I was doing some research on ‘How to find your Signature Scent’, I came across this; “In an ideal world, a signature scent serves as a personal scent memory to cherished friends and loved ones.” So after lots of thinking, I realised that I’ve already got a Signature Scent; Calvin Klein’s ‘Escape’ and believe me when I say this; It definitely holds strong memories for me…My first Love (Sigh!)
As I like to keep my make-up to bare minimum, but I love the natural look (especially on a daily basis) – so below is my favourite day make-up. Feel free to check out my post on ‘Natural & Flawless Make-up Guide‘.
Now, as mentioned earlier – I am still on a journey to find myself and my signature style. My wardrobe is full of Monsoon and Dorothy Perkins. Below are some ideas what kind of style I like. What do you think? (Note: Suggestion below are very different style from what I mentioned earlier; Charlotte Yorke’s style from Sex and the City – but I guess below are more of a every day look)
~ FINDING YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE by DISCOVER YOUR STYLE ~
Most women feel overwhelmed because we have the ‘too many clothes and nothing to wear’ syndrome. It’s estimated the average woman spends £85,000 on clothes in her lifetime – scary but shockingly true!
I’m a great believer in less is more – don’t buy clothes for the sake of it, buy them because you love them, and more importantly they LOVE you back.
Clothes LOVE you if . . .
– The colour lifts your features and enhances your complexion
– The fit makes the best of your best assets
– The style fits with your personality
– The clothes compliment, fit and flow with existing items in your wardrobe
So it’s wise to do your homework and consider what colours suit you, what your style personality is, have an organized wardrobe and be aware of your body shape before you embark on any radical shopping trips.
You need to be really confident with all of the above in order to move forwards on your style journey. Many clients I see fall into a ‘panic buying’ mode, shopping becomes a chore rather than an enjoyable experience. In all cases this happens because people are driven by society’s expectations of style rather than their own. But, never fear, style can easily be found and nurtured and the fabulous thing is once you have it, it will never leave you.
I help women to Discover, Embrace and ultimately LOVE their own unique style. Have a look at my online course which will help you on your style journey, or for my free step by step guide.
Here’s my quick, no-nonsense guide to making a head start on finding your style:
- Create a Pinterest research board depicting your personal body shape and find the best styles to suit your shape
- Create a Pinterest research board depicting your favorite styles, try to categorise yourself into one of these 5 style personalities – Classic, Romantic, Natural, Dramatic or Creative and go with this theme, mixing too many styles with send a confusing message
- Take a trip to the shops and test what colours suit your skin-tone, more information on colours can be found on my website
- De-clutter your wardrobe and only keep clothes that fit in with the above three points. Be ruthless and make room for fabulous, new fresh clothes that work for you.
Enjoy your style journey!