Our style is the guiding star that navigates us through short-lived trends and other external influences. It helps us make the right choices. Our style is also what makes our surroundings, our home, our wardrobe unique. We all have style. However, sometimes our sense of style is buried under a big pile of stuff and, even more challenging, under a big pile of limiting beliefs. In this post, I want to share how to (re-) discover your personal style with a simple method that works for nearly everything.
Being aware of your personal style and preferences is definitely helpful in these two situations:
- If you want to decide what to keep or let go of.
- When you’re about to invite something into your life.
So basically, every time you declutter or intend to buy something new.
And here’s what you can do:
The Method: “Pick Your Five Favorites”
A simple way to discover your personal style and narrow down your preferences is to pick five items from the category in question. So, for instance, when decluttering your closet, pick your five favorite pieces of clothing. When intending to buy new home decor or furniture, choose your top 5 from what you already have.
It would be best if you did this quite spontaneously. Don’t overthink your choice. Let your subconscious lead you instead.
I know this won’t work with furniture, but for all other movable objects, find a place where you can stage them. Place your favorite five pieces of clothing on your bed or your home decor favs on the kitchen table, for example. And then, take a closer look at those five pieces. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself:
- What do my five favs have in common? What do they represent?
- Why do I prefer them over other pieces?
- How do they make me feel (e.g., wearing, using, or looking at them)?
Usually, the answers to these questions reveal the common thread – which is your style.
Don’t Feel The Urge to Fit Into a Style Category
Having done the exercise above means that the common thread becomes clearer. However, this doesn’t mean that the result has to fit into a style category. Don’t expect, for instance, that the items you picked from your closet either have to be ‘edgy’ or ‘boho’. Your style is unique as you are. It doesn’t have to fit into one of these traditional categories. See them just as a helpful framework – and then try to describe your individual style with your own words.
Limitations of This Method to (Re-) Discover Your Style
Most likely, the result you come up with needs a bit of fine-tuning. It’s probably not a blueprint for an infallible decluttering or shopping list, but a good starting point.
I tried the method in various situations, and it worked in most cases. Not though if I wanted to force myself into a decision, but not being in the mood for it. I remember a day when I decluttered my wardrobe. I was so frustrated around that time. And suddenly, I didn’t like a single piece of clothing I owned. Back then, I decided to take a break from decluttering, from decision-making as a whole. A couple of months later, I started a new attempt to discover my personal style. And this time, I was able to pick my favorite five – knowing that they may not be the perfect representatives but definitely good indicators for what I prefer and love.
More Tips and Inspirations
The above method can be helpful in the process of decluttering. Refer to these post for more support:
- The KonMari Method: All You Need to Know + Printable Checklist
- Home Decluttering a la Marie Kondo: Lessons Learned
- Wardrobe Decluttering a la Marie Kondo: Pros and Cons
- Wardrobe Decluttering a la Marie Kondo: Lessons Learned
Using your personal style as a guiding star for your next shopping tour is a good idea. Here are more tips for shopping less and better:
Knowing your style is also essential when aiming for a well-curated wardrobe:
Book Recommendation and Credits
I found the idea of choosing five favorite items to discover your personal style in the book New Minimalism. A book I can highly recommend to all of you who love the ‘less, but luxe’ idea and want to edit their homes.
And there you have it – a simple way to (re-) discover your personal style. Give it a try, and let me know if and how it works for you!
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