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 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 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 or otherwise add something new.
And here’s what you can do:
The Method: “Pick Your Favorite Five”
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.
The method works best if done spontaneously. Don’t overthink your choices. Let your subconscious lead you instead.
Then, stage the items you’ve picked. Place them on your bed, for example. Take a closer look at those five pieces. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself:
- Why have I chosen these 5 pieces? What do they represent?
- On a scale of 1-5 stars, how happy am I wearing them?
- What do they have in common (style, color, fit, fabric …)?
- Can I describe these items with 3-5 adjectives?
Usually, the answers to these questions reveal the common thread – your preferences and personal 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 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 very helpful when decluttering your closet or other areas of your life. But when you feel you need more assistance, I’ve created a comprehensive guide that dives deeper into decluttering your personal belongings, wardrobe, home, and workplace. And I added tips on how to deal with mental clutter and which new habits can help maintain a decluttered life over the long run.
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:
Being aware of your personal style and preferences is also essential when aiming for a well-curated wardrobe. Refer to my ultimate guide to learn more:
And there you have it – a simple way to (re-) discover your personal style. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!
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