Beginners Guide: Finding Your Style

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Creating a working wardrobe is a huge passion of mine. Finding a personal style is the first step towards that goal. Style is a really a massive concept so in this post I focus more on the dressing side of style.

I love reading and watching other peoples content about this subject and I feel that there is always something new to learn, even if you already have found your style. If you want to spice things up a bit, this could also be useful to you.

So here is my four step beginners guide to finding your style!


 

Define your lifestyle

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When you first start finding your own style, we need to step away from our wardrobe. Think about your week: how does it look like? What about your whole month? Where do you spent most of your time? At school, work or gym? Your personal style is in direct contact with your lifestyle. It’s important to invest in a wardrobe that serves you well according to what you do most of the time.

The math here is simple: the more you do something, the more you should have options in your wardrobe to match that activity. The more you can spend money on those pieces of clothing. It’s simple and easy way to start building your style from there. If you are a personal trainer, there is more sense for you to have closet full of cool gym clothes as oppose to a person that goes to the gym once a week. If you like to go out and dress extra nicely, take that in count when you start to define your personal style!

Analyze your wardrobe

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After defining your lifestyle, we can move to your wardrobe. Browse through it: does it match your lifestyle? In many cases we tend to purchase things what we “would like to wear” but never really have the chance or courage to wear. In other cases the closet is full of gorgeous one piece items that doesn’t go together with anything else and therefore it’s left unused. Finding your style is all about getting that working wardrobe as I like to call it (used to call it a “perfect wardrobe” but there isn’t such thing as perfect so “working” in this context is good enough). It’s making your wardrobe work for your lifestyle. To make it easy and accessible as possible.

What type of clothing do you see the most and do you like it? As I mentioned before, there could be pieces that you really like but never wear. Then there may be some boring basics that you really don’t like but still wear ’cause they go with majority of your clothing. This is a scenario that should be avoided. When analyzing your wardrobe, doing the “yes”, “no” and “maybe” pile can be helpful, but that’s more useful when you are trying to declutter. Which is important but when finding your style may I suggest a similar but a slithy different approach:

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  • make a “love pile” = items that you absolutely adore

  • make a “basic pile” = items that go with almost everything (like jeans or cardigans)

  • you are left with a “not really sure pile” = you don’t even know why you have those items in your wardrobe ?

The “basic pile” isn’t really the issue here: some things you just need in order to have a working wardrobe, like some good quality trousers or pair of stockings. But of course the goal here would be that everything in your wardrobe would be in the “love pile”.

With the “not really sure pile” you need to have some balls. Choose a day when you have energy and good vibe ’cause you may need to get rid of a lot of stuff. That’s the issue. We have so much “stuff” in our wardrobe that it clutters everything. We don’t really see what’s in our closets ’cause the “stuff” has taken control. If the piece of clothing doesn’t bring you joy just get rid of it. It’s definitely not helping you to find your style if you are keeping some old stuff hanging in your wardrobe that you really don’t even wanna wear.

Then take a look at your “love pile”. Now we get to the yummy part of analyzing your wardrobe. What type of clothing do you see? Look at them for a minute and then ask these following questions:

  • Do they go well together?
  • What type of pieces do you see the most?
  • What colors there are?
  • Are they pieces that you love but don’t know what to wear it with?
  • Following to the previous one: If you could pair any piece of clothing with that item, what would it be?

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This is an imagination game and there are no limits! Finding your personal style is easier when you start with what you already have and like, instead of having absolutely nowhere to start. This pile will get you some idea of what your style could look like and with what items your style could develop on.

What vibe is similar to these items and can you perhaps name and label them? For example: bohemian, classic, 90’s, minimal, relaxed… What colors and fabrics do you tend to go with? The more specific you are with these labels, the more easier it is to find your style and use these terms and labels on my next point!

 

Get inspiration

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Now you know your lifestyle and have analyzed your wardrobe. Got rid off stuff that doesn’t fit into your new style. You have looked at your “love pile” and found out that there are some similar vibes to them. What next?

Take those labels that you have managed to find and hit Google, Pinterest, Instagram and get inspiration. Don’t know what to wear with that 90’s statement dress? Someone somewhere I guarantee has paired it with something and put up a photo somewhere. If you don’t know the right hashtags for you, it can be hard to find inspiration. That’s why it’s so important to get specific words when describing those pieces of clothing in you own wardrobe that you love.

In every video or post about finding you style, this is a must have. For me this isn’t the biggest point but it’s still helpful. You do what works best for you! I prefer Instagram and occasionally I Pin something on my “style inspiration” Pinterest board. Just take a moment every time you see a photo of something that intrigues you: what do you like about it? The overall vibe? The cut of a dress? In this point it helps the more specific you can get. I still do that when ever I see something beautiful. Style is something that’s always evolving and therefore I also love to get new inspiration!

 

Shop consciously

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You have emptied your wardrobe and found some inspiration on how you can style some items: remember that you have done a lot of work to get a crisp clean closet and for your own personal style, it’s better that you just bring items that spark joy (really kon mari ;D). If you want more details on shopping consciously go and check out my other post questions to ask before purchasing a new item!

But basically don’t bring anything new that doesn’t fit to your wardrobe or your style and doesn’t get you that “WOW” effect. Dressing up should be fun and not confusing but if you let your wardrobe to get cluttered again with “stuff” it’s easily back to square one…

Remember: you are what you wear

These points are guidelines to getting your personal style together. But realizing you are what you wear is important as well and that’s why I wanted to leave this point for you to ponder on later.

Finding your style ultimately comes down to this: what do you want? Want to be confident? Wear a suit. Want to be glamorous? Wear special pieces when ever you can! You can create the life you want by wearing the things that are in alignment with that vision. This is not rocket science!

The vibe you want to have is really at your fingertips. Be courageous 🙂 It’s not all about the pieces of clothing that you own. Of course it’s a part of that but the clothes should be an extension of who you are and who you want to be. Being fashionable is easy: you just need to have a lot of money to buy all the things that are on “trend” every  season. Being stylish is having a consistent own vision about what looks good on you and where you feel the most comfortable and confident in.

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OOTD

Jeans: Vero Moda

Blazer: EKYOG

Shoes: Nike

Shirt: Thrifted

 

I really hope that you found some new inspiration from this and if you have any other questions or maybe want to share some other tips: please leave them down below or hit me on Instagram or Facebook! I would really love to read your comments 🙂

And of course if you liked this post, please feel free to follow my blog! 

You are awesome!

Take Care ❤

*Meeri

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Boost your confidence with clothes

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all photos by @nelliylimalmi

How to feel more confident by using clothes and accessories?  

Self-esteem and confidence isn’t something you can gain outside of yourself but you can enhance those features that make you feel more comfortable in your own skin or in this case in what you’re wearing. I’ve mentioned in my previous post How to feel beautiful that the trick isn’t ”looking”  pretty, it’s really the feeling that you can create from within that makes you feel and seem like a very confident person.

 


 

There are days when we feel more put together and have a great view of ourself and our lives and sometimes we don’t. Those days it can get tricky to feel awesome and those negative thoughts can affect how we perceive ourselves.

Since the very beginning, I’ve managed to express myself with clothes and feel comfy and confident, even though I’m having a day or multiple days when I’m really not feeling it. It’s almost “cheating ” your brain into thinking that you are having an amazing day when you feel confident in what you are wearing. We should definitely not look away from the power that clothes have on us and how we can use that for our advantage. 

These are my tips on how to boost your confidence by using clothes, accessories and really enhancing your personal style. 

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Something special

I have that item in my wardrobe that is that tiny bit extra special. I think we all have that item or at least we should ( or then we would just have to have ALL are clothes and accessories like that but that’s another post ). Whatever that extra special item is: get that on! This is the first and easiest way to boost your confidence in a heart beat! 

Structure and statement

Personally I feel more confident if I’m wearing something with sharp cut lines or structure. In my opinion it creates a statement that’s easy to carry. For example if you are always wearing the same cardigan that isn’t the best quality and you don’t feel so good in that, eventually you are gonna feel like that cardigan. Not the best quality and a little shaggy and so on… Remember that you are what you wear. 

I have a simple rule that works most of the time: if you are wearing something slouchy on bottom, wear something tight or sharp on top and vice versa. It creates a nice balance between those textures and feels. It also gives that message like “Hey, I’m here!” which straight up makes you feel more confident. 

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Get comfy

Like I said previously: don’t wear that same old thing over and over again, that isn’t really your style and makes you feel drowsy, ’cause eventually you will feel like that piece of clothing. It’s important to understand that confidence comes from a place of comfort. If you are not comfortable, how can you be confident? This means that those stiletto heels all day long may first feel like a great idea but after a while it’ll get your comfort level down.

I have to confess that I’m so in love with this sporty trend that’s been going on ( thank the universe ) ’cause sporty can also mean comfy. I love those running pants and leggings that can be used as pants. Those work super well if you are trying to get comfy. Nothing more frustrating than having to constantly pull down your tight skirt and fix your blouse that doesn’t fit right not to even mention jeans that leave marks on your skin ’cause they’re too tight… That’s a total confident killer! 

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Accessories right

Something really simple can get you really far. Couple days back I was wearing those comfy leggings, a big old sweater, sneakers and a beanie. I felt comfy but there was nothing ”special” in it for me aka. I didn’t feel so confident in it. Then I put on my faux septum and some lipstick on and WOLA, that did the trick. I got compliments on how I’m looking so fine and nice! Sometimes the most simple change can elevate an outfit and make you instantly feel more confident in what you are wearing already.

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OOTD

Top: Noisy May

Skirt: Vero Moda

Cardigan: Broken Arrow (hand down)

Shoes: Vagabond

Necklace: Market in Nice

Jacket: Vero Moda

Lipcolor: Ben Nye – Really Red Lip Pencil

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Those were my couple tips on how to boost your confidence with clothes and accessories. I really hope you found this useful! I love reading and hearing others tips and tricks on this topic, so what do you do to feel more confident? It doesn’t necessarily have to do with style or the way you dress but hit me with comments down below!

If you liked this post, make sure to join my email list and follow me on Facebook and Instagram!

 

You are awesome!

Take Care<3

*Meeri

 

Further reading: 

5+1 tips | How to feel beautiful

What is an ethical lifestyle?

Questions to ask before purchasing a new item | STYLE

Questions to ask before purchasing a new item | STYLE

Now and again we need or want to purchase something new to our wardrobe. We want to update our style to certain season or maybe replace an old piece of clothing. But sometimes we just buy for the sake of buying. Then we most likely end up with a lot a cheap things in our wardrobe that we don’t use and as a result feel frustrated.

I believe that this culture of impulse buying is one of the main reasons for “vaatekriisi” = a Finnish word for clothing crisis / walking up to your wardrobe and have “nothing” to wear.

When you are in the store and thinking about buying something, instead of buying it right away you could ask these questions and determine if the item is worth purchasing.

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photos by : Nelli Yli-Malmi 

Does this fit me properly?

I just recently tried out my friend’s old top. It looked amazing on the hanger but when I put it on it was a disaster. Even though I loved the top it wasn’t the right size. So be honest to yourself if you see that something just doesn’t really fit you.

Does this go with majority of my wardrobe?

This one is a huge and important question. You don’t do anything with a piece of clothing that you cannot match to anything that you have in your wardrobe. In this situation you can ask some other questions like “is this my color/style?” Some pants that are amazing but require a pair of higher heels than you own, it’s not worth it. Because after buying those pants you need to purchase new shoes and then maybe you feel the desire to buy a new bag to match the shoes… The list can go on and on until you have the “perfect outfit” to match those one pants and nothing else in your closet.

Does this fit my overall lifestyle?

I’m gonna share a story of one item in my wardrobe…

My boyfriend got me a tennis dress for our first Xmas together in December 2015. In March 2017 (last time when I was in Miami) I wore the dress for the FIRST TIME. Here’s the thing: even if it fits me well, it’s my style and the dress has my “vibe”,  if it doesn’t fit my lifestyle: it’s bloody useless.

  1. I don’t play tennis.
  2. In Finland I cannot workout in a dress ’cause it’s so damn cold.

It doesn’t matter how much I treasure the dress (’cause I got it as a present from my love) I’m not going to wear it as often ’cause it has no use. I would have never bought this dress on my own ’cause I know it’s not fitting my lifestyle. But as a present–> okay, I’ll keep it.

You can also ask this kind of question if you aren’t sure what your lifestyle is all about: What does my day/week/month look like? Do you go to school or work 5 times a week? Do you workout a lot? How ’bout going out with your friends? You get the general idea. The math here is simple: the more you spend time doing something the more you can spend money on it and purchase a new items if necessary. I will cover this topic on another blogpost in more depth so follow my blog or facebook page to get the notification 😉

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Is this good quality and ethically made?

Even the best of us have felled into the trap of fast fashion and sales. Usually ended up buying something really cheap that wasn’t good quality. The goal is to have a wardrobe that lasts. If you have to buy new tops every month ’cause the quality sucks that doesn’t do you any favors. When buying a new winter coat or shoes we really think about the quality ’cause most of us want to wear that same piece for the whole season or two (and preferably even longer). What if you could center that same mentality when buying “ordinary” things like tops and cardigans. This will also cut down the amount of impulse purchases because you really look for the quality not the quantity.

Same goes for ethicality. I still do have clothes from fast fashion companies but because they are still in good shape I don’t see why I should toss them out right away. You can also read my post I wrote earlier about transitioning to more ethical wardrobe here. But next time you want to buy something: think about the journey of that piece of clothing. Who made it? With what salary? And how? Kristen Leo is one of my favorite ethical fashion Youtubers and I highly recommend her channel and her post that consist a list of many ethical clothing brands but remember to always do your own research.

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Is this worth the price?

Well sales and fast fashion are the issues here too. Check the price. Is it really cheap? Why is it? Is it really expensive? Why is that? Now you can look at the quality and see if it matches the price. Something like polyester isn’t really worth a lot but some brands still tend to make those items seemingly expensive and put the price tag accordingly. I remember buying a coat for a fair amount of money only later realizing that the material didn’t really match the price and so my coat was done in one season. But that’s the purpose–> so you would go again and buy a new one. Also you can ask that if this was twice as much would I still get it? “High” fashion brands sell T-shirts for a VERY expensive price, yes the quality may be better but would you really be prepared to buy just one T-shirt for 60€. Different thing if it was ethically made but still…

I was discussing this issue with my boyfriend. He really wanted to buy pair of jeans but they costed 90 dollars. They fitted him nicely and were really unique. Then the next day he was still thinking about those pants and asking me if he should buy them or not. I asked him how much he intended to wear those jeans. He has 3-4 jeans but not in that color he was craving. So after a quick calculation he was going to wear those jeans 100+ days from a whole year. Then I asked him to divide the cost so 90 dollars for those 100 days. Quickly those jeans didn’t seem so expensive if he could spare one dollar each time his was going to wear those jeans.

The problem here is that we really don’t know how much we are going to wear a certain item before we get it into our wardrobe but doing a quick calculation like this could help in deciding whether or not something is worth buying.

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Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell | Jumpsuit: Urban Outfitters Vintage | Jewelry: Thrifted&BlackHeart

Do I really love it?

Some items may be our color, good quality with fair price and fitting nicely. BUT if the reaction you still feel is “naah” instead of “OMG THIS *fill in the blank* IS SO ME” I would still consider leaving that for someone else who feels like that about that certain item. Just imagine that you would have a wardrobe full of clothes that you absolutely love? Wouldn’t that be the ideal? But that won’t happen if you keep filling your closet with things that really don’t get you excited.

Bonus tip:

If all else fails try to imagine 3-5 outfits you would style the piece in. Accessories are a bit easier but for example green printed leggings are another story.

 

Hope you liked this post and don’t forget to follow my blog here at WordPress 🙂

You are awesome!

Take Care<3

*Meeri