Personal Style, Defined
Personal style is a nebulous concept. One thing is certain - you know great style when you see it. This is because style transcends clothing – it’s a vibe. Style is the energy of multiple subtle elements that add up to a personal look with feeling.
It takes time, energy and self-realization to cultivate a wardrobe that feels 100% you. But here’s the good news! Without realizing it you’ve already spent years experimenting with trends, admiring stylish people and collecting inspiration.
The goal of this series is to help you process all that info so you can get down to business and start cultivating your unique look.
LESSON 1: Examine Archetypes
Boho, classic, vintage, preppy, edgy, downtown, romantic, glam, conservative, minimalist, trendy, beach, street, urban, athletic -- the adjectives to describe style are infinite. Plus, it’s tricky to categorize a your personal style with just one word. A range of styles likely influences your ideal look.
Style Archetype: Edgy
Having an edgy archetype is all about rock and roll. This person is an anarchist at heart and wears leather almost every day. Vintage band tees, studs, and tattered clothing are comforts.
Style Archetype: Americana
Picture an East Coast girl, at the club and out sailing on the Sound. This is the Americana archetype. Ralph Lauren, polo shirts, riding boots and pearls. These are typical pieces that are incorporated into this style.
Style Archetype: Editorial Eclectic
3. EDITORIAL ECLECTIC
Fashion and retail have a strong influence on the editorial eclectic girl. She experiments heavily with her style and usually works closely in the fashion industry. There is a constant daily mix of prints and patterns, colors, textures and influences.
Editorial Eclectic Essentials
Style Archetype: Classically Chic
4. CLASSICALLY CHIC
Classically chic archetypes are elegant, poised, and put together. Her clothing is well-cut, have a classic silhouette and keeps the look very simple. To add an extra pop, luxurious accessories are paired.
Classically Chic Essentials
Style Archetype: Full On Glam
5. FULL ON GLAM
This is a bombshell woman. She recognizes the power of sex appeal and uses that in her styling. Everything about a full on glam outfit is considered, refined and unapologetically alluring.
Full On Glam Essentials
Style Archetype: Athleisure
This archetype can be confused with looking as though you just came from the gym. This is not completely true. It is more a blend of style that uses ease of movement with sharp, tailored lines and a minimalist vibe.
Style Archetype: Minimalist
Keep the style simple. The minimalist style archetype is all about neutral colors and staple pieces. This woman does not have an extensive amount of clothing in her closet, and is able to mix and match what she owns to create new outfits.
Style Archetype: Free Spirit
8. FREE SPIRIT
This archetype style is a gypsy at heart. This woman never wants to feel confined by a garment and moves naturally with ease. There is a deep appreciation for vintage and heirloom pieces and loves the global aesthetic.
Free Spirit Essentials
Step 1: Create a STYLE ARCHETYPES board in your Pinterest account (and follow MappCraft on Pinterest while you're at it!)
Step 2: Consider the 8 Style Archetypes Pinterest boards below and think about how each look makes you feel. Does the energy resonate or fall flat? Are there elements you love and others that don’t vibe?
Step 3: Pin whatever images resonate, don't think too hard about your identity vs. the Archetype or how skinny the model is compared to your body type (DISCLAIMER! Most are impossibly skinny. I tried.), we are reacting to energy, mood, feeling.
Step 4: Review your Style Archetype board. It is 100% likely you'll pick several looks from several boards, even if the Archetypes seem to conflict. Personal style is a melding of influences.
Now that you have a better idea of which Style Archetypes you are attracted to you, identify the particular elements that made you pin the look. Americana stripes? Edgy ripped jeans? Athleisure sneakers? Classically Chic pearls? Editorial Eclectic pops of color? Sculptural Minimalist jewelry? Full On Glam body con skirts? Free Spirt embroidery details?
Jot them down. Take mental notes. You will need this information for How to Cement Your Personal Style, Lesson 2: Evaluating Accessories.
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