All of us are a walking brand. What we do, how we speak, and even what we wear are all clues as to who we are as individuals. As cliché as it sounds, the way we present ourselves on the outside plays a role in our confidence and how we carry ourselves; and when we look good, we feel good.
“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” –Coco Chanel
Ignore the idea of fashion. I’m talking about style – an element of our individual brand that separates us from the rest of the pack. If you haven’t pinpointed what your style is yet, then ask yourself these questions in order to find your own signature look and tap into what makes you unique.
How would you describe your personality?
Your signature look should be a direct representation of your personality. Are you laid back, or do you prefer more structure? Are you gutsy and daring, or are you more reserved? If you love heavy metal music, dive bars and body piercings, then button-up Oxford shirts and pleated slacks probably won’t be in your daily wardrobe repertoire. The best part about deciding on your signature look is that there’s no wrong answer. As long as your style is a true reflection of who you are, you’re golden.
How do you want to feel?
Think about your dream outfit, hair, and makeup – how would that ensemble make you feel? Do you want to feel chic? Natural? Bold? Sophisticated? Some women adore ballet flats, because they’re feminine yet practical. Others don’t feel comfortable unless they’re wearing a fierce pair of heels. Stick with what makes you feel your absolute best.
Who are your favorite style icons?
From Marilyn Monroe to Audrey Hepburn, the women who become style icons are those who have curated a specific USP (unique selling point). Marilyn’s platinum curls, cat eye mascara, and red lips are completely different from Audrey’s sleek brown updos and muted makeup; but both of their signature looks served to give them that “it” factor. When in doubt, your favorite style icons are always a great source of inspiration.
What are your best physical assets?
A signature look should highlight your best physical features. Do you have a gorgeous set of brown, doe-like eyes? Do strangers always compliment you on your naturally curly tresses? Don’t be shy – once you figure out what your best assets are, take advantage of what you have and play them up.
What do you like to wear every day?
When it comes to maintaining your signature look, the upkeep should feel minimal rather than a stressful getting ready process. It can also be something as simple as putting on red lipstick every day, having a certain type of manicure, or wearing at least one vintage-inspired piece of clothing.
Here’s an example: After years of experimenting with dozens of different looks, I’ve finally narrowed down my signature style as being “urban island girl.” It’s basically a combination of where I was born (Hawaii) and where I’ve been living for the past decade (London and NYC), mixing island-inspired comfort with a touch of big city edge and refinement. For a summer party, I love a black,jersey jumpsuit with a halter neckline, worn with flat jeweled sandals. On the weekends, I usually reach for my leggings, long layered tank tops, and knee-high boots; and in both circumstances, I’ll pair my beachy, wavy hair with natural makeup. It’s simple, effortless, and I don’t even have to think about it anymore.
Finding your signature look is wonderfully empowering, not only because it boosts your confidence, but because of a certain level of self-awareness you develop once you know how to match your outer appearance to who you are on the inside. As Rachel Zoe says, “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” That’s right – your personal style is a form of nonverbal communication.
What do you want your signature look to say about you?