Do you ever get the feeling you’re dressed exactly like every other girl walking past you on the high street? I’m sure it’s something of a universal problem: if you do your shopping at big department stores – and let’s be honest, most of us do – then chances are you find it difficult to make your clothes into an authentic personal statement. Creating a look that’s uniquely ‘you’ is harder than it sounds, especially since we can’t all afford to buy exclusive ‘one-offs’ at little couture boutiques. If this is sounding familiar; don’t despair. I’ve had a think, and put together a list of 8 ideas to help you personalise your style.
1. Expand Your Horizons
If you’re a big department store shopper and you’re feeling a little trapped in the clothes you’re wearing (along with everyone else) perhaps it’s time to consider stepping outside your retail comfort zone. I’m not suggesting you spend your entire salary on a one off; simply that you consider alternative shopping destinations. Hit the flea markets, for example, or take a mosey through your local craft fair. Keep an open mind: you never know what might crop up.
2. Go Virtual
The internet is amazing if you’re a retail junkie, and not just because it’s quick, convenient and packed with ridiculous sales. Develop your online shopping strategy in order to find clothes that only you’ll be wearing. Instead of sticking to the same old sites; branch out. Check out online boutiques based overseas and watch new vistas of shopping potential open up in front of you.
Customising your clothing has a kind of amateurish ring to it; it conjures up images of dungarees with big colourful patches on the knees, or t-shirts with their wearers’ names embroidered on the front. Unsurprisingly, neither of these is what I have in mind here. Having your basic pieces tailored to your body is a fab way of ensuring your outfits are unique to you. Shift dresses, linen shirts and even shorts, skirts and jeans can be subtly moulded to suit your frame.
4. Accessorise Intelligently
We all know that accessories can really make an outfit. Paired with the right scarf, belt or necklace, your chain-store-bought dress can really become your own creation. Shop wisely for your outfit extras; choose pieces that really speak to you (these will necessarily say something about your personality) and team them cleverly with your wardrobe staples.
5. Take Advantage of Vintage
Shopping for good vintage pieces isn’t easy; it takes a good eye and some practice. If you can get the hang of second-hand shop rummaging, though, you’ll find it can lead to a veritable gold mine of unique fashion potential. A fabulous fifties clutch, a cool eighties sling bag: these are irreplaceable items, and inimitable as well.
6. Take Risks
You know that weird-looking dress hanging on its own at the back of the shop? The one no one’s trying on because it’s just too strange? Give it go; why not? It might look fantastic – even better because you’re the only one wearing it. Every now and again, if you feel you’re starting to feel like a department store mannequin, it’s a good idea to shake your look up a little; breathe new life into it.
7. Indulge Your Hair-Related Fantasies
Maybe it’s just me, but every so often I get the urge to go totally edgy with my hairstyle. If you find yourself with the same blonde mop as just about every one of your friends, take a step in the direction of individuality. Flick through hair mags and browse beauty sites for inspiration and then head to a great hairdresser (one you trust to pull off a unusual cut).
8. Develop a Make up Signature
I have a friend who wears crimson lipstick – not every day, but when we’re out on the town. It looks amazing in a kind of fifties, Marilyn-glamour way and I just know I’d never be able to do it justice like she does. It’s her signature and she’s really made it her own. Experiment with your cosmetics until you find a look that you’d like to claim as yours.
Creating a look that’s unique to you isn’t easy, especially in this world of mass production and universal trends. With a little effort and a resourceful attitude, however, it is possible to match your clothes with your character in a way that’s affordable, fun and fabulous to look at. Hopefully, my list of 8 ideas to personalise your style will help you to develop a unique mode of your own; do you have any tips to add?
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