If there’s one thing Pinterest is good at, it’s making you feel like you’re far from having your shit together, so after being fed up of feeling like this, I decided to turn things around and let Pinterest show me the way. You see, aside from making you feel like crap, it’s actually one of the best ways to discover your “defined personal style”. Don’t worry, I know the term “defined personal style” sounds all kinds of scary but really it just means that you’ve worked out your preferred style and it can be summed up in say one or two words such as classic, romantic, boho, natural, athletic, blah, blah, blah.
Most women tend to like too many different styles and what happens when you like too many different styles … you forget what looks best on your body shape, you end up frustrated, you shop & spend too much and your wardrobe no longer suits your lifestyle – all things we want to try and avoid.
So enough chit chat, all this sounds too good to be true, how do we get started? We start by creating mood boards using Pinterest. A lot of Stylists might suggest a physical, stuck-on-the-wall type mood board but I’m not like a lot of Stylists (I’m way more hip and new age and have a thing for white walls) so I like to create mine online. This way, your boards are always on hand (so important when shopping) and they’re easy to edit and change as your style evolves (which it will over the years). I like to spend a weekend making a start on this however don’t get me wrong, I know I said I was all hip and very 2017 but I’m not your typical Gen Y. I know all goods things take time and this little process does take some time. You will need to continuously add to and update your boards. Here’s how I do it –
Today, you’ll be browsing the internet for style and outfit inspiration with one very clear goal in mind – to work out what style/s you really do like and can see yourself wearing.
1. Start With A Plan
2. Save Inspiration
3. Cull & Tweak
Sunday will be spent turning Saturday’s inspiration into an actual “style” for you – one that has a name, one that you can aim towards , shop for and begin to make your own.
4. Organise & Upload
5. Write Descriptions
1. Start With A Plan
First things first, set aside 10 – 15 mins and jot down exactly what you’re hoping to achieve by creating these mood boards. Start with 2 separate lists –
Under the first list, write down any ideas or words that describe styles that you like. Don’t think too much about it, just write down whatever comes to mind. Think about all the ‘details‘ that contribute to a particular style too – these could be colour schemes, the type of clothes that are commonly worn, materials, accessories, make-up, hairstyles, the way an outfit is styled and so on. You could also include celebrity styles that you admire and inspire you as well.
The second list will include the names of online sources that you’re going to browse to find your style inspiration. These could be online magazines (Witchery Report, The Edit by Net-A-Porter, Gritty Pretty Magazine), blogs, Pinterest, lookbooks from brands that you love, online stores, Instagram accounts, Tumblr etc.
2. Save Inspiration
Create a New Folder on your Desktop where you’ll save any images that you find outside of Pinterest for now. (Images found on Pinterest can be pinned straight to your mood boards). Start working your way through your list of online sources and save any images that inspire you or that describe any of the ‘details‘ that you wrote down earlier when creating your first list (if you love pastel colours, search for images of pastel coloured outfits or if you love the look of a blunt fringe, find an image of a hairstyle with a blunt fringe that you could see yourself wearing). Again, don’t think too much about this step either – if you love an image, save it. Have fun with this step and make sure you search for images to cover all details –
+ colour schemes (monochrome, pastels, brights, black & white, earthy)
+ the type of clothes (maxi skirts, coats, crop tops, bootcut jeans)
+ materials & textures (leather, denim, velvet)
+ accessories (sunglasses, handbags, shoes, belts, jewellery)
+ make-up (minimal, smokey-eye, bright lip, colour pop)
+ hairstyles (fringe, effortless, glam, beach waves)
+ celebrity outfits
+ prints & patterns (stripes, dots, geometric, leopard print, paisley)
+ styling tricks (shirt tucks, sleeve rolls, interesting layers etc.)
3. Cull & Tweak
Once you’ve saved a stack of inspo, the next step is to go back and look at each image with a fine-tooth comb, then begin to cull. Any image that you question or have second thoughts about needs to go, so do any images that you can’t actually see yourself wearing or that aren’t spot on for whatever reason. Here, we’re trying to cull your inspiration down to a more manageable number so we can transform all of this into picture perfect mood boards of your new style.
Last but certainly not least, double check that the images you have left all work together well and actually look like some sort of ‘style’. Are there any random images? Any odd ones out? Any roses among the thorns? (A great idea if I do say so myself, is to have another set of eyes, preferably female (a girlfriend, your daughter) glance over your final images and ask them to point out any that seem out of place). Could a slightly different image, with the same purpose, better suit the style you’re going for or more importantly, better suit your lifestyle? (An image of black sky high heels would fit perfectly with a classic style however could you actually wear sky high heels grocery shopping with 2 kids in tow and one constantly pulling at your leg? Perhaps search for black kitten heels or black pointed flats which are still very classic but will suit your lifestyle more).
Take It From Me – Too much random inspo will confuse you. If you’ve saved inspiration that could be filed under a classic style, a boho style, an athletic style and a romantic style, your search is too random. Remember, women who have a defined personal style generally stick to 2 different styles max. – you’ve got to be tough on yourself and get this shit sorted. As they say, no pain, no gain!
4. Organise & Upload
When you’re happy with your handy work (aka the inspo you’ve collected), it’s time to put your noggin to good use. You’ll need to have some idea on how you’d like to organise your mood boards. I organise mine into seasons, two in fact – Spring/ Summer and Autumn/ Winter. So why 2 seasons and not 4? Because my style during the months of Autumn and Winter for example doesn’t change much (high-five Australia!!) plus organising my mood boards into seasons makes it easier to write a damn good shopping list which stops me buying useless crap that I’ll only wear once. You might prefer though to create your mood boards for 4 seasons instead of 2 and that’s perfectly fine (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring). Just choose whichever is less overwhelming for you and roll with that. If you’re new to mood boards (aren’t we all), I’d also suggest creating smaller boards to separate the ‘details‘ that go with a particular season (see below – Autumn/ Winter Outfit Inspiration, Autumn/ Winter Make-up Inspiration, Autumn/ Winter Accessories, Autumn/ Winter Styling Tricks etc). Again, you might prefer this instead of having all your ‘details‘ sitting pretty under the one main board. Once you’ve made a decision (I swear deciding on this was harder than deciding on my kids names), upload each inspo image to its assigned board and give each board a clear heading that won’t confuse you in a few months time.
5. Write Descriptions
Now would you look at that – every pin has its own description box which I strongly suggest you actually use. Take notes on why you love each image. Why did it inspire you? Was it the clothes, the colour scheme, accessories, the way the outfit was styled (shirt tucks, sleeve rolls, layers worn etc.), the textures in that outfit (leather, wool, denim)? You can also write down any changes that you might make to an image to suit you a bit more. Jot it down, so you don’t forget.
Woot woot! The hard part is over (for now) … take a break, have a kitkat if you must! Now you should have a much better idea on where you want your style to head which is a must when it comes to things like getting dressed each morning, wardrobe editing, shopping and being able to mix & match your clothes. The more you practice this and the more you edit & update your mood boards, the more confident you’ll become with your style. Before you know it, you’ll start to notice some very cool changes both economically and within yourself – awesome job girlfriend, you did it!
Now let’s get one thing straight, having a defined personal style doesn’t mean wearing the same outfits over and over again (though I’ve been known to and its bloody fantastic). You are allowed to try new trends. Think of your style as your ‘base’ (or foundation) and from here, you can play with exciting new colours, fabrics, trend pieces, different accessories, even your boyfriends clothes for all I care. The idea and your main goal is not to change your entire style per season or per year – you can’ t be loving all things boho one year, then all things classic the next and now your entire wardrobe looks like it stepped right out of the 1970’s. It should remain consistent and evolve just slightly with the changes happening in your life. Chopping & changing styles completely is a big no/ no.
Some House Keeping Rules –
- Browse Related Pins
When using Pinterest, if you click on an image that you like, a ‘related pins’ feature pops up at the bottom of the page. Browse through this feature and you might find a better pin that suits you more.
- Do Delete Pins
Re-visit your boards regularly and delete any pins that no longer speak to you. If you find that you’re no longer in love with an image, get rid of it.