Six Suggestions For Developing Personal Style – Put This On

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    I know Put This On is a men’s fashion site and this was just featured on our brother sub, but I wanted to share the article anyway because I’m curious to know how relevant FFA might find this. I think the topic of personal style is a pretty gender neutral subject and I thought the 6 tips featured in the article would be helpful starting points for anyone wishing to start refining the way they dress so that the style reads more “you”.

    Six Suggestions For Developing Personal Style

    What do you think? I personally have been using this method of building my wardrobe for a couple of years now and feel like it’s working for me.



    This part hit home:

    Every great wardrobe is built on a foundation of expensive mistakes.



    That was helpful in articulating some of the problems I’ve had – that fashion isn’t art, it’s creative writing, and that versatility isn’t the only goal to strive for. The article is so much more thoughtful than “black blazers! Timeless!” Thanks for sharing it (and for your Instagram).



    Great article. I liked his line that it will probably take 5 years to build a wardrobe you’re happy with – of course the exact timeline will differ, but setting a long one like that makes it easier to be patient and let your style mature while buying slower.



    Interesting. I’ve never been able to find fashion inspiration from anything but actual photos of clothing, and even then it’s kind of hard to say what will inspire me. The inspo albums posted here, for example, do absolutely nothing for me in terms of getting excited about clothes. I know I get inspiration from somewhere—nothing exists in a vacuum and it surely didn’t spring forth from my forehead fully formed—but I can’t articulate exactly how. I do like to shop and try stuff on (as recommended in the second tip) and it’s probably my main source of forward wardrobe momentum.

    Other than that, the advice to not get hung up on versatility is really helpful. I tend to swing in polar opposite directions: my purchases are either my 5th plain black dress or a ballgown I wear once a year, at that. Trying to be OK with and find that middle ground is something I need to work on.

    Something not mentioned in the article and something I’ve not seen mentioned many places is *it’s OK if your personal style is the same as someone else’s*. As I mentioned above, we don’t live in a vacuum and it’s reasonable one’s style would be influenced by what they see around them. Rather than obsess over your wardrobe and try to make it something it’s not, it’s OK to find enjoyment in a simple, versatile, “average” closet. No need to pick and prod to find a totally unique personal style if you’re happy with what you have.



    I…feel so lost. I subbed a few months ago hoping to figure out a good strategy for building a better wardrobe, but this is all so foreign. I feel like I walked into Advanced Differential Equations when I was looking for plain ol’ College Algebra.



    I found this particular bit really critical in my own journey going from “dressed by the Internet” to “dressing for personal style” (emphasis mine):

    > The best way to do this is by building a visual vocabulary. Start by finding sources of inspiration. Collect photos from brand lookbooks, fashion runways, music scenes, stylish films, or other artistic scenes. Save photos of stylish people. Images can even be non-clothing related. Ralph Lauren’s design team, for example, uses a technique known as “rigging,” where they’ll style an empty room based on the feeling they get off a small, curated selection of photos. That space – with all of its decor and vintage clothing – is then used as a jumping off point for how they’d like to design a new season’s worth of clothes. Obviously, you don’t have to rig a room to find inspiration, but you can use photos of camp sites and outdoor activities if you’re interested in a more rugged style.

    > You can collect these photos by using Pinterest, Tumblr, or Instagram. Or you can just save them on your computer (which is what I do). On social media sites, you can find sources of inspiration by searching relevant tags — say, a brand name such as Engineered Garments or the name of a specific aesthetic. Keep digging for visual inspiration.

    > ***It can also help to read up on these things, so you understand what you’re looking at. Read about a designer’s intention and philosophy, a music scene or film era. In this way, you can connect the visual language of clothes to something greater, which in turn will help you understand when something visually works and when it doesn’t.***

    My wardrobe is still a work in progress (when is it not?) of course, but I found that going beyond clothing as “just clothes” has helped me become a lot more inspired about fashion. I found that I was getting infatuated with a single piece of garment, imagining myself with it on and thinking how owning this one thing would make my life better. This would result in impulse purchases which wasn’t always a good thing. Recently I’ve been trying to approach wardrobe additions by conjuring up a theme and an atmosphere around my existing wardrobe, then choosing which clothes would go well with that. It takes more creative effort but it also helps me be more mindful about what I add to my wardrobe.



    I really liked this section about when to spend more money and when not to while developing a wardrobe:

    >You don’t have to cheap out with basics, but you want to be frugal. Since these simpler pieces can be found almost anywhere, that means you want to take advantage of the price competition. Find things at Uniqlo or thrift stores; shop heavily on sale and dig around sites such as Grailed. If you find them to be exceptionally useful later, you can upgrade.

    >Then save your money for things that will make more of an impact, such as outerwear or shoes. Kapital’s Ring coat — which combines an American field jacket with a Japanese kimono t-shaped pattern — can be worn with something as simple as a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt. And it’ll give you a taste of whether you’d like to delve into more offbeat Japanese workwear or simply resell the piece. Meanwhile, those same jeans and flannels will allow you to explore other aesthetics.

    Framing budgeting for basics as “taking advantage of the price competition” really gave me a better picture of how to decide what to spend money on at this stage of my wardrobe evolution (and my life). That framework also basically tracks how most of us in FFA advise each other on when to splurge and when to find a deal, but I hadn’t ever read it so clearly stated before.



    I was kind of surprised that the first lines mention men wanting to be dressed appropriately for the occasion. I feel like it’s sooo much easier for a man to be dressed appropriately for any given occasion. I’ve driven myself crazy trying to figure out how casual or dressy or sexy or edgy or comfortable any event should be whereas my husband can just throw on nice jeans, cdb’s, and a t shirt or button down and be fine for like 85 percent of occasions.



    This was a great article. Thanks for posting.



    Yes, my wardrobe is built on expensive mistakes!!



    I think my problem is my personal style is just really bad taste. In the present moment, I often think I look stellar and have made good clothing purchase decisions. But often times, when I look back at my photos, I say “oh, what was I thinking?!?”



    Kind of off-topic, but I followed [this article link]( and my goodness, that Yves Saint Laurent was one dapper fellow. I now have a historical crush on him.



    “Double monk shoes are dead, but cap-toe oxfords are classic.”




    I agree with fashion as language, but have no idea what I’m trying to say. I want to be noticed in a positive way, but that’s pretty vague. Even if I do the “finding inspiring images on Pinterest” thing, it’s not clear how the images relate to each other. And I’m a writer, so aiieeee.

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