The three secrets of your style – and creating outfits that love you back


Are you happy with your wardrobe? Discover the three secrets of your personal style – and how to create flattering outfits that love you back.

Personal style coach Allison Hamilton-Rowe from DailyOutfit reveals the secrets to looking and feeling good – and being the best version of you.

Do the outfits you love, love you back?

We all have a few outfits in our wardrobe that we love. We may love the colour, the fabric or the cut. But do these favourites love you back?

Here, as the Bard so eloquently put it, lies the rub.

That colour that you love – is it one that flatters you? The fabric – does it meld holistically with the rest of your look? Or is it a bit of an outlier? And the cut – does it highlight your good points, while discreetly disguising the bits you’re not so happy with?

Perhaps you’re not sure. However, you ARE sure about the outfits that do love you back. You know the ones I’m talking about; the ones you put on when you want to feel powerful or sexy or comfy at home. The ones that elicit compliments – whether it’s the first time you wore it or the 10th time.

Maybe you have one in your closet right now. Maybe you haven’t had an outfit like that since you were 10. Whatever is true for you, you know about the outfit that loves you back. It’s the outfit that helps you feel like the best you – and some.

“Style is a simple way of saying complicated things,” said Jean Cocteau. And don’t we know it!

And it’s not just about dressing for you, of feeling comfortable in what you’re wearing. First impressions are everything, especially in business. And you want to make sure that you nail your first impression every time by looking confident and at your best.

How to create outfits that love you back

So how do you create outfits that give you YOU (and some)? Outfits that you can’t help but fall for, and love you right back?

Some experts will tell you to just take a look at the ones you already have and break down the elements. The problem with that advice though is that if you could do that, you’d already have a wardrobe full of outfits that love you! In fact, you’d probably be a stylist. Because this is a skill, people! And for most people, it’s just not that simple.

However, it is absolutely possible for you to learn. It’s a skill, remember – not a talent. And the heart of this skill is simply knowing your personal style.

The three secrets of your personal style

The good news is that getting to the heart of your personal style is incredibly simple. It boils down to three very basic secrets that make up my formula:

 What Flatters + What Matters + Your Dream = Personal Style

Combine all three secrets and you will dress with confidence, and feel like you. Here’s how you can achieve it.

1) Wear what flatters you

Knowing what flatters you is key to personal style. It’s a mash-up of five elements:

  • Your body shape.
  • Your face shape.
  • Your hair type.
  • Your colouring.
  • Your facial analysis.

Once you know these five data points, all you need to do is build your style based on the results – it really is that simple!

Too many of us waste time on feeling bad about the way we look – whether it’s the colour of our hair or the upturn of our nose. By focusing on what flatters you, you can move beyond fretting about unchangeable things and learn to accept them.

Not only will you understand how to pick outfits that flatter the real you, but you’ll wear them with confidence. And what can more attractive than that?

2) Wear what matters to you

Understanding what matters to you is the meat of personal style. It’s what makes the outfit that loves you YOU.

But how do you get there? It’s a question of your core values. What would the people who love you say about you? What are you most proud of about yourself? All of these adjectives are translatable into colour and style. Remember what Cocteau said? Colours have meanings. Style has connotations.

Add those two ways of speaking to your aesthetic (the things you like visually) and you begin to show the world who you really are.

3) Wear your dreams

Style is aspirational. It allows us to begin to step into who we want to be – like a costume – and to literally inhabit the person we are becoming.

Think of your style as the Eiffel Tower. When the Eiffel Tower was first being built, many people in Paris thought it hideous. The base had to be so large in order to support the tower. The lattice-work had to be constructed the way it was to withstand the sway of the wind.

This is true of your dream as well. You have been building it just so; the pieces have fit together in the way the needed to fit together. Now, it’s time to build the tower so you can reach out, amplify your message AND attract as well.

Now the Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris. It brought artists and writers to Paris in the early 20th century because it was a symbol of modernity and forward-thinking. Your style can do for you what the Eiffel Tower did for Paris.

Putting the pieces together

Once you determine how the elements of the formula look for you, you can start to get a coherent sense of your own personal style.

You may need help from a professional on this to ascertain some or all of those data points. You might need to do some journaling around your core values, use Pinterest to create a vision board for your dreams, or Google your colour meanings.

Once you’re clear on how the formula works for you, you can begin to apply it to your outfits. Piece by piece, look by look, you’ll integrate this knowledge into everything you own. If it doesn’t flatter, you’ll release it. If it’s not meaningful for you, you’ll not pick it up in the first place. And if it doesn’t help propel your dreams? Forget it!

Creating your personal style is a method for you to clarify and to reach your goals. It is a way of cutting through the noise and declaring yourself present – and putting together looks that you absolutely adore, and that love you right back. So you can look and feel amazing, every day.

Allison Hamilton-Rohe is a personal style coach with DailyOutfit. Find out more on her website

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