Why your personal style isn’t coming together for you

If you personal style isn’t coming together for you, here are the unlikely reasons why.

Stop blaming yourself – your body type, age, size, arms and more for why your personal style isn’t coming together for you. The reasons why your personal style isn’t coming together for you has nothing to do with your body, age, size or how big your closet is.

Behavioral or Organizational

Out of sight out of mind is a real threat to style! If you can’t see what you have, have items spread across multiple rooms or closets, or things are stored in a way that makes them difficult to access, it’s going to be hard to be stylish. Our brains always want the path of least resistance and this is how the 80/20 rule takes over. In an attempt to simplify, we wear what we see easily, we put those items back in the same place in our closets, and they remain the first things we see each day so we continue to wear them. Then we get bored and think we need to shop. Instead look for “new things” in your closet and create a system where you can see more of what you own so you wear it.

Where you’re from or where you grew up

I work with many people who move to Phoenix from other parts of the country. Where we’re from affects how traditional, conservative, or vibrant we are (just a few examples), our understanding of what’s appropriate, what “dressed up” looks like to us, whether we want to stand out (or not), how casual we are, etc. Some other ways where you’re from affects your style:

  • If you’re from an area of the country where it’s cold a lot, you’ve learned that what you’re wearing beneath the coats and scarves doesn’t really matter.
  • Where you’re from can influence how much you want to use your clothes to send a message about yourself. Some of us have grown up in areas where it’s not socially acceptable to stand out, be “loud” or be unique. That will carry with you as an adult and unless that cycle is broken you will continue to blend in whether you want to or not.
  • You only know one way of styling yourself and moving to a new place “breaks the rules” that you’ve known. This is where a stylist can be really valuable.

You wear a uniform (or wore one in the past)

If you wear a uniform to work (think scrubs) OR you grew up wearing a uniform to school this can create a big problem when it comes to your personal style. If you aren’t regularly creating outfits and putting things together, you lose the ability to do it easily. When you don’t have to think about what you’re going to wear for your day job, you lose all practice and creative expression. When you do face a social event – casual or otherwise, you don’t know how to create outfits. My clients typically describe having a meltdown. Repeat after me – Style is a muscle you need to exercise. You absolutely must create outfits even if it’s just for a trip to the grocery store so you can get out of the uniform mindset and practice creating outfits that reflect who you are.

You’re not friends with your body

If you can’t accept your body as it is now, style will be elusive for you. If you can’t accept your body as it is now, you will never like how you look or the outfits you put together. It DOES NOT MATTER what clothes you have, you will be forever chasing style. I urge you to objectively look at your body like a stylist. If that sounds super scary and uncomfortable to do by yourself, that is what a professional stylist is for. I can help!

Your friends (& family)

Your friends are not your friends when it comes to your style. Friends have opinions and opinions are not the same as working with a professional.

  • They only know how to dress themselves. They probably can’t teach you about your body what you need to know to flatter your body with your clothes.
  • They will tell you look good – whether it’s appropriate, flattering, or wrong, they will still tell you that you look cute.
  • They don’t know how to explain the “why” behind an outfit. Why it works, why it doesn’t and how to make it work for you. They can’t break down the elements of a flattering outfit and explain the nuances of fit, silhouette, proportion and more. They aren’t stylists.
  • They will let you cheat and get away with stuff that won’t help you. Because they are your friend, they likely won’t have the difficult, emotional conversation that sometimes needs to happen for a breakthrough to occur.

Friends can help you get rid of things and probably do a decent job. But they can’t get you to where you want to be in the future – ie. looking forward, restyled, confident.

In Part 2 I’m talking about body and clothing related struggles. Read more about what may be holding you back with your style.

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