There was a time that you can recall having style. Lately, however, not so much. At some point you seem to have lost your style. You don’t know where, how, or why it happened. All you know is that it’s gone and you have no idea how to get it back.
While you might feel alone in this plight, it’s not uncommon to lose your style at one time or another. Life changes and you change along with it. It’s only normal that your style will also go through these changes and it’s all too easy to wake up and suddenly realize that what used to work no longer does.
How to Find Your Style After You Have Lost It
If you feel like you have lost your style and are struggling to figure out how to get it back, here are some tips to help you regain it.
Look at the past but don’t pine for it
Do you find yourself remembering a time when getting dressed was so much easier? Maybe a time when shopping was fun because you could just go to the store, grab a size and it looked great? Whatever the reason, it was just easier, and now it is hard, and you hate it.
Of course, it’s always easier to get dressed when your body hasn’t been ravaged by multiple pregnancies, extra pounds you can’t seem to work off, or plain old gravity that refuses to cooperate with you. Yes, you can all remember a time when getting dressed was easier and much of it has to do with the simple fact that you are getting older. But, do yourself a favor, don’t pine for what once was.
Yes, part of me wishes I was 33 instead of 43 and I am sure when I am 53 I’ll wish to be 43. And this is why pining for the past is so pointless. Ten years for now there will be parts of you wishing to be the exact age you are right now, so why not enjoy it while you can?
Pining keeps you stuck, it keeps you from moving forward, it keeps you from being present and, most importantly, it keeps you from being happy. However, if you look back to a time when you liked your style, without allowing yourself to pine for it, you might actually be able to glean some information that can be helpful in the present. You can look to it to help find the moment where your style may have slipped.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- What about your style worked in the past for me that you can still do today? Why haven’t you been doing them?
- What colors did I wear back then that worked for me? that will still work for me today?
- What silhouettes suited you back then? Do they still suit you?
- How much of a priority did you make looking and feeling good back then? How much are doing that now?
- What made you feel really good when you wore it? Why did these things make you feel great? What can you wear now that would give you that same feeling?
- What did you love about your style back then? How can you capture that same feeling in what you wear now?
Has your style changed with you?
After productively looking back at what was working about your style in the past, it’s time to deal with the now and ask yourself if your style has evolved as you have. Perhaps your style isn’t lost as much as it is need of being discovered again. When was the last time you even thought about this?
I remember saying to a friend of mine, “God, I feel like I need a makeover.” Yes, me. I felt like a lizard who was in the middle of shedding its skin and change was upon me. It wasn’t so much like my wardrobe needed to be updated to keep up with changes in trends, it was more like who I was wasn’t being expressed through my clothing like it once was. Like most people, it snuck up on me.
I have given tips before on ways to discover your style by explaining exercises I do with my clients. Basically, I ask them to share photos with me that they find themselves instinctively dawn to. Pinterest is a great place to do this. I explain to them that I don’t want them to think about the exercise or why particular images resonate with them. I tell them this so they don’t get stuck in their heads; I want their gut reactions. You would be amazed by how telling this exercise can be. In fact, one time I could tell when a client chose something they weren’t drawn to but, instead, pulled it because she felt it was something she was supposed to wear. I think she was shocked that I could figure this out within an hour of meeting her, but the gut never lies.
In addition to this exercise, here are some questions you an ask yourself:
- How has your life changed in the past few years? Are there things about your wardrobe that no longer works for where you are at in your life now?
- Have your priorities changed? What do you consider important now? Does your style reflect these preferences?
- What your short term and long term goals? Where do you see yourself in five to ten years? What type of style do you see that person having?
- Use three words to describe the style you want to have now. With these words in mind, what can you let go of from your wardrobe? What can you keep? What do you think you will you need to help you evolve your style so it is reflective of these goals?
- What do you love now? What do you find yourself drawn to? This can be style options, colors, ways of living, and who you spend time with, and more.
Is it time to consider new retailers?
You hit these points in your life where suddenly the stores that once worked stop serving you. Years ago, I used to be able to pop into Zara and find some fun things. Now? Forget it. I can barely get my arm in a sleeve. I also notice that, with the exception of a few frivolous and fun things, fast fashion retailers just don’t cater to women over 40. In addition to the fit being off, the quality just isn’t up to par with where I am at in my life.
Is it time for you to reassess where you have been shopping? The chances are likely that you have simply outgrown your current retailers and your are struggling with your style simply because you are shopping at the wrong stores.
Your style might be trying to tell you something
We have an uncle in my family who has been the voluntary family photographer. He has been taking photos since long before I was born. It’s like we have our own historian who is never seen without a camera. It’s pretty incredible.
Recently, he archived a whole bunch of photos in chronological order onto DVD’s and gave them out as gifts. The photos spanned back to when my mother was born and I show up somewhere halfway through. I saw photos of myself as a baby all the way up to my wedding day ten years ago. In addition to the the photos of my awkward teenage years being hard to sit through, I found myself remembering what was going on in my life around the time each photo was taken. What became apparent to me was the connection between how I I felt and how I was dressed. It was like my clothing and appearance was telling its own story. I realized how much of a connection there can be.
Look at your own style struggles at the moment. Is there something bigger going on that perhaps you’re not acknowledging? Is your appearance trying to tell you something? Are you not pulling yourself together because you are stressed and overwhelmed? Do you feel stuck in a rut that you don’t know how to get out of? Could you be going through a spell of depression or just in need of change? Clothing and how we present ourselves to the world tell on us even if we don’t realize it. What is your clothing trying to tell you?
Your style isn’t lost
As much as it may feel like your style is lost, rest assured it’s not gone. Your style never leaves you, it’s something your born with, it’s part of who you are. What is happening right now is simply a disconnection between who you are and how you express it. With these tips, I hope you’ll be able to reclaim your style soon.
I shared this video on my YouTube channel a few years ago that might be helpful.