What comes to mind when you think of style? How do you define style? Perhaps a better question is, how do you define your style? Style encompasses the ‘how’ you do something. Style is not just how you dress or how you style your hair, but style is also how you walk, how you talk – your behaviors and mannerisms. And style all begins with how you think!
How you think about yourself and the world around you are fundamental in shaping your personal style. For example, an individual who loves animals and chooses to eat a vegan diet and abstain from wearing clothes manufactured from animal skins will have a different style than an individual whose priorities in life are not aligned in the same manner and therefore wears products made from animals. Neither is inherently right or wrong, just a personal choice that is reflected in their lifestyle and thus defines their style.
As you can see from the example above, thoughts are powerful in shaping your individual style. Are your thoughts positive or negative? These thoughts will lay the groundwork for all of your choices. Your choices eventually display themselves in how you dress, how you walk, how you talk and the activities and organizations you are involved in. Yes, these are all considered a part of your ‘style’ and your style is uniquely your own.
Additionally, style is expressed through body language, those nonverbal cues that subtly signal information to others more powerfully than words. Those subtle messages can communicate what is often referred to as ‘je ne sais pas’ which translated means “I don’t know.” However, when used to describe a person’s characteristics it means the quality of being or possessing something indescribable, as in “She has that certain je ne sais pas.” You may have also heard the phrase referred to as ‘IT’ – as in “She has the ‘IT’ factor.” This essence of style is not something than can be taught or bought. It is a state of being and is rooted in a person’s image of themselves – how they think about themselves and the world around them. This way of thinking permeates their every choice.
Your style is constantly communicating a message to the world about you. Style is the way of saying who you are without having to say a word.
What does your style communicate to others?
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Check back next week for a worksheet on developing your personal style and translating it into a brandable image.