Developing Your Own Fashion Sense


You can’t have a sense of personal style without knowing who you are as a person. The fashion Friday posts often focus on a male fashion trend, that for the most part, is very subjective. The fashion gods, and I mean, gods with a very small “g,” decide what’s in and what’s not. But no matter of what the latest fashion might be, you cannot have a sense of style without having a sense of self.

developing a sense of style

The more you’re set on your convictions and the more developed your world view is, the more you can create the visual part of your persona. They are both tied together. That’s the difference between people who are trendsetters and those who are fashion victims. Those who lack a deep sense of personal conviction and strong sense of self can easily fall prey to the latest fad, no matter how bad or inappropriate it looks on them. I remember thinking “you’re too old and too fat  to be wearing skinny jeans,” as I saw a 50 year-old man trying to pull a look off he should never have tried.

developing a sense of style

You can develop and grow your style as you develop and grow as a person. The reverse, I believe, is not possible. You can only copy and imitate those with style.

So how do you know when you’re developing your own fashion sense? In my experience, stylish people start to describe what they wear in terms of how their clothing and shoes make them feel and how their attire becomes an extension of their personality, a part of their conversation and their story. Once you develop your fashion sense, you are able to walk in a trendy store and say “that’s great, but this is junk.” without a personal style, you look at a sea of options and wonder how to make sense of all of it.

How would you describe your own personal style?

  • The reason why I had to read this post is because someone described my style of dress as “utilitarian”. That has stuck with me for years and I’d like to get unstuck. I started to believe it and now I would characterize myself that way. I’m not sure what it means, but the way I describe it is I just pick clothes to cover my body and lack any style at all.nThanks for the post. It helped.nBlessings,nDave

    • It’s interesting that you say, “I started to believe it and now I would characterize myself that way.” Whether or not that was true then, it looks like you became that person. There’s nothing wrong with being utilitarian, if that who you are. Just be careful not to let someone else put you in a box that’s not yours.

  • Keith

    I discovered this years ago. When I shop for clothes, I sort through and try on many pieces until I find those that feel like me, compliment my personal style but keep me fashion forward. My wife taught me the importance of having the basics in your wardrobe and building on those basics to create your look.nnKeith

    • Basics are great and they never go out of style. We all need items like solid white shirts, black pants and chinos.

  • this is an interesting subject to me. My wife has a sense of style that I should embrace (her view), but it’s just not me. I do not like to wear a tie, yet she always buys me really trendy and cool ties. Yes, I wear them (I wear what she buys me), and I don’t give it much thought. So I cop-out on developing a style that is uniquely mine (as you said below, she’s pianted me into a box). Guess it’s time to see the counselor and have a session…nnThanks for writing on this topic, not much useful info out that.

    • I just realized that it automatcially used my wife’s twitter account to post. Sorry Steve

    • It’s great for you wife to help you find your style, but ultimately you need to own it. I have a lot of friends whose wives dress them.

  • This is a timely post for me because I am currently redefining my personal style based on a spiritual change in how I view myself and my ministry. nnA couple of months ago, I would have said my personal style was “sharp business casual,” which was how I perceived myself and what I do. Today it is something closer to “relaxed, relational, in touch.” (I hope.) nnI’m still dressing the way I feel. I simply feel different about who I am and what I am doing with my ministry. nnThis is very difficult, by the way. I’m having to learn new stores, new colors, and sort through the trends to see what really fits. Thank heaven for Fashion Friday.

    • That’s an exciting time for you, Lawrence. I went through a revamp a couple of years ago myself. I was moving too far right and found myself boring, much like my attire. It’s amazing how what your wear is a reflection on how you feel about yourself.

  • Steve Shantz

    Lately, I’ve started to dress in a style that I feel reflects more of who I am and a look I happen to like. Nobody around me my age dresses this way. I asked my wife today “do I look ridiculous?” She asked me “do you feel comfortable with the look?”. I do, so I’ll carry on being myself. I’m not sure how to describe my personal style and I’m sure it will change as I continue to read Fashion Friday. Keep it coming Maurilio!

    • Barbara is right: if you feel comfortable wearing it, then go for it. When guys wear stuff they are not sure, it’s painful to be around them because they look and feel awkward.

  • I need some help!!

  • Tod Shuttleworth

    Comfortable. I want the focus to be results; not what I am wearing. So, I want to make Nelson alot of money while wearing wrangler jeans.

    • You can still make Nelson a lot of money wearing Guess jeans just as well.

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