If you love fashion, you've probably spent a lot of time thinking about how to improve your personal style. Maybe you've bought into the idea that clothes have to be expensive to look good or that wearing a designer item automatically equals good taste. This isn't always true.
You can improve your personal style on a budget in a million different ways and find affordable luxury items too. Creativity is the real key to looking great, no matter what you wear.
What is personal style?
So what is personal style, really? It isn't just about what you wear. It's an outward expression of your personality.
Your style might show that you're sophisticated and classy, or maybe that you're artistic and innovative. One thing is clear - personal style is unique to every person. It's also not about spending a lot of money. You can look good on any budget.
How can I determine what my personal style is?
First, start by looking in your closet. This is just a starting point because your own clothes may or may not accurately reflect your personal style.
Second, decide what you like and don't like in your wardrobe, and separate these items, that way you'll see what you enjoy wearing.
Finally, take our personal style quiz to figure out what fashion type you prefer!
Take our personal style quiz!
Take our personal style quiz to help you decide on your fashion path. This will help you determine the look you desire!
When it comes to denim, you prefer:
- Black skinny jeans.
- A straight-leg jean.
- A wide-leg jean.
- Same style of Levi's you've been wearing for years.
- Boyfriend jeans or something loose-fitting.
- Jeans aren't really your thing; you prefer trousers or dresses.
Your accessories tend to look like this:
- A couple of high-end pieces, like a gold necklace and some bangles.
- A fashionable ring and necklace combo that goes with everything.
- Your accessories change a lot, but today you're wearing several necklaces you found in a thrift shop last week.
- You like stud earrings and maybe another item if you're trying to be fancy.
- Nothing that's too much; you aren't a fan of a lot of jewelry. Instead, you opt for a few cool bracelets occasionally.
- Diamonds and pearls are your usual go-to's.
Your everyday outfit looks like this:
- A midi dress, tights, boots, and some great jewelry.
- A pair of linen pants and a nice silk blouse to match.
- A flowy maxi dress with tons of bangle bracelets, cute sandals, and fun makeup.
- A pair of well-made jeans and a nice t-shirt.
- Some joggers, Allbirds, and a tee that you tie into a knot on the side.
- A skirt or trousers with your favorite blouse and heels.
When it comes to fashion trends, you:
- Like to keep up with trends, and you aren't afraid to try them as long as they look good.
- You'll try out one or two trends, but you mostly stick to basic looks that always turn out well.
- Kind of prefer to do your own thing. You aren't afraid of trends, but you'd rather be unique.
- Trends aren't that interesting to you. You prefer a look that always works, and you stick to a wardrobe that all works together.
- Trends are fun sometimes, but you'd rather work on projects or hang out with friends than discover new fashions.
- You always know what the trends are, even if you rarely wear them.
Your wardrobe colors are:
- A lot of black, with a mix of bright colors thrown in.
- A careful collection of your perfect color palette, using about five primary hues.
- You love color, and your wardrobe is filled with it.
- You like to stick to neutrals like grey, black, white, and cream.
- Your wardrobe is primarily jeans and comfy materials, and you own a lot of pastels, blues, and greens.
- Your wardrobe contains a lot of black and white, coupled with a few colors that really compliment you.
Personal style types based on your personal style quiz results
Now that you've taken the quiz, here's your style type based on our personal style quiz! Use your results to set some fashion and style goals!
1. Sophisticated personal style
If you answered mostly 1's, you prefer a sophisticated style. This personal style is made with mostly black trendy pieces with a mix of other colors. Looking sophisticated may mean dressing modestly but chic.
For instance, pairing a short skirt with dark tights creates a more sophisticated look. Also, a subtle sheen make-up look will pair nicely with this style of easy and simple wardrobe.
2. Classic personal style
Did you find yourself sticking to mostly 2's with our personal style quiz? Then you have a classic personal style. This means you prefer blazers, tailored pants, and timeless pieces. Think Coco Chanel or Jackie O. Maybe it's time to save up for that Chanel bag? Or perhaps you could try out a style uniform?
3. Artistic personal style
If you found yourself answering mostly 3's, then you have a fun, artistic personal style! You gravitate towards bright, colorful clothes and bold make-up. You're not afraid to stand out, and your outfits are fun and festive. Think Stevie Nicks or Sarah Jessica Parker. Basically, you love glitz and glam!
4. Minimalist personal style
Did you gravitate towards mostly 4's when answering this personal style quiz? If so, then you prefer minimalist fashion. When it comes to a minimalist style, less is more. And you prefer to pair fewer or simpler pieces.
Of course, this doesn't mean your wardrobe has to be boring. Quite the opposite! You can still make a statement with the right combination, such as a nice pair of slacks, a cute top, and a simple yet stunning piece of jewelry.
5. Casual personal style
If you answered mostly 5's, then you defiantly prefer a casual or casual chic style. This style is made of more comfortable pieces such as jeans, minimal jewelry, and comfy shirts. However, you can still look chic and casual by picking the right items. Maybe try a pair of platform sneakers for a fun spin on a comfy style.
6. Elegant personal style
Did you get excited answering mostly 6's in this personal style quiz? Then you have a taste for an elegant style. You love high-heels, and you truly believe diamonds are a girl's best friend. You probably find Elizabeth Taylor's look breathtaking.
So, now that we answered "what is personal style" and figured out your style type let's get into what makes you unique!
Defining what makes your style unique
After figuring out what look defines your personal style, you can also think about what makes you different. Many people may have the same basic personal style, but no one else will have that unique thing that makes you, well - you.
This can be as simple as a piece of jewelry you always wear, the way you incorporate colors, your lipstick, or anything else that sets you apart from the crowd. Find the things you tend to do all the time without thinking, and recognize them as the personal style details that make you unique.
Personal style on a budget
It's great to know how to improve your style and what looks good, but you may still feel lost due to how expensive fashion can be. Remember that having great style doesn't usually have much to do with how much your clothes cost. Let's take a look at these tips for personal style on a budget.
Know materials and what makes a quality clothing item
For clothing materials, there are two main groups: synthetic and natural. Synthetic materials are not found in nature but are created. They are often cheaper and are usually things like rayon and polyester. They may cost less, but they're generally bad for the environment.
Natural fibers are made from nature. Wool, cotton, silk, and linen are examples. They are sometimes more expensive, but they are usually better environmentally and are of good quality.
Sometimes you can find blends of synthetic and natural fibers. For example, you might find a cotton blend shirt with 80% cotton and 20% synthetic materials.
Focus on classic pieces
While following every trend may sound like fun, it's a bad game to play if you want to cultivate your personal style on a budget. Simple and classic designs are ideal because it's easier to pair these styles with many different clothing items.
Classic pieces also don't go out of style, meaning you aren't going to shove them to the back of your closet in embarrassment in a few months.
When you buy things that are classic instead of trendy, you can wear them for many years. Creating a capsule wardrobe is super stylish and frugal!
Be mindful when shopping thrift stores
You might consider looking for some clothing brands in thrift stores or online where they sell designer items for lower prices. This is a great way to stay on a budget and afford a few of those high-end items. Remember these things:
Do your homework with the fabric
If you're going to buy second-hand, it's worth looking for something that's high quality. You don't want to buy something because it's cheaper if the material is no good.
Know a knock-off from the real thing
This should be pretty obvious, but you need to know that it's real when you want to buy a designer item. Spend some time researching so you don't wind up paying a ton of money for something fake.
Combine designer, vintage, and less well-known brands
Personal style is about being creative and thoughtful with the way you dress. It doesn't mean that you just wear a designer because their clothes are expensive. A person with a great fashion sense can take several pieces from various brands and combine them into a unique and put-together look.
To put together a great look, opt for wearing one designer piece, such as a handbag or shoes. Then add something from a thrift store, something you bought online from a moderate brand, and a few unique accessories. Using this approach will help you create a one-of-a-kind fashionable outfit every time.
Build fashion into your budget
You might try setting a certain amount of money per week or per month aside to buy new clothes, jewelry, or handbags. You don't have to spend the money just because it's there, but rather, let the money grow, so it's around when you find that perfect item.
Take your time and be thoughtful with purchases. When you see something you like, shop around so you know you're getting the best deal available.
How to improve your style for free or cheap!
What if you're starting from scratch and you have very little money to spend on clothing? That's okay; you can still look great! Here's how to improve your style for less.
Organize your closet
Sounds boring, right? But guess what? When you organize your closet, you might find some looks you didn't even know were there. Something that used to be your favorite can become a wardrobe staple again. It also gives you a chance to clear out anything that you no longer use or want.
After organizing your closet, you can start fresh. You'll know what you already have, which is a great way to save.
Try new combinations of old items
Sometimes an old clothing item just needs to be looked at in a new way. So, try pairing combinations you haven't thought of, like a dress with a t-shirt tied over it, heels with jeans, or jewelry you haven't worn very often before.
Some combinations will work, and some won't, but this exercise will help you be more creative with your clothing.
Your nails can make a statement
Know what costs almost nothing and can make a huge impact? Your nails. Keep them manicured for a polished look. They can reflect your personal style, as well, depending on the colors and designs you use. You can go for solid red or neutral nails, a french manicure, or polka dots - whatever expresses your personality best.
Sell your unwanted clothes to a consignment store
Consignment stores will take your unwanted clothing and sell it for you. You can make a profit, or sometimes that money will be applied to your next purchase at the store. Either way, it's a great way to make a few bucks and get something new for your wardrobe.
Create a signature makeup and hair look
Nothing says personal style like having a signature look. Your hair and makeup can accomplish this. Try wearing your hair in one or two styles that consistently look great, and get regular haircuts to keep it healthy.
Your everyday makeup also says a lot about you because it reflects your style as well. You can aim for a natural style, a bold lip color, or add some sparkle. To help you create your look, check out this Trend Spotter article featuring fun makeup ideas.
You can improve your personal style on a budget
So, your personal style is a massive part of who you are, and it is totally worth spending money and taking time for. Be sure to add "style" as a category for your budget, and take the time to evaluate your wardrobe.
When you're looking at how to improve your style, you just need to remember your personality and budget and use some creativity!